Happily Ever After

Life in The Rural Retreat with a beautiful wife, three cats, garden wildlife, a camera, a computer – and increasing amounts about running

Earlier posts can be found on Adventures of a Lone Bass Player, where this blog began life. Recent entries can be found here.


Five Days And Counting

by Russell Turner - 20:46 on 17 April 2024

With only five days before my Virtual London Marathon, preparation continues. Today, I returned to Strathglass to take a look at part of the route where I’d made a wrong turn in the previous recce. That turned out to be simply rectified, with the bonus of discovering a pleasant stretch of road beside the river overlooked by flocks of frisky lambs and their mums. Very bucolic. I even pulled Grandson of Seat to one side to allow an oncoming runner to pass (most of my marathon will be on single-track roads) although she failed to return my cheery wave. Few cars impeded my progress

I ended the recce with a light lunch at the finish line – the Post Office tearoom in Kiltarlity – where I introduced myself to Kevin, the boss, who was disappointingly incurious about my forthcoming run and the reasons for doing it. Maybe the establishment is besieged by runners most weekends.

My cunning plan for The Big Day has now taken shape: I will walk for one minute (apart from the first one) then run for ten with the aim of covering every mile in eleven minutes, which would get me to the end in 4:48. Inevitably I’ll flag in the second half, but with an eleven-minute cushion I could still finish in under five hours.

That’s the plan, anyway; whether the route (and my lack of long runs over 13 miles) will lend itself to that remains to be seen. The roads are undulating but with no ridiculously long rising sections, although it might feel different out of the car and on foot.

This year's medal.

Further help will come from a fresh pacer for the last eight or nine miles. This won’t be Matchgirl, who instead will pop up around the course to offer encouragement. Rather, I’ll be assisted by Anne, one of the Black Isle Runners, who’s also training for a summer ultra. The weather forecast remains good. All that’s to be decided is the start time. I’m leaning towards 8am, although that means leaving The Rural Retreat at 6.45. We’ll see.

The only gloom today came with the demise of my MacBook Pro, pronounced dead by the Dingwall IT boffin this morning after inspecting its motherboard. I’ll get a full post mortem when I collect the remains tomorrow. Fortunately, the contents of the hard drive were all salvageable.

Some unexpected cheer arrived at the Retreat in the shape of a local man who’d seen me training and read of my exploits in the Ross-shire Journal. He handed over three £10 notes from him, his wife and his brother. What a generous gesture. That brings my total for Young Lives vs Cancer to £850. That £1,000 target looks very achievable.

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