To date I have only run 2 ultras - the Highland Fling and the Cateran 55 but managed to get round them without too many hiccups. My next run will be the Devil of the Highlands - if I can regain my fitness after a recent fight with a scalpel. Actually I am lucky because the surgeon is a sporty fellow and he definitely focusses on what I can do rather than the so many well-meaning folk who keep trying to tell me what I can't do. So we'll keep working towards it and see what happens. I have had quite a lot of surgery over the years and I feel that if anything it has given me certain strengths for ultras - I have done and dusted pain lots, I have done despair (at less successful ops) and had to pick myself up and get on with it and I have had to learn to really work with my body rather than ignore/fight against it - perfect training grounds really :-)
I loved the Highland Fling, my first ultra. I didn't eat enough, put too many electolytes in my water and felt barfy around Rowardennan but got it sorted and carried on. I think the training runs really helped as there was nothing too intimidating - all familiar turf. I'm so lucky that I live pretty near the WHW. It makes me smile when people think I am mad for trail-running but, without a thought, they cross horrendous roads everyday -to me, far more terrifying. I thought the HF was a race of real character, right down to the bagpipes calling us home the last mile. Ellen McVey says that she has never met an ultra runner she didn't really like. Going by that race, I know what she means. Everyone wants the best for each other and speaks as they run past-get caught up. Kind of brings out the better qualities of human beings. But there probably are some real sh--s out there, we just haven't met them yet!
I have run twice in the last few days. Feel a bit guilty as still not allowed back to work but able to jog along up in the woods. It's not a gazelle like performance but neither was it before! Feels great to get out, and at the end of the day collagen fibres in scar tissue align themselves better, to give a more flexible scar, when they are stressed as they heal. I absolutely believe that we are locomotory animals and are always better if we can keep moving.
I need to increase my mileage and get the refuelling thing sorted out. I think if I carry two bottles and always have one for fresh water, I can keep the other one for adding complan/electolytes. I like using complan as I find it energy-giving but light on the stomach and I can sip as I run. Small sweet bananas-not the big tough ones- also work for me. I find it really interesting what other runners eat. It's like we are all searching for the holy grail of ultra-marathon grub!
Tomorrow I am going to hit the pool for a bit of cross-training. Can't beat dodging the phlegm to sharpen up the reflexes!