Here's the promised leap.
Saturday, 20 December 2008
Nice sunny day today. Cold but fine once we were moving. Over the high tops; Turnhouse, Carnethy, Scald Law, S. Black Hill, East Kip, West Kip, then down the Drove Road, round the back of Black Hill, over Hare Hill to the summit then back by track and road to Flotterstone Carpark. 13 miles in 2hrs 49mins. Back just at dark.
I did a fantastic leap over a bit of flooded ground which I'll upload unless its too big...
Friday, 19 December 2008
It was awards night at running club the other night and Richard had set up a set of three consecutive one mile races, set off in three different groups, the object of which was to run the first mile quick then the second mile quicker and the third mile as close to the pace of the second as you could? Confused? We all were. We took the car to club instead of the usual 3 mile run there as it was blowing a gale so were not warmed up for it. Running a mile is an excruciating experience!
There was about a 2 min recovery between miles depending how fast you ran, and these recoveries were spent with people bent over double or leaning over the railing onto the beach complaining they might be sick.
I ran the first one as quick as I could and then died off.
I like the atmospheric pictures of runners in the dark.
Tuesday, 9 December 2008
I started planning my running for the week and realised there are about 4 days when squeezing in any kind of a run will be well nigh impossible. That added to a slowly rising panic about getting some distance done gave me the resolve to go out and get a long run in. I have 2 plans for 2009 running-wise. One is to do the glamorous Draycote water 35 miler which is 7 X round a reservoir somewhere 30 miles from Birmingham in February. The other is to do the Highland Fling 53 mile race late in April.
I've been googling training plans for 50 milers and am most taken by one shown on the US runner's world site, mostly because of its thoroughly demanding nature. It will take some adaptation as I don't automatically get weekends off work but I'm going to give it a shot.
I think my legs were still tired from Saturday's icy half marathon and the pace was slow. There seemed no sense in pushing it though.
I took a camera, mainly as a distraction, and also my ipod shuffle. I have recently discovered the genius playlists that you can generate on itunes and I am a fan. Our library on itunes is a mixture of Peter's and my music and ordinarily our two different tastes don't get along that well. Some of my music is a bit loud, dramatic and dark, or too dominated by "guitar and lyrics" for Peter's liking. His music can veer towards the repetitive, gimmicky and overly effete in my view. However, along comes genius and makes a playlist out of both our musics and I don't know how it does it but its great. The Fleet Foxes are blended with Jesus and the Mary Chain. Kings of Convenience meet Joy Division.
About 6 miles into my run I met Rachel and Jackie from club. If I'd had my wits about me I would have taken a photo; but I did not! We chatted about the club night out and the recent beautiful weather. They were on a lunchtime run and so were moving through a bit quicker. I let them go. Too early to push it.
I ran up the Water of Leith until I'd run a little over 11 miles and thought I better take some photos since I'd dragged the camera all this way. It was already quite dark in the trees as the sun was getting low. There were a few bits where the sun broke through which were lovely. I was loathe to stop though because every time I did my already stiff legs stiffened up further.
It worked out a 19.5 mile run in 3hrs 06 mins which is 9min33s miling. Its a while since I've done a long run so slowly but it was icy underfoot in places and I was tired and concessions must be made! My two fears for the long running ahead is that it makes me really slow or I get injured. I hope not. I'm committed now anyway. We'll see.
The second photo is a light thing on the ceiling. I'm making a collection of them.
Sunday, 7 December 2008
Yesterday was the Water of Leith half marathon. The event for me was coloured by it having been the Portobello Running Club xmas night out the night before. I thought about not drinking, but not for very long. I managed to stick to only Guinness and wine, with mineral water at times. I have no idea how much I had. It really was a good night out. Its amazing how having been running with people makes you feel at ease with them even if you've never had a proper conversation.
So we were in bed just before 2 am and alarm clocks set for 7 am.
7 am did not feel very promising. I had a headache and could still taste wine. It never occurred to me not to run though.
We were meeting in Leith to get a bus up to Balerno. Peter and I did the best job we could to improve our physical state and walk jogged down to the bus, there to meet Richard and Ben who were in similar condition. Also there were many familiar faces from Heb3 races. Peter and Ben knew more of them than me.
The W.O.L half is a small invitational affair which keeps the organisational hassle to a minimum. Its run as a handicap race so that there are not too many runners all charging down the water of Leith at the same time as this route is also littered with dog-walkers, mountain bikers, and families with small children.
At Balerno we set off on a sheet of ice and there were stretches of ice for the whole route making the going very hairy and slow at times. Some people managed to clock good times despite the surface conditions. Maybe a different style of running or a different mind-set.
I kept a close eye on my condition as I ran, the challenge being to push as hard as I could without getting into hangover trouble - particularly gastric trouble. As it was I was scared to drink any of the juice I had brought in case it upset the fragile balance within. By the end my legs were crampy but otherwise I was alright. Slower than I would want to be.
Its not really a half-marathon. Varying Garmins give it as somewhere between 13.5 and 13.8 miles.
The sunny, icy cold weather was enjoyable to run in. Its been a nice time for running this last week. Today we're back to warmer, darker, windier weather.
The photos below were sent to us by Lynn Hanley, who thought my blurriness might be as a result of my drinking the night before. I sharpened them up in a way not approved by Peter, but I quite like them. I think the light in the trees looks like a Turner painting.
Saturday, 29 November 2008
We looked at the weather forecast for yesterday and saw it was to be cold, sunny and still, so thought we should go further afield for a run and planned to go down to the mountainbike trails at Glentress. Yesterday dawned sunny and still as predicted but we were still asleep and only surfaced about 11.30am.
I thought it was too late to go all the way down to the borders before running and that we should go somewhere nearer but Peter clearly had his heart set on the original plan so I relented and we went. We took head torches as it was pretty clear we'd be finishing off the 16ish mile run on steep and bumpy forest trails after dark.
It was a delightful day and although cold we warmed up nicely as we set off up and up and up. There was lovely diffuse light in the trees, red pine needles coated the paths and bright green mosses lined the way. We reached the hut, a mile from the top, and 7 miles into the run just as the sun was going down so Peter got some good sunset shots. Above the hut we were pretty much above the treeline and the path was frozen and the heather was frosted over. We thought we might have a really difficult time descending if it was all like this but as soon as we got back into the trees (which was now very dark) it was warmer and there was very little ice.
The navigation was easy most of the way as the trails are well sign posted - until we emerged out of the woods, now in total darkness, onto a main track and there was no clue as to which way to go. First of all we went the way I wanted to go which took us eventually to a sudden complete end of the road. At least it was decisive! We then went the opposite way with some trepidation which eventually took us back to the trail network and signs telling us how to get back to the carpark.
Peter was delighted by the many stars we could now see above us but I was more concerned with watching my feet. Didn't fancy taking a tumble into the night.
We arrived back at the car at 6pm. It was frosted over so we sat in it for a while with the heaters on eating apples and bananas and thawing out. We both felt we'd had a good adventure.
My new Garmin 405 coped fairly well and only struggled under the thickest foliage. Totals were 16.77 miles of running in 3 hrs 30mins.
Monday, 17 November 2008
A weekend down in the south west area of the lake district. We were at a 50th birthday party which sounds sedate but wasn't. We ran for 4hrs in the hills with only some champagne hidden under a rock and then a lager shandy for refreshment. This felt surprisingly good. My legs are sore now however, this being the first run in the hills of any substance since the Pentland Skyline over a month ago. I took a leap over a stream that went quite well but something went wrong with Sharon's takeoff...
The Garmin unexpectedly dumped all its charge despite having been fully charged in the morning, so we've got no objective data of how far we went.