Sunday, September 27, 2009

A wee run home from work

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.


Kaz said...

Hi Ian. The reason you can't sleep is due to high levels of Adrenaline and cortisol due to the stresses placed on your body - a perfectly normal physiological response to such a 'stressful' event. Hope that solves the conundrum. Kaz

The Sunday Adventure Club said...

Top training run before Tooting Ian. Have you read Dave Coopers "Mega-marathon" it's got some great tips and info on 24 hour running, if not I'll get a copy to you.
Kaz, that's interesting I have trouble sleeping after long runs/races too, it sometimes takes days to sort out the sleeping patterns again.

Brian Mc said...

Sounds like you are on top form for Tooting Ian. I'll be there for the Saturday afternoon to cheer you on, regardless of whether I get entry from the waiting list or not.

Debbie Martin-Consani said...

Great run, Ian. Not one I would like to do though. Running round a track must seem quite appealing now! :-)

After the Devil's I was up and down all night - despite being completely knackered.

Andy Cole said...

I can't imagine taking on 41 miles after a full day's work - well done and good luck for the the 24 hours! Andy

Anonymous said...

Hi Ian. Well done on your 41 miler. Sounds like you will have a great race at Tooting. The weekend before last me and Ian ran 36 miles round our local track (a crappy asphalt track that the Council refuses to upgrade,even though our club Newark AC trains on it) - 141 laps in all! We paced it out over six hours, which included some walking laps, to get a feel for our strategy on the actual race. Am now feeling much more confident. See you at Tooting and hope the rest of your training goes to plan.
Rachel McCuaig

Keith Hughes said...

Top running mate - taper now and take it easy - cheers KH

Happy Days said...

That makes me feel a lot better about my plan to do a long run this friday night so that I can recovery sat to race sun, its good to know I am not the only daft one out here.