I had a day's annual leave to take before the end of the financial year, and I settled on this day, of all days. Sleet blowing in a 20mph easterly. 1 degree centigrade, says Metcheck, feels like -5. Hooray.
I wasn't going to go anywhere. I have stuff to do. But then my new rucksack arrived from Wiggle.
It's an Inov8 race elite 8 litre pack. I chose it because it was relatively cheap and it has bottle holders at the front instead of a bladder system. I can't be bothered with bladders and cleaning them out. They're kind of intransigent. Bottles are easy to fill up en route, or empty out if you find you're not drinking.
So then I wanted to go out for a run to try out my new kit.
I dressed up very warmly and never regretted it. To take the wind into account and minimise the amount of time sleet would be blowing directly into my face I thought I'd run up round the side of Arthur's Seat and then along the Meadows and onto the canal. The wind should be behind me all the way up to Colinton Dell at which point I'd set off back down the WOL and the trees and what-not would provide some cover.
As often happens, just after I was despairing of ever having an enjoyable run again, today's run sort of clicked into place. The canal was a visual representation of a Smith's song. Everyday is like Sunday.
At 10 miles I was fading and starting to think about running to Haymarket and getting the train. To stem this tide of wanting to give up I took a break just near Murrayfield and went into the local Co-op. I found some bored and friendly staff in there. The guy who was sweeping the floor told me I was "hardcore" and that he used to run but it buggared his knees and what he'd really liked was triathlon. The only other customer was buying 4 cans of Carlsberg and I suspected he was further up the "hardcore" scale than I was. He was away off to sit in the street and drink them!
I settled on a can of Irn Bru and an insubstantial Bueno bar, to cheer me home, and stood at the bus shelter and had my pavement picnic. I didn't used to take lunch breaks in the middle of my runs...but you have to roll with it. I am a changed runner.
The last few miles were a thrash, but they always are. I tried to avoid bits where the WOL was possibly closed and so got stuck at the posh bit just off Belford Road, trying to get down to the river. I went down the wrong road and circled for a while, cursing amongst the expensive houses and cars as it was quite hilly and I wasn't in the mood for this.
Home at last and a big proper lunch. Because Peter's out at work I have had a shot of his Camerabag program for jazzing up photos. If I'd known I could make everything look so austere I would have got in about the graveyard on the way home. Maybe a trip to Warriston is on the cards.
14 and a bit miles anyway which takes my weekly total up to 26 and a bit so far. It would be nice if it was dry tomorrow.