Monday, 27 April 2009

After the fling

Saturday was up bright and early at 4am. Liz v kindly made breakfast for Ian and I. I had porrage, sausage, beans, eggs and toast.
We arived at Milngavie at 6.25 and after registering moched around for a bit.
At the start I made a point of watching Jez Bragg starting just to see the pace he set off at. It looked about my 10K pace !!
I had determined to give it a real go and set off at what felt like quite a fast pace. I wasnt too interested in chatting, just geting my stride right. I did run with Ian and Davie B and hit Beech tree inn in exactly an hour (7.5m). Clearly this was a bit fast. So I pushed on of course. I ran through Drymen in 1.43 which was far too fast.
A couple of miles up the track Liz was waiting at Garabdhan car park. I stopped @ 8min and cahnged into trail shoes and had a coffee, choc milkshake, rice pud and a creme caramel.
Ian had joined me and we headed off together and ran together until just before Conic Hill.
The descent off Conic was horrible. Really greasy and I tiptoed down to reach Balmaha in 3 hrs.
I still felt good and had been amused by a group of 3 lads up from London who seemed to suffer from gate dyslexia. It didnt seem to matter what they did, they couldnt cope with horsey gates.
I found Liz at Sallochy(24m) and the 3 lads headed straight off in the wrong direction before I could say anything. They did eventually return. I had 1/2 a litre of chicken soup, and a creme caramel before heading off. Ian came in just as I was leaving.
It was now definitely warm and the sweat had been pouring off me for some time.
I made Rowardennan in 4.31 which was bang on schedule. Just after that I came across Kaz who was looking fine and seemed to be enjoying herself. We chatted for a bit and then I pushed on.
I decided to run as much of the hill that takes you away from the loch as I could and passed several people.
I hit Inversnaid at 5.52. Still feeling good. Gav was there clearly struggling. I didnt expect to see him at all. Ellen was also there and enjoying herself.
The next section is definitely not my cup of tea. It really does break the spirit. Its like horizontal mountaineering with all the crags and trees and progress is so slow. I ended up with 5 people behind me but I couldnt entice any of them past me.
It was bliss to get to the head of loch lomond and do some running.
I had a message that Liz couldnt park at Beinn Glas so was prepared to psh thro to Derrydarroch.
The 3m that separates the 2 is always surprisingly hilly. I was walking all the ups now and beginning to struggle. It was 20m since I had seen Liz and I needed some support. Alison and Colin were there and it is always nice to see familiar faces.
I had some ginger beer and swapped my ruc sac for bumbag. This wasnt smart as I had been fine and hadnt tried this before with bottles in the main bit of it. They jump out normally if they are in the bottle pockets. Anyway i set off with the bumbag bouncing up and down and annoying me.
I was glad to take the left turn up the hill at Crianlarich corner. It feels like the beginning of the end. I was being passed by a few now and just working away as best I could. I hadnt really eaten for ages and wasnt hungry.
About 3/4m before the A82 i stumbled on one of the many rocks on a steep downhill bit and flew headfirst downhill. I landed on my right knee and totally had the stufing knocked out of me. My calf immediately cramped and I must have been yelling out in pain because a few people gathered around to watch my suffering. My first thought was what have I done ? My knee was giving me alot of pain and I didnt move for a few mins. Eventually after some kind person dressed my knee I got up and started hobbling downhill. I walked to the road and then got up to a half jog when saw the girls. Liz was clearly concerned about the state of my running kit and how she was ever going to get it clean. Quite rightly she simply asked me if I could carry on and when I affirmed she told me to get on with it.
I crossed the road and had horrendous cramp when getting over a stile. How do I get out of this I thought. Then I saw Al and Ali and decided I had better make a show of running.After that it was a case of running then walking a bit when the pain got too much. I was able to run into the finish and it felt great.
Liz was there with real enthusiasm for what I had done.
10 hours 43min.
Not much more to say.
Ian did well to overcome alot of cramp and come in a respectable 11.24 and Kaz did v well to do 12.11.
I am as always indebted to Liz for her support.
Lessons learnt:
1 Dont go off too fast
2. Garadbhan is a good pit stop
3. Coke is good
4. Stick with the ruc sac

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