HOLLA peeps. Been slack on the blogging front but I’ll be back soon. Life (MYSTERIOUS AS FUCK, EH?!) is getting in the way and I just can’t be arsed to have any more opinions right now. Anyway, I got a long awaited personal best at the weekend and I just want to share HOW BLOODY DELIGHTED I AM with you all.
I’ve ran Kilmacolm a few times over the years, it’s a straight out and back from the village of Kilmacolm to the cycle path which runs along to Bridge of Weir. Plenty of speedy club runners usually, perhaps lacking this year because the Stirling 10k was the same day but hey ho. Gets Jude the hobby jogger up the field so all good.
I prepared in true Jude fashion the day before by running ZOOOOOMMMGG 5 miles, drinking three bottles of beer and a few cocktails. Ate some nachos too but not many as ROOM NEEDED FOR THE DRINK OBVS. Breakfast was a mini cereal bar and a chomp bar. I drank some water and had a mug of tea. We drove out to Kilmacolm. The race started a few minutes after 10am, still not sure what the reason was for the delay.
First mile takes you up out of Kilmacolm, with a pretty unpleasant uphill on towards the first bit of cycle path. I’ve only recently started wearing a timing watch (Fitbit surge) when I run and I really hate looking at it when I race. I usually cover it with masking tape but forgot this time. Had a few sneaky looks and saw 7.09 and 7.20 both of which were fine with me. All I wanted was a sub 1.40. I have dreamed of it and have wanted it for so long. Every half I ran last year was plagued with injury, unpleasant memories and the inability to crack 1.40…. My PB was standing at 1.40.22.
On and on we trekked down the cycle path, I started to wonder if this route would be boring after a while (newsflash – it was) I overtook a few people and felt strong. I bypassed a few drinks stations along to 10k route as my stomach gets dodgy when I’m running and sometimes a bit of dehydration is the lesser of two evils for me. Few fellow runners said stuff to me but I wasn’t feeling chatty. Weather conditions were pretty good, sunny and breezy. I get hot when I run so I like a breeze.
I took a gel, one of two I brought, at mile 4, I decided mile 4 and 8 would be my gel points. I do quite like 4 and 8. By mile 5 I was feeling the lack of fluids and decided I’d take a drink at the next station…which didn’t appear until the out and back at mile 6 and a bit. I have to say I found the relentless straight cycle path a struggle with no music and no one to talk to. I tried to think of body atrack and combat tracks I like. And thought of lunch too. But a few WHY THE FUCK AM I CHOOSING TO DO THIS, IT FUCKING HURTS thoughts were creeping in.
The turning point came at 6 and a bit miles as well as a drinks station. We now had to run back the entire way we had just come. The drinks station was either dinky CUPS of water or LUCOZADE. At this point this seemed to me as a choice between the torture method where they pour water over a cloth covered mouth and nose, or drinking synthetic orange flavoured battery acid.
I chose the battery acid as I saw the lime one I like. I glugged away at this bad boy trying desperately to save myself. I really should have had a drink earlier in the race and I regret my choice there. I drank maybe 2/3 of the bottle then chucked it at mile 7. Took my second gel at mile 8. Not sure if it was the out of date gel or the battery acid but my Jesus God my guts hated me by mile 9. Really thought I was going to crap myself by mile 10 but I was stuck on the cycle path to hell with no escape.
It was really awful by this point. Has to slow down a bit to try to regain control over my bowels which had gone completely rogue. Well I had wanted to know what would happen if I ate a gel dated 2014 and I found out. This part of the race was horrendous and seemed to last forever. It was like running full pelt on a treadmill engulfed in flames while staring endlessly down a kitchen roll tube after eating the hottest Indian of your life and NEEDING A SHIT RIGHT NOW.
Mile 11 lasted a week I think, maybe 10 days. I overtook one poor guy who also seemed to be struggling, I offered words of encouragement and told him to catch me but he was riding his own pain train. On and on this fucking cycle path just never ended. A straight cycle path with trees at either side so you can’t even see fuck all. At one point I spotted sheep through the leaves and it felt like heaven. A few sneaky glances at my watch read 7.55 and 8.00 and I tried to stop my heart sinking. God knows I didn’t need any more pressure down there.
Honestly I just thought it would never stop. Have never known a mile this long. I started to found maybe I’d missed the turn off back into Kilmacolm. Finally though I saw the marshals and I got off this fucking cycle path. A glorious downhill. Yay. The ‘needing to crap’ feeling dissipated somewhat too, which was handy. I really had nothing left in my legs, and just tried to make it to the end. Mile 12 didn’t last nearly as long as mile 11. Thank goodness. Finally the finish loomed into view and I managed to speed up a bit.
Delighted to be over. So over the moon in fact, I forgot to turn my watch off. When I finally did, it read 1.37.09. Was even more delighted to find out my chip time was 1.36.58. Not so delighted with the fact I seem to have lost the ability to walk properly. A bit worried I may never walk properly again. But I am just happy that my work is paying off and I am finally making progress.