Monday, 21 August 2017

August TB

So here we are speeding through August and into the fourth year (one hundred years on) of the First World War. It'll all be over by Christmas. (Or not.) With few days remaining of the TB month, I joined forces with Richard H who was planning a last long training run before he tapers for Tiree Ultra. He wanted to run on beaches although I reassured him Tiree's beaches were compact white sand and more like a firm dirt trail; not the chore of Black Rock 5 type beaches which can be rippled or deep and soft, making hard work. In fact if Tiree were not so difficult to get to and find cheap accommodation on, I'd have gone back after really enjoying the Ultra a few years back. And Will Wright the organiser is one of the real gents of the running world.

I met Richard on the train. He gave me a top tip for buying a coffee in Waverley. Pret a Mankie does a cup of filter coffee for 99p. Couldn't see it anywhere on their price-list (no surprise there) but I asked and sure enough. If it's just a caffeine lift you want, 99p is about right.

The sun was shining. We jumped off the train at Longniddry and ran down to the coast, past the kite surfers. The first few miles slid by easily, blethering constantly on 99p coffee. I warned Richard we might have to stop for a snack break around Toad Corner because I couldn't run past without checking out the butterflies. There wasn't much happening: I thought the early morning might be the best time for insects, I believe they can sense a sunny day and are more likely to emerge from their pupae on a warm morning. But it wasn't that buzy so we headed off down the marvelously deserted beach.

just a Peacock (above) and a Small Heath (below)

saw this deer but it ran off before I could zoom in for a close up

We had another mini-break just prior to Yellowcraigs. Richard (boldly!) was wearing untried shoes, brand new out the box. They had given him a wee rub so he borrowed a compeed from me and retied the laces slightly differently and they gave him no more trouble. I was hoping to come across butterflies as I have had fun with Small Skippers and Blues just here, but none appeared. We were ahead of schedule so instead of going directly to the station, we did the war memorial of the day in St Baldred's church doorway (there are 3 there, I have used 1 already.) And then went to the coop for snacks. They had OUTSTANDING Portuguese Custard Tarts. If I'd tasted them before buying I'd have bought an armful. I also tipped a large can of rock star energy/caffeine drink (which I presume was a heady blend of chemicals and toxins designed to make me feel jumpy and raddled) into my reservoir. We then went to the station to meet Steve and Richard L who signed up for the 18mile NB circuit and arrived off the 11.45.

wm at St Baldred's

there appeared to be a raft race about to start on NB beach

We followed the coast, going round the perimeter of the golf course
until clambering up to the road around Canty Bay

this was less fun than it looked

We ran along the road to Seacliff, then descended the concrete road to the beach. Richard L had been talking about a large ruined house behind Seacliff. I couldn't recall ever seeing such a place but it was an ideal day for adventuring so we came off the beach at the main car park and sure enough lurking in the trees above was a large elegant ruin. Probably foolishly, we went for a look.

this'll be the official entrance

There is a lot of info on the background to Seacliff House on Bruce's excellent blog. Well worth a gander. Looks like an expensive repair job mind. We went forward rather than retrace our steps which meant climbing a field over an electrified fence which produced quite a lot of entertainment and no serious injuries, more by luck than good judgement.

just stand in the water and hold the electric fence

Before the next headland there was another wall climb as the path had become rather overgrown. I could see Richard L was enjoying the adventuring, his youth and limber fitness giving him an advantage not enjoyed by his senior, less flexible colleagues. He was also beginning to realise the potential for running slowly in attractive surroundings, something that until today he had never properly experienced.

photo Steve

Warming to the whole adventuring business Rich scampered up and then back down this dune while the rest of us admired his enthusiasm from a distance.

Two thirds of the way down Tyninghame beach we headed inland to the Log Cabin. This holds special memories for Richard L as he was married there 2 years ago in Sept. They had set up stuff for a wedding on Saturday and looking at some of the extras Ashley and Ian had invested in, it looked like Rich had got off lightly.

not a proper marriage without a love swing
make sure you have room in your loft for this

log cabin

We retired to a nice spot in the woods for lunch.

Last time I was through here I christened it the Lost Valley of the Butterflies. It was still reasonably sunny and I had hoped it would still be jammed with Red Admirals and Speckled Woods. But no, next to nothing. I think the difference was the rhododendrons had stopped flowering. Also a dirty great digger had been along the trail leaving very muddy tracks that were tricky to avoid. Not an improvement.

on the way to Binning Wood they seem to be farming football pitches

my dad is here somewhere

since I was last past this bit they have built a register 
and outhouse near to the cemetery part

From Binning Woods we crossed the road into Newbyth Woods then along past the Mansion House and onto the John Muir Way. From here we could see NB Law marking the journeys end, or at least a mile from the station. I had got to that point where I had lost my appetite and wasn't sure whether I wanted a hike up the Law or not. We (Richard H and I) were, after all, 30 miles into the day. As we approached the Law there was general agreement that if we went slowly enough it wouldn't be too much effort to ascent the lump. And so it was. Except for Rich who had found his competitive spirit again and galloped off up the Law as if racing.

What wasn't evident, especially to us non strava types, was that Rich was after a King of the Mountain. Which he got. So he must have gone up at a good rate, considering the race that goes up the same hill.

The wind was behind us on the climb, and as usual it was worth the hike up there for the great views along the Forth estuary. It made a suitable finale for a brilliant day out. Great to see Steve back doing a decent distance. In no time he should be back to full Tynecastle Bronze. And I think we have introduced Rich L to the joys of running slower and climbing walls and in through windows on longer runs. And well done Richard H who went full distance and I'm sure will enjoy Tiree in 3 weeks. I think he was in better shape than I was by the time we got off the train. I felt light headed until I remembered I had some soup in the house which was an ideal solid/liquid interface. I couldn't face solid foods and was likely to faint if I didn't eat. By dinner my appetite had returned fine and I was able to eat loads alongside the beer and wine I was rehydrating with, an essential to mark the end of another fabulous Tynecastle Bronze.

32miles plus one to, and one from, Waverley

No comments:

Post a Comment