Where have I been? I'm not sure. I got my first cold in more than 2 years somehow. I think I got it from a counter assistant in Marks and Spencers although that's difficult to prove. And then I got a cough.
Like most runners, I have been trying to cure my cough by going out and getting some air in and about my lungs. I've actually been drawn to doing more hill running than I have in a while, despite this being stressful on my poor old bellows.
I skipped Craggy Island as I didn't want to choke to death on the swim. I didn't want to camp in Oban either if I'm honest. The sun shined over here more than over there which made us glad we'd stayed put. Peter could have gone if he liked but he couldn't be bothered. He actually missed two races simultaneously, being signed up for the Tiree Ultra and Craggy Island on the same day.
What a skiver.
We had an amazingly nice run in the Lammermuirs and then the next day, in an extra surprise day of sun, we went out in the blazing heat in the middle of the day and had a stonker of a hill run on Arthur's Seat.
Wednesday was a flat run. On Thursday Peter and Mike Lynch had arranged to go for an evening run in the Pentlands. The weather was looking good again and I had the feeling that this was the last chance - it's the end of summer. Instead of cycling to work I took the car instead so I could drive to the hills after work. I found out why it's good to cycle to work - it took me 1hrs 20 minutes to drive 8 miles.
I didn't get to Hillend until 7pm, I hadn't eaten since noon and sunset was in 45 minutes. It didn't seem the most promising start to things, but actually it was good. I came across the Penicuik Harriers doing a club run parallel to the ski slope - and saw some faces I know from the Borders XC and else-where. Cheery hellos made up for all the ill-tempered grid-lock on the bypass. Further up, at Allermuir, just when I thought I was tout seul in the hills, some Carnethies appeared out of nowhere for a summer series race they were doing. I phoned Peter and Mike at this point and they were just about at Castlelaw, so I ran down to meet them and then ran back with (behind) them. We made it to the van just before full dark.
In a way it wasn't ideal as I had a 5.30am start the next day and I hadn't had my tea yet...but it was nice being out in the hills in the evening, and the air and space helped my mind even though I was a bit more ragged at work the next day...
So Saturday and the forecast said "clouds and rain". We'd thought about going down the coast but it seemed like it might be a waste of time to go anywhere. Peter has unaccountably started running every day. I don't know why. I don't think he knows why. He just feels he has to. So his attitude was kind of "take me out for a run, anywhere, I don't care, you do the thinking and I'll follow". I quite like this. A flatter run would have made more sense but it didn't appeal. We headed for Arthur's seat without much of an agenda and then just dotted about the place whimsically. Some fool was releasing helium balloons and we ended up on quite a chase to retrieve one, which ended in brambles and failure. The heather is just turning from purple to orange and some of the leaves are just turning now too. That autumnal thing is happening. Despite the lowering skies the sun was shining through quite brightly at times, making for atmospheric scenery. Heavy skies and bright grasses.
On our last run down Hunters Bog, we ran into Michael Geoghegan who has been missing in action for some time. So we've arranged a catch up run for tomorrow - which won't help my musty lungs or his sore knee either probably...