Monday, 19 August 2013

WOL - canal - meadows - home.

This is where I went wrong

Saturday's run was a bit of a sad affair, and yesterday my legs were sore from trying to run in sinky sand on Saturday, so I didn't even go a recovery run. As a result the internal pressure was building. The wind was still due to be westish today and so yesterday, musing on where I could go today, I remembered that I used to go a run up the Water of Leith and back across town via the canal when the wind was blowing west, - as the westward leg up the WOL benefits from a lot of cover and then the exposed part (i.e the canal and the meadows) has the wind behind. I have over-done running the Water of Leith over the years though, to the extent I can hardly drag myself out that way - and in the past year or so it has been bedevilled with building works and diversions. Fortunately I was in no mood to indulge myself, having run a shocker on Saturday. Today there would be no camera, no quibbling about the route, no food and no stops for food - no second breakfasts, in other words. I took 500mls of water divided between 2 250ml bottles and set off at 8.40, into the rush hour.

Running on a Monday morning when everyone else is going to work is sooooooo working for me. There is something just delightful about it. Am I going to go and face my responsibilities? I think not. The whole thing felt like a great big skive, which is not how going a longish run always feels. There was the added attraction of there being next to no-one on the path. Anyone who ever runs that way knows how jammed up it can get with dogs and kids and walkers and smokers and fishers and cyclists and what-not.

To my surprise and pleasure, much of the water of leith walkway is now fixed up! You can get along past B&Q at Powderhall again. Not only that but they've made a raised walkway so you can see over the high wall into the river. Rochheid path is likewise mended and the bit along the river that ends in iron stairs climbing up past pizza express is also resurfaced and open again. Further along the Dean Path, there is still a diversion due to something or other. It was easily negotiated however. I didn't run into trouble until I discovered at the end of the path that goes past Murrayfield ice-rink that there is now a diversion that takes you along the left side of the river instead of over to the right. There are signs there confidently declaring this is definitely the way to Balerno, so I went with it. Pity they didn't carry on with the signage. There were 2 more yellow arrows pointing the way and then nada..... I went in a straight line at first but found myself round at the entrance to Murrayfield proper. Wrong direction! So I went back along the road in the other direction and up another street and found myself on the main drag for Gorgie and Dalry. Hell and damnit. I had to go back to the last yellow arrow and once I did so realised that you just had to go round a building there (I think it's called Westfield House) and at the back of it there's a bridge that takes you over the river and back onto the old WOL pathway. In the meantime I had added a mile and a half onto my total. Secretly I didn't mind as this probably meant I didn't have to run round the back of Arthur's Seat at the end of the run to make my mileage up. The hill at the end is always a killer.

So the miles clicked by nicely and pretty soon I was on the canal. This isn't as nice as it used to be since they tarmacked the path. Still the wind was behind so it was easy. I watched some university students (presumably) losing control of their sculls and getting all tangled in the greenery at the side.

By Tollcross I was debating whether to stop and get something to eat or whether to push on and stay empty. There was a green man at the crossing over to the King's Theatre, which surely meant push on. Anyway, I was feeling hungry but fine. I was much fresher than I had been on Saturday and I was enjoying it.

So, to cut a long story short, 15.5 miles done, all quicker in the 2nd half. I feel like I have got a good jump on the week and made up for Saturday.

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