Sunday, 12 February 2017

wisdom of crows

Right, falling behind on blogs so here's a quick catch up: 
2 weeks ago I seemed to survive a parkrun-and-30miler on Saturday followed by 3 hrs in the Pentos Sunday. However, after trying (and failing) to keep up with Rich L on Weds at clubbo my left glute was misbehaving and giving me jip. So I missed Thurs Wintervals. Went for a gentle recovery run up the Seat on Friday and talked to the crows about this and that. They suggested I was overdoing it. But what do they know?

Undaunted Mary and I went to the porty parkrun on Saturday which was deeply unpleasant - early start, windy conditions and generally eyeballs out for 3 laps of a twisty turny course, with a good prospect of hurdling kids in the 3rd lap and going into the Frigging Burn (I think that's its name). About 30secs down on the week before at Cramond. And Willie J went skooshing past with 100m to go. He hasn't done this in a few years and if I was a more generous person I'd say how great a spectacle it was to see Willie get some form back. But that wasn't what I was thinking at the time if memory serves. I am blaming my errant glute until anyone can prove otherwise. 

Mike - far too chipper!

usual suspects

After all that short fast stuff nice to drive to Gullane and do coffee, scones and photos along the coast. Above is a tennis oak in fruit.

The concentration displayed above is because I am trying to point the camera at the right angle to take a selfie in the distorting mirror. I know, it looks far worse.


usual deer in the usual place

This boat could almost be viewed in 2 ways - pointing towards the camera or away to Fife. Given the black cranes disappear behind the bulkhead it must be pointing towards us.

the sun came out briefly

Recently I enjoyed The Outrun, a novel by Amy Liptrot about her life in London and Orkney, mostly Orkney. She mentions the mystical and mostly invisible island of Heather Blether which I imagine looks much like the Isle of May hovering on the horizon and only just there.

Just around the car park at Yellow Craigs there was a splendid cawing in the trees as a large crowd of maybe 100 crows all shouted their good evenings to each other. Mary has a wee video on her blog here.

this was not them but others.

Also on Mary's blog note difference between her photos and mine: ie difference between TZ 35 and TZ 70. Are hers twice as good? Sharper certainly. Boat, deer and better skies.

Tuesday, 31 January 2017

edinburgh alps

I was a little weary on Sunday. Game for a few miles in the Pentlands given the snow and sun, but not delighted to hear Mary was after 12 miles to make up her shortened running week. Even freshly ground coffee out the new percolator didn't give me the usual joie de vivre. And I wasn't looking forward to the queues at Flotterstone since we were late in setting off. The car park would be jammed.

It was but we got lucky and folk were leaving by the time we arrived. No idea why folk prefer the supposed moral high ground of an early morning jaunt when the forecast says the best part of the day will be 1 and 2pm. And it pretty much was. The skies darkened worryingly around Scald Law but then relented and it was fine, more than fine, for the rest of the circuit.

We raced to get up the first hump, Turnhouse in under 25mins, doing it with a handful of seconds to spare. It was Mary setting the route and goals today, I was just along for the ride, and according to some, not in the best mood. I tried to keep quiet, not always managing.

The plan was to run up Carnethy in one go rather than breaking into a walk. Tricky with all that slippery stuff about. I took a random shot over my shoulder which wasn't easy as I was trying to run, and also the camera was on a leash to my pocket (in the event I hit the ground, it wouldn't) so it wasn't able to reach much of a distance, and only really good for shots of my ear.

Mary wasn't far behind.
Her running seems to be on the improve currently. Hurray!

We set off to do the same running-all-the-way with Scald Law as well but quickly came to a halt as we bumped into Joel and Merlin. Should have taken a photo of their better sides.



Now the above (the long arm of the Hunter) is a lesson in why not to stand on the end of a team photo when shot with a wide angle lens as it distorts your fat ass and you wonder if you are really that wide? No, but now it's up on facebook and folk are body-shaming-victim-blaming you. A long arm is good you say, it can grip the edge of the frame and support you on slippery ground. There's only one of us on slippery ground here I hear.

We turned right before the Kips (although did do South Black Hill, so weren't complete slackers) and ran down a different path (from the C5 route) past the sheep folds but then left and round the back of Black Hill. I was defo feeling the miles by this point while Mary was shouting TWELVE at me if I suggested shortcuts or missing hills. My legs were beginning to ease off though and I cheered up once I could see the end was in sight. It was a very pleasant day to be out, almost unbelievably nice after the horrors of the day before.

I always appreciate those reeds at the end of the reservoir and imagine they are home to a number of mottled brown birds that sit motionless while you run past. Never seen any.

Just before the gulch between Black Hill and Bells Hill Mary stepped through the frosty surface into some deep mud. TURD FOOT! Right up and over the sock! Bad luck.

This path again round Castlelaw. Now a firm favourite. Very sploshy though.

And that was about that. Dropped down to the tarmac and ran back to Flotterstone. Lovely run, just a little tired. Slept well though.

map of run
12.5 miles, 3600' ascent
reminds me of a parrot-headed hippo doing a downward dog.