Injurated. Pah! That was so last week! The fact I’m writing this whilst wide awake at 3am, after being on an after work drink binge, probably tells you how I’m feeling.
This time last week, my knee was still dodgy and my ankle was meh. Things weren’t looking good. The inflamed knee from riding the 250kms the previous weekend. The ankle giving way a few weeks prior to that. I’ve been left like I’m falling apart.
Having escaped major issues and injury running Glasgow to Edinburgh and training being good up until a month and half ago, I’d say I was almost on track back then. Now I’m not so sure. My lack of hill training worries me. I’ve hiked up one small hill for this though a few pentland training runs have been done, but early on.
If I make it to The Ben, I’ll be in survival mode. That’s as if I’m not there already.
My aim is to finish. As always with my challenges that I set. I’m the guy who wants to do it for the adventure and not the time. The two runs this week has added confidence and the cycles to work have also been easy and pain free. So things are looking up.
The start has been confirmed as Edinburgh Castle and as an Edinburgh resident I’m more than happy about that! How amazing is that?! Though starting at 4am will be hard!
Here’s my race breakdown.
The half marathon to North Queensferry will be on familiar roads. I cycle commute the same path most days to work. My long rides usually follow part of the route to escape the City. I’ve ran along Dalmeny estate tons of times and the Forth Road bridge is second hat to me. This hopefully will mean I’ll just get through it and be ready for the bike.
The 112 mile bike will be tough, but again thanks to a training ride I know the first bit, to Creiff. The hills aren’t that bad. It just happens to be up from the get go. The weather will be the defining factor in this section!
From Creiff onwards I know the route around Loch Earn from an Ironman training ride and the road North to Glencoe I know from driving it and walking along side on the West Highland Way. The drop into Bridge of Orchy should be fun if the wind allows. The drag up to the Moor should be tough but the scenery will be stunning.
Dropping into Glencoe will be hairy, road traffic isn’t fun there with people watching the hills not the tarmac and tiny cyclists making their way down.
Kinlockleven, T2. I expect to shed a tear here maybe. As in Ironman I properly bubbled when handing my bike over but this one is different. Back then in 2013 my strategy was, make it to T2 and you can walk the marathon if need be. I’ve got the Ben to contend with in this one though and that’s at the end!
The marathon, I’ve mentally broken into two. The West Highland Way and the Ben. Both of which I’ve walked last year and I’m familiar with. The route to Glen Nevis is along track and solid path. I’m hoping to get some running in here. Maybe fast walking up the hills. The drop into the Glen will be heart breaking as the Ben in good weather would be in full view. Going down to go straight back up may be hell.
If I make it here in Glen Nevis with knees and ankle ok then the slog will begin. I’ve planned that I need at least 5 hours to get up and down and back to Fort William. That’s 7pm hitting the Ben at the latest. It took me 3.5hours to ascend and descend looking at moving time last year when we did it after walking the WHW though this was on the next day and we did get a taxi to the hostel lol.
So if I make the top here and I don’t get turned back by the marshalls I’ll probably be delighted. The downhill will be painful. My knees don’t like it. The run back to the fort will be crap but I’ll be happy at that point
Sponsor me if you wish. I’m raising funds for Hope for Children.
Wish me luck and send me tweets and comments of encouragement!