Sunday, 24 November 2013

return to Harrison Park

Just as I was getting into bed last night I remembered I had to finesse the fix on my road shoes. Hoka Bondi Bs are great shoes but I see from photos on their website they made the uppers just a smidge too lightweight and they have a tendency to tear at the creases. Mine were starting to do this so I bought some Shoe Goo (transparent) and glued them before my toes began to press through the upper. This seemed to work well but I noticed when I tried them on afterwards I could feel a ridge of glue inside had got through from the outside and required removing. I gave it a quick sand down and put some lengths of tape over. This morning they felt fine on the cycle up to Harrison Park and for the first 10 miles. If it wasn't for the sand and tape last night there would have been blood. I shall further refine the smoothing of the ridge before the next long one though as today I developed a hot spot there.

Nicola ran to the start and home afterwards adding 5 miles.

Like yesterday the sun was reluctant. And so was I. However due to yesterday's run being a bit below threshold, and Nicola saying on Wednesday she was thinking about doing another Harrison Pk I decided it was obligatory. Didn't even check the forecast. Mary brought me bed-tea at 7.30 (too kind!) and I had a solitary slice of toast, which I was hoping was fuel enough (on top of last night's dinner) to get me round the 16+ miles as well as the cycle there and back. I arrived in plenty of time for a stretch and warm up and there were ten of us set off shortly after 9am.

and we're off

It was so dark the flash was going off when we were among the trees. I am used to carrying the (compact) camera running and try not to get too much snot and spit on it, but it always seems to get a bit steamed up on cold longer runs and the shutter stops opening fully and the pics are mostly rubbish. Occasionally the odd happy accident which is fun but mostly it is a 1 in 5 proportion of "interesting" to straight-in-the-bin. Especially when running at speed. If the shutter opening coincides with the footstomp then the pic will be shoogly. So I take lots and weed out (most of) the dross.

I love this. Much more lifelike than with the flash...

It appears we ran all through the night

As before, the run started at chatting pace. We follow the canal then cross Lanark Road and track the Water of Leith to Balerno. (Going past the street end of Doug Runner's place - didn't notice that last time.) I like to get towards the front of the pack for the long steep hill, after turning left off Blinkbonny Rd, up to Harlaw Rd. and was pleased to top out in the first half of the group. Bit of a recovery on the flat along to the left hand turn to the car park - if you have opted for the 16miler. All 10 opted for that today. Last time it was just Gareth, Nicola and myself although we didn't relax or drop the pace. I had heard the pace traditionally is raised in the last few miles. Last time I had got slower not faster, so felt I should probably crack on while still feeling relatively unscathed.

the big hill up

at the top

heading into the Pentlands

Back to the Water of Leith path.

And so I found myself leading the group down from the Red Moss car park and through Balerno, and was still ahead as we turned onto the WoL cycle path. How long could I keep the lead? Not long, as the dude in the green shirt went past easily. I was expecting another 8 at any point but as yet couldn't hear the voices and footfalls. Next was the guy I had been running with for a few miles. It was his fist time back in a while and it seemed to be going slightly faster than he was anticipating. We matched each other's pace, and I had every reason to try and stick with him as the bag I had cycled with, was in the boot of his car.

first passed


note: ice forming on canal (apart from at the aqueduct, weirdly)

no prisoners being taken

I was certainly feeling the pace now, but it was all passing quite quickly and shortly we crossed the Lanark Road again dropping down to the canal side. I was very pleased to be ahead still of 7 folk (not that it's a race mind!) although again that didn't last long. Just before the aqueduct there were footsteps and a cloud of dust as Ray and another went past. I could hear more behind me as we got onto the aqueduct and I hoped they had the patience to not overtake until we were off the bridge. Another 2 were past and although I briefly went with them, it was a lost cause and I was happy to follow on at a more sedate pace. I think I counted 6 ahead when I stopped - very grateful to turn the last corner and recognise the last bridge. I think I did around 1hr48m for 16.35miles, 3 minutes faster than last time. I retrieved my bag, changed out of sodden tops, and went off to unlock my bike and cycle slowly home for breakfast part 2.

Nicola had a great run yesterday at Alloa xc.

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