I did my last (oh and second) run for the Devil's last weekend. Two weeks ago I ran Tyndrum to Kingshouse and on Saturday there I covered Kingshouse to Fort William.
Lord knows I don't need to familiarise myself with the route. It's second only to my daily commute. But somehow, it my strange little world, it seemed like a good idea to do the full route as two training runs.
Cairn got to spend the day with Gran, so Sonic and I could run together - but, you know, no where near each other. We met up with Tim and Ross and hoped to catch up with Sue and Mandy en route.
One of the main reasons for this run, was to try out the terrain in road shoes. I've always worn trail shoes. It's ok for the first few miles, but I didn't have the same confidence coming off the Devil's Staircase. OK for holding back on the quad-knackering pace, but I was putting on the "brakes" which would made it worse. Didn't help that I was chasing down three boys - two of whom were trying to stick with Sonic. Actually Sonic was being rather reserved. So reserved in fact that we actually got to Kinlochleven only metres apart, which made me think he wasn't taking it seriously enough. Or maybe it's role reversal!
I think it's the one and only time that I didn't bomb on the soul-zapping Lairig Mor. I caught up with Ross about half-way. He's about eight foot tall, so got up the hills in about five steps. He was suffering with vaious ailments from the week before's Clyde Stride. Imagine! So I dropped him and pushed on.
I got to Lundarva in three hours dead, and then had an overwhelming urge to beat my time from last year (I did this route two weeks before too). A wee bit of tablet and Red Bull shot (you can take the girl out of Glasgow...) and I was re-born.
I was trying to keep steady, but ended up pushing more that I probably should have. There may or may not have been a wee bit of warrior chanting going on. I finished in 4.08, so six minutes faster than last year.
So, yep, all good. Nice wee confidence booster. Shame I've knackered my quads in the process. Coming down the stairs this week has been a bit nippy.
I've had few good swims and a couple of rubbish runs. Yesterday I did a session of one minute intervals to try and get the ol' trunks moving. And tonight it's an out-and-back with the club, which essential means running like the clappers for a few miles. Turning around and running like the clappers on the way back.
I'm loving swimming right now. I started in April (ish) when I could just about muster two lengths of front crawl. Yesterday, I did 52. My ultimate goal is to some day (far, far away) do an Ironman Triathlon. I think I've got the running bit covered and the swimming is in progress. But I'm lacking in the cycling discipline. Unless of course you count my one and only cycle of 2010, when my main goal was not to get hit by a car. So, I've started reading about Ironman Triathlons. I nearly keeled when I found out it was 112 miles on the bike. WTF? Maybe I should have found this out before my crazy thoughts went on overdrive.
Back in the real work...Work has been pretty adventurous. What I love about newspapers is that no two days on the job are the same. This week I've been dealing with our Everyday Heroes project. I got the pleasure of phoning Mark Cooper to tell he had won the Sporting category. Mark completed 50 marathons (Amsterdam to Barcelona) is 56 days to raise over £30,000 for the charity that helped his late Mother. He's a super nice guy and was really overwhelmed by his award. No stranger to a challenge he's also setting out this weekend to break the Hadrian's Wall record - hoping to cover 84 miles in less than 17 hours. When I told Sonic of this feat, I could see his crazy thoughts going into overdrive...watch this space.
Following on from my conversation with Mark, I spoke to a one-legged man who asked if he could call me back as he was going out for a four-hour swim and didn't want to miss the tide. What a humbling experience that was. Note to self: Must stop moaning about sore quads.