A short 3.5 mile easy run on Saturday afternoon, prior to spending the rest of the day at the telly watching rugby, football and the unmissable X factor. SAD me.
Up at 7 this morning to head to the Vale to meet Steph, Ali,Geraldine and a slightly worse for the wear Jimmy. I'll say at the outset I didn't know he had been on the shandies on Saturday. He hid it well otherwise he would have suffered!
Jim Robertson had threatened to appear but had to drop his good lady off at her friends before he could escape for his first run in a week. He did appear later.
We parked at Succouth near Arrochar and intended to run 17 miles. we were to start on the Glen Loin loop take in the Loch Sloy dam at that end of the loop before heading to Ardgarten and back to Succouth. Ali intended doing only the Loop but was able to run up to the bottom of the dam, declining the short steep climb onto the dam where geraldine Jimy and I did a bit of sightseeing. The run from Succouth to the dam is on a good trail with some stiff climbs. I had run it previously, in July taking a couple of hours for the 10.3 miles of the loop, but this was slower, allowing for a bit of re-grouping. The sun was starting to show behind the hills on the east side of the Glen and although a bit chilly, it was a beautiful day for a run. Returning to the the loop we headed back towards Succouth, meeting JR who decided to stay with Ali as she was aiming for about 13 miles. Steph and I headed on, setting a decent pace but stopping to replenish sugar and fluid levels as the run took it's toll. At the Ardgarten end we took the lower forestry road to come out across the road from the forestry offices. This however entailed a quad crunching decent, easy meet for the mountain goat that is Steph, but sore on me. Waited for Jimmy and Geraldine and then gave them the good news. Return by the higher forestry road, not the A83. This entailed running half a mile along the verge before climbing a seemingly never ending hill, where as I had several times previously today I was reduced to walking. Full marks to Geraldine, she ran every step of the way, the two of us reaching the top together to find Steph sitting at a picnic table, where we helped empty his orange juice bottle. Jimmy arrived a wee bit later, feeling the night before's fun. The run back to Succouth was reasonable flat,until the descent via the Cobbler path. Reaching the car after 4hrs 15minutes.
G Map was difficult due to the terrain but I measured the run at about 18miles. URL for this route is: http://www.gmap-pedometer.com/?r=2397324
After changing into less sweaty gear, we headed for the Tarbet Tea Rooms where we tucked into a feast of heart attack inducing breakfast rolls and tea. (O.K. Geraldine had soup)
A wee disagreement with JR who thinks we are starting our WHW training a bit too early. He thinks there is a danger of getting sickened by the level of training, our arguement is that last year, Steph, Geraldine and Jimmy ran the Fling and felt that having started training in January, they were unprepared for the race. This time the goal is the WHW race just a few weeks later and that will require a longer prep. I see JR's point but would argue that he has been doing this for many, many years and has thousands of miles in his legs. That goes for many WHW veterans, but those mere mortals who are doing it for the first time have to get as many miles as possible into their legs, and the coach in me says a long base preparation is the best way to prepare. Last week I did just over 40 miles and the others slightly less. I don't think that is excessive, although today's miles count for next week and it was a hard days work.
I won't fall out with Jim over it, and any other views are welcome.