Today was the Cateran Trail Race, a hilly 55 mile ultra in the heart of Scotland, and you’ll probably guess from the title that it isn’t one that I finished, but it is one that I will thoroughly recommend.

I’ll try to keep this note fairly brief.

The first 10 miles or so went pretty well, but I was starting to overheat from about mile 5 onwards, and the windshield came off before the checkpoint at 6, and despite a rally heading up the tarmac out of this checkpoint I worsened through the next stage into the second checkpoint at mile 15 where I had a drop bag waiting. I knew from the D33 in 2012 that I had screwed up my water mix and was starting to suffer from a bit of sodium poisoning. At the checkpoint I swapped out my electrolyte for water, and took on some lucozade, losing a good 15 minutes in the process, and decided to see how the next leg went.

This was too little too late though, I felt worse through the next 5 miles, and decided that come what may I was going to withdraw at the checkpoint in Alyth. As the leg went on I did begin to feel better, I finally began to sweat and cool down, and to move better, and largely maintained position, and I finished strongly into mile 26 where I withdrew.

While the hydration issue was the main factor, if I am being brutally honest it was not the only one. Others were:

  1. Improved but insufficient core mileage.
  2. Insufficient hillwork
  3. Little “mudwork”
  4. Poor fuelling
  5. Blistering

There are positives I am taking from this race though:

  1. I now realise that my body core temperature relates directly to hydration and sodium levels.
  2. My performance itself was not bad.
  3. I finished strongly

Ultimately it was clear to me that I would not finish the race, and I wanted to preserve for the rest of the season. I do not feel too bad tonight after running just short of a hilly trail marathon earlier, and I am hoping to turn this weekend into a good back-back session. While I am worried about whether I can be strong enough for Ring o’ Fire at the end of August I fully expect to go strong to the Clyde Stride next, and absolutely rock it.

On a more sentimental note a few tears have been shed, and as the title suggests I feel a little heartbroken right now. Perhaps my memory of the day will be being driven home listening to “Paradise” by Coldplay, streaming. However the positives speak for themselves, lets embrace them, keep working away, enjoy being injury free, sort out the issues identified, and build, and get out tomorrow and run my legs off.