Normally I quite like Run Home Thursday. Running home over Corstorphine hill in the dark after work gives me a frisson of fear and excitement, which helps me forget that I am tired and hungry.
But this Thursday it was a busy, busy day, and as 5.30pm approached hard rain was blattering off the windows. The thought of changing into my running gear was too much for me, so I took the bus home. Maybe it would be good for me to have an extra rest day....
When I got home I saw the forecast for wind though, and realised that taking my bike to work the next day looked like a bit of a no-no. I've cycled to work before in 70 mph winds, but it didn't seem wise at the time. But I couldn't just sit on a bus and go to work and then sit on a bus and go home again could I? I tried to square it with myself. Winter is making me mighty hungry. The only hope I have of not becoming barn-sized is by getting out and exercising fairly regularly. (Although maybe that's what's making me so hungry.) There was no way round it - it would have to be Run Home Friday.
Somehow on Friday I got caught up with myself and I realised by early afternoon that taking a couple of hours annual leave to get out of work before dark looked quite feasible. So it was a delight to burst out the door just after 3.30pm, into a windy but bright day and take on the hill in the light for the first time since last November.
I took a slight detour to see if I could see any zebras in their field (sadly, no) and then dropped down back onto what I thought was my usual path. Imagine my surprise then to go through a kind of doorway (I don't remember seeing this before, Maybe it was too dark?) and then out onto some unfamiliar open hill-side. I was disorientated and half-fearful that I had somehow found my way into the zoo and was right now in the big cat's enclosure!
Fairly soon however I found myself opening a gate out onto St John's Road. Which was exactly where I hadn't meant to go. Now how in the hell did that happen?
That road isn't the prettiest of roads but there was a healthy west wind blowing me along so I enjoyed it all the same.
I also got a rush of excitement realising that it will soon be spring!!! How good is that? Light evenings, maybe even some warmth eventually. Nearly unbelievable.
Today we were going to go and pick up our friend Jane who is up from Cumbria and go to the Pentlands for a recce of the Carnethy 5. It was Jane's idea. I now think the best preparation for the Carnethy is to never ever think about it beforehand. That long calf-burning slog up Scald Law is bad enough without reminding yourself in advance just how bad it is. Peter's views are stronger than mine, and you've probably heard them if you've stood within 100 feet of him on the 2nd weekend of February any year since 2001.
We were going to do it, despite our misgivings, but that weather report...it was saying blizzard conditions at sea-level, 50 mph gusts...what the hell would it be like up on the high tops? We messaged Jane to suggest that a nice run on the beach might be more the thing. She messaged back to say she was glugging wine and yes.
So we picked her up today from a back street in Portobello and magicked her to Gullane in the Berlingo.
I know these are bad but they're all I've got!
Oh look here's a better one from Peter!
When we got there the wind was blowing, well, coldly, decisively, incisively. It was hard to get out of the car. But out we got, and we were rewarded with a fair amount of bright, shiny weather despite the stiff breeze. Jane and I had a good couple of years of news to catch up on so there was much chatting and the run flew by.
At the end of the run we introduced Jane to Falko's coffee and cake. It would have been rude not to join her. Oh my god I'll have to run again tomorrow to off-set that. Is there no end to this treadmill existence of eating and off-setting, eating and off-setting? Actually it seems pretty good. I quite like it.