Saturday, 21 February 2015

The Lovely Lammermuirs

Peter was off to do some longish Carnethy thing today. I've had some annual leave this week. As a result I've run more than usual, and I knew 12 miles would take me over the 50 mile mark. Looking back I don't think I've run a 50 mile week since last March.

As often happens, I've only really got into my holiday stride in the latter part of the week and now I am sick that I have to go back. Not because I don't like work, but that I've thought of lots of other things I could be doing. I didn't fancy any of my usual 12ish mile runs so I thought I might venture  further and go into the Lammermuirs.

Going there makes me a bit nervous. One thing is that I'm shamefully afraid of cattle and sometimes they're out, grazing on the path. Another more ineffable reason is that I find the Lammermuirs kind of eerie. I've been on about this before. It is well-tended to and yet nobody is there. And there are traps everywhere. The long straight roads and wide panorama make you feel like it doesn't matter how fast you run you never get anywhere very quickly. If something happened to be tracking you, you wouldn't stand a chance. It makes me a bit paranoid.

Damn it's a hilly route. Looking back on Garmin Connect I haven't been out there since 2013. I'd forgotten how unremitting the hills are. You just have to settle back into tractor pace and take your time. I stopped half way up the first two miles of hill to take a photo and discovered my battery was nearly flat so I had to go very easy on the photos. It was a shame. I saw an arctic hare and lots of bird life. Maybe I could have captured some of it with the camera. On the other hand, maybe not. The hare wasn't hanging around.

I went wrong twice. I wondered if I would still know which way to go and the answer was no. I set off down a path which seemed to be veering the wrong way and belatedly realised that I was heading for the reservoir. Reluctantly I set off back up the hill again! Then I took another wrong path. It looked too green to be the right one and I soon turned back again. Finally I came to the right one to head off up to the windmills. It was steeper than I remembered too. I thought there was a flattish bit before it dives down steeply to a little wooden hut. I didn't find a flattish bit today. The climb back up from the hut is hellish. But kind of good.

All my detours were adding on the miles and I thought I wouldn't go all the way to the windmills as I wasn't in the mood for an epic run. I turned around at 7 miles and headed back.

On the way back the wind was behind me and there was, on average, more downhill than up, which was good, because my legs were shot.

Beautiful sunny day though, and nice to get up high. I'm not really looking forwards to my sea swim tomorrow. The weather says teeming rain and 50mph gusts.


pb said...

Sorry not to be there to take some of the flak for you going wrong (twice.)Do you think anyone will notice you have doctored the info board in an hilarious manner? Hope so as it is good quality.

NickWill75 said...

Nice looking route - did you start at Yester? I enjoyed HELP's "Goat's Gallop" back in November, which starts (I think) from the same place, but it veers down towards Hope's Reservoir.

I have to admit that I'm pretty chicken about unknown hill exploration - daunting unless I'm with someone else to show me round.

And yes Peter, I did note the lupine interloper!

Yak Hunter said...

Hi Nick, I started at Blinkbonny woods - which might be Yester but I don't know the names of anything out there!
Looking at the Google map this morning I notice there are Pishwanton woods nearby, which has set off a whole stream of childishness in my head...

NickWill75 said...

Yes, Blinkbonny is just up from Yester. Nothing wrong with childishness!

runtwo said...

Pishwanton always gives me a laugh. Liked the sign manipulation!