I survived my first hill race! Well, I nearly never started it. I was so wet behind the ears, I turned up without all (eh, actually any) of the necessary equipment. Apparently according to Scottish Hill Running rules all participants must carry waterproofs, compass (yeh, like I can navigate), whistle, map..yada yada. After a brief panic, Sharon gave me her spare waistpack (only Sharon would have a spare waistpack), and I tied my jacket round my waist for a) waterproof and b) hide the fact there was he-haw in the pack. Well apart from a small bottle of cherry juice - also courtesy of Sharon. With the stamp "perfect for lunchboxes" I doubt it would have saved me in an emergency. Personally, given the size of the hill (1500ft) and a 4.4 mile route, I didn't think any equipment would be necessary. Thankfully there wasn't a kit-check.
Like most races, it was all a bit frantic at the start. Sharon and I had gone up to the front to wish Sonic luck and struggled to get back through the crowds into a more comfortable zone. We settled somewhere in the middle - with wee Sharon armpit deep in hairy hill runners :-) After the gun I was nearly taken out in the stampede, but it calmed down within a mile - when I was resigned to a stomp. I started passing quite few runners on the way up. One comedy moment was when I passed a bloke and he got all testosterone-y and decided to "run" passed shouting "runner through"... for him to stop and walk and I had to pass him again.
The 35 minute ascent was pretty brutal, especially as I was barely halfway up when the winners came tumbling down. The 15 minute downhill was fabulous though. I think I must have caught about 10 runners. I finished in 50:37, which was way better than my sub one hour target. Sonic was 90th in 41:58 and Sharon finished in 52:03.
Thanks for Mama Sonic for coming along to provide mobile babysitting services, car watching, jacket holding and photography. Especially the above picture of me at the finishing line with a super-serious face.
On Sunday, a gang of us did the Kilpatrick Hill Route. Me, Sharon and all the boys cross-bred with mountain goats. I had managed to talk Jill, Mo and Anita into coming along, but they turned up in shiny new trainers. Big mistake. Huge. It was a chilly day, but the sun was out in force. Perfect. We all had piled on far too many layers, so after that initial 1.5 mile ascent there were more red faces than an AA meeting. Before the boggy bit, the girls turned back down the trails to save their trainers. I'm not sure they took it seriously enough as later that day I saw pictures of them on facebook posing against beautiful backdrops!
I was totally and utterly filthy by the end - courtesy of falling flat out about three times - but loved every minute of it. A great day out on lovely hills on a beautiful day with fabulous people. I almost hugged a tree at the end.
On Monday I went for 4.5m recovery . It was less of a recovery from hard training and more of a recovery from working at home all day with a crawling baby. Especially a crawling baby who favours electrical wires, doors and sharp implements over anything made by Fisher Price.
Tuesday I did an 8 mile tempo (average 7.35m/m), Wednesday morning was 800m reps (3.00, 3.01, 2.59, 2.52 and 2.51) and Thursday was a 6.7m run round the west end with the club (average 8.17). I had to get the stats off Emma, as I messed up my Garmin. When I tried to sort it on the way home, I was alarmed to see that the watch wasn't picking up the distance. Sonic saved the day and said "you told it you were inside". Doh! Dashing my hopes of justifying a purchase of the Garmin 310XT. I think we're the only people in the world trying to break our Garmins. Given my track record with Garmins (and ipods for that matter) the smart better's money is on me winning.
Today I'm having a rest day - after running 10 days in a row. Which loosely translates as I shop instead of running.