Poor Mary brought home a 3-day-cold. And the day before her birthday. Nothing you can do but munch vitC tabs, paracetamols and carry a few squares of kitchen roll. It does not improve a birthday though and I felt very sorry for her. Meanwhile I seem to be nearly over 6 weeks of poor health and ready to get back into training. I had planned to go to club this week but working late Wednesday put an end to that. AND I picked up Mary's cold. Pass the tablets, crunch crunch crunch. Thurs eve and should I go to Wintervals? I compromised and turned up to see Olly about a backpack, but reckoned nobody would thank me for breathing heavily in their company gobbing out toxic biohazard. So while they bravely ran up the steep end of Hunter's Bog, I ran the Queens Drive then up the tourist route to the summit and back down past the troops and back out by the Palace. I put in a few sprints and hill climbs and returned home feeling the benefit.
The current client asked that I take time off to give them grace to clear the next room and who am I to object? The forecast was good for Friday morning so I went to bed early-ish to rise with the sun. I half opened an eye at the crack of 8 but there was no sun on the wall so turned over till 9. I had listed the trains to Dalmeny and at 9.56 reckoned if I got out the door by 10, I could make the 10.18. It is exactly a mile to the station, but there are 3.5 crossings and it's all uphill and you can't get on the platform without a ticket. It was 10.04 when I exited the front door and about 10minutes after that when I put my bank card wrong-end-first into the ticket machine. The whole transaction was voided and I had to type Dalmeny againy. And this time I used the only cash I had - a twenty pound note. From the £4.50 fare I was given the change ALL in pound coins, a bit like winning on a jackpot machine. Only I had to fumble them out the bottom tray three at a time while vital seconds passed. My watch read 10.18 as I ran the platform to the train, 16 coins a-jingling. Not the best start.
11, 11, 11
20 minutes later and I was heading down the dog walkers path to Hawes Pier and under the best bridge of the Forth. There wasn't as much sunlight as I hoped but it was a fine morning without much wind and my legs felt better than they should given the exertions of the previous evening. It was cold but the ice was melting on puddles; so above freezing. My plan was: no plan. Run for a bit, take photos, when bored, jump on a bus. I stopped every hundred yards to take photos. Lots of Autumnal colours.
Around here one ship, further down the estuary sounded its horn, closely followed by another, then another. I looked at my watch to check the time and it was 11am. On the 11th of the 11th. Possibly 11 seconds past. I couldn't think of a better place to be.
There were horse chestnut trees lining the road to my primary school. Every Autumn I noticed the similarity of the fallen leaves to corn flakes, especially when it rained and they got covered in milk.
At the Cramond Brig I had done 6 miles. Too early to be catching a bus, and yet the run along the front to Silverknowes and Granton is singularly drab. I opted to do a turn around the airport circuit: following the River Almond to the rail line that crosses it beside the runway. Round the square and down Nether Lennie, adding 4.5 miles.
There was an excellent light on this hillside although the leaves
covered the path that climbs steeply to meet the main trail.
Having crossed the Grotto Bridge the riverside trails narrow. I was running on a carpet of fallen leaves most of the way, which is very pretty, but obscures mud and rabbit holes.
leaves in the process of falling
Rather than this being political commentary I suspect the individual responsible
was just invoking the most vulgar thing they could think of.
So, back across the Cramond Brig and down the Almond towards Cramond. I considered turning off towards Barnton and either the cyclepath or a bus home but was interested to see how the Salvesen Steps were getting along. There was a council notice last time saying they were closed and various proposals to build expensive raised walkways. However today they were open for business and checking round the side to peep at the rotten structure - wow, some handy joiner has replaced all the rotten timbers with brand new wood and giant bolts. At what must have been a tiny fraction of the elevated walkway and disabled ramp price. Well done all concerned. Although they do have a pleasantly wonky angle from the front.
From this point onwards the sun had gone (no more photos) and it was just head home at whatever was left in the tank. Which turned out to be between 7 and 8 minute miles. All the scenic stuff was done painfully slowly but having decided to run rather than bus, I lifted the pace and filled both my tops with a good deal of moisture. I had to run 20 yards past my door to record 18 miles but I arrived home in one piece and after a good soak in the shower, cycled to the paint shop for next week's materials. First good strong run in 6 weeks. Did it cure the cold? Well not really, but when I sneeze there is less skoosh hitting the hankie.