Running 5:04:13  47.0 km (6:28 / km) +1552m 5:33 / km
ahr:132 max:167 shoes: SalmonSpeedX6
One of the hardest things I’ve ever done. From home, up Toms Cairn, done into Glen Cat, up Carnferg then across and down to Birse castle before going up the hills to the West of the castle and then slow ridge line descent to the very top of Glen Esk before doing a 180 degree turn back down towards the castle. Cut across and up the big spur to the north of the FoB road, down into Glen Cat (again) and up through Arntilly into Finzean valley and cruise home. Ended up walking - jogging most of the climbs, at first to save energy but later because I physically didn’t have a choice.
Had the idea to do something like this for a while since after the Lairig Grhu race someone said I could have done it easily. Took that as a challenge but never really summoned the motivation until I realised how close it was until I went off to Uni, and the catalyst of Adam doing a marathon in Austria (marathon jealousy is real).
Planned the route but for some reason didn’t tell anyone I was doing it, probably in case I got cold feet and backed out. Drunkenly regaled Jonas with the idea on Wednesday but in the end decided to go it alone for the same fear of failure reason. And also I wanted to listen to podcasts without being antisocial.
Anyway, things started off very well. Was having a great time up until Carnferg, where I glimpsed the bad weather and also slightly bonked at the same time. Felt rubbish and was only on 16k which is not a good combo. Low point was climbing back up from the castle. The climb was steeper than I thought, it started raining and I had run out of water. Dark thoughts.
Hobbled along the ridge and turned to go back down again. Had a bit of a moment where I stopped to have a snack and started getting orange flashes of light across my vision without any cause. Had some food and moved on.
Found a nice water source and was in a great mood for a while. Just about to hit 30k and still had plenty of food, water, motivation etc. However, legs started to exponentially collapse at this point with some of the worse aches I’d ever felt, so sat down on a rock and severely regretted the choices that lead me to this point. Gave myself a cliched motivational talk about how life was for living I wasn’t going to be the guy who couldn’t finish the pointless run he planned for himself. Got up.
The next 10k was probably the most difficult, degrading and draining I’ve ever done in my life. Found myself walking not only the climbs but also the flats and even some downs. Had a nav error trying to get back into the Finzean valley and fell back on plan b which involved going back into Glen Cat.
Decided that my pathetic misery-fest was over and once I got back onto the track up Coresdardar stuck in some tunes. Hit 40k and motivation was suddenly through the roof. Ticked off marathon and then it was home straight through Finzean before the most exaggerated and unashamed punter flop of my life on the lawn.
If I’m being honest, I’m confident of some kind of injury showing itself soon because of how bad the legs felt today but planning to take most of next week off which hopefully should help. In retrospect, nutrition was not good enough and it was all downhill motivationally after the bonk on Carnferg which shouldn’t have happened. Still, extremely chuffed to have finished this. While I did say that motivation was at times very low, I always knew in the back of my mind that I could do it, it was just a question of how much suffering it was going to take. Still not entirely sure why I decided to do it but in the end glad I did. Time to do nothing but eat a shit ton of food for a while.