Today I was going to do a bog standard run - 6 miles into Musselburgh and into the wind and 6 miles back with the wind behind, when I remembered that I'm on holiday and that's the time to not do your standard run. I felt very guilty setting off in the van in the sun for the Pentlands as I know Peter would have liked to come, but he was at work, and somebody has to earn money...
From a distance the hills looked white but I had no idea if it was going to be just a dusting or if there would be big drifts up there. As I got closer it became obvious that there has been a good bit of snow - there was quite a lot piled at the sides of the road.
The same wicked easterly was blowing as has been for 3 weeks or more so it was sharp getting out of the car. However, setting off uphill soon warmed me up. I was realising on the way up the road that I haven't been up there since the Carnethy Hill Race. Not happy memories. And running uphill felt pretty hard, at first anyway.
The sun came out and it was a lovely day. There were a very few folk out, wrapped up warm. The snow on the west sides of the hills was melting rapidly so I did a bit of post-holing. It wasn't really all that deep, so it wasn't a problem, but it was wet and uneven so I couldn't run up the steep bits...even if I'd wanted to.
I got as far as half way up Carnethy and suddenly realised how hungry I was, so thought I wouldn't push my luck and turned around before reaching the top. It took a quarter of the time to get back to the car it had taken to get up there, cutting down past the Howe and along the trails between the hills.
It was good to get out. I can't say I was running well, but there were a few things stacked against me, The snow would have been difficult anyway, I've not been doing much hilly stuff and I barely ate anything for a few days there.
I had a chat with Amanda on the phone yesterday and we have both come to the conclusion we won't be running the Highland Fling. It dawned on me yesterday that last weekend really was my last chance to push the boat out and get some serious miles in before some kind of taper. But I managed 3 miles. There is no point. I don't know if I'd make the 15 hour time limit and I'd almost certainly get ill or injured and I've had enough of that. Amanda had a bad cold for two weeks - the crucial weeks for high mileage. Her voice on the phone was still about an octave lower than usual. Kathy has been/is ill and I hear tell she's still determined to run. 6 months or so ago I might have felt the same but I'm coming around to the notion that without your health you really haven't got anything at all. It's worth preserving.
Still, giving up is a flat sort of feeling and that's maybe why I didn't enjoy my run in the Pentlands today as much as I might have. That and memories of the Carnethy Hill Race squashing me like a bug. Still, at least my ribs aren't broke any more! And the puking illness seems to have left me.
We've signed up for a 6 week yoga course, starting at the end of April. But I think we'll have to leave the cameras behind.