Saturday, 12 February 2011

100km? 50km? Whatever… it’s still running!

I wasn’t too worried about not having a long run in December with all that weather, I was pleased to keep things ticking over with the Marcothon, feeling ready to spring board straight into big miles. January was still a lot of pussyfootin’ around lingering ice but on Monday 24th I took myself out for a scamper on the WHW. I felt a wee bit guilty heading out on my own since I’ve promised some folk that the next time I headed out on the WHW I’d let them know, but I can’t resist having all that scenery to myself even if I have to face Aunty Val and her words of caution about all the “what ifs” when running solo in a remote area. I might be selfish but I love having the scenery just belonging to me, it feels so much more special that way, and being free to stop when I want to, and wandering off to take a photie without time constraints (I took a head torch but didn’t need it) or feeling like I’m holding someone else back. Besides I didn’t feel alone, I had the company of a kindred spirit. I went down the way from Derrydarroch to the wee flat grassy bit just before the hands on stuff at the top of the loch, just around 13 miles, but still around 3½ hours of “time on feet”.

It was the start of a good weeks training, Tuesday, a quality tempo, Wednesday, an easy 5 miles, Thursday, the club’s 5km time trial. I don’t usually do them since it doesn’t make any difference to me what time I do for that distance but I wanted some speed work and I thought that that would do. I worked pretty hard, legs feeling strong, breathing like an old horse, I was sucking and puffing air so hard I got spit up my nose! I was quite pleased with my run finishing a couple of minutes faster than I predicted. So after everyone’s time was read out and applauded it was time for a gentle run back up to the club. Ouchy, ouchy, my left Achilles tendon felt awfy tight and sore, it had been whinging a little lately which I put down to running in the snow, now it was screaming like a toddler who’s just dropped all their Smarties in a puddle.

That was just over a fortnight ago, I gave it ice and ibuprofen as soon as I got home, did all the usual stuff for it, rest, stretch, rest, massage, rest, more dangling it off the end of one of stairs. But I’m not stressing, nobody I know has ever died from Tendonitis, a bit of patience and it will be fine. I have been vey lucky that it’s been many years since I’ve had a running injury, my lower back gives me grief when I’m lazy and I had a wee chest infection “nicely” timed for last years WHW but apart from that I’ve been very healthy so you won’t hear me complain. I might have to have a wee change in my plan for March. I was hoping to run the open 100km at Perth, but now I’m thinking I might just do the 50km. It will be loads more sensible to run a 50km with no training than a 100km with no training.

I like running round in circles, it is so different to an awe inspiring scenic run and a test of self motivation. The lap at Perth is a good one, it flows round nicely, I do know it quite well having already ran 172 laps (just short of 79 laps in 2008, 116 miles, 22 during a training run last February 32½ miles and just over 71 laps, 105 miles last year)

Thinking back to when I first ran laps… goes and checks old training diaries. It was 1999, Pauline’s first selection for Scotland in the Anglo Celtic in Dublin, she thought it a good idea to run laps having never done so before. I joined her for a few of them.

Except from diary dated Sunday 15th May 1999

20 laps of the mile in the Glen - 3hrs 25mins
It was a warm sunny day, the first ten laps were ok, then I had to start working to keep the pace. The last five were horrible but I kept it together most of the time, I did slow down on the hills, but I worked really hard. So much so I was not well afterward, threw up and went to bed when I got home.

If you’re not native to Dunfermline the official name for the Glen is Pittencreiff Park and the Mile in the Glen race will never be a PB, it’s far too hilly. Pauline that day did Marathon distance and didn’t throw up when she got home. 1999 was my first year of running ultras and I’ve just had a big smile to myself looking back.

From little acorns…
I might be sitting here with a wee injury and my Oak tree now has a few sturdy branches but it’s still growing, there are a few more big strong branches to come.

1 comment:

Keith Hughes said...

Nice one Fiona - a great read.. Good luck prepping for the 50 !