The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly (Part 2 – Highland Fling 2013)
The Anglo Celtic Plate was a race I enjoyed more than I thought I would. The recovery however took longer than I expected. I took a few days off then started running again. I was desperate to get back into the hills after a month or so of training mostly on road (a challenge in itself). Less than a week after the race I took my chance and hit a fairly rough trail for a 25-miler. By mile 22 I had developed a serious pain in my knee and had to walk / shuffle the last few miles. I was worried but thought it was probably just a strain from the uneven surfaces after the relentless pounding of a road ultra. In short, I had done some kind of ligament damage probably just from doing too much and not allowing enough recovery time. So I was worried about the Fling as I couldn’t commit to much training before it. It was only weeks away.
Highland Fling 2013
By the week of the race following some careful treatment at the hands of Glasgow Osteo I was feeling much better. I just wasn’t able to build on the confidence of my 7:34 100K due to the lack of training.
Weather (as always) turned pretty decent on my 3rd outing at the race. I set out at the pace I had planned and ran most of the first sections with Marco and Matt – all good. We split up on the way over Conic Hill but I was well within plan. Somewhere in the next section I started slowing though. Was conscious of it and tried to get the legs moving – they just weren’t responding as normal and I slogged on to the next CP. A few miles after that I was through it and moving well again right through to Beinglas picking up a place or 2. The knee wasn’t great but it was hanging in there and would last the race.
A couple of miles before Crianlarich and the legs were complying again. I slowed, despite my efforts to maintain the pace. There was little I could do about it. It just felt like one of those days that my body wasn’t willing. I was passed in the last few miles by a couple of runners which is never nice, but there was little I could do about it.
I finished in 10th a few minutes slower than the previous year and very disappointed. I was down on a plan that I knew I could achieve. In the past I would have been completely devastated but I’ve learned that there are too many variables when trying to deliver a great performance and on this occasion there was one too many that weren’t right.
The Scottish guys did fantastically well – Matt, Donnie and Marco. Great to see them up there with the very best in the UK (and beyond).
Next up………..Part 3 – the ugly