That's it. I've completed my highest mileage week in preparation for the fast appropriately 95 miles of joy. Big tick. But after running 73 miles over two days, you would have thought I'd have slept like a log. No such luck, I was up at 3am reading blogs and faffing about on Facebook and Ebay. I even woke Sonic up to tell him about Mrs Mac's FB status about a runner on the Cateran Trail ultra who stopped at mile 46 for a coffee and a cigarette! Brilliant. Frustratingly post-long-distance-run restlessness is becoming part and parcel for me. After the Devil's last year, I had about an hour's sleep. It didn't help that my ankles felt like I done a round with Kathy Bates. I had a house full of insomniacs after the Fling and I was up and down most of last Saturday and Sunday night.
Does anyone else have problems sleeping after long hours of running? After a wee google search, here's the theory:
The physical and psychological stresses of training beyond your individual threshold may stimulate the sympathetic nervous system, leading to irritability and reducing the quality and quantity of sleep.
Yep, I'm none the wiser too.
Anyway, here's how my week went:
Tuesday: 8 miles with 5 mile tempo (7.31, 7.09, 7.12, 7.08, 7.02 ave 7.13)
Wednesday: 8 miles steady ave 8.28
Friday - Milngavie to Beinglas 41.5 miles.
Booked myself on the 3:30pm Citylink bus back. I Started about 6.30am - allowing myself nine hours to complete the route. I did it in 7:19 in the Fling, but was aiming for 8:30 as part of the two-day run.
I was slightly nervous about doing this run alone. Me. Alone. With only my thoughts. The Gibbering Midget and I had planned this weekend a few months ago, but she had to start early and do an out and back, as she had a hospital appointment for her Mum in the afternoon.
The GM was the only runner I met on the whole journey - just outside Drymen. It was quite comical, as we were pretty much wearing the same outfit. Black 2XU compression tights, black tee, Nike sleeves and Nathan backpacks. She was wearing her signatory black buff and I, of course, had a black cap. The ginger ninjas indeed. En route to Balmaha a wee man shouted "Hello again!" I had a wee chuckle when I thought he must have been thinking I'd tanned a shed load of jelly babies since our last encounter.
It was a fabulous morning for running. Bright and fresh. Here's the cracking view over Loch Lomond.
I was having a slight panic about the potential to getting burned when, right on cue, the torrential rain started. By the time I got to Rowardennan, you couldn't see the loch for grey clouds. You gotta love the Scottish weather.
Generally I had quite a good run. I'd be lying if I said I was over the Fling though. I'm glad I gave myself loads of time, so I could take a 15 minute break at Rowardennan and stopped to talk to a few elderly trekkers at Doune Bothy. After seven hours on my own, I was almost talking to the birds.
I finished in 8:29 (who says you can set your heart by my pacing?!). Plenty of time to wander round to Drover's, get sorted and catch the bus. Glad I booked the bus though, as it was packed. Felt sorry for the poor woman sitting next to me all the way back to Glasgow though, as after 41miles over the lochside, I smelt like a goat!
The GM called when I was on the bus - at the dodgy mobile signal bit(again to the annoyance of the woman next to me). We were both complaining about having to carry so much gear, so I mentioned that I was going to talk nicely to Sonic to see if he will support us on day two...then we got cut off. Back in range I got a text from Sonic saying "Sharon has texted to see if I will support you both tomorrow". You gotta love her :-)
Saturday - Beinglas to Kingshouse
And then there was day two. After the previous days's lonesome adventures, the GM and I were both glad of the company. And, of course, having Sonic and Cairn on support.
Driving up to Beinglas farm we saw a chap with two young boys who were dressed head-to-toe in hiking gear. I commented to Sonic that I hope Cairn turns out like that. Although after naming him Cairn he will probably rebel and take up Badmington or cricket or something. Heading up on to the track we had a brief conversation with the boys' Dad. I told him that I hope my son becomes an adventure-type and he said to check out their website. So here it is, Ryan Gosling - the youngest attempt at a Munro round.
And then we had to run. I knew I would be a bit rusty, but the whole run to Tyndrum was pretty nasty. Some drugs, coke and tablet at Brodie's and I was off. Knackered, but a bit more chipper. Ironically my best section was from Bridge of Orchy - courtesy of a Red Bull shot. You know you're an ultra runner when it takes you 20 miles to feel right.
Generally my legs felt ok. My quads were slightly trashed, but my glutes were the worst. I expected to finish with a Kylie bum, but given that most of pain was caused by the vibration of the jiggly bits, I knew that wasn't going to happen.
It true Scottish style we started the run peeling off layers in the heat and finished getting pelted with hailstones. Oh well a nice 7m/m finish into Kingshouse put some zip back into her legs.
And now for the sad bit...
Some readers may know the GM's Mum has been unwell for a few months. During our run on Saturday she had an operation. The GM made numerous calls throughout the day to check progress and got the all clear on the way home. Later that night, after the GM's visit, she took a turn for the worse and passed on Tuesday evening. I'm sure her Mum is catching up with her lost son and watching over her girl.