I was the fastest until Andrew beat my record but now we are both slower than a local runner. His time looks difficult to beat.
I wasn’t going to beat that this week especially on the last run of my 100 mile week but I could do something else….I could become a LEGEND!
The Strava ‘Local Legend’ achievement is awarded to the athlete who completes a given segment the most over a rolling 90-day period regardless of pace or speed.
This is one I could win! All I had to do was run the war memorial segment enough times to get it. I also needed 8.8 miles to complete my 100. So I decided I’d run the segment again and again until I became a LEGEND!
I managed 10 times which added to a couple of others over the last 90 days put me into an unassailable position.
Andrew took the news well
101 miles done. I had to add on 1 to walk home from the War Memorial.
Overall time was 18 hours 17 minutes. Elevation was 3,324 meters.
Run 6 complete – 11.7 miles. Only 8.8 miles to go! Single figures. Wooohoooo!
Sron Ulladale is the biggest inland cliff in the UK other than Cliff Richard.
Despite living on the island I’d never hear of the cliff until I saw a BBC show called The Great Climb Live. A five and a half hour live climbing marathon showing two climbers will attempting to climb it. The climb is tricky becasue the cliff is an overhang.
After watching the show I went down to Harris to see the cliff. It was so spectacular that I vowed to come back. That was 2010. It is now 2020. I thought I’d be back sooner but better late than never.
The weather looked bad on the drive down to Harris but I was hopeful it would clear as the morning progressed. Luckily the sun came out and I got some spectacular views on the run.
I didn’t see anyone on my run but I did hear seer stags bellowing in the valley. I thing their loud groaning is their way of saying “anyone fancy a shag?”
I ended my run with a nice dip in the sea.
I look forward to finishing but what should I do for my last run?
After day 4’s hard run I decided to something a bit easier. So it was back to plodding around Stornoway. No hills, no trail, no fun!
It wasn’t too bad, I ran to the nearest beach which is also one of the most scenic graveyards on the island. Which is probably not something the tourist board will mention but it should. Lewis has amazing graveyards.
But it would help if graveyards had maps. The previous time I was home I spent thirty minutes wandering about trying to find a “Mackenzie with a fancy headstone” as that was the only info mum had!!
Lewis and Harris is famous for its wildlife. I spotted a deer and a golden eagle.
Overall I’m feeling good and I’ve built in enough leeway to the distance covered so that I can do two shorter runs to finish.
Run 4 complete – 13.5 miles. Only 37.7 miles to go!
For centuries, the only way for the outside world to reach Rhenigidale on the Isle of Harris was by boat, or by a path that threads its way along the Harris coast and over a mountain pass.
The path is known as the Postman’s Path as it was the path the postman used. I mentioned in a previous blog the very mundane naming convention used by Gaelic speakers. The same is true of the English names here.
When Rhenigidale was finally connected by a road in 1989, it was claimed to be the last community to be linked up to the UK network. The cost of the road was £750,000. Which would be about £1.8 million today. I always thought it would have been cheaper to offer the few residents who lived there £100K each to leave.
The route was tough. 700m of ascent over boggy rough ground. Strava claims it took me two hours. It must not have added in all the time I stopped to take pictures of the beautiful views. It was closer to four hours!
Due to a battery fail the run was recorded in two parts but done as one. I must have been taking too many selfies. My iPhone couldn’t cope.
Run 3 complete – 14.8 miles. Only 51.2 miles to go!
Each day of the challenge I try to vary the running surface. 100 miles on just one type of surface would give me a injury. A mental injury. I’d be bored out of mind.
So, for this run, I varied the surface by running on a beach. The downside to this plan is time. I would cover more miles in less time on concrete than on a beach but I wouldn’t enjoy it as much. It is a balance of fun versus miles.
I choose Traigh Mhor beach which translates in English to ‘Big Beach’ Gaelic is quite a straightforward language when it comes to naming things.
Some exampes are:
Conic Hill: Cnoc Còinnich – ‘mossy hill’
Creachan Mòr: An Creachann Mòr – ‘the great bare rocky hilltop’
Meall Reamhar: – ‘hill of large circumference’
I wasn’t sure how long a length of the beach would be but but I fancied trying to do as many lengths of it as possible until I got bored. Although if I got bored of a beach with amazing views then that means I am bored with life itself.
I manged 4 laps which was about 15 miles. I started off slow as I was tired from the previous days log concrete run. Thankfully, I felt better as the run progressed. Lap one was awful but lap four was great.
The tide was in when I started but out on the last lap which meant I could visit the caves at the end of the beach. They are only accessible at low tide.
To run 100 miles in a week I have to average 14.3 miles a day. Just over a half marathon length. I normally only run three or four half marathons a year so its a big ask to do seven in seven days.
My plan is to get some runs longer than 14.2 miles in at the start so I bank up some spare miles in case I need an easy day.
I started the run at 0730. I didn’t set off with a distance in mind. I also didn’t set off with any food, drink or my GPS watch! D’oh!
In my defense I had initially planned a run loop thinking I’d return to my car every few miles. But I didn’t stick to my plan! Double D’OH!
I decided to use a my patent pending running technique that always makes long runs easier – I call it the distraction technique! if I don’t have to think too much about running then I run better.
So I decided to give my self the challenge/distraction of videoing my run. This meant I was always thinking about
a) Why is it so difficult to talk to a camera when nobody else is there
b) Why is it even harder to talk to a camera when someone else is there
I think its fair to say talking to a camera is not a skill I possess. It will be interesting to see whether I get better at it as the week progresses.
I also had to set up my camera to record the run as it was taking place. This mean I would occasionally run, set up a camera, run away from the camera to get a running shot and then have to run all the way back to retrieve my camera.
No wonder Michael Palin does all his travel shows with someone else doing all the camera work! It is hard work!
I felt good on the run. The distraction technique meant my pace was slow and easy due to frequent stops to film. Which should mean I’m good to run again tomorrow.
The weather wasn’t great but it is Scotland in summer. Rain is guaranteed!
The highlight of the run was spotting the stone painted to look like a rabbit. It is so good I thought at first it was a real rabbit.
Tomorrow the aim is to a similar distance but all on concrete. I’ll try to run as many streets in Stornoway as I can.
I knew it was bad when I started to cry. Not in a sad type way. More in a “AAAAAARRRRGGGGHHHH FLLLLIIIIIIPPPPPPPIINNNNGGGG NOOORRRAAA!” type way.
I was playing football and I knew as soon as I tried to tackle another player that they had a foot made of concrete and I had a foot made of napkins: strong enough to pick up pasta, not strong enough to build a house. There was only going to be one winner. I swung. He swung. He went right through me and I fell. I didn’t get up for three days.
When I hit the ground I snapped a tendon in my ankle. I tried to stand, I tried to hobble. I even tried to carry on “It’s alright, I’m okay!” but I quickly realised that you can’t play fives while hopping on one foot.
Someone drove me home while the game continued but as I didn’t have keys or my phone I was left standing outside my flat with no means to get in because I’d forgotten to bring my bag home with me. D’oh!
I then had to hop to my girlfriend (now wife) and hope that she was in.
I’m not sure what I looked like. Trainers, shorts, one legged and bawling but I do know that I saw no one on the way there. The same way that a charging lion doesn’t tend to see anyone because all the antelopes run away when they hear it roar. Hop. AAAAAARRRGGH. Hop. AAAAARRGGH. Hop.
That night I tried to sleep but I couldn’t even lay a blanket on my foot as the weight of even a silk sheet was like an elephant jumping on my foot.
“I think I need to go to the hospital,” I said.
“You think,” said the now Mrs TwinBikeRun, looking very haggard after a night of failing to sleep because I kept screaming.
At the hospital a doctor confirmed I’d snapped an ankle.
“But I’ve got some good news,” he said.
“Yes, you’re in luck, we’ve just had an orthopaedic boot returned so you won’t need crutches, instead you can wear a massive plastic welly with no toes that’s impossible to keep your feet dry when it rains and it makes it look like you’re doing a good impression of Robocop’s leg”
(Not his exact words, but that’s what he meant).
He then took out the boot.
“That looks like a moonboot,” I said, trying to convince myself that it would be cool to be an astronaught and that my return to work would see me being asked:
“How did you get injured.”
And I’d say: “Injured? Me? No, I’m off to the moon!”
But all the doctor said was: “A moonboot? Don’t be daft. It’s a surgical shoe.”
Trust a doctor to ruin things by naming it correctly. Just like they spoil that innocent headache you’ve had for three weeks by calling it a brain tumour. The spoilsports.
That’s why most runners don’t go to see the doctor when they’re injured. They’ll only tell you that you’re injured and that you have to stop running. And no one wants to be told that. Instead, if you don’t go to the doctor, you’ll never be injured…. unless someone snaps your ligament. Then definitely go and see a doctor.
It is 110 days since I last went to a shop. Now that lockdown restrictions have eased, and shop are allowed to open, I promise that I will wear a mask and only shop for absolutely essential purchases. Fudge donuts are essential purchases? Right?
The donut was a celebratory donut to as I’m on vacation. I haven’t had a week off since September 2019.
Normally, I would have a break at Christmas but my Dad took ill just before I was due home. I spent the holiday season in the Western Isles hospital. Which wasn’t too bad as they do delicious, cheap food there. One of the best places to eat on the island. So, at least I’d look forward to the food even if the reason for the visit wasn’t as jolly.
My dad is now in a care home in Lewis. He went in the week before lockdown began. Which means both he and I have both being locked up against our will. Thankfully we have both come round to it and we’ve tried to make the best of a bad situation.
Last week he told me he has a Tardis in his care home. Which is impressive, I didn’t think he even had a television. He say’s it takes him from Stornoway to Glasgow in seconds but its a bit small so he’s not allowed luggage.
I blame Tory cutbacks for care homes not being able to afford a decent sized Tardis.
He also mentioned that a Tardis is quite expensive so we won’t be getting one at home.
It took a few days before I worked out what he was doing. He was confusing the care home elevator with a Tardis. The care home is on two floors. He is on the second floor. He thinks his room is in Glasgow but when he comes downstairs and see’s my mum he remembers he is in Stornoway.
I could be wrong. It could be that my dad is Dr Who.
I’m heading up to see him this week and one of my aims whilst I’m there is to try and run 100 miles in 7 days.
For no reason other than – I’m not sure I can.
I haven’t worked out a plan yet. I’ll think about that when I get there.
If Usain Bolt ran the wrong way around the track during the 100m race would he be Olympic champion? No, he would be disqualified. He has to follow the rules of the race and run the same way as everyone else.
If Mike Tyson knocked out the ref instead of his opponent during a heavyweight boxing match would he be the heavyweight boxer of the world? No, he would be disqualified. He has to follow the rules of the fight and only punch his opponent.
If Donald Trump rigged the US election would he be US President? Ummm…not all rule breaker get the punishment they deserve.
Andrew is the Trump of Toddman. The rule was very clear. To win he had to touch the “iconic gate” at Todholes car park.
This is the iconic gate from The Barkley Marathons
This is the gate at Todholes car park
Look at how iconic this gate is. It is green. Green is an iconic color. Tom Jones sung about the “green, green grass of home”, Glasgow Celtic wear green, the Grinch is green! It even looks like the iconic Barkley marathon gate. You couldn’t get a more iconic looking gate.
You probably didn’t even notice the one next to it because it is so un-iconic and boring. That is what @AndyRTodd touched. The fool!