Annette, took on the Loch Ness Marathon this weekend, read how she got on and her feelings after the race…
Although the course profile makes it look easy as it’s all downhill it’s probably the most uphill downhill course I’ve ever seen! Even the flat bits were undulating.
The first section is quite steep downhill which hurt the knees if you didn’t run down it properly (or throw yourself down it as I like to think). However, there were a couple of nasty hills at miles 5 and 6 that I chose to walk as did everybody else, any other hill I ran and I ran comfortably until the one that I knew was coming!! That is down to you and the training I’ve done with you, which was focussed and targeting that very issue.
I got stuck in a toilet queue for over 10 minutes and restarting from there proved very hard. Miles 10 to 17 were undulating alongside the loch but tiredness was taking it’s toll and I caught up with another Redway Runner. I knew I have spectators at Dores (Mile 17) and I was looking forward to seeing them.
After that point is the legendary hill that not one person ran, it was steep and long!! I walked up that one chatting along the way with people that I passed and ran the odd bit of it just because I had in my head that I can run hills now! From that point there is only one nasty hill that I had been warned about and I ran/walked all the way home from there, may I point out that it was much more running than walking!!
I found in the last stages I was fresher than those around me and I passed a lot of people at these points and kept going until the finish line.
I have since found that although my legs have worked harder for this 26.2 miles, my recovery has been a lot quicker which I can only put down to the training I’ve done with you. I could walk better than most of the people in the centre of Inverness that night and stairs didn’t scare me for too long!
Whilst, as I said it wasn’t a PB for me I was absolutely delighted to come in at 5.41 which was 5 minutes slower than Liverpool, which was completely flat. This was a hilly undulating course and my training had been tight due to the injury I had picked up just at the start of training following the London Marathon.
What I found you had done for me was target my training, I never knew how many different ways there are to do a squat or a lunge but I have honestly enjoyed finding out! You have given me the confidence to not look at a hill and think I can’t do it, but to look at a hill and think I can tackle it. I had complete confidence in my plan and it worked well. The other thing that you did that I was surprised how I reacted to, was give me a target pace. I thought there was no way I could achieve this and thought I would feel a failure if I didn’t. However all my runs in Milton Keynes were there or there about, the marathon wasn’t, but the training runs were and I would have set a much lower training pace if you hadn’t given me that one.
So essentially I want to thank you for doing my training with me, I honestly enjoyed every squat, lunge and wall sit and especially struggling to sit on the loo the next day! I think what you gave me mentally was much more than you realised as I had more confidence as to what I could achieve than I’ve had before.
Thank you again, you will never understand how motivating you were and how much I enjoyed my sessions with you, I can’t wait to start again – I think we may have something different to aim for with the next Marathon……