Sunday, August 17, 2008

Sorting out some unfinished business

A few weeks ago you may remember I attempted to run home from my office in Edinburgh to my house, on a Friday night after work. I made it to my car at Dunblane - 44 miles all in - but didn't do the last 9 miles or so for a few reasons: my knee was a bit sore, I was cold, I was bored, it was 2.30am, the car was parked at Dunblane, and so on. No-one made any comments about not finishing the full run except my 10 year old son, who said "Dad, why did you not do it all?" That has been echoing round my head for a few weeks, so I decided I needed to "do it all", and set a target of running the full distance from my house to my office. Yesterday was the day to do it.

I left the house at 7.20 am. For the first time in my life I ran with a radio, which was absolutely brilliant and certainly helped pass the long hours listening to the Olympics. I ran down into Braco, along the back road to Dunblane, through Cornton and Stirling, along the back road to Larbert, through Falkirk, along the canal path past Linlithgow and Winchburgh, onto the road past the Glenmorangie factory at Broxburn, over the M9 footbridge, past Edinburgh airport, past RBS's HQ, and then right along the A8 to the centre of Edinburgh. I stopped a few times to get something to eat, and completed the full 53.4 miles in 10 hours 47 minutes, including my breaks. Apart from 2 quite bad spells of cramp the run went very well, although there isn't really anything interesting to report about it. I just did it. I found out that I could walk at a reasonable pace when I had cramp and not lose too much time, a lesson that I'll need to remember in the future.

Another reason for doing the long run yesterday was as a trial to see whether the 24 hour race on 13th/14th September is on. I'm coming to the conclusion that the answer is yes. I'm sure it will hurt, probably a lot more than the WHW race, but I think I can do it. My body feels surprisingly good today, which is very encouraging, and suggests I am getting back into reasonable shape. All being well, I'll enter this week.

Just a few of other things I wanted to comment on. Last week Allybea and I backed up Dario in the Devil O'The Highlands Footrace, a 43 mile race from Tyndrum to Fort William on the WHW. He finished in 10 hours 45 minutes, which was well ahead of his expectations. Well done Dario. Jez Bragg won the race in a phenominal time of 5 hours 22 minutes - that's 3 hours 15 minute marathon pace. Incredible. And finally well done to the British team at the Olympics, who at the time of writing doing are up to 3rd place in the medal table with 11 golds. It would be great to see athletics add to that tally.

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