Sunday, 28 December 2014
Brave Sunday Run
Peter was going out for another Graham Henry run today. This one was going to be the 7 hills of Edinburgh plus a Skyline. Nobody in their right mind would do that obviously, but I did fancy some company for a longer run. I knew it wouldn't be easy, and I would be the group moomin, but I taped my bus fares to the inside of my rucksack and went along anyway.
I can't tell you exactly who was there. Lucy was, and can be seen showing what elite athletes take along for a long run after xmas. Also there was Nick from Dunbar, Richard Hadfield, Mark of Carnethy and a tall friend of Graham's. I don't know his name but they were at school together and Graham was trying to tell stories about what he got up to when he was 9 and this guy was protesting that it was quite a long time ago....and we met up later with Paul Eunson, for whom we were very late...
We set off at a brisk pace...for me...and I knew that I'd need to keep my head down and concentrate to stay with the group for any length of time. It was a beautiful morning though and the air was very cold and clear. We rose steadily through town and although I knew it didn't make much sense for me to continue up into the Pentlands, I also felt I wanted to get there...just to top out.
We got there somehow...I'll never know how. I forgot to concentrate for a minute or two and then I was hopelessly lost - but as we came up into the hills I started to recognise where I was. I was wearing road shoes - I'd pondered over this a while - but all my off-road shoes are on their last legs and have no bounce left in them, and it didn't seem all that likely that I'd even make it to the hills, so I thought on balance I'd be better off with road shoes. I, in fact, wore my pink road shoes that have not had much action for a while. I've been preferring to use my Hokas, but sadly I seem to have not only worn all the tread off my Hokas but I am now into the mid-sole...
It was icy and although going uphill was okay, I could foresee that coming down hill in road shoes on the ice would be tricky and slow. As the group turned right, I turned off left for the hill with the white thing on it - is it Allermuir?
I'd enjoyed the company but it was nice to settle back into a pace that was comfortable for me....and to be able to stop and take photos without worrying about holding up the group. I'd already run 11 miles so I didn't need much more. Descending down the sky-line route took an age. The path was a sheet of ice and I had to stick to the heather so as not to slide the whole way down. I kind of vaguely thought I might run a good part of the way home - but it was 15 miles by the time I got to the bus-stop at Fairmilehead, so I stopped there.
Soon I was on a number 15. The bus-driver was grumpy and the bus was cold and there were children in the back who had obviously recently learned about knowing things. To everything their adult said they shouted out "I KNOW. I KNOW that ALREADY!" And when we went down past a school one of them said " I have to come here EVERY SINGLE DAY FOR SCHOOL! I HOPE I NEVER SEE IT AGAIN AS LONG AS I LIVE!" It was like they'd been taking lessons in being emphatic. There was also a dog that had one shoe on that made it's leg look like a golf club. I tried to take surreptitious pictures of it but it moved.
That was pretty much all the fun to be had on the bus. We went along Princes St and I hoped it would be full of busy harassed shoppers so that I could feel superior, but actually there were a few people but not that many. And then we terminated at Waterloo Place, which is pretty much where we'd set out from - so I set off up Calton Hill for the 2nd time that day. My legs were exceedingly stiff after a long, cold bus ride and it took some doing to get going again. It was good to get onto Leith Walk though and run down without much effort.
Back home and I have eaten my weight in snacks. The rest of the team are still out there. Peter took his big camera so there will be plenty of photos. Oh how nice it would be to feel you could stop anytime and still be able to catch back up...