finally home after a bus, train, car, coffee, car, coffee, car combination. feeling very broken and a bit deflated. please don't let the following colour opinion of a an extremely friendly and very well organised event. every runner, marshall and associated fling person was absolutely lovely and made a disappointing weekend slightly less painful.
first 20 miles were pretty uneventful. a bit of chat and a bit of a hill. despite slipping on the downs my knees were grateful for the road shoes. i was eating and drinking well(ish). reloaded at the bag drop and ready for the next 7m.
again, nothing much happened. felt ok, no knee pain but hamstrings starting to feel very tight. just podding along really. next drop bag. over an hour up on schedule. ooops. start the next 7m.
going a bit slower now. how long should 7m take? an hour? hour and half? my mind starts to wonder to the 'big one'. if i'm feeling tired now, how am i going to manage the full length of the whw? it's hot. i'm probably not drinking enough. time passes slowly, unlike the runners going past. eventually i reach the drop bag.
the views across the loch are stunning. but i don't care, it's a bloody long loch and i've still got to follow the shore line for another 6m. this is where the wheels (trainers/legs) fell off. 2 hours, that's how long it took to cover those 6m! folks say this is the most technical and difficult section. it was the longest 6m of my life.
and what better way to follow this soul sapping leg but a wee 12m to the finish line. i'd completely lost it by now. i walked for most of it. i don't know what happened. the only way i can describe my feelings is apathetic. i kept waiting for a second wind but it never came. i think the only reason i kept going was the knowledge that my car keys were in my kit bag at the finish! it took me 11 hours and 55 minutes to grovel along the 53m route. i was hoping for sub 12hrs but i was also hoping to be feeling a lot better at the end as well.
one of the reasons i love long days out is the feeling of freedom, a sense of weight being lifted, realising how luckily i am to be able to do such things. sometimes this is just fleeting but usually it lasts days. this didn't happen during the whole day. after an emotional phone call to jane after i'd finished, she explained that i always say these things immediately after. but honestly this time it's different.
this race has just scared the living daylights out of me. it's clear to see what effect all those missed sessions have had on my strength and fitness. but most importantly i need to do some kind of mental training. right now the whw seems an impossible feat.
i was really looking forward to meeting up fellow blogger-flingers but i was so broken at the end that no booze passed my lips and a ceilidh was totally out of the question. i even carried some choco twist chews for charlie... next time...
gratuitous foot shot...