Celtman – the final countdown
This race won’t be the longest I’ve ever done. I expect it to take about 18 hours, though I’m still finding it hard to judge my bike pace. This compares to four 24 hour races I’ve done in the past. The difference with this one is the fixed distances and strict time cutoffs! I won’t be able to rest between laps or miss a few checkpoints and still be able to finish.
The race is also unusual for me because I’ve invested more time and effort into it than anything else I’ve done before. I’m not sure why – except that my Ironman-finisher friends got me scared way back in November and made me feel like I had better put in some really hard work!
It’s been fun though. I‘ve got used to swimming (rather than just squawking and playing!) in waves and finding out what it’s like to swim to a distant point that never appears to get any closer.
On my final big training weekend I celebrated the Queen’s jubilee by making the most of the amazing place I live.
I did a delightful 165km loop over the Lammermuirs. This is the view up Redstone Rigg, which I have only discovered this summer.
And later I persuaded Chris (a car-owner!) to take me further north to some inviting Munros. I did 5 of the summits on the Ben Lawers ridge. I set off a bit scared about tackling such big looking mountains by myself in insubstantial running gear and carrying my small pack containing the mandatory race kit list.
Here’s the ridge:
It was much colder up at the top than down at the bottom and I was glad of my woolly hat and gloves, even in June ;-). The route I took was from MunroMagic and was a good one – not too many crowds except for the stretch between Ben Lawers itself and Beinn Ghlas. One of the best feelings about this day was being fit enough to enjoy such an adventure so easily.
After helping some girls with a photo, I took off down a tussocky grassy spur with no path. Even with my poles I managed to nearly twist my ankles several times before making it to the bottom in time for a quick dip in Loch Tay to cool off!
Several stiff days followed, so I am under no illusions as to how long my legs might hurt post-race!
And now I am into ‘tapering’. I was warned I might feel rubbish in these two weeks and it’s true. I get paranoid when I meet an ill person, I freak out every time a car drives too close to me, I imagine I am coming down with ‘something’ every other day and my body is throwing in aches and pains pretty much everywhere!
I am trying to stay calm and get plenty of sleep. This weekend I had fun swimming up at Thriepmuir Reservoir in the rain with some fellow racers and then getting totally lost running on Arthur’s Seat. People who know Arthur’s Seat will realise this was a bit ridiculous – but the fog was right down, I couldn’t see any of the usual landmarks and I lost all sense of direction! Luckily in the race, Kate will look after me on the mountain should a similar situation arise :D.
And so with 5 days to go I am into final preparations: buying my favourite foods, making lists and waiting expectantly for my supporters to arrive. Hurrah!