Woo-Hoo! I’m leaving for the UK next week, a trip I’m taking to do some rural long distance running and trekking, as well as some sight-seeing with my sister. I’m starting off on a four day solo run through Northern Scotland, then joining up with the sis to hit some cities. For years I’ve wanted to combine my loves of travel and running into themed trips, but I always had something holding me back, from jobs to people to fear that I could not make it work for me.
Last summer I started researching running trips in earnest, looking for companies that provide support and guidance for point-to-point running in foreign countries. I actually found several companies claiming to provide that exact structure for running vacations, most importantly including transport of luggage between points of rest. Of the ones I found and contacted, only one got back to me- Mac’s Adventures. I had wanted to run somewhere in Central or South America, or maybe the southern parts of Europe to start. However, I was also chomping at the bit to just get this ball rolling, and Mac’s Adventures’ trips focused mainly on the UK. I selected to do a 6 day tour of the Great Glen Way in the Northern Highlands of Scotland, as early as tolerable weather conditions for that part of the world would permit. For this trip, I’m suspending my beliefs of what “tolerable” running weather is. I am accepting that 40 degrees Fahrenheit with a good chance of rain each day is something I can totally handle. (Which reminds me I need to pack some vitamin C, so I don’t get sick for the rest of the trip).
Here’s a breakdown of the running part: 4 days of running on trail, with a day on each end for arrival/departure. I’m running from Fort William to Inverness, with three stops along the way, and the company moves my larger luggage each day, so I can just go with my running pack. Each day’s run ranges from 23 miles at the high end to 14 at the low (77 total). Am I planning on running the entire distance each day? NOPE. I have not physically prepped for that level of exertion. However, I plan to run as much of it each day as I can. I had hoped to be in a little bit better positioning with my base to do this trip, but little bouts of tendonitis have kept my mileage lower than I originally planned. I was freaking out a little bit last week over this, but hey, money is spent, plans are in place, and I’ve accepted the worst case scenario (thanks Dale Carnegie)- that even if I walked the whole thing, the longest leg would take me 7 hours. That’s so do-able. The trek guide claims the amount of climbing is considerable, but I’ve looked it over and none of it compares to the ascents I run in the San Gabriel mountains on a regular basis, so I’m not daunted by the elevation profile; I’m rather looking forward to it.
I’m really excited this dream I’ve had is getting going. I’ll update the blog on this adventure as internet accessibility permits!