In preparation for the aforementioned decider long run, I went for a sports massage on Friday. Aileen put me in touch with her physio: a Polish chap, Janek, based at Green's. This is one of the reasons that I felt bad passing Aileen in the Devil's race. After feeling a few aches and pains last week I decided a return visit to Janek - and his unnatural obsession with Deep Heat - was much needed. Given his profession he's very knowledgeable on effects of long-distance running on your muscles. He kindly insinuated that Aileen and I weren't exactly running on young muscles. When I informed him in my best Glasgow accent "Aye, we no spring chickens" and had to explain the expression. He joked in his best Polish accent "OK, so I tell Aileen: Debbie says you are not spring chicken". Noooooooo!!
On Saturday morning I felt semi geared-up for a 20-mile run. I've spent the last few weeks cutting back on breastfeeding and Saturday morning was my last stint with the breast pump. Yippee! I've had a love-hate relationship with the god-awful contraption. Although it's been a saviour (especially when wine has been involved) I'll be happy never to hear the groaning sound ever again. I'm sure Sonic will miss those romantic evening/morning of me curled up in my PJs, linked up to a breast pump. Sexy, eh? Now that Cairn is seven months, is at nursery most days and (more importantly) has two teeth, it was time to call it a day. Not bad considering I swore I was only doing it for 12 weeks. So far (maybe coincidentally) it has paid off, as Cairn hasn't been sick once.
So off I went with my freshly-squeezed boobs and my not-so-fresh legs. I opted (for reason which escape me) to do the route over to Helensburgh and back through Dalreoch. Rule one of long runs: Don't incorporate too many tough hills. Rule two: Don't ignore rule one. My legs still felt light and springy, but my knee was threatening to call it a day. After numerous stops to stretch and a panic call to Sonic, I actually made it round. Apart from my knee, I generally felt quite good. I averaged 8:29 m/m for the route. I was glad it was over though, but happy I can see a marathon in my sights. And if I play my cards right over the next few weeks, possibly a PB.
In true Debs' ying 'n' yang style, I undid all the good with a visit to the curry buffet at the Killermont Polo Club. Sonic treated his WHW support crew as a thank you. As it's next to our running club, I've passed it loads of times and been dying to try it out. I would highly recommend it. The unlimited buffet is great for runners. And Cairn liked the ice-cream.
On Sunday I went over to Strathaven to watch some of the 50 mile road race. Bit of a wasted journey really, as everyone I went to see pulled out. I suppose I leant from their mistakes though. As Sharon said: "Anything over marathon distance on road, is just no right". I agree. Although a chat with Ian got me thinking about round Arran race. Think it's about 54 (very f-king undulating) miles. But I think it would be more of a achievement for runners. Kind of like I ran the WHW in one go. I think saying "I ran round Arran" makes more sense than saying "I ran round Strathaven". I would like to organise a race one day, so maybe this could be it.
Today, I went out at lunchtime for a wee jaunt. It was one of those days when getting out of the door was 99% of the battle. I hummed and hawed for about an hour, but eventually made it out. 100m along the street and I felt like I was reborn. I jogged along the Clyde for a few miles and then did some 450m reps over and round the bridges over the Clyde. The Jamaica bridge and the, erm, one next to the Jamaica Bridge. By jeez is in windy done by the water. 1.45, 1.43, 1.42, 1.43, 1.43. I guess (unlike Caster Semenya) I won't be getting whisked away for a gender test. Even with the return of my wee boobs.