Tuesday 17th and I was feeling tired from the 3 race weekend. However I have been noticing the flab accumulating round my middle of late and felt a few longer runs would be in order. Weirdly the racing seems unaffected by the inflating spare tyre. The two hard sessions a week, Wednesday at club, and Thursday hill reps, seem to be keeping the speed going, but carrying extra flab never makes you faster. And perish the the thought I eat and drink less. (Especially with a fridge full of winning beers.)
After crossing the bridge at Aberlady I headed into the savannah rather than follow the usual trail to the beach. There were all sorts of pinks and reddish colours in the grasses.
The forecast said get out early as the weather was set to deteriorate through the afternoon. However I was moving slowly and it was 11.40 by the time I jogged up to the station. The plan was to catch a train to Longniddry and jog down to the coastal trails at Aberlady and along to NB maybe Dunbar. I felt a bit of hard work was called for although the nice weather - Summer at last arriving in earnest - would make it all very pleasant.
a bee either side of the depth of field
I got to the station, bought a return to North Berwick, thinking this would cover most options, then realised the next train was 12.43 nearly an hour to wait. The Dunbar train left just after midday and I could be running towards Ravensheugh beach in 30 mins. I bought a single to Dunbar thinking I'd use the NB return to return. Jumped on the train and less than 2 miles down the line it stopped. The train ahead had "struck a member of the public." I cursed as the clouds slowly gathered. It was only quite a bit later that I reflected on how I was lucky to be in good shape physically and mentally and that whoever came in contact with the front of the train was undoubtedly having a worse day/week/year than myself. All the same, a bit selfish to inflict that on the train driver and every passenger travelling down the coast for the next 4 hours. We reversed back into Waverley where I got a full refund on all my tickets (all trains cancelled for the afternoon) and ran to the bus station where I was directed to Leith St and the x24. It came at 1.30 and by the time I got to Aberlady it was about 2 and lunch time.
I had a nice but nasty pasty and a star bar. I had a load of ice cubes slowly melting in some juice in the camelbak. I got going and realised pretty quickly I was not in top shape, readily stopping to look at stuff on the ground and take photos. I took the path out to the grasslands rather than the usual path to the dunes. It was a bit swampy but being less well visited there are often things to see and photo that you don't see elsewhere. The beach was deserted apart from a clutch of elderly nudists pretending to be normal, lurking in the dunes. "Look I'm completely normal here with my cock out."
Just beyond Aberlady Beach but before Gullane there is a little corner of marvelously coloured stones and shells. I have got waylaid here before and it usually ends with Mary leading me away by the ear. In Mary's absence today I got drawn in and lost all conscious reality making little arrangements and taking photos. The sun was dipping in and out of the forecast clouds but it was warm enough to hang around without feeling a chill. At first it seems there is only one or two stones of a sufficiently interesting dynamic but the more time I spent there the more I got drawn into the beautiful objects all around my feet. I wondered later if there had been rohypnol in the pasty. After maybe 45 minutes I realised I wasn't getting much running done, swept the stones off the rock table, raised my eyebrows, shook my head and made to get going. I immediately saw the shell in the photo below and thought "best yet" and was back into the arrangements for another ten or 20 minutes losing all track of time again.
Reluctantly I left the art therapy. I think when you get so absorbed with something that you lose track of time and space out, it is very good for your soul. I don't do meditation but I think it's the same thing. I play musical instruments and get a similar feeling. I think the tiredness today was calling the shots.
It's great when there is sufficient light to get the kind of detail in photos that goes right down to grain-of-sand sharpness. I ran along the coast, stopping regularly, more interested in taking photos of the objects and plants today than the usual landscape photos. I spent 4 hours (and 400 photographs) covering the ten miles from Aberlady to NB getting into the station around 6pm just as the train was pulling in. Perfect timing, perfect day.
First time I have touched a puffin's bill. I had to retreat as the waves were washing over Mr. Puffin and when I returned to take more photos the tide had given him a walking stick, making a John-Muir-reincarnated-as-a-dead-puffin tableau. Nice.