To say I was devastated was an understatement, when your whole life is physical activity and exercise it is quite scary to think so much of you rides on being able to continue with it for an indefinite period of time. However, I, like everyone else am human and not indestructible.
We never consider that we grow older, that we may be crippled by injuries that occur during activities that we love. And so to Running I decided it had to be!
But, never doing things the simple way I decided the only way I could sustain this activity was to set myself a goal. And NO it coould not just be a simple one, one that others set I had to push my limits further than they had ever been pushed. Or so I thought at the time.
My running goal was, . . . . . . . wait for it . . . . . .
Run the West Highland Way in a day, that is in 23 hours! OMG how ridiculous that sounds for someone who despises long distance running. Hence the title of this blog :)
This goal, was simple in formation really. Here is the logic that I remember applying:
1. I couldnt take part in any other sport that involved physical contact with others. Examples I considered included hockey, football, basketball (Yes I know I am a shortarse and no I do not have short person syndrome ;) )
2. My leg did not like it when I sped and slowed down so that ruled out any sport that involved changes in speed or any sprint work to be honest.
3. I had recently completed the 3 peaks in 24 hours, the first time with a group of friends to raise money for Bowel Cancer, without doubt a hugely rewarding and enrichening experience shared with friends. Being the competitive soul that I am, some may say idiot, but I will leave that up to you, I needed to return and complete the 3 peaks a second time in approximately 19 hours and 25 minutes, I knew I could go harder and faster than that first time. This experience had told me I quite enjoy running/jogging on trail routes/ over moutains = the WHW race is on and off road > complete sense!
And so my journey started! I dont remember too much about my initial attempts at beginning running. But what I do remember is how damned hard it was! In every sense of the word, it was hard to not go too fast and just get the distance done (this comes from my sports team completed my first full mile playing days), it was impossible to breathe! But the excitement when I ran my first full mile! Amazing!
My first race was set as the local Forfar 10k, it was in August 2011. Oh my god, how nervous was I, my great friend agreed to run it with me. Well, I say agreed, she may say arm twisted up the back style ;) and her friend Vicki also ran it. Lots of people said it was a flattish course - this is what I think (See my facebook page comment: see no.4)
Thanks for all the comments folks a few wee things I have learnt on completing my first marathon:
1. It is definitely NOT a glamorous sport :)
2. Do not run downwind of someone 'pumping' their way round the course - there are things to follow the noises!!
3. There was not nearly enough foliage to cover my moonshine
4. When someone tells you its a flattish/dwnhill course tell them to F*** Off as they a...re lying (Lynn Couper I'm sure you would agree haha)
5. Everyone has cellulite, even the skinnies (Do not take offense folks its all in jest)
6. I have never seen so many men standing with there legs spread and a stream of liquid falling between them
7. YES! Its a portaloo . . . . Oh no its a traffic sign - devatstated!
8. Above all the supporters are AMAZING!!!
It was a great day and above all to be able to sprint up the last wee incline to the finish line and hear your name being called out and better yet to see that you have blown your expected time out of the water: simply AMAZING!