I was going to run a Park Run today. I'm sure I probably told you. One of our championship races is 'any parkrun in February' so I thought I should go and get in some practice, face the boak, all that. But then the weather was primed to be just superb today AND it looked likely to be slippy. Slippy at Cramond would be bad, but slippy in the hills is good. I said to Buchanan that we should get up into the hills before dawn and get pictures of the sun coming up. It would be lavish...
...but early. Not that early, but a bit early for a Saturday. I actually woke up at 5am so could have set the whole thing in motion... Peter will usually comply given cups of tea and a bit of persuasion - but it's been a long week and instead I went back to sleep and felt much more reluctant to wake up at 7am when my alarm went off. There had been a kind of hanging shelf in the middle of a section of Marks and Spencers, and my clothes were neatly folded on it. But I saw some of them had fallen on the floor. I went to pick them up and put them back on the shelf and then they all disappeared. Nothing but a white shelf.....Don't you just hate it when that happens?
Anyway. We didn't quite make the crack of dawn. In fact, we still weren't out the door at 10am. The sky clouded over as did Peter's countenance. Had we missed the best part of the day?
We went to Bonaly this time. There were too many cars up at the top car park. The council guys were just arriving as we did, to open the over-flow parking field, but it was all getting a bit hectic, so we went and parked further down and then went up into the hills from the far side.
There was a tiny bit of bickering but it was warm in the sun and the sky had cleared and pretty soon we were just enjoying it. We hadn't settled on a distance but wanted to get some high tops in to strengthen our hill legs, so we went over Capelaw and skirted round Castlelaw over to the Flotterstone side of the Pentlands.
It was warm on the lower hills on the North side of the Pentlands, but the South was all iced up. The paths were partly packed down by walker's feet, and very icy in places. Peter said he was going to run all the way up Scald Law so I set out to do the same and then surprised myself by falling uphill and being nearly unable to get up, doing a Bambi thing, as I found myself in the middle of an icy bit.
The top of the hills was bitter and we didn't hang about. We went a visit to South Black Hill as it was looking lovely in the sun-shine, but it was a relief to run down the side of East Kip. As soon as we got lower and got some shelter from the wind we warmed up and relaxed a bit. I was finding my appetite for running up hills was waning and was happy to find P was feeling the same way. We took a somewhat lower, perhaps cheaty route, but still ran more hills than I really would have asked for. The miles clicked by.
From just before Harbour Hill we turned left and it was nearly downhill all the way back to the car. My legs were sore so I cheered them up by making up songs in French, about how I had mal aux jambes and mal aux pieds mais je sont un hero tres fort. It was shit French but strangely cheering and took the sting out of the whole thing.
The lowering sun had a pink tinge and lit up the heather something lovely, which Peter has probably captured, but I didn't, because I couldn't be bothered to stop.
We arrived back at the van just shy of 16 miles so ran the last 0.15 for the sake of the OCD.
It's a long time since I've run 16 miles in the hills. My legs are shot, but I am happy.
Oh yeah, and here are some pictures from Thursday evening when I totally failed to capture the magic of the large full moon over the city.