Wednesday, 29 August 2012

Vampires and blood transfusions

("Nasty bit of artex" you're thinking - "and the stake isn't sharp enough"..picky, picky, picky!)

A nice Wednesday off today, although the weather wasn't. And before you start bitching about all the time I have off I was working on Saturday and Bank Holidays aren't even a thing in my life. So sleeping latish - well till half past 8 was pretty good. The miserable grey drizzly sky was not too impressive but since it was forecast to rain all day I had already made up my mind that I'd be braving it.

I've been feeling jealous and depressed by the antics of those around me. People off doing ultra-runs and having adventures. Not that I want to ultra-run. But I do want an adventure and I do want to plan. It seems like it might be mid-October until I see more doctors and then we'll see if they can fix me. In the meantime I remembered I'm entered for the Aviemore Half Marathon round about mid-October. I might well not be able to do it, depending on what's happening, but I might as well focus on training for it. It was pretty expensive I think. (Although I think Peter paid me in.)

So it seems like one thing I could be doing in preparation for a half marathon is lengthen my runs a bit. 14 miles seemed like a good starting point so that's what I went for today. As it was to be bleak and cloudy and grey anyway I didn't waste any time thinking of somewhere nice to go, and just headed off down the Forth 7 miles and back again. I'll swear the wind played some kind of trick on me, being in my face in both directions.

I was late setting off. I make a general rule, if I'm at home on my own, to get out running as soon as I can after breakfast because otherwise I get caught up in stuff. Today I made the fatal mistake of opening my mail and discovered that for an upcoming session of mandatory training I had to do a module on-line about  blood transfusion. This seemed a bit odd because I'm a psychiatric nurse and I really don't do blood transfusions although I've been accused of worse. (Putting chips in people's brains, you know the kind of thing, I never do that either.) I queried it with the nurse bank and they got a bit terse with me. "What the hell" I thought, "I'll do it, it might be interesting." Its actually just given me more things to worry about. And it took an hour or two. So I set off late. Nothing wrong with that but by the last 5 or so miles it was 7 hours since breakfast and I was absolutely starving. For the last 4 miles or so the skies opened and biblical quantities of rain fell down and the thunder nearly masked the rumble in my tummy.

So I was a very hungry wet thing by the time I climbed the stairs to our door and found that some cheerful, whistling workmen were replacing my neighbour's door and making a right mess at the same time. I had to remove the tools they'd piled up against our door just to get in. However I didn't really mind because they were jolly and asked me if I'd had a nice run and laughed heartily at whatever I said about that. It was only later when Peter came home and went into the toilet that we discovered that they'd somehow knocked a large wooden stake right through my neighbour's wall and into our flat. It looks kind of like someone's been killing vampires next door.

Sunday, 26 August 2012

Heavenly blues and furry thistles.

Peter was off doing a low key hill race with the Corstorphines somewhere in the mid Pentlands this morning so I decided to roll out of bed at a more leisurely hour and go a 10 miler round the coast. I took the camera but I can't stand all the starting and stopping that it entails. Twice I felt I had to stop, once to try to capture the lovely blues of the sea and the sky and again to photograph the furry thistles down at Aberlady bay. That'll have to do!
Perfect day for running - sunny with a light cool wind. Perfect post-run snack of peanut butter and honey on toast.

Friday, 24 August 2012

Rainy Run

Random rainy photo off the www.

A nice run this evening - possibly the best post AF. My legs were  tired and empty to start with. I ran 10 around Arthur's Seat on Wednesday and 4 easy ones yesterday, so this evening going out I was prepared to turn around at 4 miles and make it 8 - but 10 would take my weekly mileage to 30.

2 miles into it I was  heading down onto the east end of the Porty Prom when some overly cautious cyclist behind me kept ringing their bell over and over. "All right, all right, already!" I thought. "I hear you." But it turned out to be my friend Amanda cycling home from work. Last time I saw her was before her birthday when she disappeared up North to look at puppies. It turned out that she was going to go and pick up a new puppy tonight. She was meeting Scott and Horatio at Portobello and driving from there. Her new puppy is called Harris. It all made sense of why she has been randomly posting about Harris the island on her blog. I thought that working for Visit Scotland was finally getting to her.

So the first 3 miles of my run went by v. quickly. I had a stop at Portobello just to say hello to Scott and Horatio and admire their new van - but then a few runners went past and I figured that I could run faster than them so off I went. I'm sorry to tell you that if I pass runners now I am thinking "Hah! I've got a heart condition you know!". I did catch and pass them by the end of the prom. By then I didn't want to stop so carried on to Musselburgh and turned around the man-hole cover just before the Quay-side that marks the 5 and a bit mile marker.

On the way back, what wind there was was behind me, and it was getting a bit later so there was less traffic. There were big boiling clouds in the sky and the sea was  calm and glassy. Then it started to rain - just a little bit at first. I actually thought it could be sea-gulls shitting because there was just the odd discrete large splattering from time to time. I think we were right at the edge of a cloud. The people on the prom had noticed too and were looking up. The drops were so slow in coming and so far apart that the rain wasn't  making anything wet. For the last 3 miles of my run the rain slowly picked up in intensity until it was hammering down by the time I got home and I was soaked through.

It was a really exhilarating and enjoyable run. At 8.36 pace for 10 miles I'm getting a little bit quicker again.

Sunday, 19 August 2012

A Spot of Culture

I thought I best make an effort and stop ignoring the festival today. However, the only thing I had seen advertised that had remotely appealed was a show of the artworks of Harry Hill. It is two floors up in White Stuff on George St. and entirely free.

I feel Harry helps us to ask the question "What the f*$k?" with renewed vigour.

 There's some more info here.

Saturday, 18 August 2012


We headed up to the Lammermuirs today for a change. It was meant to be bright and sunny but ominous clouds were gathering just right above the hills we were heading for as we approached and as we parked up at Blinkbonny Woods a heavy shower was passing so we sat it out.

Starting up the hill into the wind wasn't easy...neither were the first 2 miles in fact. What idea had inspired a super-hilly 12 miler I couldn't really remember. Some notion that maybe hill training at the moment is a bit like altitude training for me so maybe I should keep at it. Also its just nice to get up somewhere high with a view.

As we've noticed before there's more death and destruction in them there Lammermuirs than there is in the Pentlands. Right off we jumped over a dead hare on the path. "That's the start of the body count" quoth Peter. He was joking but it was true. Notable among the dead were a stoaty thing caught in one of the many traps. Notable among the dying was a lovely barn owl with a broken wing.

After 2 miles of climbing and another mile of undulation we hung a left down the road that goes past an empty wooden cabin and then rises steeply past a sweep of huge buzzing pylons. I turned around at exactly 6 miles, feeling that would be plenty. Peter went on a bit to investigate some new windmills just over the horizon.

Along this lonely stretch of road there was a Land Rover parked at the side of the road and just beyond it three men with guns and dogs. We just had to hope they didn't "do" runners. Evidently they didn't.

The rise from the wood cabin back onto the main path felt really hard and only bloody-mindedness kept me from walking. The 2 mile descent at the end is quite a good reward.  The fastest I've moved in a while.

It was nice and hot and muggy for the Haddington Half Marathon today - something of a tradition. We skirted round the edges of it on our way home but didn't stop.

Wednesday, 15 August 2012

Misty midweek coastal run

Waiting to hear anything about when I might see the electrophysiologists is starting to drive me a bit crazy. Having worked in the NHS for some time I feel sure deep down inside that my referral has been lost and in actual fact I am waiting in vain. On the other hand, it hasn't been long (27 days, not that I'm counting) since the cardiologist at the Western said he would refer me - and all of that takes time. I'm trying to be reasonable. I'm a reasonable person not some screaming baby that wants their problem fixed RIGHT NOW!!! Peter said he'd be willing to have a go. We have gear cables from the bikes which he could easily thread up a vein into my heart, pop a soldering iron on the end - we don't have any way of monitoring electrical activity in the heart but we do have one of these things that tells you if there are wires or pipes in a wall before you drill a hole. With a can do attitude and a bit of determination we could fix this thing. If it works we could start a back-street practice.

I am bored and sorry to be whining on about my heart, however, that's just the way it is right now. So today I had a day off and decided to go to Gullane and run around the shore. It was sunny when I set out but by the time I got to Gullane an odd kind of mist was spreading in from the South-East, hastened by a stiffening breeze. At the same time it was stiflingly warm and muggy. I ran into the wind to start with so that it would be at my back along the beach. It was hard going and the pace was painfully slow. To be fair, it would have been slow at anytime. A couple of miles passed and I was enjoying it. The coast is very overgrown and furry. There were a lot of people out and about, mostly with English accents. Polite people and polite dogs.
I did not have a lie down on the beach sofa, for fear of creepy crawlies. Where the hell did that come from?

To my photo-journalistic shame I missed the photo opportunity of a life-time as there was a large, very tanned naked man wandering along at Aberlady beach. When he saw me he turned and looked out to sea. I had to look a couple of times to be sure whether he had white pants or no pants on. It was no pants. I SHOULD have taken a photo, but to be honest I was a bit nervous of him. What if he chased me? My speed is all gone with the heart drugs...But he looked quite picturesque and he had my sympathies. Why shouldn't he run around naked in the warm wind on a deserted beach? I ran past, and then had a look over my shoulder and saw him disappearing into the sand-dunes. The last 2 or so miles were into the wind again. Very hard slog. I tried to be positive about it but its that stretch from Aberlady on the road going back into Gullane. I've run it too many times and its both hard and boring. 10 miles done at I'm not telling you minute miles. If you could all, whoever you are, put out some psychic influence to get me seen at the Royal Infirmary and get a cardiac ablation lickety-split I'd be very grateful. I KNOW there are other people who have more serious problems than me but I am going nuts. That is all.

Sunday, 12 August 2012

Carnethy Run

I dug Peter out of bed earlier than he wanted, to come up to the Pentlands to try a longer run. I told him we'd run up from the red moss car park to Carnethy and he agreed and we both realised later that we'd been saying Carnethy but meaning Scald Law, which is one big hill less. When we got to the top of Scald Law, adding in Carnethy didn't seem that big of a deal though, so we ran to the top there.

All the way along the paths there were lots and lots of people out for a walk with poles. Always a good incentive for trying to run a wee bit faster but looking nonchalant. I felt okay but my legs go a bit numb on the very steep bits. On our return we weren't looking nonchalant so much as very hot and sweaty. Lucky there was plenty to drink in the car. (Peter would say that wasn't luck, but careful planning.) Lucky for me Peter put something to drink in the car. 10+ miles and 2hrs+, I slept like a log last night.