Tuesday 12 June 2012

Girls can pee standing up and other lessons learned on the GUCR

Never use bad weather as an excuse not to go for a run.  You need the experience.

The panic training in a heatwave - to acclimatise - isn't necessary.

Local knowledge is power.  Even on a relatively straightforward course

If your sole crew member is a car snob, you will feel their eyes boring into your head when the car hire company give you a Hyundai.

The slow meandering when the race starts will always make you giggle.
When you're mid-conversation it's easy to miss the turn - even only a couple of miles in.
Runners will go off too fast and suffer as a result.
Ultrarunning is incestuous. Regardless of who you're talking to, you will always have a mutual friend.
It's not right that Scotland is basking sunshine and you're running about in the p*ssing rain.
Although the route is gorgeous, you could be anywhere.  It's just the accents that's change.
Grass is not the best running terrain.
Living on a canal boat looks like great fun  Although the people who do it are clearly nuts!
People on canal boats think ultrarunners are more nuts. And will tell you so.
Strangers are very kind. 
If you're moving faster than the canal boats, you're doing OK.
Never ask for directions when  90m from your destination and your only mode of transport is your feet.
Don't bother carrying a key for the en course facilities. You won't use them.  Or even see them.
Wear calf guards or long tights, as you won't be able to scratch your nettle stings the neck day.
Virtual support and encouragement is worth it's weight in gold.
Ultrarunners are nice to each other. The dog-eats-dog approach makes you look like a d*ck.
Don't believe the distance is 145, unless you're prepared to walk on water.
Regardless of how old you are, your Mother will be worried sick.
You will think there's no rhythm nor reason to the bridge numbers.
Nourishment milk drinks rock. Although I think the vanilla flavour must be what breast milk tastes like.
The race may curb your enthusiasm for night running.
Men with Rottweilers are actually not as scary as you think.
Don't avoid the puddles. Resistance is futile and a waste of energy.
The Petzl Myo head torch is great, but when it's raining you still can't see for sh*t.
Don't think the person who falls in the canal is an idiot.  You know who the next idiot will be...
Falling in the canal is not the worse thing that could happen.
Losing your head torch in the fall would have a detrimental effect on your ability to continue.
Little humps over locks and bridges are like mountains and a good excuse to walk.
You'll lose the ability to run down hill too. 
People will stay up all night - or have their laptop under their bed - to follow the race online.
If you can stay upright for the duration of the night, you should win a special prize.
The sudden movements in the water are in fact not otters (mental!) - but ducks moving out of your way.
There's no point removing gravel from your shoes, as more gets in.
Food will become your enemy and you could fall out with your crew over it.
You won't be able to tie your own shoes laces.
Wet gadgets may be salvageable if you don't leave them pool of water for four hours.
The new range of Injinji socks are great, but when your feet get wet nothing will save them.
Don't look at your feet during the race. Save it for the finishing line. Ignorance is bliss.
Putting a race number on during the hours of darkness, should be a gameshow challenge
Girls, you can actually pee standing up. Just little tilt and Bob's your uncle.
Peeing on your shoes is the least of your worries.
"True strength is holding it together when everyone else would understand if you fell apart" (unknown)
At some point you will want to kick an ankle-snapping dog into the canal. Followed by its owner.
The homeless migrants sleeping under the bridge will look at you with pity.
It's swings and roundabouts.  What I lost during the night left me with me with enough for the finish.
Training is the key, but luck on the day helps.
Surprise visitors are up there with winning the lottery
Especially when they can take home the gigantic trophy, which you will never get on the plane :-)
The finish gantry is one of the most beautiful things you will ever see.
Your crew will never really know how much you appreciate everything.
It's a 100% team effort. Fact!
After battling the elements for hours/days, people will look at your end picture and say "you look tired"
Reading Facebook messages from people following the race will make you cry like a baby.
You're not the only person who will shed a tear.
The first beer is amaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaazing!
Nobody wants to see your feet. Even if you think the carnage is  impressive and should be shared.
You will scream like a bitch when you hit the shower.
Big pants will be the best post-race garment you can pack.
The socks/sandals combo is acceptable.
Adrenaline will keep you awake for DAYS!
Getting out of bed will take you a good 20 minutes.
Late night TV allows you the opportunity to brush up on your sign language skills.
Hollyoaks is torture and the Countdown Conunderum is impossible.
Footage of the Queen's Jubilee Celebrations is even worse.
People will stare and point at your attempts to walk. And then your sock/sandal combo.
There won't be an asterisk next to your name - *totally wimped out in the night/fell in the canal/bla bla
You may have a list of excuses, but you're the only one who cares.
After counting up the cost of replacing gadgets, don't leave a brand new Sat Nav in the hire car.
You will bore everyone to tears with your race tales, but you won't notice. Or care.
You can wipe out the next few days at work (Judy, skip passed this bit). See point above.
Active recovery is the way forward.  Just as well really, as domestic chores resume as normal.
Try to keep a straight face when the Apple store geek tells you "the water damage is quite extensive"
There will come a time when you need to stop milking the race....I'll let you know when that is :-)


Kaz said...

Priceless! Sock sandal combo is indeed necessary from time to time! Chores do still need to be done and a toddler waits for no man/woman, DOMS or no DOMS ;-)! Too many funny points. Milk it for all it's worth lady, you deserve to!

DaveT said...

If Carlsberg did blog posts.........

Anonymous said...

Debbie, amazing performance, amazing result! Hope you're still on a high - you deserve it.

Great post too - really made me chuckle.


Anonymous said...

Please see www.endurancelife.com/realrelay or join the conversation at endurancelife facebook page. Please run a stage and or help to share this story. It's a great event for runners all over the UK to take part in. Thankyou
Louise Barnes @loulabelleruns

GaryB said...

I dunno bout anyone else but I personally can't get enough stories about the weekend a Scots lass went down to England to race a 145 mile ultra race and beat the whole field. Great post and it still puts a big smile on my face when i see the various articles,photos and posts.

Well Done Debs

Fiona Rennie said...


The Sunday Adventure Club said...

Great post, see you guys next week!

P.s you missed one... You'll never really know the extent to which you've inspired so many people.

Anonymous said...

Fantastic run, you are an inspiration to us all, and I love your blog and podcasts.

neets next mara said...

fabulous!!! so funny!! but clearly understandable. never forget how amazing you are. there are very few folk on the planet can do what you do and hardly any women - and you probably know them all! i am sure they certainly know you! superdebs you rock!! xxx

John Kynaston said...

Another superb post!

Can you record this as well for the whw podcast??

Keith Ainslie said...

Great blog, still chuckling about it, in awe of you run, simply outstanding

Anonymous said...

Love it - also if during the night you have a head torch clipped to your waist when doing the standy-up-pee thing you create a pretty water feature!
PaulineW xxx

Anonymous said...

I just cant stop laughing!!!! Top blog and fantastic powers of observation!!
(and a belated very well done)

Alan R

xiain said...

Brilliant, Debs. For the post as well as the run!

Anonymous said...

Truly fabulous ... the achievement and the suming up which has had me in stitches. I love following your blog, it inspires me on days when I need a kick up the b*m as a mum of two who likes to run a wee bit futher than your standard 26.2

Anonymous said...


Caroline Mckay said...

Just read this and the GUCR race report - what an amazing adventure and even more amazing result! Huge congratulations (unless you are sick of hearing it by now!!) I fear the head torch/rain issue may bite us in the as* this coming Saturday at the WHW:-)

Tim said...

Darn, I shouldn't have read all this. I'm beginning to think that I want to do it. ;-)

ForwardMotion said...

Damn wish I had read this before the WHW race. Top tips and funny as. Well done missy you're really something xx