Club night and five of us set off on the Balloch Horseshoe for a steady ten mile run. It's a hilly circuit on country roads after the first couple of miles. Wee Pat decided he would join us for the first two miles then headed off on an easy 5 mler. Easy 5 is about a steady 10 I thought and Andy and I stayed with him, dropping Steph, Jimmy and Geraldine before we reached Balloch. The pace felt good, and when we hit the Gartocharn Rd, the headlamps went on. Mine not as strong as I would like but combined with Andy's was sufficient to keep us on the right road and allowing us to miss the worst of the puddles and potholes. As I said, it's a tough run at the best of times but as you are heading north and east you are running into complete blackout, bar the odd farm house lights. The problem then is that you know you are on a hill, you just don't know how far the hill is going to go on! Also, the lack of landmarks means it's hard to gauge where on the route you are so it just seems to go on and on and on. And the farmyard smells! Took me back to my courting days when I walked my farmers daughter girlfriend (now wife) home on romantic starlit nights. On the plus side, it's fairly traffic free, I think about half a dozen cars passed us on the horseshoe road, and the surface is pretty good when in the country. As we started the long downhill stretch back to civilisation (? the vale!) the road started to cut up and had lots more potholes due to the lorries that use that stretch of the road to access a landfill site. That meant the quads started to complain as the legs tried to pick out the safest route, Andy, who seemed to be having a wee bit of tight IT band, struggled the last couple of miles so I finished on my own in 92 mins. Very pleased with that.
Still not sure what I'm doing at the weekend as I am a bit worried that the near 30 miles with no opt out on the lochside is a bit beyond me at the moment. 30 miles anywhere else I'd be happy with, but I've missed a bit of training over the past few weeks. I'll decide nearer the time, but may opt for a run at Arrochar before going to Drovers for a blether and transport the WHWers back to Drymen. Still, I'm pretty happy with progress to this point, and may opt to visit the lochside during the weeks ahead to cover the route in smaller sections to familiarise myself.