Porty presence at Longniddry
(thanks to Billy for photo)
East Lothian Summer Series #2 LongniddryI had noticed with interest there seemed to be a significant Porty presence at ELSS #1. Then I happened to be working in Longniddry last Wednesday and it seemed rude not to join team PRC for the second. Fun and low key. Well it would have been fun only Stuart H was there and the rules are we have to race each other like our lives depended on it. So fun it wouldn't be. It was quite a warm and airless night and I thought it would be like a parkrun but after a hard day's work. In fact it was utterly hellish. After about a mile I was completely soaked and gasping for air, of which there was none.
This was early on as I lost touch with Andy and Stuart got much closer.
Thanks to David W's dad for taking the photos.
David L took the lead from word go and steadily increased it. I ran with Andy for the first half but he began to get away when we left the trail and did a circuit round the perimeter of some field and then a stretch of road back to the trail. Stuart seemed to be getting closer all the time. Then we came upon 2 women on horseback. Only one of them was walking, and leading her horse which I though suggested bad news. It was, and the horse freaked out (technical equestrian terminology) as we approached. The woman leading it asked us to slow down as otherwise we would make the horse worse. You can see how narrow the path is. Andy, myself and Stuart edged around the wide-eyed beast and returned to race pace. I didn't envy the horsewoman as about 50 runners were coming down the path on our heels.
After what seemed like an age we came back to the start/finish area. Mark F who had dnf-ed told me there was 500m to go and that Stuart was 10m behind. I knew if I showed any sign of weakness he'd go past so had to wring out the very last of my dishcloth. It was not pretty. Porty 1,2,3. I could have done with an oxygen mask at the finish. Big thanks to Mike who gave me and my bike (I was cycling to work daily) a lift home. Big thanks to ELSS organisers and helpers. (There were plenty folk posted at junctions to keep us right.) Great series, and good short sharp training, I should try and do the minimum 4 if they fit with work / life / Wednesday evenings.
Le WeekendAnother race-free weekend and after a hard week of cycling to Longniddry and back and working outdoors I was ready to kickback and enjoy just going for a couple of wee outings, with the wetsuits in the van in case we managed to fit a swim in. Saturday started with a downpour so we didn't hurry to get out and into it. By the time we got to Gullane the sun was coming out. Mary had the ten miler in mind: from Gullane through the golf course, over the bridge at Aberlady, along to Archerfields, up to the road and then a traditional tempo dash back the rising road into Gullane. After the rain of the morning there was a good cross section of wildlife out and about and tons of butterflies evading the lens. I was doing inadvertent Billy Mintorvals chasing lepidoptera over fences and fields till they landed, creeping up on them and trying to get photos, then realising Mary was a mile down the beach and I'd have to sprint to catch up. We had shot up on Falkos finest before leaving Gullane so there was quite a bit of shouting and high spirits.
I have to admit to having less than no interest in The Open and so rows of vip cars and their attendant carbon footprints standing in Gullane just makes my heart sad. I know some nice people involved with the thing so I shall not mention others - the tossers in pink Pringle jerseys etc - and leave it at that. We won't be there next weekend.
flies in abundance
There was a mist rolling in from the Forth making it all v atmospheric.
It's strange the way the tide seemed pretty much out here, and yet round the corner less than a mile away the tide on the beach at Gullane seemed pretty much in.
I know, you want to come up on my hand... oh well then.
bastard blue. I think.
Although they don't hang around long enough for introductions.
I know you want on my hand as well because Mrs. Toad got up there.
So after a bit of a tempo run back the last mile or 2 we drove down to the car park above the beach. We had an appointment we were already late for so opted to leave the wetsuits for tomorrow and go in unsuited. It was 14.5 degrees and although cold for that initial immersion, once in, we were comfortable enough to do some swimming and photos.
not tropically warm
It felt liberating to be in the water without cumbersome clothing and I swam out a bit. Quite a temperature difference (about 10 degrees) from the Winter, and when you come out you get that bracing high and vast appetite. We raced home for a quick meal before heading out to celebrate Sue's 50th.
Sunday and we did similar, except in the Pentlands. Parked up at Red Moss, put the Inov8s on (Mary's still to be properly muddied up the hills) then did about 7 miles up to the Kips, back down to Green Cleugh and back, then went for a swim in Threipmuir.
jumping for joy
Fly in Mary's eye.
Back to base.
17 degrees in Threipmuir (air was only 16)
In the car park I was lamenting bringing my Winter Hood and no swim cap. The thick hood felt like overkill on such a warm day. (As were wet suits but we need the practise.) Just then Anna H came past with pals and said she had a spare cap in her car. Perfect timing. I like to wear a cap of some sort to hold in my earplugs. Not keen on water getting in and crackling and popping for 24hrs afterwards. Thanks Anna. The reservoir was low - not sure why - but so low it was no more than chest deep at the centre. I had borrowed Mary's other goggles to see if they were good for swimming. I need to get a bombproof pair for proper swimming. They formed a good seal but look a bit mental and didn't feel brilliant. The search continues.
More swimming today than yesterday. More still required.
Nearly forgot about the Purple Rain. Not a Prince track and film from 1984 (really that long ago?) but the result of a recent Beetroot enthusiasm. I'd heard that beetroot juice is popular with ultra-runners. But really who wants a drink that tastes like a cup of cold mud? I had a yearning for beetroot and found that it goes VERY well on a cheese (and chilli) sandwich. I've had that every day for a week now and find that it not only tastes fabulous but that it colours my life in a way I hadn't expected.
3. A mildly retarded and plotless movie that was essentially a long-form music video of the album.