Sunday, 23 December 2012

Grog Run

The minute I'd said that we should go in for a swim after the Promathon and then have some hot grog I knew I'd made a mistake. Peter's eyes lit up. The idea of hot grog was born. I don't even know where I got the word grog from - but I strongly suspect it was the Swallows and Amazons series of books by Arthur Ransome.

Anyway, today we'd arranged to go for a Pentlands run but were trying to intuit the right time to go rather than set a fixed time, in order to miss the worst excesses of the weather. Today's weather was intermittent (but heavy) showers, interspersed with sunshine and with a much, much stronger wind than yesterday.

I went through to the kitchen early afternoon to see if Peter was getting near ready and wondered what the odd yeasty, boozy smell was. There was Peter with a flask for the hills and a look of mad alchemist glee on his face. The notion of hot grog was now a reality. It was approximately mulled wine but with whisky, sherry, port and sugar added in.

The idea didn't take much selling to Michael when we picked him up in Morningside. As we headed out to the hills the weather looked appalling and as we arrived at the red moss car park the rain was lashing down. I got out the van for a pee in the bushes while we sat out the rain and when I got back the van was full of a now familiar yeasty, boozy smell! The little demons! I thought hot grog just then was more likely to melt my resolve than help so I passed. Peter and Michael became noticeably more animated and cheerful. Pretty soon the rain-clouds were blown over by the gusting wind and we got on our way.

I felt a bit tired but not too bad, but it was soon clear I wasn't even going to come close to keeping up with M and P today. Neither should I really - they are both pretty fit at the moment. We tried keeping together by them waiting for me at the gates for a while but this was demoralizing for me and they were in danger of getting cold so we agreed they'd run on to the top of Carnethy, I'd get to the top of Scald Law and we'd all make our way down between the hills to the Howe and then take the lower path back to the car park. They zoomed off and I was glad to have the pressure off. My lungs and my legs were protesting and just taking it back a couple of notches I settled into a much more doable rhythm.

It was lovely out in them there hills. The weather was dramatic and so were the skies. The wind was blowing a hoolly, but in the right direction. It blew me straight up West Kip, East Kip and at Scald Law I was in danger of flying over the other side. I got down the hill and along the path well ahead of Peter and Michael and was a bit torn between taking full advantage and pressing on, and hovering a bit just to catch a sight of where they were. This was the toughest part of the trip as the wind was right in my teeth and the path has turned into a companion river for the river it usually follows. Just as the gradient was easing off and I was turning gratefully out of the head-wind, Peter and Michael rocked up looking cheery. It was just down the road to the car then.

I ran about 8 miles, they ran about 10.
The hot grog was cracked open in earnest. As driver I passed until I got home but it sure makes the van smell good. I've had mine now. Delicious.

I feel like we've had a great time on a most unpromising weekend.

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