We weren't the only ones who noticed the weather was going to be good on Saturday. Kathy and AGF set off on a skyline at 7.30am. And fair enough their photos have the most blue sky in them. An assortment of Carnethies set off at 10ish and we managed a midday kick-off. I had taken a LOT of water and snacks in case we were out for hours and did the whole route at a leisurely pace. I suppose good training to be lugging a lot of stuff in the newish Salomon skin pro 12+3, though I have to say the buckles of the shoulder straps are a major design flaw once you start carrying a ton of fluids. I am going to get some foamy pads sewn underneath for comfort. Anytime soon. Life is full of little chores like that and never enough hours in the day.
Beautiful weather to set off but what with the weight and the steepness of the hill up from hillend I was feeling neither spritely nor like I was in my element. We have swapped hills for trails in the last few years and although the Pentlands were in nearly perfect condition, ie not soggy underfoot, the day never seemed to be full of easy running or light banter. Mary was not superfresh either. I think both of us had had a long week. I had to postpone a job on thursday till next week as I was feeling tired. I saw a facebook meme saying "I used to be able to pull all-nighters but now I can barely pull all-dayers." True.
Coming off Castlelaw we bumped into these two. Clinging to the fence on the admittedly unpleasant descent. They were the back markers in the Pentland Push, a walk or run or bike event over much the same ground as the skyline. I don't know what time these 2 had taken so far, but I was thinking that they would be pulled at the next checkpoint before they climbed Turnhouse. I asked were they having fun while pointing them in the right direction for the next hill and they emphatically denied it.
As we climbed Turnhouse we passed more Pushers. One lady asked if I could carry her to the top. She admitted she had not done all the planned training. Yes I know that feeling. It feels exactly like the dude we saw a towards the end of the run, boots off and compeed blister pack on the ground beside him, a large flap of skin off his heel.
Descending off Turnhouse Mary decided to call it a day. We had been out for 90mins and she realised she didn't want much more than 3hrs running. So we dropped down towards the burn / Glencorse Reservoir.
Look! Missing wood.
From there we headed up Phantoms Cleugh, or would have but the Push event signs directed us round the side of Capelaw Hill directly to the bottom of Allermuir and so we took this shortcut overtaking a couple of people in the event. It appeared to be well marked and marshalled with checkpoints and well-stocked aid stations in abundance. We even got some goodies from the station near Flotterstone despite admitting we weren't taking part. The weather clouded over and I didn't take many photos from here on in.
There was another aid station near Allermuir and Mary had to pull me away from shamelessly trying to blag stuff. I had a pack full of snack bars but you know how it is when a parsimonious git like me gets downwind of a potential freebie.
This could be the last photo I ever take of those chimneys!
Mary was about right. I would have have gone round the whole skyline but I would not have particularly enjoyed the last third. We clocked just over eleven and a half miles and missed a good deal of the hills. I am a bit concerned I will not be in much better shape next weekend for the 2 Brews. But you never know. It was a good warning - about kit and pace and tight calves. Mercy me!