Tuesday, 22 April 2014

someone left the sun on

Sunday 20th

Some of Friday and Saturday's splendid weather (bright but cool) spilled over into Sunday where it was not supposed to be but where it was very welcome. As was Mary's invitation to do a ten miler around Gullane, Aberlady and Archerfields.



Mary noticed the beauty of this pot which might have made the journey home were it not for the potential history of use.


Regularly there are deer here.


Just noticed the similarity of shapes of the photos above and below.



beach hat
(Did I check to see if the owner was wearing it? No.)

Aberlady was deserted, (after I had cloned out a passerby.)




Next in the series of mental dogs: 
this was a young and exuberant Spaniel that would chase gulls it didn't have a hope of catching. 





Someone carrying a bigger camera than myself!
If I had seen sooner this dude was running with a full size DSLR I would have been over to congratulate him. 



Mary doing an impression of John Cooper






The ankle (sprained on Friday) was okay - I was careful not to put too much pressure (speed over rough ground) on it. However both M and I were below par and settled for 9 of the ten proposed miles. We had a pretzel from Falko's and enjoyed the unforecast sunshine. 

There was an event on Monday, a celebration of John Muir and the John Muir Way, though weirdly the event seemed more about costumes and beards than walking and running. The only attendees of the running event - from Dunbar to N Berwick - were Amanda and Lucy. I was nearly disappointed I hadn't gone along as it sounded very strange (running with rucksacks and flags and no water at finish, and just the 2 of them,) and there were a few funny outfits (people dressed as fish and trees) and bordering on wicker-man territory. As a fan of strange photo opportunities and the John Muir Way it might have been good fun although I got on with some overdue things and into the working week.


Monday, 21 April 2014

deja vu already

very good friday


It seems a long time ago that I was struggling through last week. A midweek deadline meant I worked two 9 hour days then 12 hours on Wednesday. I finished the job just before lunch Thursday. However all those hours left no time or energy for running, so unusually, the first run of the week was on Thursday evening with the Carnethies. Since it can no longer be called Wintervals, Mary suggested (Jimmy) Summervilles.


Jim, Olly and I thrashed ourselves round the sunny Seat. Minimal attendance but maximum effort. I had noticed the forecast for Friday was excellent and had meant to save my legs for the 30miler I planned. Foolishly I forgot to do this and when I got off the 11 o'clock train at Longniddry I felt neither fresh nor that 30 miles would be a likely plan. The week had definitely taken a toll. However the brilliant weather (totally blue skies but not too warm) helped restore the spring in my step.


Just down the road and at this junction I waited to see if Mary would appear. She was doing a road run out from Edinburgh and had set off a couple of hours earlier. I knew she would be close but was she ahead or behind? I thought about asking a cyclist if they had seen a runner, but in the time it took to say hello and make chit chat they had gone past.



I saw a runner and considered asking her but she was going no faster than Mary and so it was unlikely she would have overtaken her. As I went past she (Claire from Dunbar - out doing Ed Mara training,) recognised me and we chatted briefly.



Three and a half miles in and I stopped at Aberlady. Far too early for a pit stop really but as I say I was a bit knackered and felt I should do all I could to raise spirits. Some caffeine drink and 2 pastries and a sit in the sun on the wall and text Mary. Who replied saying she was half a mile away. I was impressed she didn't stop (she had her sights set on coffee and pretzel at Gullane) and we ran together for half a mile to the bridge at Aberlady where we parted company. I was doing the trails and beaches, Mary, roads.




Over the bridge and the harshness of the week began to fade. I kind of made a deal with myself not to take the same photos I took less than a week ago on pretty much exactly the same run. I had tried to think of alternative routes but couldn't think of anywhere I'd rather be, and what with the lack of miles since last Saturday I felt I should be cranking out about 30. This seemed the best place to do it. So I'd try to vary the blog scenery - or just not take so many snaps. 501 last week was too many. But with the sun blazing and the Spring flowers peeping out, everywhere you looked was a picture. I took a left off the main track into the savannah to see if I could spot any herds of antelope and gazelle.



first dead thing of the day


I went out to the subs. Partly because they make a fine spectacle but also to add a mile to the distance. I was a bit concerned the route today would be shorter than last Saturday and I might get to the train at 29.something miles and have to do a few laps of the car park.





a submarine - pretty much fulfilling it's remit



With the tide being so far out there were a couple more wrecks available. As I was taking this photo I saw the crow fly in from the right and was pleased to catch it about dead centre of the boat.





Paradoxically unusual to find a fish on the beach.
This one was giving me the eye.


I have started trying to capture (photograph) mental dogs on the beach. More to follow.


I thought I heard someone call my name and sure enough when I turned around Emma (HBT) was there. Her man had run to Gullane while she drove with the kids (they had not hollered at Mary on the road driving past!) and she was going to run home. Meanwhile there was important paddling to be done.





Sirens luring Pringles onto the rocks



The Loch Ness Monster on its holidays.



I stopped for lunch in North Berwick - same as last time. I struggled not to take photos of the birds and the fritillary. There was a chill wind blowing through the park area and aviary. I put on a jumper I had and a hat and it was with reluctance that I removed them before setting off again. The can of Monster energy drink and the climb up to the Law seemed to combine to warm me up. I was going to let myself off with not climbing the Law - I was trying not to think about how the hell I would get another 15 miles in before returning to the station along the road. However I couldn't resist the thought of the views, and as always, it was well worth it.





There were loads of butterflies sunning themselves on this dirt path but they were all pretty flighty and I gave up trying to get close to any.



Ok this is a sign I have posted a photo of - but I like it (and gave it a different treatment.)


This is the view from the other end of the first photo from the Law summit (with the same farm.)


Now, I used to stand like this when I had violin lessons at school. The teacher, whose name escapes me, would tell me to stand up straight like a man! 




A trail of dead gulls followed me inland. No doubt a fishy dinner for Mr. Foxy.



I am immune, I try to be, from a lot of standard boys-toys heart flutter but this is the dog's biscuits, isn't it?


Traprain Law





goose hotel


Across the nature walks at Newbyth and into Binning Woods. It occurred to me I was about to visit my father for the second time in 7 days - something he never managed with me from about the age of 6 This thought made me laugh out loud and I'm sure he enjoyed it also if he tuned in. So while nodding hello in his general direction I decided to take one of the smaller more trail like paths through the woods in search of different adventures and photos. I'm not sure if it was just the Monster drink but I was delighted by the narrow grassy trails winding through the trees and the dappled light on the floor. I took loads of photos, stopping every 100 yards, and have to say was rather disappointed about the results. So only put these 3 here. I must go back "sober" and check it out.  




There is something more-than-the-sum-of-the-parts about running through mature woods on a sunny day - the smells and bird song, the shadows cast on the ground, the pine needles and reverberations of footfalls. Maybe you can't capture it in a photo.



This gate cost me dear.

So I am running along Limetree Walk on the way to the beach and I see the above gate. I think it might make a photo (If only I hadn't bothered) and without noticing, I am slewing over to the edge of the tarmac and my foot steps mostly off the 3" drop and my ankle (bending horribly) shouts PAAAAIN up my leg where it bounces around my brain, and I hobble to a dead stop. I sit on a branch and take my shoe off and rub my foot and ankle for 10 minutes, cursing. This is what happens when you are tired and not paying attention. Recently I have been going over on this ankle - did it 4 or 5 times last run but never like this. After a while I gingerly get up and walk and then run. I am counting the quickest way back to NB station and it is about 10 maybe 12 miles. (It is less than 8 to Dunbar but my ticket is for NB and I am not for wasting money.)


for Scott (hurry and win the lottery!)





Next problem - the tide is in and it's a high one. Looks like a hike along the dunes rather than the comparative flat of Ravensheugh Sands. Now, be careful of that smouldering ankle.


The dunes were a revelation as they gave a superb view east and (below) west and it was enough to take my mind off the pain. Just a fabulous evening. I wasn't the only one to appreciate it: down in among the trees there was a couple of tents and a group of folk with campfires / BBQs. 




And this yappy little son-of-a-bitch, who had the good sense to stay well out of kicking distance.





With the tide so high the Peffer Burn was never going to be easy. I went upstream to the first bridge intending to return to the coast. However, crossing the bridge I was remembering the obligatory rockhopping towards Seacliff, and decided to see if there was a trail/tarmac option.





There was and much of it was very smooth like this: a blessed relief, I even put in some 7min mile pace. It was after 6pm, approaching 30 miles and I was aiming at the 7.20ish train. I was fairly sure this concrete road type was the same as exited Seacliff and that I would join that road, which I did. From there I stuck to the pavement into NB waving bye-bye to the track towards Tantallon this time.






There's a long straight section of road where the cars take advantage of the opportunity to speed up and kill the locals. 



Fidra and Lamb off North Berwick. 


Ok this is also one I already took but what an evening! 


And then a pheasant slowly walked across the road and I thought I was about to witness something horrible but no, the driver slowed his car as did the one behind and the daft bird continued blissfully unaware of his brush with death. He then visited his pal (terminally residing on the roadside) and no I don't think there was any reflection or insights going on there. More traffic coming and I had to scare the thing away from the road before someone got killed. 


evolution



When I got to Tesco's to buy the traditional Peach and Apricot sparkling water (1lt ~ 49p) I was served by Easter Bunny Andrew.


Anticipating a train around 7.20 I jogged the last mile from Tesco's. Had I known there was a train at 7.01, I could have easily made it. Instead I saw it, a dot disappearing into the distance. Trying to make the most of the 20 wasted minutes I took some selfies in the waiting room bit and changed into a dry shirt, hat and jumper and shook the sand out of my shoes. All of which insured I had the sauna-like glass house to myself.




However it was great that I missed the 7.01 as I would have also missed this lovely scene and the Sun Dog out the train window which appeared for less than 10 minutes around Prestonpans. I have only ever seen 2 or 3 and it was a great finish to a brilliant day. 


A sun dog is a "coloured patch of light to the left or right of the sun, at the same distance above the horizon as the sun..."



32 miles (plus 1 to Waverley and 1 from.) I managed to limit myself to 617 photos this time.