Yesterday, while people were away at the Devilla Forest Races, I did a hilly 10 miler round Arthur's Seat, in the middle of the day, for the brief time that the sun was out. (It still snowed a bit too.)
Today, having finished my morning's tasks and then diddling about at home all afternoon instead of doing the course work I should be doing, Peter and I settled on going and doing some reps of the rad road. It took us quite a while to get out the house. He was tired from yesterday's racing. I was tired from him snoring all night. It was warm next to the computers and c-c-c-old out there.
It was a beautifully still afternoon and evening though. We hit the streets just as rush hour was at its frenzied worst. It was good to get into the park and away from the cars. Running up the rad road made me forget all about the cold. It is a while since I have been up there. I'd forgotten how steep it is, especially at first. It's a very in your face, short, sharp, shock kind of challenge though. The first 200 or so meters are the steepest by far and then it levels off to a more manageable gradient where you can get your breath back a bit - then the last final twist of the road is steep again at the end.
On the first rep, the people were a problem. There were really quite a lot of people out, taking in the sunset and the views. Standing around in the path and getting in the way of wheezing runners. Just plain selfish.
The reward at the top was a run down the other side and then down Hunter's Bog. This is a very nice angled descent and a pleasure as long as nobody tries to race you and spoils it...
The second rep, the people were thinning out and the city was lighting up down below. It felt easier than the first one and I was a little disappointed to see I'd taken 20 seconds longer at the top - maybe why it was easier. Still it wasn't a race, this was all about survival for me. My lungs have definitely not worked this hard in 6 months. The second time down past Hunter's Bog the light was getting pretty low and we decided we better run down the side of the road after the last one. A heron stood in the middle of the bog looking picturesque. I think Peter maybe even got a picture.
The last rep was under a blushing pink sky. It was getting tricky to see the stones underfoot, perhaps why I was another 10 seconds slower up this time. I felt great at the top though. I think I am now a bit afraid to really push in case I blow a gasket, but I certainly taxed my cardiovascular system and all my gaskets are still fine as far as I know.
As we were coming back onto London Road we saw that an enormous full moon had just risen over the rooftops. Perfect end to a very pretty run.