Saturday, 25 January 2014


Sometimes you have to know when to pack it in.

M was reluctant to leave the good for the bad.

Mary had us up and out early today trying to catch the weather window. However it slammed shut on the way to Pentlands and the rain was already tipping down by the time we stepped out the warm car into the chilly misery.

The plan had been to run up from Balerno via the Drove Rd. to the Kips and then some other tops and down to the Howe and then back up Carnethy – something like that. Medium distance with maximum hill training.

The wind seemed to pick up towards West Kip and by the time we had got to the top it was so strong it was pushing the lashing rain straight through the Montane so-called waterproof jacket I was wearing. I could feel the cold water soaking into and running down the 2 layers underneath and my back and kidneys were getting very cold. I waited for Mary on the other side and said I wasn't liking it. I was hoping she would warm to the idea of cutting the session short. By the other side of East Kip I think she also was feeling the cold and we decided to head away from the high ground.

Although things did improve going down to the Howe, when we turned to head left to Balerno the biting wind was in our teeth again and it was pretty desperate. I realised I was getting hypothermic and needed to warm up so instead of taking my pace from Mary I ran along and back the trail trying to get warm. My new gloves were totally soaked through and my hands were so cold I couldn't flex them to stay warm.. I wasn't wearing enough and was soaked through. We passed a couple of girls in running kit without gloves on pink fingers and yet they seemed ok. However they did have the wind to their backs. With it in your face it felt like running into tin tacks in a wind tunnel.

I kept the pace going – running back and forwards, until we got to Beach Avenue and some shelter from the wind. It was like someone threw a blanket around me. I had been trying to work out (while up in the hills) if it was ok to continue or best to suggest heading to the car. You have to imagine how things will pan out in the next 30 minutes as the car is at least that far away. I think we just about got it right today and I was glad I didn't just try to tough it out. (And I really need a new waterproof.) Mary seemed not to get as cold as quickly - perhaps her waterproof top worked better than mine, although by the car we were both shivering uncontrollably and it took quite a lot of effort to change into dry clothes and get warm, with the heater turned up to full the whole way home. Not a good day out.

It would be good if the weather improved tomorrow for the cross country although it won't be as high and exposed as the Pentlands. Normally I take 200 photos while out in the Pentlands. Last week in the crappy weather it was 40-odd. Today 13. Mostly the camera stayed in its case and poly bag.

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