Friday, 17 May 2013

Back Running - at last! Hoorah!!

It seems like it was ages - ok it was ages it was 3 weeks...
However, Saturday 2nd May I managed to run/walk 2.5miles - up the Devil's Staircase in Kinlochleven - John was doing a long run that day - Bridge of Orchy to Kinlochleven, so I drove to the end to pick him up and decided to try a wee run while I was waiting.  It took me 20minutes to get up to meet him with 4 cough-stops, but only 9:30 to fly back down the hill, in my element, with no coughing :-)
Then on Sunday 3rd May we popped through to Chatelherault for the Sunday Social, a mottley crew who meet at random, run round the trails in various social or anti-social groups depending on your speed then all meet for coffee, cake, soup, breakfast etc and a good old blether.  I did 8km that day and ran on the hills which pleased me - less coughing though still had a rattle.  Best laugh of the day was the cakes hanging in the trees - One of our crew had been round the course earlier to hang cakes in the trees every half mile, to motivate another of our crew to make it round the course - not that she can't make it round but it added an incentive with a difference!  Only problem is that she is about 5'4" and he is about 6'4" (all measurements are approximate!) so I untied the cakes for her but when I got to the last one I had found a conveniently long stick to which I tied the last cake and ran home with it over my shoulder - to add a further incentive...
Another 5miles in my legs with lots of laughs!  Monday 4th May was our local holiday so we headed up to the West Highland Way again as John wanted to do another long run.  This time he did a cracking run from Tyndrum to Lundavra (ryhmes with wunder bra...)  I drove to Lundavra - that is an interesting exercise in itself, then I ran 4miles out to meet him and 4 miles back with him - it was ACE!! It had p'd down with rain all weekend and the path was running like a river, I crowned myself Queen of the Burn Runners lol!  It was fab, my cough was pretty much away and my legs were happy to be running again, it's tough terrain up there, but even on a dreich day, the views are still spectacular.  John posted some photos on his blog which will give you an idea of the day :-)
I didn't do any more running that week, I was saving myself for the weekend - Kintyre Way Ultra Relay - 67 miles from Tarbert to Campbeltown.
Friday night we finished work sharp and drove down, met our friends for dinner, lovely food if terribly slow service... again John has beaten me to it and written a great blog so pop back over for a look :-) if you follow the link above just read the Wee Ultra Run post...
Saturday morning bright and early, 5am(!) up to get John organised then head down to see our friend David set off on the first leg.  The weather wasn't bright it was p'ing down (again) but the smiles of the runners brightened up the morning gloom.  Alastair had unfortunately picked up an injury during the week so was unable to run so David did the second leg as well.  He arrived at the checkpoint like a drowned rat but with a grin of a cheshire cat!  His first experience of the ultra world and he had had an absolute ball!
Margaret took over to run leg 3 and she got lucky, the rain stopped!  9.5miles later she came storming up the hill to Tayinloan with an equally large grin and tales of water "up to here"!!  James set off up the hill towards the windfarm and over the top to the other side of the peninsula, he ran 15miles then Sheela took over.  6 scrambly miles later - and the rain had started again when she was about half an hour away - she also arrived smiling - at least I think it was a smile not a grimace!  Then at last 10 hours after I got up, it was my turn!  Up the farm road in the torrential rain and through the lovely mucky puddles, the wind battering the rain into my face, and loving it!  After about 1km I came to a big gate, and nearly burst into tears, I couldn't open it!  My gloves were sodden already and the bolt on the gate was really stiff, I couldn't get a grip on the bolt that would slide it open... at last I got it open and remembered to close it behind me.  Up and up and up and up and so it went for 4km - it was a bit more sheltered as we got into the forest, but still torrential rain.
Crested the top of the hill and time for the first downhill - the bits I like best, guess what?  A headwind that felt like someone was holding me still by putting their hand on my head and holding me in the one place - it was tough!  It's a lovely run down to Loch Lussa and at this point the rain had eased a little so the next couple of kilometres were almost pleasant.
Round the loch and then on the other side - and I quote from the race instructions.. you are now on an undulating tarmac road - tarmac yes, undulating? Eh naw.... bloody hilly!! Oh and also torrential rain and hail and winds again - but I was loving it :-)
I had anticipated it would have taken me 3h20-3h30 to finish the leg so I was absolutely delighted to get to the finish in 3h04 - and the rain stopped!  It was great to see Margaret and Alastair, David and John waiting for me at the start of the town, really gave me a wee boost to push for the finish.  This was a great race, fab people, lots of laughs, and a free feed in the hall at the end.  Best of all, my legs were tired but my lungs were in good nick. 
I got back to fitcamp on Monday evening for the first in 5 weeks, tired legs, but happy to be back in the zone, I had intended going Wednesday too but unfortunately work got in the way :-(  Last night I went to a 10k race, 63min, not my fastest but definitely not my slowest, and given how tired my legs still were I'm fairly happy with the result.  Made it along to fitcamp at 6:15 this morning so now my quads are NOT speaking to me!  Tomorrow we're heading off to Glenshee to support friends running the Cateran Ultra, so more later...

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