Mary thought we should hit the Pentlands today. We have a number of testing races approaching and we both need some hills in the diet. We opted for a variation of the route I did with Ben in the snow recently. Start out from Flotterstone, run the high tops then drop down to the Howe before East Kip and run along the reservoirs until the turn off for Bonaly. Capelaw and Castlelaw then down the road to Flotterstone.
The car park was hoaching. We thought we might have to try elsewhere until Ian Campbell HBT saved the day. He had finished his run and let us take his parking spot. I think the idea of one last opportunity to fulfil a new year's fitness resolution had swept the city and all the hill- and dog-walkers were out today in the warm but overcast weather. The sun nearly broke through but I think it was being hampered by the low clouds squatting on the South ridge of the Pentos.
Bumped into these 2
Mary felt the first hill, Turnhouse, quite testing but in no time had aclimatised and was enjoying a blast up and down the next few peaks. I tested my hill-abilities by running the next 3 climbs, Carnethy, Scald Law and South Black Hill each in a continuous effort without walking.
Play misty for me
Usually you get mist OR wind. Today seemed to offer both although the mist was more low cloud. By the time we got past Scald law we were no longer descending out the low cloud and the wind on the west sides of the hills was a refreshing blast. Only descending from South Black Hill down to the Howe did we emerge into a brighter day with patches of blue sky to the North.
Down the tarmac which always goes on longer than we'd prefer. I mostly wear my Hokas these days but steep hills call for Inov8s and its a relief to get off the road and back to the (very) muddy grass. We headed up Phantom's Cleugh rather than Maiden's as the day was darkening. Turning right, up the hill before Bonaly we enjoyed views over the city and down towards East Lothian before skirting around Castlelaw and back the quickest way.
Another 12 miler. Neither of us carried drink or food today – travelling light at this time of the year works fine. We were out for less than 3 hrs. A hot flask at the car and a couple of bananas each got us home in one piece. Back to the daily grind now though. I do feel we have made the most of the break, and I go into 2013 feeling strong and up for it.