Monday, 18 March 2013


Received wisdom seems to be run with a cold but if it's in your chest, time to pay attention and get well. The cold I have had for what seems like a month now, was not improving, and after last weekend's adventures seemed to be getting worse and I was coughing lung-glue. Not nice. Time to get it sorted. I didn't run all week missing club on Wednesday. On Friday evening I did a mostly restrained run with Mary, with head torches round Darker's Seat. At times I was ahem “forced” to up the pace and overtake a couple of other runners and for the brief acceleration and crushing victories I felt fine. But most of the run I was spitting Hughie Green and blowing gunk out my nose. Mary ran the 10 mile loop, and by running ahead and returning regularly I added a couple more. Thing is, was I unwell enough?

2 choices: run Alloa with a slim chance of doing a reasonable run (legs fit, lungs ropey), or not turn up and save myself the grief of a below par performance watching about a dozen runners I should be up there with running off in the last 5 miles, me spluttering and jogging. It was this last vision that nailed the coffin of Alloa shut. I knew a load of folk who would be around the 1.20 mark were running and I reckoned I would be lucky to go under 1.22. Its not a shameful time but is there any point in going along to a race and turning in a (comparatively) tepid performance. Also every time I run hard I feel it extends the life of my cold by another 3 days. If I want to shift this before October I have to stop overdoing it.

As a compromise I thought a long run Saturday (gentle) and a long run Sunday (with Mary) would keep the fitness ticking over while maybe allowing my cold to leave the building. Looking out the window on Saturday pretty much knocked that idea on the head. Filthy weather of the highest order. Maybe I need to give this cold more recovery. On Sunday morning the same diagonal sleet. I wondered how Alloa was going. 

We saw these three parallel tyre marks for miles along our route. At first I though tricycle, before realising it was much more likely a baby jogger - which shows my preference for bikes over babies. Obviously an experienced navigator as they left and joined the beach at all the right (most efficient) points, we followed the tracks for a considerable distance wondering who had come this way and at what speed.

We had the reassurance of the weather forecasts (hah!) that the weather would be fixed by 3pm and positively sunny by 5. Mary had wondered if she would be fit for the Sunday run having hurt herself (or pulled something) getting out a chair. We had planned to get a train to NB and run towards Edinburgh until the (lack of) scenery or exertion forced us back onto a train at Musselburgh or the Pans. However with Mary's latest self-harming threatening to reduce our Sunday ultra plans to a 5k, we thought it wise to drive to N Berwick and run along the coast till we felt half done, then return to the car.

bark of the platypus tree

Mary, tyred

The random hole patterns here imply hand drilled rather than manufactured. What and why remain a mystery but someone went to a bit of trouble. I'm guessing drainage? I liked its visual interest.

We enjoyed the drive. Then got out into the cold weather, which, thanks met office, was brightening considerably. We ran slowly along the beaches with the tide out. Neither of us were feeling very lively, though we agreed it was potentially very nice. I began to loosen off and felt a bit better after a couple of miles but it was definitely a heavy gravity day. I had felt overdressed early on, then later rather glad of all the layers as the sun disappeared behind a big black bank of foreboding clouds.

Centred on the horizon you can just about see the Forth Bridges. But only the top halves due to the curvature of the earth.

Distant snow covered Pentlands.


Sunshine glints off the rooftops of the Granton Riviera.

It was around this point we got to Gullane. Mary threw in the towel and said she wanted to turn around. The idea had been to take the beach to Aberlady have a coffee (if the machine was fixed) and run back on the road. I suggested since we were reducing the 18 miles to 12 we at least return by the beach. The tide was coming in so we returned via the woods. Sadly some of the tree trolls have been dismantled. Or vandalised judging by the broken shells on the ground.

sad faces of tree trolls

Around the point I was thinking about getting out the polybag for the camera the spitting rain eased and the sky brightened. The rain stayed off and things improved a bit. Back at the van we saw Ben had parked his car right beside ours. We reckoned he wouldn't have noticed, and could see over his back fence he was sitting in his kitchen so popped in for a cup of tea. His Fling training is mainly 1.5 long runs every weekend. He invited me to a long vaguely unpleasant sounding run next weekend mostly on roads. I have a feeling my cold may not be fixed by then.


The last of the sunshine on NB Law

Kemp kids Reuben and Donald


  1. Hey PB! I think I was just ahead of you guys on Sunday! I ran NB to Alison's along the coast. Lonesome and not long enough. Clocked 33 miles for the week. I should be churning that out everyday at the weekend!

  2. We would've been in touch but plans were changing every hour as we watched the weather. Hope to catch up sometime soon. I meant to mention to Scott that Law Cycles in NB have fat bikes for sale and no doubt for a trial ride if he wants to inspect one up close. Then he can come along on coastal runs. Just need a basket for H on the front.

  3. Great Coastal pics Peter -:)

    Always a few fat bikes along the coast here at weekend!

  4. Might take you up on that Bruce.
    Pal Scott thinking about buying a fat bike - advice and a try out required - while he recovers from a mashed ankle running injury. I will find what days best, Fridays and Sundays I think. If the sun ever comes out again!
    see you later