Sunday, 7 February 2016

All Over The Place








I keep having the thought that I might do better with my running if I stuck to one thing and tried to do it well. But now I've gone and signed up for a whole rake of completely different races so I need to do some fast, flat, hilly, short, long training. So that's what I've been doing.

I don't know if doing better is really the game anyway. The game is really to eat as much as I can without getting too fat.

I'm not sure I'm winning at that game at the moment either.

Anyway. I'm not dead and haven't been silenced. I somehow just can't get my blog-finger out.

After last week's windy beach run with Jane, Buchanan and I headed to the hills. I had been troubled by a pain just under my left knee-cap every time I walked up the three flights of stairs to our flat for the preceding days, so I was a bit worried about that. Running in the snowy Pentlands, however, proved to be fine, and I didn't have any trouble with my knee. I had more trouble with just being exhausted and took some walk breaks that could have been excused on a 50 miler but were a bit harder to explain on what turned out to be an 11 miler. Explanation, or no explanation, that was how it was however. No sense in starting an argument with reality.

Monday I went out and ran just over 3 miles, bumping into Richard Dennis on the way. I didn't have the wit to get my camera out and take a photo though.

This weekend the forecast was looking pretty grim. Saturday Peter and I had thought about going for a run in the Lammermuirs. It looked like it would be pretty cold and exposed though - without the benefit of some sunshine to at least give us a nice view. So we went to the beach, and Steve Crane came along too. Neither Peter nor Steve tried to make me run faster but I ran faster than usual out of pride or fear of holding everyone up or something. I'm somehow signed up for a 20K trail run in a couple of weeks time, so I really need to be running a bit further. The run we did yesterday is 11 miles if the tide's out and we go round the mini-subs. The tide was hard in to the shore, however, and we did just 9.5 miles, which was plenty. It was very grey out but it was a novelty having Steve along and the run went by very quickly.

Today, Peter is off to do a 30+ miler with some Carnethies. The forecast was the dreaded 2 drips from a black cloud and the wind blowing a hoolie. I've never known how to spell that. 40+ mile-an-hour winds. I had trouble just getting out of bed. I slept for 2 hours longer than usual and finally dragged myself up. But it somehow took until the afternoon til I was ready to run.

I thought about running my 10 mile Arthur's Seat route - but I didn't feel like it. The thing is I'd been reading about how black pudding is really good for you after all. I thought that I would take advantage of this 'fact' while it was still current. I like black pudding but I never eat it because it is dripping with fat. So I wanted to run 10 miles today because I wanted to eat black pudding for lunch. A mile and a half into the run my Garmin had some kind of fainting spell and turned off - and I nearly ran straight home. I had to give myself a talking to. Reality is still real even if you can't upload it to Strava. And you still burn calories, even when your Garmin's off. It just doesn't seem like it.

Once my Garmin was off though (it wasn't going back on again - the battery had somehow run out.) there was less urgency to keep the pace up. Half way down the innocent railway path I saw a cute little calf in the long grasses and he had a strange, pale bird friend. There was something beautiful, sad and nostalgic about them silently keeping each other company in the water-logged but sheltered corner of a reedy field.

Further on and round the corner, my eye was again caught, this time by a building I must have seen 1000 times but had never really registered before. "A house for Peter." I thought. There was something melancholic in its one window and no door, and its situation in the long rushes at the side of Duddingston Loch. With no Garmin, again, it was easy to just have a long stand and try to get a shot of it. I even climbed up on the crash barrier at the side of the road to get a better vantage point.
It was hard to get going again after that. Running requires overcoming a certain inertia and I was having to overcome it again and again. Peter does this all the time. I think it's one of the things that keeps him strong.

Coming down the palace side of Arthur's Seat I could find no argument for doing the last part of my run. The route would demand that I run up and round the top road, but the wind was pushing me in another direction - the same direction my hunger was pulling me in. So my run ended after about 8 miles and now I am full of black pudding and I can feel a sleep coming on.

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