My friend Emma is over from America, or should I call her Gnarls? That is her trail name. If you haven't got a trail name, you should get one. Everyone in the Trail Monsters has one. Me and Peter are honorary trail monsters because we've done some of their races in the states so we have trail names. I am Yak, as you know, and Peter is (snigger) "The Rock". We're working on a name for Richard.
Anyway, Emma's got a 50 miler coming up late in October and she plans her training well, so she knew that today she wanted to run 26 miles. An obvious thing seemed to be to get her to run from our house round to North Berwick as that is pretty much exactly right. I'm not ready for 26 yet though, so I thought I could take the van to the end and run and meet them round about Aberlady bay. Peter and Richard ran with Emma from our house. Peter augmented his training by squeezing in a park run this morning, a last ditch effort to get a quick one in for September (its a championship thing) which ended in defeat as there was a hefty westerly wind blowing.
The westerly wind was auspicious for running down the coast. Not quite so much for me as I had to run into it to get to Aberlady bay - but I ran on the road, which is much quicker and shorter and there was a fair amount of shelter along the way. When I got to Aberlady bay, I phoned and the crew were still a mile and a half short of Aberlady town, while I was a mile the other side. I decided to run on to meet them and get something to eat at the shop.
At the shop I thought longingly of the good old ultra days when I used to refuel on chocolate and coffee. I got a banana and a (tiny) lion bar and then sat on the wall outside the shop in the sun and ate these. There was still no sign of the crew, so I went back in the shop and got a coffee. Heaven. I watched my heart-rate while I was drinking it but nothing untoward happened. Then the crew did arrive.
They all seemed in good form; sweating profusely and hungry. Pretty soon we were off again and the pace was nice and settled. They're all better runners than me, even when I'm at my best, but they'd all done considerably more than me today so there wasn't any pressure. I was feeling good and really enjoying being out in company. The wind was wild and the sea was choppy. The tide was right in so we often had to get off the beach and find our way along the narrow paths a little inland. On the beach there were lots of dead sea-birds, washed up in the recent storms. There was also an injured gannet, but two ladies were standing with it and had called the RSPCA, so hopefully it'll get rescued. I hadn't seen it right away so if they weren't there I would probably have tripped over it and Peter would have tried to feed it.
Pretty soon we were in North Berwick. Emma had her 26 miles. I think Richard and Peter will have done 30 a piece - Peter did his park run and Richard ran to and from our house. I'd run a bit over 17 - so, the most I've done post AF, and I felt fine.
We're signed up for the Aviemore half in a couple of week's time. I was thinking there wasn't any point in me doing it but now, having remembered how good it is to run in a group, I'm thinking maybe I will.