Tuesday, 7 June 2016

lamm chops

So the weather was set fair for Sat~Mon. I thought I might do June's TB run on Saturday until Mary suggested the 21mile Lammermuir circuit if I was interested. I was. So hastily postponed the long run until Monday and fished out the sunglasses. 

To pass the time on the drive to the hills we fell into discussing my foibles and attitudes; and Mary segued into professional therapist mode. While it was quite fun it may take many "sessions" before I am cured and half of that would be to work out from what. I'm not convinced there is a what but that's probably the nature of therapy. And it is certainly in the interests of the therapist to not only show there is a what, but also to show there is necessarily a what not. Unless she is doing it it in her spare time. And unpaid.

However the most telling comment today was not offered in a professional capacity. I bought a small running vest and was christening it on this run. It has a texture that is not unlike a reptile skin. Says Mary, "you look like a fat snake." Some therapist.

Talking of snakes I had already named this run the Great Snake Hunt chapter 2. (Or maybe 3). The sun was blasting down and the snakes and lizards would be sat in deck chairs either side of the trail. Just keep your eyes peeled and camera ready. 2 guesses what we saw nothing of. (Unless you count me. That still hurts. I need counselling.)

cut the corner off the tarmac by taking this quad bike trail.

The next section along the road to Carfraemill is the dullest bit and the hardest part of the run. Lack of interest and it goes on for a mile or 2 longer than you would want. The upside is at the end we get a coffee in the Carfraemill Hotel around the 9 mile mark. This gives us a breather and a boost that lasts well into the second half of the route and back up into the hills. Mary said early on what if it's closed? and I dismissed this with a shake of the head. Why would a hotel be closed mid-afternoon on a Saturday?

When we got there it was closed. A wedding party had just arrived and the bar area was full and they didn't want a couple of sweaty runners lowering the tone. Or even bothering them for a carry-out coffee. We sat stunned on the wall nearby eating running snacks and wondering about chucking a brick through a window. An Oyster Catcher standing behind another bridge upstream, peeped like crazy, mocking us with it's stuck on carrot beak while standing on one leg. We started running again, but with heavy hearts; without a caffeine rush it was going to be a long day.

wee peeping bastard

and what are you looking at?

Maybe you remember last time we did this circuit in March (Silence of the Lamms) we found a tagged balloon saying please return this tag to Cross Arthurlie Primary in Barrhead. I returned the tag along with a couple of photos from the place where it was found and a chatty letter saying where it was found and what distance it had covered (about 60 miles). And you're probably wondering was it the furthest tag? What did we win? Have we formed links with the people involved? Well I'm still wondering too as I have had a big fat zero from said school and teachers and pupil. Wonder what sort of manners they are teaching the kids between littering the countryside?

After about another 5 or 6 miles we came to the stream crossing at Bunny's Bothy. As I approached I saw 2 parent birds flying off leaving tiny chicks just beside the river. Had I not kept my eyes on exactly the spot I would have lost sight of the tiny well disguised chicks. I have a suspicion they may be (ringed) plovers but didn't pay enough attention to the adults. You can see the adult footprints beside the chicks which remained still and quiet. Oystercatchers; if you are reading this you could learn. Instead of informing the neighbourhood you have a nest and young nearby just STFU and maybe predators will walk right past. 

Mary certainly walked right past and made a start on the next big hill while I quickly took a load of photos and a few seconds of video. I resisted the urge to touch the cuties and tried not to hang around too long and freak the parents out. The chicks seemed to be following orders/instincts to remain absolutely motionless.

Meanwhile Mary made some progress up the next hill. She stopped at the junction with the row of pylons that follow a long straight road to the top of our circuit. She seemed to have cheered up a bit. Well she was speaking to me again and even got her camera out to take a couple of pics of me wheezing up the trail. We had the last of our fudge and a sip of water. The water was warm even though it started the day near frozen. I left the backpack reservoir in the freezer overnight one third full of water. I topped it up with a dilute mix of juice and electrolite tablet and it started the run very cold.

these 2 photos thanks to Mary
Her account of the day here

I heart bog cotton

still running up that road

still running up that road

Not sure if it's a Meadow Pipit, Tree Pipit or Skylark?
This RSPB link will help confuse!
(My bet for the above is Meadow Pipit.)

a rare occasion: other runners!

feeling tired

whew, 21.5 miles
Off to Gifford for a nasty snack of sandwiches and crisps!

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