Monday, 8 September 2014

Glenmore 12 Hour 2014

Apologies that this has taken so long to post. Rumour has it that I have been stuck in a port-a-loo the entire time. In reality, I have been a bit ill, sat exams, worked too many hours and then spent a month jetting around the world. Nothing too exciting there.

I love Glenmore. The race itself is great, the location is nice and everyone is there to have a good time. This year was my fourth year in attendance and third as a runner. I knew I wasn't up for it but I just couldn't resist the Glenmore pull.

There's a pirate party on the night before which has produced some epic photos. Unfortunately, I was working until Friday evening and couldn't make the last train so spent the night feeling slightly overwhelmed by all the camping and race kit I needed to pack. I also managed to eat two chocolate bars, one bag of crisps and a packet of sweets; all of which I had bought as my race food. There's definitely I reason why I leave everything to the last minute; if I had bought the food earlier there would be none left!

As I stuffed around eating my race food for so long I then had to stay up until 2am watching my lectures. This didn't bode well for the 5:30am alarm. On the first train to Perth I attempted to sleep using my sleeping bag as a pillow while tourists clicked their cameras continuously crossing the bridge. One photo is enough folks! Once I'd changed trains in Perth I had to stand half the journey to Aviemore due to a lack of seats. Once eventually seated I pounced on the coffee lady who clearly thought I was nuts. She is clearly right. 

Lee Maclean kindly collected me from the station in Aviemore once I had ordered a bacon roll and coffee from the local cafe for my breakfast. BaM set me up with a one-person tent. When asked what animal-themed design I wanted I was torn between a zebra (would match all outfits) or the tiger (more likely to match my personality). I was given the tiger. Everyone say ROAR and do their best tiger impression. Hopefully you are reading this alone and not currently looking crazy in front of your work colleagues. I was set up next to glamour couple Karen and George who immediately took me in under their wing.

I needed a nap but spent forever stuffing around and ran out of time. During race briefing, Terry made me a second breakfast of porridge as it lashed with rain. Big up Terry.  I didn't check the weather forecast before the race and just assumed there would be some showers. It was pissing down Kiwi-style. Gahhh. I'm not sure if you've picked up the vibe but I was really cranky. Generally, I don't mind the rain but I just really couldn't be arsed. Phil Humphries couldn't be bothered either. We sought refuge in our foul moods together.

A minute to go was called but I still hadn't decided what shoes to wear. That is why you should only bring one pair of running shoes with you. A few weeks prior to the race I was getting a sore foot when running so just stopped. I hadn't tried either pair since to see if they hurt my foot. I intended too, I just never got round to it. You know how it goes. So I decide on the pair that made their debut at Glenmore last year. But then they didn't match my shorts! Then I start wondering if I should take my rain jacket off? But it was too late, I wombled over to the start to tie my laces. The race started and I kept tying. I could have still pulled out you know. Then Ada started yelling at me to stop pissing about and run. But I SO couldn't be bothered. Kind of like getting round to writing this blog actually.

I apologise for this outfit. I don't know what has happened here.

Lap One: Awwww, running is so wonderful.

Lap Two: Awww, running with Johnny Fling is so wonderful.

Lap Three: Gosh, there are quite a few puddles out here. My back hurts. I really need to get round to doing some core work. That hamstring is tight again too. Remember that's been tight for a while? You really need to do more practice runs so you know these things in advance Antonia. Hmmm, dodgy tummy. Better take some Imodium.

Lap Four: Rummage through goody box. Run with Johnny Fling again. Those puddles are very cold when you put your foot in them by mistake. Oh, need to use the ladies room. Really need to use the ladies room. Zoom around the lap at sprinting rate in order to use the ladies room at base camp.

Then I lose count of the number of laps. I am not really sure how considering four is not exactly a massive number but I assuming that my mind was elsewhere. My guess is either on a warm exotic beach or how far away I was from the powder rooms. Below is a summary of the rest of the race. This is rather approximate, some of which may even be tall tales.

I feel better for about half a lap. Viki takes my rubbish for me at the top of the wee hill. George puts a rubbish bin at the top of the wee hill. I get paranoid about the number of water bottles I have and attempt mathematics to ensure their longevity. I ask the pink ladies (Keziah, Lorna and Noanie) to relocate one of my empty drink bottles. Turns out that I can't really talk properly. Rain jacket comes off. George hangs it up.

My tummy is poking out. It's not feeling well.

At the halfway mark there are some S Club 7 sing-a-longs. S Club 7 are legendary. Sandra is dressed like a pirate and Louise is a parrot. They are getting soaked. I can't remember if I was wet or not. I vow to use the base camp powder room every lap for comfort reasons. Waaaah. My lower back really hurts. Why don't I stretch?

Get caught in a hail storm with Phil. I don't have my jacket. Wee bit chilly. No crew to tell me when rain clouds are impending. Phil takes too long to put on his jacket so gets left in the dust. Speedy, speedy to get back to base camp and put my rain jacket on.  Into the tent area to get jacket. Nice and dry from being hung up. Practical George. Tent flooded. Don't think about it. Don't look inside. Off on another lap. Puddles are getting bigger. How inconsiderate of them.

Ooooeee, need to get back to base camp. Like really. Deep breaths. Speed things up. Power on. Apology to Alan McCormack as I go past. Going to make it. Not going to make it. Bush. Legs sore from all this jogging, then sprinting, jogging then sprinting. Do people interval train in preparation for these moments? Spew in some heather. Will it help the heather? Can only muster a thumbs up when I call my number each lap. Vision is quite blurry so can't tell what is going on.

Feel okay for a bit. Get hounded as I am contemplating my next food choice. Getting told to hurry up. Don't they know how fast I am occasionally running? Don't look at all that water around the tent. Don't think about your bag in the tent with all your clothes being wet. Don't think about your drenched lecture notes. Move on. Chat with Mark Keddie. Unladylike conversation about my body's current medical condition. Fertilize some more heather. I am so sorry beautiful scenery.

Ohhhh, crisps. Maybe I could do crisps.

Bill tells me to stop taking the piss. Trust me Bill, it ain't the pissing that's the problem. Bond with the port-a-loo. My hair is a riot. My outfit doesn't match either. Why am I still doing this? Can't quit, wet tent. Take rain jacket off. Move on. Pass Elaine Sandeman. She asks how I am going. All I can respond with is 'fighting demons.' I think that's what is going on anyway.

Another lap. Just a wild guess there.

Run with Tony Holland. He's been spewing too. Usually I try to stay positive when I am talking to other people during when running because it's not nice to drag them down but I go into full-on whinge mode. And then I start having a wee cry. I just don't know why I am feeling so rotten. Last time I felt this rotten during a run I got pulled from the Tromso Midnight Sun Marathon as they weren't impressed with my crawl and spew combination.

Stand helplessly next to food box. George comes over to suss out what is going on. Confession time. Lots of tears. Hug with Papa George. I confess my concern for the tent. He tells me I won't be sleeping in the tent and that they will get me dry clothes. I'm not really doing the tiger tent much justice. Don't want to quit, Karen's daughter Beth is out in the 12-hour for charity so I should keep going too. Need to be an example for these younsters. Also, a shout out to Beth's friend for reading. Obviously a cool lassie. I get given some ginger to chew and a pill. George said it was an electrolyte but we all know the field is full of runners on A class drugs. Karen tells me that the run doesn't really start until the last four hours. What's the time I ask? Seven o'clock. Five hours to go. That's depressing. If I keep going slow, I'll not have to run more than a marathon. Get out.

Things slosh around in the tummy for another lap but there's no more spewing. Next lap Doc Sean comes over and other than requested another layer shortly is okay if I'm okay. I'm going to be okay. Another piece of miracle ginger and I'm off on another lap. Sloshing stopped, we're getting back into this plodding. So plodding gets done for a few more hours. When I get told that there are about two hours to go, I slow down hoping to do two more big laps without having to do too much time on the little laps. The little laps have quite a bit of cold water to run through.

I stop by the runners who are camped on the corner around a warm fire. It's tempting. We get to chatting about my lack of male supervision at the event. Being the good wife that I am, I have actively encouraged Scott to go to Germany to watch Scotland lose the football. Of course, this involved a night in Amsterdam with a handful of his bachelor mates. I can't see what could possibly go wrong... Despite the riot-hair, bloated tummy and washed-off make-up I am clearly still looking like a mega-babe and Scott will know this. Anyway, I am clearly showing him how to have fun, especially with all this water splashing and A class drugs business. I better move on though as standing still is getting chilly.

I feel pretty good for the rest of the run. I decide to treat myself to a walk up the long gradual climb on my last big lap but have to start jogging when I get cold. Hope that doesn't mean more time on the wee laps though. Gavin comes flying past me at some point on a downhill, which is slightly embarrassing since he's in the 24-hour. I finish. It's delightful. I sleep in a motorhome. I eat too many desserts the following night at the Italian restaurant. I take an early train to work on the Monday morning from Aviemore and spend the day trying to train another girl to work with an aggressive child whilst having constant nose bleeds and vomiting. Scott is such a lucky guy to come back to me.

I almost missed prizegiving. Probably because I was doing something extremely unimportant.
Cranky one and cranky two win some plates

Huge thanks to George, without whom I wouldn't have finished. Also to everyone there who supported me in some way (which was pretty much everyone, I'm such a diva). And thanks to Bill and Mike who let me run even though they know what a handful I am.

The quote from the race came from Craig's son who whilst idolising Johnny Fling was also concerned that he could see his 'pee pee' due to the white shorts John had chosen to wear in the rain. Attention- eeking much John? 

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