Thursday, 28 September 2017

The Mouse that Honked

It's been a kind of fairy-tale week. So much so, I don't think I can hold it until the weekend. I have to go out to work soon but I thought I'd do a spot of blogging first.

As you know we had a fine Pentland's Run last Saturday. On Sunday we went to Gullane and despite sore legs I was feeling kind of peppy, so I kept raising the pace. On Monday my legs were protesting pretty loudly - particularly the outside of my right knee, so I went for a "recovery" run - which I enjoyed - but when I got home I started to stiffen up...and stiffen up.

I don't know if I had the flu or a fever too but come night time I could barely walk for the pain in my legs and for some reason my right wrist had joined in the game and was really sore too. I had to be up at 5.30 for work - and  I did get up, but getting out of bed wasn't easy and neither was making breakfast and then when I thought about the task of carrying my bike down three flights of stairs and cycling the 7 miles to get there I realised that this just wasn't working out.

So I had a day rattling around the house, or maybe hurpling around. I was too sore to enjoy skiving and too bored and sore to sit for long.

The flat smelled - the Pentlands were very boggy and we'd both come home with wet, dirty shoes, which we'd plonked on the rails of a ladder in the hall. Peter had left his crusty socks there too. He sniffed them and blanched. They were the prime suspect for why the flat was just so smelly. We contained them in the washing machine until a wash went on - and things eased up a bit.

By Wednesday I was a bit more mobile - nothing startling - but I managed to take my bike to the Telferton sorting office to pick up some non-delivered parcels. It's amazing how a day on house arrest recalibrates your idea of novelty. I really enjoyed my 7 mile round trip - the smell of MacDonald's chips at Seafield and the sea-breezes at Porty. I was cycling at glacial pace and hurpling when I got off, but at least I could get out the door.

When I got back to the flat though, it was still smelling. We'd emptied the bins, those socks had been dealt with...what could it be?

Well you already know the end of the story. I said to Peter last night "you know it smells like when we had a dead mouse before". He went out for a run. I was still too broken to attempt to sort it. I figured it was behind the fridge. For some reason that's where they go. Maybe it's because it's warm.

So today I didn't bounce out of bed but I can bend my right leg to nearly 90 degrees. "Fucking A" I hear you say. I know!!! The sun is out and I'm getting better. Hopefully I'll be running by the weekend. My wrist has stopped hurting too. I don't know what its game was.

So I felt big and strong enough to take a torch and look behind the fridge.

And there he was. Poor little lamb. I managed to get him out with the brush and shovel and he left a little wet stain on the shovel. RIP you smelly little sausage.

Monday, 25 September 2017

And then Gullane

So it was nice to climb back down from the hills to sea-level. There's a lot more variety.
For some reason I kept doing sprints though and by evening the side of my right knee was way sore. I went out a run today and running in a straight line at an even pace is okay but dodging from side to side and slowing down rapidly are out. So I nearly had to mow some people down.

Legs or hot dog sausages?

I'm going to leave what happened yesterday up to your imagination as the low afternoon light is making it hard to see my screen and regret the number of times I've sneezed while eating porridge and looking at facebook.

Sunday, 24 September 2017

And then another 2 hills.

If you've been around much for the last few weekends, it's a bit more of the same. Saturday was going to be sunny, so that would be our Pentlands day. Unusually, come Saturday morning, Peter was at me to get going early. I could see his logic as the sun was supposed to be out earlier, but it wasn't a particularly welcome thing. I'd had a busy week.

I couldn't fix on any particular plan - I thought maybe we should just go to Hillend and do the whole Skyline and be done - but it was a vague kind of default plan. When we got to Hillend, the car park was already stowed out - so we went on to Flotterstone. With it being just a bit earlier than usual - late morning - we got parked easily and set off into the hills.

Because I was feeling particularly tired from the week, I topped up my caffeine levels with a Costa coffee and a date slice just before starting. I think I should adopt this strategy for race day, because I was actually high as a kite for most of the first half of the run. My legs were feeling strong.

Over the course of the route I formulated a plan - which was to do what we did last weekend but throw in Allermuir and Castle Law for good measure. So that's what we did. We'd made a point of running all of most of the big hills, so my legs were done by Castle Law.

I noticed the full moon hanging in the sky the other night. Looks big doesn't it?

I'm a bit worried I've peaked too soon, because I can't imagine feeling any better come race day.
I guess what does it matter? It's not like I'm going to win. It would be nice to have a good race though...

Monday, 18 September 2017

A few hills more...

On Satuday Peter was going on the Carnethies' equinox run. "More of an aquanox run" I quipped wittily as he ran out the door into the rain. "More like an alconox run" I further quipped as he came in, slightly the worse for wear, somewhere around 9pm. How had I stayed so witty all day?

Well I'd initially thought I'd go for a hill run myself earlier in the day - but that hadn't happened - and the weather got less and less inspiring, so I went for a canter round the Seat and settled in for the rest of the day with a pile of books beside the sofa, where I lounged and ate snacks...

Sunday was looking a whole lot better - on paper anyway. But come the morning the skies were all grey and we had a hell of a job getting going. And so it was well after 2pm when we rolled into Flotterstone car park. It started to spit with rain and I gave Peter the option of us just calling it day - driving home and forgetting all about it - but he wasn't for it.

Once we got moving we were grand. Peter was a bit less sprightly than usual because he had run c. 16 miles the day before and was also somewhat delicate. This made me feel better in comparison.
Pretty soon the rain packed itself away and we got hesitant sunshine from time to time for the rest of the trip.

Just after Scald Law Peter noticed two runners were suddenly on our trail, if not our tail. They were moving fast and I thought they must be super-fast if they had suddenly caught up to us like that. We made it our business to stay ahead as long as we could. I was the limiting factor, obviously. To our surprise we held them off all the way to Hare Hill. I was nearing the summit (Peter was already there) and I realised there was someone panting just behind me. He passed and said a courteous hello. I was at pains not to let on I was panting. "This is just a slow jog for me!" I said with my demeanor, while my mouth said "hello" back.
After they'd passed we could relax again. We'd packed away some goodies and some juice so we had a sit on a wet hillock amongst the sheep poop and gathered ourselves.

I'm supposed to tell you that Peter was eating a peanut protein bar at this point. Hence the funny face. He was at a low ebb though, declaring he didn't like running uphill or downhill. Hearing this made me feel oddly good - like I could run forever.

After Capelaw Hill it was pretty much all down hill, and the team were happy with themselves. Everything lit up with the low evening light.

Peter tells me this sheep was giving me "an old-fashioned look". Any insights on this?

So 14 miles, and 4000 feet. My longest hilly training run for a while. The Skyline should be alright after that shouldn't it?

Afterwards, on Strava, I figured out that the guys who had passed us had come up Scald Law on the Carnethy route from the A702. No wonder they were fresh! I assumed they'd been running at that speed all the way from Hillend.

Anyway - I was very sore this morning, but I have been for a deep tissue massage this afternoon and now I feel great.

The End.

Tuesday, 12 September 2017

3 Day Weekend

Because of...reasons...I happen to have three day weekends at the moment. Sometimes I have to do stuff on a Monday...but I didn't this Monday. Don't for God's Sake tell anyone who wants anything. I haven't enjoyed myself so much for years.

On Saturday it looked like it was going to be the best weather of the weekend so we headed for the Pentlands. I was trying out new Inov-8 x-talon 225 shoes. I was a bit worried about how insubstantial they are, and my feet were sore after 12 miles of hilliness - but the grip was just great.
I nearly burst myself running up Turnhouse, trying to get a new PB. But I got it. After that I settled down. Peter was bouncing up the hills with great ease. I haven't heard him say he "can't do hills" for a long while. I wasn't as good as him, but I was okay. I can definitely feel the difference after a few weekends up there in a row.

We set off late and finished late and got home to a house-full of dishes and undone tasks.

On Sunday it was forecast to rain and we were just going to run locally and maybe do stuff at home - but the sun came out and we both quite fancied seeing the coast so we jumped in the car.
The brighter weather didn't last long. We spent most of our time mooching about in the woods - which we both enjoyed. Then got a soaking and high-tailed it back to the car. 4 miles at 11 min/mile pace. Impressive!

So on Monday obviously I was going to do something else, you know, maybe tidy up or hoover or something. But it was looking sunny and without meaning to I hatched a plan to run over some hills in town and wind up down at the Botanics for a cup of tea and a scone or something. The minute I mentioned the Botanics to Peter his tail started wagging. He loves the place and has a new camera he wants to try out on things. So off we set. There were some minor disagreements along the way about my choice of route. Well it was my run. My run, my route. But we got over it.

We both had a cheese scone at the Botanics and they were MIGHTY heavy and not cheesy enough. So that was a little disappointing. And apparently the girl had her hand inside Peter's cup before handing it over. But when we got over to the Buddleia and it was hoaching with Red Admirals all that was forgotten. We had a right old wander around all over. It's a fantastic place. I don't know why I used to think it was a bit boring and for oldies.