Long run time today. How do you keep it fresh? I've signed up for the E2NB race (unbelievably. I've cancelled a trip to London to do it. I don't even understand why.) - so I think I better stop using that route as my training run, or it will be unbearable on the day.
Peter reminded me about the Pencaitland cycle track. You can squeeze a 20 miler out of running up the Esk from Musselburgh and then out the cycle track until you get to 10 miles and then turning round and heading back. I was going to do that. But I HATE it. Oh dear. So when I was lying in bed last night it came to me (I think maybe inspired by Stuart Hay writing that he does loops for his long run so he can get a drink without having to carry it) that I could do 2 loops of the Gullane 10 miler (which ranges anywhere from 10.5 miles to 11.5 miles depending on the route and the tides).
I could park the Berlingo in Gullane, fill it with goodies and get a coffee out of Falkos for half way round. That thought sealed the deal.
Still, doing loops is quite a thought - or rather I avoided the thought as much as I could. The thought "I'm going to be here again later, with sore legs." I also partially doubted if I would do it. But who needs a vote of no confidence like that in their head?
The first time around went well enough but there was something about the track through Archerfields. I didn't like it. "I'm not coming this way next time." I thought to myself, knowing in thinking that that I was dooming myself to inventing extra bits right at the end of the run when I was tired, just to make up the distance.
As I approached Gullane I was mistrustful of myself again. Would I really go out for a 2nd loop. or was I just going to eat too much in the back of the car and go home? Before setting off this morning I bought some almost supernaturally sweet coconut jammy (Mrs Crimbles 6 large Coconut Rings) things. I had one with a cup of coffee before I set off and could feel my teeth melting in my mouth, and diabetes setting in. I also bought some rather boastful 'Protein Flapjacks' at the Co-op. Looking at the nutritional information they could equally have called themselves "Fat Flapjacks". I wonder why they didn't.
Anyway, what I wanted to tell you was that my initial plan for half time was to eat more Coconut Jammy Rings, but by then I was longing for something a bit less intense. I settled on a huge raisin brioche bun thing from Falkos, to go with my coffee. It was much less sweet and went down nicely. But then there was still room in my pudding tummy, so I had another of Mrs Crimble's warm diabetic delights. Holy Moly. Then I had to go out for my 2nd loop. I couldn't have gone home after that. I couldn't have looked myself in the eye. I took another one, wrapped up in a bit of paper bag, in case I needed anything else late in the run, but I needn't have bothered. I was still having a massive sugar rush 10 miles later.
It wasn't a spectacular day but it was nice enough. The birds were singing ceaselessly as the long grasses rustled. The 2nd time round Aberlady bay there seemed to be more crows.
There were also lots of people. Some of them are friendly and some of them stand way off the path as if I was a stampeding rhino, not a slip of a girl. I find it perplexing. And some of them look at you like you've been poking bunny rabbits' eyes out for fun. I get impatient with the public. I know everyone does. I wished they'd leave me alone with their eyes and their attitudes and their trekking poles and their smiles and their reproving looks. Just when I'm damning them all silently to hell then someone is nice to me and I carry an added burden of guilt. Leave me alone. Can't you see I'm on my 2nd loop and my legs are hurting? It was a relief to get down to the almost empty beach. I didn't sleep that well last night and I've had a lot of coffee to compensate. Some of my thoughts slip out my mouth as short phrases. I'm getting just like my dad.
And then I get past Gullane beach and it's time to figure out how I'm going to squeeze another three miles out of the landscape without going the Archerfield way. So, I go through the Jimmy Saville Woods and it is not far enough and I realise with a sinking heart as I near the Gullane car park that I'm going to have to finish off my run with a steep uphill and down the other side past the big houses that I wish I owned and then along the main street.
I always like when my Garmin says 19.66 because I can pretend that the next few fractions of miles are years of my life going by. It diverts my attention and takes the sting out of my legs. I miss 19.66 but catch 19.67...I am one years old, the next time I look and it's 19.82, I'm leaving school...It's 19.88, I've graduated, I've moved down South...19.89...I'm back up again...19.99, erm, partying, 20.02 I'm a nurse, 20.15 that's now and 20.20, I'm back at the car!