I arrived at Holyrood Park at 8.30am and got my race number pinned on my shirt. Tried to stay warm as it was pretty chilly. My start time wasn't until 9.40am but they were trying to get you in at the start line from about 9.10am. I opted against this as, as I already mentioned, it was cold. I put my stuff in the tent to be looked after at about 9.30am and made my way to the start line. By the time I got there, at the back of the group for my start time, we were just about to get under way so I managed to stay warm for as long as possible.
I needn't have worried as after about half a mile I was beginning to wish I hadn't worn my rain jacket and was lamenting the weather forecasters for their inaccurate forecast of rain.
From pretty much the start of the race, my left thigh was painful. I didn't pay much attention to this because this is normal and has happened many times in training and normally eases off after 2 or 3 miles.
2 or 3 miles into the race, I was feeling pretty good and enjoying the dedicated crowd and young lads putting their hands out for high 5's. Coming up to the 5 mile marker I was still feeling good and on target for my race pace. Going through mile 6-7 my leg eventually eased off, not completely pain free but certainly better than the first 6 miles.
After mile 7 however, the pain returned, I think induced by a lengthy uphill section. I don't really enjoy the pain although it does keep the mind focused on the task in hand and having gone past the 8 mile marker, I knew there wasn't that many miles left, 2 in fact. The fact that one of these was uphill and the last mile was all downhill didn't make any difference as I found the last mile downhill more painful than all the previous uphill miles.
I was once asked by a fellow hill walker in a bothy, regarding climbing Munro's, which I preferred; going up or coming down? I replied neither, I just like being on top. It turns out this also applies to running apart from I just like being at the finish. I don't particularly enjoy the bit in between.
Having made it to the finish line in a reasonably respectable 1hr 32mins 05secs and having stuck to my race day plan and not getting carried away with racing other competitors, I was really happy with the execution and performance. I felt that I still had plenty left in the tank both physically and mentally despite the pain throughout in the left thigh. This has given me a great deal of confidence with 5 weeks to go until City to Summit.
I tried to make this event as close to how the run may possibly be on the 31st May, in that I didn't fuel my body properly pre-run as coming off the bike on 31st May I imagine I will have very little energy although following a strict nutrition plan. Basically, I did the complete opposite in terms of nutritional preparation for this run to make it as close to potential City to Summit event conditions.
This made the overall outcome of the day quite pleasing although still realising I will have to go nearly 3 times further and take in the summit of Ben Nevis!