On Friday I decided to run back from my work in Edinburgh to my car at Bridge of Allan station, a distance (it turned out) of 41 miles. The route is relatively flat, with a lot of it on the canal, so I reckoned it would be a good training run for the 24 hour race in 3 weeks time.
The reaction of people in the office was quite amusing.
"Are you running tonight?"
"Yes, plan to."
"Where will you run?"
"Home? Don't you live in Perth or somewhere?"
"Perthshire, but not quite as far north as Perth. I'm going to run to my car at Bridge of Allan"
"How far's that?"
"About 40 miles."
"When will you get home?"
"Oh, about 2 in the morning."
"Bloody hell. You're off your head."
Surprisingly I wasn't the only person who fancied running on a Friday night. Davie had seen my plans on my blog, and had arranged to meet up with me at Broxburn, about 10 miles in to my run. We met as planned and he stayed with me for the next 20 miles or so to Larbert, which was brilliant; we just chatted all the way along and the time passed a lot more quickly than it would have had I been on my own. By the time he left (his son was picking him up) I was into the final quarter of the run, a lot of which is downhill, with the hardest bits already done. Thanks a lot Davie; I really appreciated and enjoyed your company. A couple of Davie's mates phoned him during the run to see if he fancied going for a pint. Their reaction when they heard he was out running along a windy, dark canal path on a Friday night was similar to my workmates, although perhaps more to the point.
It took me 7 hours and 42 minutes to reach the car, so I must have arrived in Bridge of Allan about 1.30 am. I felt really good for most of the way, which was hugely encouraging so close to the big race (and only 2 weeks after the 40 mile River Ayr Way race); no problems at all with my legs, despite the constant pounding on the flat canal path. The only downside came after I arrived home and found I couldn't sleep, and had to get back up for an hour to try and let my body unwind. I found that really odd. I never have any problems sleeping and am usually out like a light about 30 seconds after hitting the pillow. But when I've just run 41 miles, and am feeling shattered, I can't sleep at all. It's the same after the West Highland Way race - I don't seem to be able to sleep properly for a few days. Weird.
I was up quite early on the Saturday morning (because I couldn't sleep very well) and felt pretty good, so took Lucydog for a longish walk in the hills behind Comrie. It is fantastic up there. It's only about a half hour away but could be in the middle of nowhere, - just so quiet and peaceful. I'm sure the steady walk did my legs a lot of good, and I was able to go out for an easy 6 mile run today without any problems.
Last night I spent a bit of time trying to get information from the Hardmoors 110 mile race. Communications were not great, but I managed to speak to JK around 10 pm. He had been out for about 27 hours, was lost, was tired and was struggling, but had only about 12 miles to go. Fortunately he managed to get back on the right path, got himself going again, and finished in a time around 32 hours. Very well done John (and also well done to Neal and Caroline, who did John's backup) - it sounded like a right hard struggle, but you kept going and finished. Finishing is always the most important thing, and is a great achievement. I'm looking forward to reading the full report over the next few days.