A hard week at work: stripping paper that was far too well put on. 2 layers and both holding on with teeth. I tried to look on the positive - upper body workout and hill training on the ladders but by the time I nearly cut the tip of my finger off on Friday I knew the weekend was long overdue. The blood flowed so fast I had trouble getting the kitchen roll and masking tape bandage on before it was dripping gore onto the pasting table.
As a result there were fewer miles run this week though I don't seemed to have come off the boil as yet. I am waiting for the crown (see top photo) to slip since I don't seem to be doing much more than treading water currently and yet the running hasn't gone back down to the normal level and I'm not sure why. This was underlined today. After a few extra hours sleep to recover from the week (and hopefully shift the cranky mood I have been harbouring - I have to keep off facebook to avoid giving it straight) I wondered what to do with myself today. I did a couple of chores then thought I better get out running before it starts raining and I miss a session.
Some road and trail miles beckoned, up the Water of Leith to the tunnel which is around 8 miles. I plugged in the mp3 to some unusually boistrous tracks and was surprised to crank out a couple of fast miles out the blocks as I have had trouble in the past managing 7min/miling due to the uphill nature of running upstream, with road crossings and dirt paths. After a week of watching very tempting weather out the window I think I was ready to explode up the path and although I carried the camera I didn't take any photos until I got to the tunnel at 8 miles.
Well actually the Garmin said 8.49miles. It had been having trouble getting a signal as we ran under the trees which are covered in a dense Summer canopy of leaves. I think I had previously measured the 8 mile point slightly short of the tunnel so it could be right. Anyway the good news was I did it in 52.38 which is way faster than before. Now could I turn around and keep the same pace downhill? I was a bit warm and wet from the 8 miles so took a few minutes to recover while taking some photos and listening to the marvelous echo/reverb you get facing (uninstinctively) out the tunnel entrance while coughing and spitting.
As I started up again I realised I had been dicking around too long and my legs were stiffening up - it took a mile or so to get back into the pace. I noticed the Garmin was having more trouble with the signal, possibly because I had been messing around in the tunnel. The eventual distance was 16.29 miles which, given I reversed the route exactly, is not 2 x 8.49. Looking at the route plan I see from just after the half way point Mr Garmin thinks I took a straight line going from a 4.29 to a 10 minute mile. Around mile 13 the numbers settle. Sadly I failed to do negative splits by about a minute and 9 secs (I had my stopwatch on as backup.) But I was pleased to get between 16 and 17 out in a good time and just before the rain started coming down properly - in fact it was a pleasant drizzle just as I puffed up MacDonald Road and down Leith Walk. Average pace was 6.32 - not bad given the amount of dog walkers, dawdlers, path-hoggers and cyclists out and about. And I was pleasant to them all.