The Day Before the Marathon

I guess sitting in my flat, still suffering in the leg department from Loch Ness, provides me with a perfect opportunity to update the site with an account of the Saturday before the marathon.

Saturday morning I was up, bright and early, to shower and pack.  Grant turned up at about 8:30, and Ronnie picked us both up at 9.  I kissed Ian goodbye (he was going to a wedding in Edinburgh) and hauled all of my stuff downstairs.  Obviously, as I was running 4+ times as far as Grant (he had signed up for the River Ness 10k), I earned shotgun:

Inverness bound!

About halfway there we stopped for gas, but were tempted into a supermarket for ‘brunch’.  ‘Brunch’ ended up being about 60,000 calories worth of baked goods (donuts, croissants, more donuts) which were heartily consumed over the course of the next 24 hours.

Once we had arrived in Inverness, we decided that Grant and I would check into our Bed and Breakfast (Ronnie was staying in a hostel).  I had originally booked a twin room for myself because I was a bit late to the booking party, and that’s pretty much the only room I could find in the city within walking distances of the buses.  Luckily, this gave me persuasive power when convincing Grant to sign up for the 10k – pre-organized accommodation!  Here I am in our new digs trying to take an artistic photo of the room in the mirror, not taking into consideration a little thing called ‘flash’:

And here is a slightly more successful ‘room shot’, with added left foot:

After checking in, we headed to Bught Park to register and pick up bibs, timing chips, etc.  We didn’t hang around long, though, because Ronnie wanted to check out the Run4it annual sale, where he bought the most painfully bright running jacket (photographic evidence to follow).  This was a rather speedy stop off as well, however, as we had a cruise to get to!

One of the perks of running the marathon was a free cruise on Loch Ness.  Ronnie and I opted for the 1 hour cruise at 2pm, and Grant came along and paid the £12 like a commoner.  He was originally meant to be meeting someone, but she blew him off (in an unsexy way), so he was stuck hanging out with us.  Here I am arriving at the cruise location:

Photo: Grant

Our chariot awaits!

Approaching the boat, and seeing the massive (and slightly tacky) Nessie:

Photo: Ronnie

Which, of course, led to a ridiculous photo opportunity:

Photo: Grant

Soon it was time to board, and we took our place on the top deck, braving the cold wind like bad-asses.  Here’s a sweet panoramic shot of Loch Ness from the boat:

Photo: Grant

Roughly 5 minutes after setting off, and notably less like bad-asses, we retreated to the warmth and shelter of the lower deck, where I purchased a hot chocolate and some pringles, and enjoyed the view.

We eventually approached Urquhart Castle.  The boat slowly edged closer before letting some of the passengers off to look around and collecting others that had obviously been dropped off earlier.  We assumed they had gone for the longer option of the tour.

Once we had picked up fresh passengers, the boat turned around and we started heading back to where we had started.  The rest of the cruise was pretty uneventful, but relaxing, and Grant and Ronnie enjoyed perving on some of the foreign tourists.  And, as promised, a shot of the blinding new jacket:

‘Nah, I’d give her a 7 out of 10. Green is so not her colour.’

After the cruise, it was entirely necessary to visit the gift shop and buy a subtle and classy souvenir.  I opted for this:

But somehow managed to tear myself away from the Nessie hat:After the excitement of the cruise, we piled back into the car, and, grossly, filled up on more donuts.  ON THE WAY to the Pasta Party.  While this may sound grossly indulgent, it turned out to be not unwise, as the portions at the Pasta Party were verging on the small side, and you were discouraged from having a second helping.  Overall, it was a bit of a disappointment.  I was expecting more people, more atmosphere, and more food.  Instead, it was eating Mac and Cheese in a tent with some (admittedly good) live music.

With evening closing in, Ronnie went to check in at the hostel, while Grant and I wandered the streets of Inverness.  I bought a sweater, because I was cold, and that’s pretty much the most interesting thing that happened.  Then Grant and I headed back to the B&B to relax (more my choice than Grant’s), and Ronnie went for a swim.  Knowing that we would likely be spending the rest of our evening indoors, Grant and I stopped at a Tesco Local for some supplies: salted pretzels, toothpaste, water, and some quality literature:

And by quality, I mean one of the biggest piles of shit that has been classed as ‘literature’ that I have experienced for a long, long time.  And I teach high school English.  The novel in question is none other than the steaming shit pile known as ’50 Shades of Grey’.  Just flicking through some random pages in the store had us laughing at how terrible and cliched the thing was, and since it was on special offer, we thought ‘why not?’.  Especially with self check-outs so you didn’t have to look a check out clerk in the eye whilst paying.

I wont bother going into detail about the (numerous, endless, kazillions) reasons why this book is awful, as there are some excellent reviews out there already, but I can guarantee that we thoroughly enjoyed reading out a chapter at a time to each other and tearing the thing apart.  Who actually says double crap or put the pedal to the metal anymore?  How many times is Anastasia Steele (of course she can’t be called Jane) going to feel a funny sensation in her belly?? Do we really need to be reminded no less than 15 times in a single chapter that Christian Grey is controlling or that he has piercing grey eyes?!?!??!  And is someone as pathetic and downright dumb as Anastasia Steele really a credible character?!!?  COME ON!  This book is clearly written by someone who has had no (or limited) sexual experiences and who thinks anything you can buy in Ann Summers makes sex ‘kinky’.  The only thing extreme about ’50 Shades of Grey’ is its lameness.

Anyway, here is Grant perfecting the ‘just partaking in some light reading’ face:

50 Shades of Shit

**There is a series of photos of me reading a particularly bad section of the book, ending with uncontrollable fits of laughter, but I have somehow failed to save them properly to my pc, so they’ll be uploaded later.**

After all of that excitement, we set the TV on a sleep timer to some Joseph Gordon-Levitt film, and that’s the last I remember before my alarm woke me up (apart from Ian’s 3:15 text from Edinburgh).

9 thoughts on “The Day Before the Marathon

  1. I am a little bit in love with your Nessie souvenir – I want one!
    Can’t wait to read more about your race experience – its one that’s on my wish list. Is it true that you get Baxters soup after the run?

    • The race report is up! (I did it in reverse order because I was too excited to leave the marathon report until after this post).
      You do get Baxter’s soup after the race, and I’m sure some other snacks, but I never used my meal ticket – I just wanted to shower and get home!

    • I guess since the owners of the gift shop decided she was? Who are we to judge though? I haven’t seen a single clear, in focus photograph of her before so no idea why I was expecting green! 🙂

  2. Sounds like a perfectly wonderful pre-race day to me, except for that 50 Shades of Gray thing. I tried and tried to get into it but eventually all the “Oh my” and “He’s so hot” was so repetitive and obnoxious I wanted to stab my eyes out with a spoon. Good times, right? And I totally thought Nessie was more lavender than purple? Apparently I didn’t get the memo. 😉

    • Perhaps lavender is Nessie’s ‘winter coat’ shade? And yes, 50 Shades… is a pile of awful. I suspect it’ll be a while before my friend and I manage to read another few chapters…

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