Monday, 12 December 2011

At last! A run on The Way

In the early stages of my recovery, I set a target to have an outing on the West Highland Way before Christmas. Initially, I hoped to get as far as Balmaha but over the last month I have had a sensible head on and realised that would be a bridge too far for now. Instead, I thought the relatively flat 12 miles from Milngavie to Drymen would be a more realistic target.

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!
If you send an entry via the comments box, I will not publish your comments until after the closing date which I'll set at midday on Sunday 19th December.
Hope it gets you thinking and looking at some maps - enjoy!

Photo 1

Photo 2

Photo 3


Photo 4

Also got thinking about some other ideas for competitions, so we will see how those develop in the future.


GERRY said...

Hi Dave, we havent met but probably will eventually. I like the competition idea but as I ran to photo 4 and back a couple of weeks ago with my gps on would that be cheating. Hope your injury is improving.

Iain Wallace said...

Great idea Dave! I'm pretty sure I know exactly where each photo was taken but less sure on the mileage ... anyway here goes :)

Photo 1: 4.4 miles
Photo 2: 11.9 miles
Photo 3: 1.5 miles
Photo 4: 9.8 miles

Thomas said...

Hope your recovery is going to plan. Just had a knee operation and so I am also recovering :-)

Not too sure about Picture 3. I just guess it's somewhere in Mugdock Country park where it climbs to the right.

Here is my guess:

Photo 1 - 4.65 miles
Photo 2 - 11.80 miles
Photo 3 - 2 miles
Photo 4 - 9.94 miles


Tim said...

Ooo, tough competition. Particularly as I don't have a garmin trace of the route. ;-) I'm also struggling over where photo number three was taken which I think is near the start in Mugdock wood.

Using Memory-Map I make the total 27.43 miles

Debs M-C said...

Photo 1: 4.7miles
Photo 2: 11.9 miles
Photo 3: 1.5 miles
Photo 4: 9.1 miles

Great idea!