I know this photo isn't even in focus but there was something about it I liked. It's like a dream of a white house in the distance.....
It's the first of the Borders XC series tomorrow and strangely, I have signed up, so I thought it was best to get the swim out of the way today and also not run too far.
I have reverted to GMT for some reason so have spontaneously woken up at 5am for the last 2 days. It wouldn't be so bad if the people of Leith wouldn't sing so loud so late.
This morning Peter was also up, ready for a rendezvous with Richard Dennis in the shadowy streets at 5.30. They were off to the Glen Ogle 33. I'm glad I don't do that long stuff anymore.
I shilly-shallied and was out the door just before 10. (I know! What the hell was I doing?)
I can practically set the dial on the car for Gullane now and sit back and enjoy the soothing sounds of Classic FM with my eyes closed. Don't knock Classic FM, it's tremendous. This morning they were playing movement 2 of Beethoven's 7th Symphony when I got in the car. It's become associated with the background music for Doug Stanhope's rants on Charlie Brooker's Screen Wipe for me, but that doesn't make me like it less.
It kind of added a sense of mission to the day. And that was no bad thing. I wanted to run just 6 miles to keep my legs fresh for tomorrow, but I wanted to do a more meaty swim than last week.
Last week's swim was really just a dip in and out and left me troubled and looking on the internet to find out how other people manage to swim outdoors when it's cold.
I found some useful advice - the harshest being Julia Henderson telling me the Face Freeze eases up after 50 or so strokes. More cosseting advice being to wear 2 hats and that there are thicker boots, gloves and possibly hats available at the Diving Centre at Watson Crescent. I didn't know there was such a place and I haven't been yet, but it's cheering to know that there are yet more options for cosy swimming as the winter gets under way. For some reason I have it in my head that I want to swim on Christmas Day.
So anyway, I did wear 2 hats today. I read that you're supposed to wear a colourful outer hat so the jet skis and boats can see you as they plough into you or so your friends can see you as you get dragged by a freak tide out to sea as they stand helplessly on the shore. Oh enough of the dramatics.
So today I persisted. I don't know how long I was in for but it was probably more than 15 minutes and I was much more pleased with myself when I got out. It helped that the temperature has once again taken an up turn and it really wasn't that cold.
I've promised myself that if I can get on it I'm going to do the swim improvers class at Leith Academy come the new evening class term next year. It's very late for someone who likes an early night like me, but needs must. I know my stroke is funny and hopefully someone can help me with it.
So I haven't had a shower since my run and swim and my face is kind of salty. Maybe I should be doing something about it. I may well be back tomorrow to tell you about some cross country. Or I may be damning "the country" (as Brendan Foster calls it) to hell and I may never mention it again.