Thursday, 10 January 2019

more pentlands magic

More superb weather on Wednesday 9th Jan. Both Mary and I have returned to work this year but had Weds off as something of a lucky coincidence. Lucky indeed, it was a fantastic day for running in the hills (and taking photos): blue skies and very little wind on the tops.

bumped into Kathy who was just finishing her run as we set out

I wasn't particularly keen to revisit the Pentlands having spent quite a lot of time there recently, however it was what we needed to do says the Coach as both Feel the Burns and the dreaded Carnethy 5 are approaching. C5 ballot is open now and last I heard plenty places available! You know you want to! (...stand in a frigid field waiting for the gun to go so you can splosh through knee deep 0' water then spend 18mins gasping up a hill. It will be my 19th consecutive C5, oh such joy!)

Mary, queen of scots

At the top of Carnethy you can see the summit of Arthur's Seat
between the Pentlands

I believe NB Law and the Bass Rock are 26 and 29 miles away from Carnethy
(19 and 22 from Arthur's Seat)

photo: Mary
A few walkers expressed surprise that I was wearing shorts but really, 
in the sun, it was quite warm

South Black Hill

The blue skies were covered in jet con-trails. This one, fading out and in again was very strange and maybe due to changing temperatures?

I quite enjoyed doing the Kips. It is a while since we have been there and they give great views. And in light of the C5 it was a good reminder of what lies ahead. And also to see the ugly stumps, now that the small wood of fir trees has been sawn down and removed. It doesn't improve the place one bit and I hope they plan to remove or tidy the stumps a bit better. Bad enough they put a huge dirt road in to remove the timber.

unusually the panorama mode on my camera was working
I love the distortions on this.

there was a frost over everything the sun couldn't reach


the partially rainbow hued lights (not the lens flare)
either side of the sun here are sundogs

There was a particularly pleasing light here between the shadows formed by the hills we had just come off. We stopped and took some photos. Then braced ourselves for the hideous climb, as featured in the C5, up Carnethy. When I got to the top more than 20 minutes later, I remembered I am not a hillrunner. I was complaining to Mary about this sometime later, who slagged me off for complaining about 1/ hills 2/ parkrun 3/ marathons. Haha yes a pattern forming. I signed up for Edinburgh Marathon recently as well. Not that I enjoy marathons, in fact at least one person thought I had been hacked to be advertising the last chance to sign up for this awful event on social media. But the thought of doing these things keeps my mind focussed and encourages me out the door on days when I would rather not.

We set off up the 20min climb together but I got to the top while Mary was just coming over the shoulder. I took 3 shots of her at different zoom lengths. The one above is max zoom (incl digital), the one below about halfway and the one below that minimum zoom, or rather, wide angle (and Mary practically disappears.) I ate a flapjack while I waited, it was very pleasant as there was no wind.

The clouds were spectacular

Another very good day in the Pentlands. Quite tough but a necessary evil of doing long climbs on lazy legs. I found it hard but I do enjoy the view from the tops. Not sure I'll ever enjoy the C5 (and Feel the Burns is a race I do a poor job of, although I do approve of it in general) but having done it (the C5) every year from 2001 I am obliged to continue, or die trying. I am properly grateful it is done as a ballot and does not require you to sit at a computer at a designated hour trying to sign up like some of those hateful events that I won't ever be doing again. 

Just over 9miles in just under 3hrs

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