Tuesday, 7 April 2015

Love a Long Weekend!

3 Training Runs
3 Great Days Out
31.5 Miles covered
2134 Metres of Climbing!
We are heading off to Rotterdam this weekend for the marathon, another training run(!)  As I said before Berlin and Rotterdam were entered before I was one of the lucky few who got a place in the WHW Race.  Subsequently my training focus has definitely not been on road racing but this mileage is double that of 2 weeks ago in Berlin and half the distance I need to complete the Fling 2 weeks later... so in theory it's a good training run and in 'just the right place'...
Bearing all of the above in mind, John decided that I should 'take it a little bit easier' and do 30miles but over 3 days - as he said to someone the other night 'talk about altered reality'  I had had a really sore leg since Berlin, it's an ongoing issue with my hamstring but dry-needling seems to ease it and I was really lucky to get a last minute appointment at Life Fit on Thursday at lunchtime and the needles started to work their magic while I was still on the treatment table!
We were off for the Easter weekend which gave us plenty of scope and I thoroughly enjoyed the whole experience.

Friday: alarm off at 6am, porridge eaten, bag packed and off to Milngavie - I was running Milngavie to Drymen and I had a time target - I had done this section a month ago and it was awful, freezing cold, crampy legs, and lots of ice!  This time it was damp and dull but still and not too cold, with no ice!  However i was ready to chuck it after 2km as I got horrendous cramp again in my calves :-(  I don't know if I was starting off 'too fast' it didn't feel fast to me, but it's all relative I guess and although I felt I was going really slowly, maybe I wasn't - hence the excruciating pain!  I walked for a full 5 minutes til I left Mugdock and once I got onto the trail proper, things started to thankfully ease off.  In the end, I did ok, I got to Drymen 40 minutes quicker than last time and a full 15minutes under my target!  #jobdone Day1
Nice lunch at the Drymen Inn, a wee afternoon nap and kit washed and sorted for tomorrow.

Saturday: alarm off at 6am, just some toast and coffee this time as a second breakfast was planned.  We picked Amanda up in Bridge of Allan at 0720 and headed off to Glencoe where she was meeting up with some others for a Glee Club run.  There were runners doing various distances, Minty, Sean, James and Spiderman (AKA Ross) were heading down from Tyndrum & Bridge of Orchy and Amanda was joining them to run to Fort William.  After our second breakfast at the ski centre, John and I headed to Kinlochleven where I got changed, bade him farewell and headed off on my own, he was going to run back to meet me from Braveheart car park.  It's a long climb up from Kinlochleven but I enjoyed it this time, I am feeling much stronger than ever before and although I'll never be an uphill runner like John, I climbed up 'strong and steady'.  Once I got to the top, I really enjoyed the trip across the Lairig Mhor, I ran much more of it than ever before, even managing to run some of the Ups!  There weren't many folk out on the Lairig but the few walkers I passed all said hello and then I had a wee blether with Derek Cassels (superspeedy) who passed me on his way out and then slowed down to chat with me for a few minutes on his way back. 
This picture of my favourite place on the Lairig is included because I love it so much. 
I was super chuffed to get to Lundavra and John wasn't there - not because I didn't want to see him, but because I'd beaten him there - he was surprised to meet me a little bit further towards him than he'd expected and silly though it might seem it's a wee lift that he's pleasantly surprised :)  heading back to Braveheart I had a real slump on the 'elephant's graveyard' I don't know what it's really called but it's a pretty desolate de-forested uphill slog before you get to the fire road and it's one of those places that gets me every time.  Once on the fire road however I picked up again and really enjoyed the 2mile downhill run that comes next.  By this time, he'd flown off ahead of me and I concentrated on running properly not just letting myself go and losing control and trashing my quads.  Back safely to Braveheart - 5minutes under my target time this time :-) and we waited for Amanda and Minty who we were taking back with us.
Great runs had by all and chips and cheese at the Real Food Cafe to top off another grand day out on the hills. #jobdone Day2

Sunday: alarm off at 6am, scrambled eggs for breakfast.  Today is John's long run as to hit my 30miles I only needed to do 4.3 miles :)  He wanted to recce a bit of the Cateran that he will be running in the dark come race day, so I dropped him off at Glen Isla.  Sunday was a beautiful day once the fog burned off, so we took the wee car and it was great to drive around with the roof down getting the sun on my face :-)
I drove to Spittal of Glenshee, where he'd finish, parked the car and headed up the hill for my 'run'.  It's a steep climb and for the first time ever I climbed all the way to the Lairig Gate without stopping - yeehah!  I love the run back down and was looking forward to it, but it was really really muddy and quite slippy for the first third, however I did enjoy the next 2/3rds and the sun was roasting on my shoulders and legs and it was just fine :-)  I was only 3.5miles at the bottom so tootled about a wee bit on the other side of the main road on the start of the race route until i had 5.5miles in the end - a mile more than I needed but who's counting ;-)
John finished his run (grumbling) and we had a wee paddle in the river to clean off our mucky shoes before heading to Blairgowrie for something to eat.  #jobdone Day3.

Monday:  alarm off at 7.30am (rest day and still a holiday!) Trip to Edinburgh to Run & Become, John wanted to change his recently purchased shoes for a bigger size, and I bought a new pair too.  Lovely lunch and wander in the sunshine then home. #jobdone Day4.

I do Love a Long Weekend!