At last it’s nearly here, and this year is going to be a cracker, since the start of the year I have smiled every day at the thought of it.
Since the Fling was flung I’ve had a brilliant run every weekend for four weeks on several Ways, St Cuthbert’s Way, West Highland Way and the Great Glen Way to be precise.
The Saturday after the Fling Pauline and I joined Sue on her twenty mile recce for the St Cuthbert’s Way Ultra on the 11th July. It was lovely to run somewhere new and just for the fun of setting foot in England we ran back the route for a mile or so to “Border Control”
|Not sure if the gate is to keep us oot or them in!|
Photos from our run on St Cuthbert's Way
The next weekend saw Pauline and I on the Great Glen Way, thirty miles from Clunes to Invergarry and back, the weather was bright and sunny, a little chilly but even I took off my arm warmers and pushed up my sleeves for most of it. It was another fantastic day out feeling good.
The next weekend was on the West Highland Way, an out and back from Braveheart car park until we could look down onto Kinlochleven.
The weather was a bit wet, dreich even, with a very occasional blink of sunshine. It’s the first time in around eight or nine years I’ve ran Lairig Mor without starting in Milngavie, it’s amazing how runnable it is without eighty odd miles in the legs, I will try and remember that Sunday morning!
The final weekend for a long run saw us back on the Great Glen Way for twenty four miles, we went from Bught Park to past the Highest Point marker and a wee detour up to Carn na Leitire and back. With last weeks run being on the Sunday instead of our usual Saturday meant this run culminated in seven days consecutive running with a total of seventy-six miles, and for the first time this year I felt a bit tired, but I still moved well and happily, maybe the tiredness had nothing to do with the miles I’d ran but with my lack of coffee, I’d been caffeine free from midweek! I only do this for the West Highland Way Race and I’m looking forward to the big strong mugful I’ll have at Bridge of Orchy.
Right, that was all the long runs done, the following weekend was the Skye Trail Ultra, where Pauline and I were marshalling, no running but good practice of no sleep for a whole weekend, on Friday Pauline and I took our time driving up to Broadford in Skye, had an evening meal before reporting for duty at 10.00pm, we did manage a couple of hours in a sleeping bag on the floor of the badminton hall at around 2.00am but I wouldn’t call it sleep! At daft o’clock the runners were bussed up to Duntulm for the 5.00am start. The weather was quite kind, some heavy mist for a brief spell on the Trotternish Ridge and some rain for those that went through to Sunday morning, but on the whole pretty good. I think it went well for the first run of the event, a couple of wee teething problems that will be fine for next year. Jeff, you can put me down to help out again next year. I got quite a few cracking photos too.
The weekend before the West Highland Way Race is always the Skye Half Marathon, I’ve been going up for it since 1993, and this was my 18th running of the race, I haven’t ran it hard since I’ve been doing the WHW but it has some very special memories for me. In 2005 it was my 100th Half but also a great confidence boost in my recovery from having a brain haemorrhage eight weeks earlier, and in 2013 my slowest half marathon just seven days after finishing six weeks of chemotherapy and radiotherapy. I think with these memories and feeling strong and fit as I do now I really had to hold myself in check and not run hard at all. I was very disciplined and kept a steady pace all the way although I wanted to “leg it” It’s also a great weekend catching up with friends from all over that I only see at the Skye Half.
On Tuesday, I gathered and bagged my clothes, yesterday, I organised my food and had my last shift at work for the week, I also had a routine check-up at the hospital, my consultant is happy with me and doesn’t want to see me again for three months and she’ll be following my progress over the weekend online. Today was the last trip to Tesco for some bits and bobs and I suppose I better leave Pete and Erin something to eat over the weekend. I’ll take most of my stuff to Ken tonight so he can pack the car with all our stuff. I’ve got a crack support team, Pauline, Ken and Sue from the start and Gillian is joining late afternoon on Saturday with a fresh head since she’ll have been to bed for Friday night. I doubt there is a more experience team, between us all, either running or supporting we can lay claim to around forty goblets.
Tomorrow is a looooong day waiting to be picked up and going to Milngavie, I’ll just be resting, I might watch a bit of telly, read a wee bit, do my nails, go to bed for a wee doze in the afternoon, I’ll have a lovely long shower around tea-time, the next one I have will be Sunday morning at the Leisure Centre!
I’m not going to predict a finish time, but I’m feeling really good and strong, so I’ve giving my team my splits from my PB in 2007 of 26.14.11, (well you never know what might happen) and probably more realistically, 28.59.59 my splits from 2012. If I need to use all 35 hours so be it, no matter the time on the clock when I slap my hands on the Leisure Centre doors, it will be a fantastic weekend.
If you want to follow the race here’s the link
LET THE ADVENTURE BEGIN! WOOOOHOOOO!