One call off from Geraldine so it was Jimmy, Andy and I who set off for the Drover's where we were to meet John Kynaston et al for the first of the organised runs to familiarise ourselves with the Way, or re-familiarise in the case of the old hands. It was a stunning morning, once we left the Vale that is, as it was shrouded in mist that hung around all day. Other than some ice on the A82 it was a great day for the drive and after introductions, and a team photie we set off at 9.30 heading to Inversnaid and back, with the option of going on to Derrydarroch or Carmyle for the truly mad.
Soon after setting off though, it became apparent that the -6 degree temperature meant that ice on some of the boulders was going to be a problem, and so it was. For me, among others, and several times at that. There was a cracking pace set at the front and everyone seemed to be keen to get to Inversnaid quickly. However about a mile short of the hotel I began to have a bit of trouble with my ankles and knees, objecting to the frequent re-corrections to my balance and then my calf started to niggle. No problem I thought, just slow down, get to Inversnaid and take your time back. So after a drink and a couple of sweets I turned with Jimmy and Andy but soon let them go on as I could feel my calf tighten even more. That however was to be the least of my troubles as about a mile north of Inversnaid I slipped again, my left leg going left and the right followed through, before coming to an abrupt halt as I toe-ended a boulder. Bloody sore too, and I soon realised that I was in a bit of bother as the foot wasn't able to stabilise me as I progressed over what I'm assured is the worst of the WHW terrain. It was almost six miles of difficult walking, interrupted by a slow jog when I was on good going. Getting back much later than I expected, we were unable to partake of the Drover's hospitality as Andy was due at work at 3pm.
Home,then, for some RICE treatment to the joint of the big toe of the right foot that seems to have absorbed the worst of the impact, and to avail myself of the brownie points that I seem at the moment to have in credit. And some painkillers.
I noted, too,the absence of Mr Pacepusher, whose wife had accused him of having manflu, but who today rather guiltily admitted that he really isn't well. Make the most of that Neal!
I ran with Caroline for a while early in the run and she was really running well, taking full advantage of my trailblazing to avoid the slippy bits! I didn't see her after Inversnaid, so I hope she managed without me. :-)
Thanks to John for the organisation, and to all those who turned out.And for those Milies who had a lost weekend following Friday's presentation and whatever "cure" was taken yesterday; there's always next time!