Tuesday, 2 May 2017

urban 20

When Mary has a thing she has to do (a last long run pre-Stirling for instance) she puts her head down and charges. I am more inclined to stand back and prevaricate. Mary was keen to get going on Saturday rather than recover from the week's work then go long on Sunday. Which was a shame because she was a bit tired and grumpy on Saturday and could have done with a bit of a kick back. Instead we went out for 20 hostile miles.

Now I have been motivationally challenged of late. Just can't be arsed getting out the door. The impending doom of the marathon is gluing me to the furniture. Once I get out I am fine. Well a bit fat and slow but happy to roll out a few miles. However at club on Weds we did mile reps which let me know just how fat and slow I was. (5.44~5.54) Disgraceful. Trouble is I keep pushing this from my mind at meals times and wine o'clock.

On Friday I frogmarched myself out for some punishment. It was dreary weather and although I took the camera for ballast I didn't take one photo. I remembered an old route my pal Ian used to do in Holyrood of loops within loops. Large loop round the Q's Dr, followed by a loop of Hunter's Bog up high then down low. Big, middle, small. I headed towards the Seat and planned my route on the hoof. First a loop round the boundary; the perimeter of Holyrood. Fun dirt trails until Duddingston, where I opted to leave the park and take the road round the loch (Bawsinch Reserve!) and back in via the Innocent R/w. Back round the dirt trail perimeter to near the Palace where loop 2 would be up the Dry Dam, over the summit and round the side of Crow Hill on a superb contoured single track that spits you out onto the Q's Dr just South of Dunsapie. Continued clockwise to the commie pool roundabout then up over the Crags and down into Hunter's Bog for a small lap round the bog. Then home. 91minutes for 10 miles and in my head a perfect spiral drawn by the Suunto. Laughably it looks like a drunken stagger. However it got me out the door and there was a sub7min mile on the innocent r/w so all good. This could be the answer to motivation. Just go and do something different. I also had the earbuds in and music blasting which I haven't done in YEARS. It really helped although I don't approve of this in theory.

So the legs were stiff for a half mile on Saturday and I let Mary lead us up through Holyrood and down Minto St, Liberton way then Frogston Rd. I complained sarcastically that we were getting far too rural and away from the bus routes and even took a photo. Mary had in her mind a large urban circuit. If the weather was dull there seemed little point going somewhere pretty in the car just to knock out 20 miles. And we would aim to finish back on our doorstep.

Somehow we got onto the 7 Hills route and did a bit of that in reverse. Craiglockhart Hill. Too windy on the top for a scooby snack so ran down to the xylophone seat where we had some bakeries. Then took the tourist route off the hill and failed to find a cafe near Craiglockhart sports centre. There was a post office open so we had further refreshments while pondering the ugliest piece of pavement sculpture ever. Looks like a green turd that would give directions in a library to the photocopier and baby-changing area. It was actually a memorial to Wilfred Owen, but I fell asleep while reading it.

friendly pup checking ground where I dropped bakery
but Mary had already scoffed it, dust coating and all

Mary in the o of post

worst sculpture in the world
looks like a fund raiser for a septic tank

From here we got onto the Water of Leith path and went up as far as the tunnel. The tunnel is 8 miles from our door and since we had done 12 miles we could now head home.

We stood at the entrance to the tunnel and waited till the family had gone through before shouting and barking and grunting, making echos. There is a video. I doubt it will see the light of day.

buzzard in the tree

alien fetus

It really was a crappy day for light. There were a few things to photo, like the buzzard in the tree. And just what the hell were the alien fetuses doing on the path? Has somebody made kid's sweets in the shape of alien unborn? Seems unlikely. And a large heron stood near the bridge before the Dean Village. I took several pics of the heron from a distance (they came out crap) thinking it would take off as Mary ran past, but it stayed put looking for fish to open with it's letter-opener beak. I could have jumped on it's back I was so close, before it eventually got bored and flew off downstream. Despite the proximity all the photos came out crap.

I can only imagine the smiles are from relief as we're all but home.
Pretty terrible run and yet good to get it done. Another 20miler in the bag.

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