Both of us had time off on Monday and the sun was shining. Well that's that then. Mary chose Dalmeny since the wind, what little there was, was from the west. Now I am a BIG fan of the estate there, the trees and the beach, but Mary has in the past shown reluctance, possibly because there are a few miles of tarmac to grind out after the trails. However she seemed to have forgotten her aversions and we had a brilliant run.
In the past we have parked up at Cramond or Silverknowes, doing an out-and-back but M had the better idea to catch the train (£4.50 single or something) from Waverley to Dalmeny and then run home. We couldn't remember the distance but took bus fares in case the tarmac from Cramond became too much of a chore. We also took back packs, mostly empty until we took off top layers on the train. I carried some juice and a couple of Stoat's Bars.
It occurred to us only while debating the best way to the Dalmeny Estate that we hadn't ever got off the train to run there before. But after a bit of head-scratching and a bit more debating (that would be the coffee) we found our way down the cyclepaths to the shore road and under the huge stanchions of possibly the best bridge in the history of mankind. It certainly outshines the other 2 next door (the second of which is nearing completion with an efficiency rarely seen in large project building round here. If only those people had been in charge of the Trams project, and Parliament building.)
I was not in a hurry today. Possibly Saturday's long run still in the system. The sunshine was making everything very photogenic and I was dragging my feet. Mary spent the whole run in front and waiting for me. There were just too many good things to hurry past.
I cunningly managed to steer M off the main trail and down the grassy trail through the trees to the beach. The tide was right in and although M complained about running on the soft sand she couldn't deny just how amazingly pretty it all was. We passed a succession of lone individuals looking thoughtfully out to sea. I suggested they had a book of poetry in one pocket and a suicide note in the other. Mary suggested they were more likely rapists.
At Dalmeny House we had a monkey about with a couple of freebie Hoka visors I had been given by Adrian at Run and Become. Now the problem with Dalmeny is the aspect facing the coast faces North and is in shade when the sun shines. We hoped to use it as backdrop for our stagey Hoka promotion. Despite a number of attempts it all came out horribly. We then (with camera on tripod and self timer) did that thing where you count the ten seconds self timer and hope to be running towards and just in front of the camera when the shutter clicks. Not much better.
One of my favourite spots - there is a bank of reeds on the left of this stream and often wildfowl lurking, however Mary was cracking the whip and already way ahead.
After the fantastic coastal paths there is a long drag up to the Cramond Brig, and I wasn't very complimentary about the route which from this point on, is a steady deterioration. However Mary reminded me of the garlic lined paths beside the Almond and right enough on a day like this the riverside trails were pretty lovely. It does get less fantastic though along the esplanade (far too crowded with dog walkers and kids on bikes, and the beach becoming less attractive by the yard), then through the industrial estates of Granton. We had both been getting hungry (too much dicking about) and did well to run past the cafes by the Almond, a £20 note in my pack twitching and shouting SAUSAGES. And then the thought of jumping on a bus and getting home to cook up a big lunch.....
We opted to stop for a quick rest and a Stoat's bar at Cramond. The black headed gulls were half in and half out of winter plumage and as always, up for a bit of hand-feeding. I set the camera to video (three stills below) and Mary laughed at me giving away my flapjack to the gulls while she scoffed hers then let me know she was off and wouldn't be waiting around.
I caught up with her halfway along the prom and it was a horrible reminder of just how awful the parkrun is. I think my gears are currently set up for long distance rather than sprint.
So it was heads down and no stopping (around 13 miles plus one up to the station) till scotmid and some things for lunch. Many things for lunch. All that fresh air gives you an appetite. Black pudding seems to be the current superfood. I had half a notion that since I had done well over 60 miles in 3 days I should round it up to 100 by the end of the week. But I was feeling knackered by Tuesday (fight club on Monday evening after this run saw to that) and what with the deteriorating weather thought better of it. Watching the weather for another potentially long run at the weekend but I may save myself for Gartmorn on Sunday. Pleased with the upturn in enthusiasm and training.