Wednesday, 3 August 2011


WARNING: The following is just an unfocused ramble...

I thought I was going to have an easy long run. It was a nice sunny day and I had a day off work. I'd had two days off running and I thought my legs were going to be fresh. I thought I'd take a nice long run to North Berwick and get the train back.

The first 6 miles were easy and enjoyable. It was sultry and warm but there was enough of a breeze off the sea to keep it bearable. My legs started to hurt around 7 miles and at about 8 miles I was feeling empty. As I was nearing the Pans I thought I would revise my plan to try and stop eating so much on long runs.

(During the TOF I had a chat with Helena Sim about doing long running. She, like me, found she was putting on weight while training for longer races. She said her husband Andrew remarked wryly that it was not running that made you fat it was eating... hmmm. I did think that I might try to cut down on long run snacking.)

Anyway...I was dying on my feet. And despite also deciding that I was going to have a better attitude towards my fellow man I was finding Prestonpans a bit irksome and surreal. As I entered the Pans (twinned with...was it Boloney in Italy?) a plump young mum of 19 or so pushing a pram stopped me and said "Excuse me, could you let me have a pound because I have to get to the town of Pinkie?" All I know about Pinkie (which is a part of Musselburgh - about 1 mile along the road) is that if I used to say to Sheana our ward clerkess that she came from Pinkie she would become very indignant and insist that she was from Joppa. Needless to say this was irresistible so we used to say it quite a lot. In fact over time all you had to do was hold up the small finger at the opposite end of your hand from your thumb and she would explode with fury. Oh ho ho..those were the days. That was how the tax payer's money was spent....anyway, I digress.

Yeah, so I didn't have a pound which I was quite pleased about, because quite frankly this young lady could use the exercise. I did, however, have a tenner, which I took to a bakery which looked promising and exchanged some of it for some caramel short-bread and a coffee. Maybe that would sort me out.

Right next to the bakery was a little square with benches to sit on. "This might be nice" I thought to myself but as I sat down I was less than pleased to see there was a small boy in a green t-shirt sitting across the courtyard from me (he had been obscured from my view from the road). He sat and stared at me intensely. "Maybe I'll just ignore him" I thought and busied myself with other things. Like taking a picture of my caramel shortbread and coffee. The small boy started to make pigeon noises, which put me in mind of the Coen Brother's version of True Grit which I watched last night and had a man called Rooster who crowed and grunted all the time. I was growing increasingly uncomfortable. I did not want this situation to develop into some incomprehensible Pansian farce so I decided to move along.

I finished off my caramel shortbread and coffee and trotted on a bit hoping I might recover. There was a small headwind and I thought maybe this was contributing to my inability to get going so I thought I would save myself some money and turn around at the 10 mile mark (the 2nd lamppost into Cockenzie) and head back. If Peter was there he would moan because the roads and paths get a lot nicer right after Seton sands but I was too challenged to care much about the view. Getting the wind at my back did help a bit but that in turn made it feel a lot warmer than it had up to then.

So to cut a long story short I didn't really recover - although I did make it. My legs got awfully sore, but I also found a fiver on the road on the way into Musselburgh...

I don't know why it was so difficult today. Maybe the Tour of Fife took more out of me than I thought it would - or maybe it was the heat, or maybe it was both.


Stuart said...

Isn't 19 a bit on the old side for a mum to be pushing a pram about the Pans?

Yak Hunter said...

Haha, yes, maybe she was a 14 year old who'd had a hard life, running away to the "Town of Pinkie" to find a better one...