Earlier in the week it felt like autumn was coming...cooler mornings, berries coming out and the flowers disappearing...but this weekend it has been back to summer. Maybe even more enjoyable because it's on its last legs.
The creatures du jour on Saturday were dragonflies. They sat very obligingly for photos too.
The sun came and went but it felt hot all the time and me and Mr B. were sweating profusely.
We used to draw grass like this in primary school.
I thought this rock looks like a seal - Peter says it's a lion with something in its mouth.
Why so angry Mr Crabby?
So then Peter was off to do the Badinsgill Round. I'm tentatively thinking about doing the Pentland Skyline this year and I've been trying to get some hills in - so I thought about doing this too, but I've got a bit of an irritating cough. It seemed more appealing to go out in the Pentlands at my own pace than go and try to thrash out a run at race pace. Plus, despite Peter telling me that Baddinsgill is "a lovely runnable race", I distinctly remember him telling me after he did it the first time that it was really rough under foot.
So I set off for the Pentlands myself, parking at Flotterstone and setting off up Turnhouse from there.
We ran Turnhouse, Carnethy and Scald Law on Wednesday, then ran round South Black Hill and went back the way we came. It was a tester to see how bad it felt. My legs and feet were pretty stuffed by the end of it but it wasn't too bad. It wasn't so bad it put me off. So this time I thought I needed to get round to the lower, rougher hills that are nearer Edinburgh. So I did TH, C and SL, - skipped S. Black Hill (you can get too much of a good thing). I did the Kips and went down the Drove Road and over onto Hare Hill. After a promising start on Hare Hill I lost any trace of a "way". I knew where I was headed - you can get your bearings by spotting the path up Black hill - but I had a nasty, lumpy, sploshy "run" to get there. There must be a better way. I need to go back.
Likewise on Black Hill. It all started so well - all the uphill stuff - and then I think I turned too early and missed the summit and ended up wading about in waist deep heather. Eventually I did find the old path - which was really, really wet. It nearly always is. And then things seemed to improve massively running down the other side. The heather had been trimmed beside the old peaty path that has got horribly rutted from over-use. All was good until half way down or more - and then I kind of lost it again, doing some lolloping through high ferns and hurdling over heather. I came out further right than usual so I was more or less at the bottom of the path that goes up Bells Hill.
Bells Hill was to be my last hill of the day. There were a couple of runners ahead and I made a point of gaining ground on the slower of the two. I could tell he was hating it. It passed the time and helped me to tolerate the horrible calf aches on the nasty steep bit.
Why was the flash going off?
I stopped to try to get a photo of this handsome dung beetle, but he was much too quick for me. Seconds later he's disappeared completely under his dung pile. I guess I could have rooted him out with a finger, and I think Peter probably would have, but I lost courage.
After Bells Hill I took the path down to the road and back to the car park. Easy running except that my feet didn't want me to land - especially on the rocky bits. I tried to reason with them. "How do you expect me to run if I don't ever land?". But they weren't listening. They just kept saying ouch. So I stopped listening to them too. I was wearing Inov8 x-talons and they were beautifully grippy, but they don't give you much cushioning.
So...it's Sunday night again. And there are things to be done...I'm not promising I'll do the Skyline, but it does seem possible so far.