6th go at this perfect race and a new pb, hurray! It was the 1st time I'd done every single one of the "superhuman" manoeuvres. I did all but one last year - but this year I also went straight up the hill at Craiglockhart which I'd recced in 2004 and got in a tizzy as I slid horribly out of control back down the hill in a pile of dirt and leaf mould. This year all it needed was a bit of self-assertion - there were plenty of roots to stand on and pull up on if you looked for them. Also the fear sent a welcome rush of adrenaline around my system. Just the job.
I started to realise it was going well as I passed Challengers earlier than I have in previous years. I was able to run more of the ups than those around me. The hardest part was the stretches of road inbetween hills when I felt I should be running half-marathon pace but wasn't. There was quite a bit of swapping places going on which adds to the interest. Finally got ahead of Paul Eunson going over the wall at the Halls. (He steered clear for fear it would start his legs cramping.) Went past Judith Dobson on the way up Arthur's Seat by which time I was raving about all you've got to do is tell yourself you LOVE the heat and you LOVE the uphills. Judith drew even and passed again on the downhills but then took an ill-advised low route and I COULDN'T shout to her because I wasn't 100% sure the way I was going was faster - but it was and I got a 200 yd lead which I reckoned I could maintain. On the last climb up the lane that goes up to the foot of Calton Hill I was gaining on a brown back which turned out eventually to be Phyllis Mitchell. She held me off to the finish but only just and it kept me going chasing her. At the end my heart rate was 182 bpm which I think is pretty good patter. 4 beats off max. (What were you holding back for?). I'd had the Garmin on heart rate towards the end because I didn't want to hassle myself thinking about times so was delighted to see once I'd stopped that I'd run 2hrs 21 mins which is a 6 min. pb.
I was a little foolish for a while afterwards. When I went for the 7 hills quiche and apple pie I mysteriously lost my paper plate and had to get another one. Imagine my surprise quite a bit later to find I'd wedged it under my arm and then forgotten it was there.
Its always bliss sitting on the grass in the sunshine post-7 hills swapping stories with fellow Porties.