If the my radiologist Mr Du Plessis happens to come across this blog I can only apologise. His parting words to me after my angiogram on thursday were “no racing for 2 weeks, no running for 1 week”. I tried to explain I had a race on saturday that was a vital part of my fling buildup but he was having none of it. So Mr Du Plessis I am sorry for ignoring you but I came away unscathed with a £10 tiso voucher for my troubles.
Anyway lets do the good news medical stuff first. On thursday I was in hospital for a Cerebral Angigram. This is a procedure where they politely stick a catheter up your femoral artery, inject you with some contrast dye and take some x-rays just as it is running through the blood vessels in your head. I had assumed this was part of the routine 2 year follow up from my brain haemorrhage but it turns out, they had saw something suspicious on my MRI last month which they wanted to have a better look at. Due to a small miscommunication they hadn’t told me this, which probably turned out for the best because it meant I didn’t spend the last month worrying about it, sometimes ignorance is bliss.
So thursday morning was spent with a catheter in my groin while they periodically injected dye and took some pretty pictures. It’s a pretty unpleasant sensation, you get a warm feeling in you mouth then your head goes dizzy for a few seconds and then your eyes go a bit funny. But reassuringly the man doing the procedure was the same chap who coiled my aneurysm 2 years ago- and he did a pretty good job back then as I am still very much around. He is a great chap, and looked at the pictures straight away and told me there was nothing to worry about. Sometimes the coils they have placed in the aneurysm can “settle” and they need to be re-done, but he said mine looked fine and would be happy to leave it for 2 years before having another look.
The afternoon was then spent lying horizontal for 4hours in a pair of paper pants and white compression socks. [Pretty stylish, pics available on request] I was then sent on my way with the words “no running for 1 week please” ringing in my ears.
Saturday morning was the day of Great Tartan Skidaddle a 31 mile race from Inversnaid to Callender. I figured 48 hours had passed which is nearly a week if you round it up so I decided I might be ok to run. I put some extra rocktape over the dressing as a precaution. The plan had been to use this as my last long run before the fling in three weeks time so I wasn’t going to run it it hard anyway, but now I was going to be extra cautious. Elsie was doing the duathlon on the same course so would be around if I had any disasters. The Skidaddle photographer was very on the ball and managed to capture the moment I told Elsie I was running and not just supporting her in the duathlon.
The duathletes were doing a similar course but split into 5mile run 18 cycle and 7 mile run. They were released about 5 minutes before the runners. This meant I was likely to see Elsie on the run before she got on the bike. Unfortunately I managed to take a tumble in the 1st mile and gash my hand. I thought overtaking Elsie with blood running down me wouldn’t help her mood so I cunningly ran the next few miles with my hands up my sleeve and managed to distract her when I ran past.
I ran with a nice chap called John up until the 1st checkpoint at Stronachlacher, then we had another 12 miles mainly along the road beside Loch Katrine but included a lovely diversion up Primrose hill which was a really nice section. Unfortunately this took the wind out of John who dropped at Ben Ledi. So I was left on my own as I dropped into checkpoint 2 at Trossachs pier. The marshal said the leader was a couple of minutes ahead, so I decided to push on a bit. I figured if I was going to have a spectacular bleed from my angio wound it would have happened by now. The course headed through a lovely bit of forest trail as we wound along the path to Brig o’ Turk. It was here I caught up with Lewis who had lead from the start, I had a brief chat with him but he looked like he was tiring from his early fast pace. I pulled away before the last checkpoint at Glen Finglas and then there was 10k to go along some very up and down trails into Callander. Very reminiscent of the rollercoaster section in the Highland Fling around Crianlarich. I reached the finish line in Callander in around 4hrs10mins, my first race win since the glory days of Glenmore24 in 2012.
Other good news was that Elsie who had been racing in the Duathlon over the same course had finished 1st lady. So a good days pothunting for the two of us. The prizegiving wasn’t till 5 o’clock so we spent the afternoon refueling in a variety of Callander’s eateries. Ice cream, fish & chips and cake were all taken in before hitting the pub for the prizegiving. A very fine days running and eating.
Sorry again Dr Du Plessis for ignoring your request not to run. I will have a rest day tomorrow I promise.
A very fine event from the good people at Skidaddle. A lovely route, very well marked and organised. A special thanks to the lovely elderly gentleman at the finish line who spent the afternoon making people tea in proper mugs but didn’t have one for himself.