Conclusions of a non-summitter

It’s almost been a week since I didn’t Summit Ben Nevis on the Rat Race City To Summit race and it’s been playing on my mind. I’ve spoken to friends, family and people of Twitter. 

I don’t want to sound like the guy whose making excuses but I’m gonna sound like him in this. Bear with me as I disect the conclusion to not summiting. 

Spoiler: I still think I made the right decision. 

1st Run: the indication of not feeling well started on the first run. After all the adrenaline and excitement of the start reaching South Queensferry feeling sick should have been the indicator that something wasn’t right. I can run a half marathon without water or food usually. I have 21kms in my legs if I’m rested. I clearly didn’t that day. 

Bike: The first 45km I wasn’t feeling great. High heart rate and feeling sick wasn’t good. Though eating did help in Gleneagles

Bike: 45-90km the back started to ache. I’ve never had a bad back on a ride until today. Too tense? Sore chest? Something was up. 

I wasn’t enjoying the ride. I wanted to give up. I kept pushing through though. 

Bike: 90-185km the bad back was relentless but the shite weather was a distraction. I even enjoyed a little bit of the ride when I wasn’t getting battered in the face by rain. The toilet issues started. I had a pee but it wasnt much. 

T2: getting into here was a milestone and one where I had 35 mins to get my head together. I was a bit dazed. I wasn’t thinking clear. I ate something. I’d only filled my water bottle twice and even then I’d not drink a full amount. Which meant I’d not drank enough. 

Run: 10kms in and I was falling apart. I couldn’t run – I had no energy. My stomach was empty, I had to force myself to drink but my stomach didnt like it. I wasn’t well. 

I bimbled to the Glen Nevis station and I found it difficult to look at food without my belly doing summersaults. I didn’t feel right and I wandered about the aid station with a cup of tea like a lost soul. 

Conclusion: dehydration and starting off feeling unwell wasn’t a good combination to be heading up a mountain at 7pm at night in atrocious weather. 

One day I’ll do this again and that time I will Summit. But for now I’m pretty happy to have made it to Fort Bill on my own steam on difficult conditions. 

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3 responses to “Conclusions of a non-summitter

  1. Anyone sensible would have aborted on the bike. But we’re not like that.

    It says everything about your character that you made the finish line under your own steam.

    Get well. Recover. Come back even more nails.

  2. Well sometimes quitting is the smarter option but knowing you as I do I know how hard you would have wrestled with yourself about the decision not to summit let alone finish. Your exploits are inspirational for sure x

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