I set myself a couple of ground rules before I set off; firstly, I would walk every uphill section regardless of how small and secondly, I would not run quicker than 10 mins/mile at any point. Following these rules would ensure I did not put any strain on the tendon and I could really enjoy just being out there.
It was a fantastic day, with a light dusting of snow but nothing to cause concern or risk slipping. Once settled in to the run I tried to run as smoothly as possible, but I am aware that at times I am perhaps not as balanced as I would normally be, trying to inflict as little pounding on my tendon as possible. It sounds so easy to try and run normally, but as soon as you start thinking about your running gait, it changes. I think running is best left to the sub-conscious.
It is moments like these that remind you why we do this - what a small number of people get to experience what we do - how few people see the vistas we see!
I got to Drymen in about 2:30 hours which was suitably slow but gave the tendon a good controlled workout. More importantly, I felt that buzz again. Getting all the kit together, packing for a weekend away, zooming up to Glasgow on Friday night, it's all part of my running regime and something I've missed.
I was a little sore and stiff in the evening but no more so than if I do a 3 mile run, so I guess things are going in the right direction. I feel a little more confident about the next few months now, so much so that on Sunday I spent a couple of hours with John Kynaston planning our training runs round The Lakeland 100 route. We are aiming to cover the route in 4 stages, each approx. 35 miles, once a month between March and June. This suits us both as we have generally kept to that kind of plan with our individual training over the last few years. I think it's safe to say we are both a little bit excited about this adventure!
As I ran along the WHW on Saturday, taking in the view and snapping away with the camera, I came up with the idea for a little competition. This one is for those of you with a knowledge of the WHW route (or who are especially good with maps/Google Earth). I have taken 4 photos along the route along with an exact distance for each via my GPS watch. I started the watch at the WHW post in the middle of Milngavie and took a split at each photo. What you have to do is estimate the distance travelled to my standing position for each photo from the start (in miles to 2 decimal places). The person with the least cumulative error over the 4 photos wins. The photos are NOT in the correct order!
Hope it gets you thinking and looking at some maps - enjoy!