Sunday, 22 May 2016

Hibomination and Tramspotting




 The plan was to go for a 7 hills recce. I had decided to take the weekend off from "long runs" meaning 20+ milers, as I was feeling lack-lustre. A team of fasties were going to meet at Calton Hill for the recce at 9am. I thought I'd set off half an hour early and the game would be to catch me.
Unfortunately "The Hibs" had won in Glasgow but, operating on instinct, with the IQs of salmon making their way upstream to where they were originally spawned, the "fans" still thought they'd come back to Leith to celebrate. There were several hours of chanting and bin-bashing, smashing and shouting. Hard to figure out what was happening really. These people seemed to think they had won a sporting event and yet looked like they had never participated in a sporting event in their lives. "Their team" had won, however. Theirs by virtue of their having bought an expensive season ticket and kitted out their rotund youngsters in shiny green and white nylon. Wo-ho, wo-ho.

I tried to read my book in bed but with the din of a mindless mob outside that was never going to work. In the end I found the best way to handle it was the same way as when you have an intolerable pain like an abscess in your tooth. You have to just stay in the present and not think.

I was very pleased to win the club championship in 2006. It came right down to the line and was only won in the last race. In the second last race, which was the Dunbar Doon Hill Race 10 miler, Kerry, who was my main contender, beat me by a mere 15 seconds. I had to beat her in the Braids XC to win. It's a longish story, but in the end I made it, running out of my own skin in order to do it and leaving both eyes on the trail as they both popped out as I was running at 140% of my maximum heart rate. I was very pleased, but still I never saw fit to come home and slam the bins for 5 hours shouting  WOHO WOHO while swigging beer and breaking glasses.


Impressive. Sunshine on Leith. Arseholes.

Now I know some people, probably not my blog readers, would think that it was all harmless fun. But I'm a bit short of sleep and not feeling that generous.

Anyway. I was tired this morning. The last I heard of the "celebrations" was at 2 am and I was up again at 6. It was a beautiful morning and it was nice to hear the birds again. It was nice to be able to hear myself think again. I was so tired I thought about not going on the recce - maybe going back to bed and then doing something else later on - but I kind of knew that wouldn't go well. I'd get up feeling grumpy later and maybe even miss the sunshine.














I have run this route too often now and I don't have much to say about it. I'd forgotten how scared I can get on the muddy bank climb at Craiglockhart. I went too far right and suddenly the jeopardy if I fell went from a long slide in the mud to a tumble off some rocks. A fifteen foot fall or so - enough to do some spinal damage. A massive surge of adrenaline and a stern talking to and I broke through the bushes at the top in a hurry, to the surprise of a passing spaniel.

The next uphill scramble at the Braids isn't so bad and I got up it easily.

The last real hurdle was getting through the turnstile at the back of the Halls of Residence. The rumour had been that it was now too narrow to squeeze through - and then Olly Stephenson had suggested that maybe the Portobellos were eating too much as he had got through it fine. When I saw the gap I felt dubious about it. I put my legs in as far as my hips - and it felt like my hips would go...but...how far could I get through and still be able to retract my offer? I was all alone and bottled out of it. It suddenly occurred to me that this might just be teasing from Olly Stephenson. What if he'd never gone through it at all? I made a half-hearted attempt at climbing over the wall past the barbed wire but by this time I had lost momentum and decided just to run round the road. To hell with it. Peter tells me now that he did indeed squeeze through the wee gap so I dare say I can. I might go and try it again but this time with a friend nearby.

I had hoped the boys (and Amy) might have caught up by now, but there was no sign of them. It was always possible that they'd passed me without my knowing by using some clever route choice so I wasn't absolutely confident they were still behind me. I had taken my time.

I stopped and looked around at the top of Arthur's Seat and saw a big rain shower coming. Nothing to be done - that was definitely going to hit! Hit it did as I came down the far side of the seat. The cool rain was actually quite refreshing on my hot legs. It was quite a humid and warm day.

The boys must have been not far behind because they were at the top during this shower too. I stopped and took a picture just after it had finished because everything was sparkling.

And then I ran up to Calton Hill, and then ran home. I waited a little while at the top of Calton Hill but I had been out a long time so it didn't seem likely that they were still coming. I think they arrived about 2 minutes after I had left. Then I went to Tescos and Peter overtook me so he was in when I arrived home.

The End. Except the Hibees are back. And they are singing again. How long are they going to spend celebrating that some other people did a good job of something yesterday?

1 comment:

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