Warning – if you have a weak stomach probably best not read this.
I started my blog as a way to track my progress, remember the good bits and learn from the bad.
I learnt things in Aviemore.
My friend picked me up the day before as I was staying at her holiday lodge which was only a few minutes away from registration – fantastic. It was about a 2 hour drive what with the road works on the A9 but the kids kept us entertained. It was tea time when we got there so food needed ordered. After a quick check of the takeaway menu (and a phone call to the other half to check to see if I liked cannelloni) it was off to the supermarket to pick up breakfast for the morning – something I had forgotten about.
When tea arrived I was starving and really looking forward to being able to eat quite a bit. So when I opened it up and saw this…..
Morning of the race and I put my big girl pants on and walked to registration all by myself! I collected my pack and put on my timing chip, sat for a minute whilst waiting on the buses – all by myself! No tears, no panic, nothing! Progress indeed. I even sat chatting to a lovely girl on the bus. She lived in Aviemore, had forgotten she had signed up to do the 10k so was expecting to walk quite a bit. ‘God look at all these athletic types’ she said as we set off, (clearly I didn’t fall in to that category in her eyes). We had a laugh about it being downhill anyway so we could just tuck and roll. Turns out her sister lived in Perth not far from me as well. Small world.
Off the bus and it’s a walk to the outdoor centre where the start is. They had put up a big marque with hot drinks and a little music so I headed in there and got chatting to another woman. She had only started running this year and had ran Loch Ness 10k. She suffered sciatica quite badly in her leg and her aim was just to enjoy it today. She found it funny there were people wearing plastic bags and I told her about my jumper I had had to leave at the start in Loch Ness (I’m still not over that).
I found the other road runners for the group photo before we started and headed for the last toilet break before the race got going. I was aware I had not had my morning poo (disclaimer at the start of this post!) but it wasn’t happening. I decided not to have my gel at the very start just in case it started movement so carried it with me.
I was only about 400metres in when my stomach started lurching. I ignored it. It screamed louder. I focused on where I was putting my feet as it was loose ground. My stomach was about to explode. I briefly looked at the bushes but didn’t want to have to stop so early on so kept running. I took a deep breath and tried to suck everything in, clenching with all my might and kept going.
Around the 1 mile mark another woman took off in to the bushes and I was seriously tempted to follow suit. There were no actual toilets along the route so it would have to be a bush. But, I was wearing shorts and there was no toilet paper out here. Also, the track was muddy and wet and I was aware I already had mud up my legs. What if I came out of the bushes and people behind me saw the mud and thought it was something else?
Yes, this is the kind of thing I worry about.
So I didn’t go. I sucked it in even more.
Aviemore is a race of two halfs really. The first has a very steep but short hill and is on forest track and the second is on the road going slowly downhill. I knew once I hit the road it wasn’t too far. I was finding it harder than expected but I’m putting that down to having ran a marathon just a few weeks before. Another lesson I am learning through doing – or not doing – the importance of recovery.
When I hit the road I took my gel I still had. A big risk but I was just focusing on getting to the end (i.e. A toilet) as fast as I could. Of course I couldn’t really pick up the pace as it would ‘move’ things but I could stay steady.
As I came in to the final stretch I could hear my friend shouting my name at the top of her lungs and it made me smile. ‘You’re so loud!’ I shouted back at her laughing. Through the finish line and I met my other half with our youngest on his shoulders. It was lunch time so we decided to head back to the lodge for food and get heated up. Joe had parked at the supermarket and I glanced longingly at the toilet but I knew it wasn’t going to be a quick in and out job so got in the car.
At the lodge I finally got to the toilet. But….. nothing. Stomach still sore but nothing was moving. Had I actually sucked it right back up so it wouldn’t come out? Can that happen? There’s no internet in Aviemore so I couldn’t google it (and no doubt find out I had caused myself a very slow, painful death). I jumped in the shower and when I came out tried again but nothing. All that time trying to keep it in and now when I wanted, no needed, it to come out it wasn’t moving. Great! I tried some toast hoping that might shift it and even had some chocolate which usually opens flood gates for me but still nothing. Car journey home was going to be fun!
Now usually I’m one of those that tells their partner everything (yes, I know, very sad, but I’m sure he loves hearing about how I almost got a paper cut opening the post or how I only drank a third of my last cup of tea), but he has a thing about that, this is where he usually draws the line. So the fact we got about 2 miles in to the journey home before I told him was somewhat of a miracle.
‘I knew as soon as you sent that picture of your tea last night this would happen’. Eh? He said I would like it? ‘You shouldn’t change what you eat the night before, you know this’.
The penny dropped as soon as he said it as to why it had happened.
But just the penny!
It was after 8pm before relief came. And naturally I announced it to the entire household.
So yeah, nice race, nice weekend, more mistakes made, an insight in to my bowel movements (or lack of) but most importantly….
Progress on being in crowds!
I see that as a good result.