It had been a fairly strong week already, a session of Bikram yoga to start the week and 29 miles already with the Friday (17th Jan) as a rest day, but I was ready for my planned back to back long run. The plan was to get going on Saturday morning about 9am, run to East Linton following the John Muir Way, stay the night at The Linton Hotel, and then run back on Sunday.
And the plan went like clockwork, except the weather! Waking up to a fairly crisp morning with some ominous cloud around promising rain, I got given a half hour head start by the better half, and headed off down London Rd from Edinburgh to Musselburgh where the John Muir Way starts.
I had my pack on and feeling strong, I’d started the morning with a solid breakfast of porridge and fruit so plenty of energy, though I made sure I had a nibble of probably a third of a mule bar at mile 5, and another third at mile 10. The rain started at about mile 7 unfortunately and by mile 12 I was bloody freezing. Though stubborn me didn’t want to stop to take my pack off to retrieve my jacket, which may have helped make my run a little less miserable! Cracking on though as I didn’t want hubby to catch before Gullane! I had packed a ham & cheese roll, which I started nibbling on about 16miles in, a few bites here, then a few more at 20, and then a few more at 22 (about half the roll consumed, not bad for me!).
Dion caught up to me at the North Berwick lighthouse, so not a bad effort on my part, that’s at about 24 miles. He was looking really strong where as I was so cold I was really starting to struggle. Only a few miles to get to North Berwick and the promise of a hot cup of tea got me through.
Taking about 20 minutes to enjoy a hot cup of sweet earl grey tea in North Berwick, eat the rest of my roll, and check the map as we hadn’t gone as far as East Linton before, and I was feeling good to go. Another 7 miles to knock out and we would be done, for today at least. Dion kept me going through the last few miles, we stuck to the road instead of the trail as it was so wet & muddy we were taking the ‘easy’ option of this, running past The Law, another little mountain I must go back and climb on fresh legs, and into East Linton, where we found our hotel for the night.
The Linton Hotel was lovely, just perfect for an overnighter (except the showers aren’t the best……). Anyhow, refreshed and warmed up, I tucked into my For Goodness Shakes recovery drink & we had some food to get ourselves recovered. Put on the Compressport recovery quad and calf guards and rested for the rest of the afternoon (we had got in about 3:30pm) Dinner was great, the food we had for dinner was brilliant, followed by a super breakfast the following morning. I definitely ate too much for breakfast and paid for that later on the run back making me feel way to sluggish and full, as a result not eating every 5 miles as I should have been, resulting in lack of energy. When will I ever learn, I am great at giving advice about eating to keep your energy up, but useless at following it myself!
So off we went, we walked the first mile out of East Linton (it was all uphill!) and stuck together until North Berwick, with Dion then going at his own pace and me following behind. I prefer it this way as I can’t keep up with him and it is no good for him to run too slow either. The legs felt alright in terms of recovery which I was pleased about, but I did feel too sluggish and next time I will definitely eat a bit less for breakfast! Then eat more on route and follow my own advice! It was a long, cold run again but by the time I crawled home to find Dion running me a hot bath, I was super pleased with our efforts and really happy with the progress I have been making in terms of my overall fitness and endurance. 32 miles each way, bringing my weekly total to 93 miles!! That is my biggest weekly mileage to date (excluding the Kalahari Augrabies Extreme Marathon of course), so that is massive!
I have had an overly quiet week now, enjoying a massage on the Monday (20th Jan), started back on the turbo trainer and free weights at home, and only managed to run a total of 23 miles this week. I even had the whole weekend without running, and you know what, I’m actually okay with that.
Looking forward to Extreme Energy’s Pilgrim Ultra coming up this weekend, 33 miles Saturday on the North Downs Way, then you guessed it, 33 miles back on the Sunday. So I will continue to take it easy this week and be ready to rock n roll on Saturday! Wish me luck!