At the end of 2014 Donna Macpherson said “You’re going to take 2015 by the baws and rock it!”
Well, I’ve had a brilliant year, a wheen o’ races, loads more than I usually do in a year, a few were shorter than my normal so it was fine to stick them in, although any before June were purely training but with sticking a number on my front I have a couple of rules for training races, no walking in a marathon and push the last hour. Most races were just because I could fit them in and enjoy them, time pretty irrelevant, although it was great fun running like my arse was on fire for the short ones, and it was a bit of a bonus for the Quiraing 10k and the Donkey Brae (7 miles-ish) I was pretty close to PBs I set around twenty years ago!
January Buchlyvie 10km
February Devilla Forest 15km
March Smokies 10
Loch Katrine Marathon
April Highland Fling
June Skye Half
West Highland Way
July Fort William Marathon
August Donkey Brae
September Glenmore 24
Loch Ness Marathon
October Loch Rannoch Marathon
November Glen Ogle 33
December Carnegie Harriers Festive Forest
The highlight of the year still puts a smile on my face when I think of it. Auchtertyre checkpoint, 51 miles in the West Highland Way Race, I was sitting in a foldy chair eating mashed tatties, shouting at Pauline who was doing a rubbish job of finding a specific pair of socks I wanted. I was giggling inside and I tried to keep it off my face, my crew know I don’t do hang about, but I was savouring just sitting there waiting for Pauline, I was only halfway-ish for this year’s race but I’d just completed 1000 WHW Race miles! Mad! (Just looking at the all time results there’s only been seven that’s done that and I’m one of them!) Thoroughly enjoyed all 95 miles, although Lairig Mor was cold and wet I was buzzing the whole way, the West Highland Way Race for me will always be a celebration of life, the love and support of the family and the majestic scenery as the journey unfolds. I ended up settling for a different pair of socks but the ones I wanted eventually turned up, I had them in a zip-lock bag along with a fleece and an extra pair of tights marked Glencoe, not the bag marked socks! Oops, my specific packing wasn’t as perfect as I thought!
Then the Glenmore 24, I focusing on getting the best distance I possibly could, it was important for me to prove to myself I was back to full strength and health, although you still need a fair bit of luck there is no hiding in a 24 hour race. Finishing with 107.35 miles, 4th from 28 ladies and 12th overall from 88 runners also comparing the distance with all my other 24 hour races, it’s right in the middle, so I felt I had achieved what I set out to do.
On the medical front I feel the healing in my mouth has plateaued out, I had hoped the sensitivity would have settled down a bit more and not remaining so severe but I manage, my weight is stable and a lot of people have commented on how my speech has improved. I still have check ups every three months and the consultant is happy with me and although I’m still a wee while away from the magic five years he did say that to go over two years with no recurrence is quite significant, he also proudly told me he is now running up to 5km, so I congratulated him on that.
Looking forward to this year I’m hoping to complete my 100th race of marathon distance or over and it would be lovely if it happened at Glenmore, so plans are in place and races entered, and the first one is this weekend, thanks to Sarah Self for post the details in the Ultra Dafties facebook group, Pauline and I are heading south of the border for the Winter Wonder Run. A low key race on a 3.77 mile lap at Town Moor, Newcastle, with a maximum of six hours, only full laps are counted so seven laps is a marathon and eight an ultra, depending on the weather, I’m planning on making it an ultra but whatever distance I do it’s an early quality training run. An extra wee bonus is we are staying with Sharon Gayter the night before and it will be lovely to have a catch up
Next up will be the D33 and thanks to the generosity of Lorna Sinclair, she has gifted me her free place that she won in the raffle at the Scottish Ultra Marathon Series Award night but can’t go and George has allowed it. The next few races hopefully will go according to the plan, 100km at Perth, the Highland Fling, my twelfth West Highland Way (it would've be nice if this was my 100th but only if it happened naturally without having to cram in some stupid stuff) then Fort William Marathon. I’m not one to knock out races just to log the numbers but I’m liking the challenge of making Glenmore 24 even more special. After Glenmore, I plan to keep my Loch Ness Marathon ever present streak going and after that probably Glen Ogle 33, some may say I sticking to the same old, same old but I love these races so much I don't feel the need to head to pastures new.
One more special event I’m looking forward to in April is Ally K Runs Skye to maggie's, Pauline and I are his support runners and I’m hoping the weather will be kinder than his Skye run in 2014. The future isn’t guaranteed for anyone and plans are never set in stone, I may end up with the luxury of a running injury, yep, it is a luxury to have the health and fitness to sustain a sport related problem and although frustrating, as far as I’m aware, plantar fasciitis or any other running related injury is not fatal! However the year unfolds, I know one thing for sure, I will enjoy all the runs and races I can.