Just back in and enjoying a beer after this week's long run. This time, (direction chosen with the wind in mind) Edinburgh to North Berwick, but using every coastal diversion to make the distance and time on feet longer. The Highland Fling is getting closer and we should be peaking about now I guess.
We decided against making a rigid plan and slept until we woke up. Which, with the time change thrown in turned out to be nearly midday for me. Must have needed it.
We got on the road by 1.35pm.
At first we thought we might be overdressed but then when we got onto more exposed patches we were glad we were wrapped up well. The wind was fairly blowing and we watched for a while as Fife was clearly "getting it". Big dark rain clouds bellied over that side of the Forth. We kind of hoped against hope they weren't coming our way - but of course they were. Just next to the lagoons in Musselburgh we got it - some cold hard rain to think about. For awhile it was heads down and keep going.
Luckily the strong winds were pushing the weather through quite quickly and shortly it was more bright and breezy again.
We stuck to the coast as much as we could and the high energy weather was making everything look spectacular. The skies and the light were constantly changing and the colours out at sea and on the horizon were deep and lovely. Dark greys and greeny-greys. Peter had his camera along, of course, and I lost hiim a couple of times, just jogging on and then discovering that he was nowhere to be seen.
Neither of us was particularly fresh as we ran 11+ miles yesterday and did the Park Run so it was easy to just daudle along and the discrepancies in our abilities caused little friction.
Its quite a good feeling giving yourself a license for once just to go at whatever pace feels comfortable - a nice antidote to the usual pressure, and I found I was thoroughly enjoying my day. Because its much more spring-like now there was plenty to look at. Round the corner from Seton sands things got even better, running along little sandy paths parallel to the beach. My left knee is a bit loose in its socket at the moment but oddly running off-road helps it. I think its something to do with the way I run off-road rather than on the roads.
Just before Aberlady we ran through the strange stunted woods and I climbed a tree just for the photo opportunity but was a bit embarrassed when some regular punters came walking by.
Before Gullane we decided to branch out and run round the Nature Reserve instead of following the road. By this time we were nearly at 18 miles and we were getting a bit silly. The sign at the start of the walk said something about disturbing animals so we decided that it meant that we should watch out for disturbing animals. I thought it might be monkeys with their throats cut and their heads lolling off but grinning and chattering anyway. That would be disturbing...We moved onto man-eating swans ( we saw some very big looking swans) and a ghost owl. The landscape was marshland and was very flat and surreal. Here we decided to try out some small bottles of Lucozade "Alert plus" that I picked up at Boots last time I was there. They contain 120mg of Caffeine and some B vitamins.
At first they didn't really seem to be helping but then I'm guessing by the nonsense I was talking and the amount of laughing we were doing they did work...We made some navigational errors a little bit further on and found ourselves bush-whacking on thorny hummocks at the bottom of a golf course - in the end we had to give in and retrace our steps. Then again we went wrong and found ourselves clambering over slippy green rocks on the beach until we could climb up the headland and get up onto the grassy paths above. It was all good though.
We got into Gullane at about 21 miles. It was shortly after that we started to think about the likelihood of catching the next train. We knew they went at 20 minutes past the hour but it was hard to gauge how far there was still to go and how long we were likely to take. We were pretty knackered but were in good spirits. At first we thought we'd just go with the flow but then as we got a bit nearer we started to realise that it was going to be quite tight. If we missed the next train by just a little we'd have a whole hour to wait for the next one. We took a path that goes past an airfield at Archerfield and were delighted to see first hares and then a deer and then a tiny light aircraft looping the loop above the ploughed fields and just over our heads.
By now we'd decided to throw everything at getting the next train - and the limiting factor was me so I had to get my head down and concentrate and just turn out the best pace I could. We ran the fastest 2 miles of the day and caught the train with 36 seconds to spare. It could easily have gone the other way!
The train journey home would have been better if a couple hadn't got on at Drem, sat in the seats next to us (in an empty carriage) and then started snogging each others faces off. It was disgusting. They were making sucky noises. In the end we moved although I could still hear them from the next carriage. Yech.
The last mile home from the station made today's mileage up to 26.35 miles. A good weekend's mileage and hopefully will help us through the 53 mile run to come.
Another beer? Don't mind if I do