*WARNING - THIS BLOG ENTRY CONTAINS EVERY
KNOWN WORD FOR VOMIT*
Maybe the first signs of trouble came after I hurled the veggie burger I had in the hotel. I put it down to the journey - even as the driver, the road to Spittal of Glenshee makes me boak. By morning I felt fine though and managed a couple of bits of toast and 3 cups of tea.
I started the race conservatively but I wasn't quite ready yet to start walking the inclines so I ran them, picking folk off in the process. At the first drop-bag point (Dalnagair) I was already ahead of my best-case schedule by 10 minutes. I enjoyed half a banana and a slug of coke before making my way to Kirkton of Glenisla. By the time I arrived there I was 15minutes ahead and feeling fantastic. I ate half my crisp roll and enjoyed another large slug of coke. It was all going so well....
I must have sprouted wings en-route to Blairgowrie. I know I battered my way down the downhills, not caring how trashed my quads might feel the next day. I met Sue who had tea and choccy digestives waiting - fantastic! I had 3 cups, 1 biscuit and about a third of a muller rice. I was surprised to see that by now I was about 5 minutes ahead again and after 31miles feeling good.
The route to Bridge of Cally was the only familiar thing about this race, having done it in the relay at last year's 23miler, other than the vomit that came shortly thereafter. I struggled along and felt queasy when I arrived at the checkpoint now 6mins behind. I bit a banana, sniffed at the rest of the contents of my drop bag and stropped on. By now I was finding running difficult but walking was tolerable. I met Sue up the track who insisted I chew on some crystalised ginger, whether I liked it or not! It was a distraction if nothing else but I was soon gagging and retching and with no visible results it was time for the bulimic approach which worked a treat. Sue left, I felt great, briefly, but it didn't last. From that point everything that hit my stomach promptly reappeared.
I got slower and slower with everyone now going past me and when I reached a fence about 80ft high (seriously) with no clear signs of how to get over it, I succumbed a rock to contemplate my next move. It was obvious really, I was in no position to continue. I texted Sue, who was waiting at Enochdhu, to meet me at Kirkmichael where I was bailing out - again.
I only made Sue stop once so I could puke at the roadside on the journey back to the Spittal where, rather annoyingly, after a lie down, a shower and a bite to eat I felt just fine. At 9pm I contemplated getting someone to drive me down to Kirkmichael so I could finish, I still had 3 hours until the cut-off after all, but we schemed a plan instead to run the final section in the morning.
I woke at 5am ravenous - a good sign! At breakfast I consumed more than I'd usually eat in a whole day and at 10am Angus drove me, Karen and George to Kirkmichael to run back to Spittal of Glenshee. It was a glorious morning, I had a fabulous time, great gossip and the final pelt down towards the hotel marked my finish, albeit 12 hours late. As an incredibly generous gesture by the wonderful Karen I was even awarded my race memento. Handy having the RD as a personal friend!!
So what went wrong? Retrospectively it's obvious (isn't it always....). I didn't eat or drink nearly enough early on. Why? I was in a race, I didn't have time to eat. I had a target in mind and a schedule to follow and nothing was going to get in my way. Except it did, and it's a lesson I've learned the hard way.
Slapped wrists, onwards yet again......