Friday, 16 September 2011
I have just started back at university and have had a 4 day intensive start to it - which has been great - but its involved quite a lot of sitting on my arse and some cake-eating, some almond croissant eating and the drinking of gallons and gallons of strong coffee. My mileage tally for the week has been pretty poor - only 13 and a half measly miles up until today, so I thought, come what may, today I needed to get out a long run.
The Met Office were saying it was going to start chucking it down at 1pm while the BBC weather site was predicting a more modest light rain round about the same time. Both sites were in agreement the wind would be from the East. I put aside my desire to have a nice sleep-in this morning and got up early enough (it was quite early) to catch the 9.43 train for North Berwick so I could commence running at 10.16 and have about 3hrs of running with the wind behind me before it got too nasty. The plan was to do all the longer alternatives around the coast early on so if I needed to bail out of the run I would already have got 20 miles in, and then if I wanted to go longer and things weren't so bad, I could.
This all worked out kind of smoothly. It was dark and overcast but it wasn't too cold and it was nice to be outside again at last. I'd taken my ipod and enjoyed trotting along the beach with the wind behind me and the grey sea to my right. After about 10 miles I was getting a bit sore and sleepy also. At 11 miles I was at Aberlady so had a Chocolate Crispie bar and a bottle of Lipton's tea, sitting on the stone wall in the light rain as a funeral party walked past.
By Seton Sands I was losing the will to live despite the going being relatively easy back on tarmac and with the wind behind. I tried being brave for a while but that wasn't working so when I got to Prestonpans I decided to hunt down the train station, which I've seen signs for but have never really known where it is. I found it up a sizeable hill as the Garmin turned over to 19 miles. Unfortunately the next train would be nearly an hour so I ran back down the hill and hopped on a bus.
There's a kind of low grade pleasure sitting on a warm and steamy bus on a dark rainy day in Scotland and watching people in the towns of Prestonpans, Musselburgh and Portobello all going about their business. By the time I got off the bus I was stiff as a board but I wanted to make my mileage up to at least 20 so I forced myself to run anyway. At Scotmid I was up to 19.96miles so I thought maybe I'd make up the difference when I came back out again. In the meantime I got some tomato soup and some other stuff for tea. When I got back out the shop I couldn't be bothered trying to make up 0.04 of a mile by running while all my shopping worked its way through the ultra thin sides of the plastic bags it was in. So I didn't bother.
This is not the most heroic blog I have ever written.
I was kind of planning to have a day off running tomorrow to be fresh for the Stirling 10K on Sunday but I think maybe I need to run after all.
Photo - Francesca Woodman