It has been a long and tough 6 months since I first heard I had got a place in the iconic West Highland Way Race. There had been years of training before that, but the moment I got the place everything got switched up a gear and I have worked my butt off to get to where I am just now. I’m tired, I’m sore, my feet are a mess, I’ve gone through countless pairs of trainers and I’ve had the best tan lines from training runs for months. But I’m strong, I’ve got more power in my legs than I’ve ever had, I’m (just about) mentally prepared and now all I have to do is focus and get to the start line in just under 3 weeks time….
I have no idea what to expect from this race. I have raced the first half of the route from Milngavie to Tyndrum (53 miles) and I have raced the second half of the route from Tyndrum to Fort William (42 miles), so now all I have to do is put them together and complete the whole route all at once! I have my race plan all set out with the splits I’d like to achieve, I have my crew all ready to go and over the next few week I’ll start looking out my kit, go for a final sports massage, print out my race plan and finally sit down and rest. I’m still very calm as it doesn’t yet seem real; it’s still all planning and preparation at the moment. However I’m having a final crew meeting on Friday and I know once everyone is together I’ll start to feel completely ready.
So, the plan of action? I’m still not quite sure. I have three goals, the 3rd one being just to finish, and if I achieve any of these I will be elated. Just to be setting foot on the West Highland Way and be part of the race, running with some total legends is enough to keep me going for a while,but I can’t prepare myself for the lows I will experience. My crew will be invaluable from the word go until the minute I stumble across the line and I think I’ve got a brilliant bunch to help get me there.
These ladies are in charge of me for the day and it’s their job to get me to the finish line in one piece. Hopefully I won’t swear at them too often, but if I do I’ve already apologised profusely! We have one last team meeting before the big day and then it’s a case of packing, repacking, rewriting crew notes, changing my mind about what I want to take with me, kit choices 1 to 5, packing again and then get to the start line. Oh help.
I’ve enjoyed every minute of my training, but I’m definitely looking forward to a long lie the weekend after the race! I can’t take my foot off the gas for too long though as Craig and I have an adventure in Canada to look forward to the week after the race and there will be a fair amount of walking to do there. Hopefully no running away from bears though.
Here’s to week one of the taper. What part of my house can I paint next….