Jog Scotland group on Wednesday was expanded by three newcomers to my group, Jim, with whom I had run previously, and husband and wife Colin and July. Small world; I had coached their daughter, Emma, at West Dunbartonshire A.C. 5.5. miles in total and a wee word of warning to my regulars that if we had the three new joggers for the next session in two weeks time, we would be following the programme! That would mean running 1 and a 1/2 hours by the tenth week. Normally, we take them to that level and then run about 50 mins to 1hr15 depending on the weather, moods, Champions League,family comittments etc on a week to week basis. The feeling being that if they have run for the hour and a half, they can get faster by working that wee bit harder over short distances. Their main target is 10k, but those who aspire for further can do so by doing longer runs away from the club night, supported by JR or myself. Seems to work!
Following the run I had another discussion with JR that centred on...... running slower! We had a disagreement on how I should be doing this. I don't mind running slower, but I like to make progress on every run and he advocated turning back to run with slower runers when I get ahead. My wee brain can't cope with that, all it wants to do is keep going. However I also realise that I have to do the long runs at a WHW race pace, so off I went on Thursday afternoon for a run/walk over the hills/moors that lie between Cardross, Helensburgh and Balloch. Only a rough idea of where I would get to, an OS map to keep me right, and rucksack with Camelbak and snacks and warm clothing...... all needed!
After a false start, feeling uncomfortable in the Salomons which were rubbing the achilles, and returning home to swap for my road shoes, I started along the shore line at Cardross before coming back on the A814 for about 3/4 of a mile then a lap of Ardmore point, which was a quagmire in places, feet already soaking. Then up the Red Road towards Blackthird Farm before turning onto the forestry road and climbing through the forest to the farmland above the tree line leading towards Ben Bouie. However again it was a marsh and feet freezing I opted for a path down through the woods at Goukhill eventualy after some rough running and taking dead ends on the forest roads I came out down at Arden near Duck Bay. A jaunt along the old road towards Balloch before turning up the Stonymollan, back to Cardross, very dirty trails and road, before finishing by returning along the shore to finish. A total of 4.15 on the clock and Garmin and G Maps measure it at 19 miles although I was aware of various occasions where it wasn't getting a good GPS signal, and it's hard to track the exact route on G Maps so I may have gone a bit further.
One other task carried out today, with regret but also with a bonus. I mentioned that I had given up my golf club membership due to lack of use. Yesterday I emptied my locker and brought my clubs home. On the bright side, the course is right opposite my house, and is lovely running. As a member however, I have been restricted on the amount of running I could do on it as I was ruled by club by-laws that restricted access to the course for golfing purposes only. That meant I had to sneak on in the dawn or dusk when no-one could see me! Or my traditional Christmas morning run about the course, before the die hard members appeared. Now I can run without restriction under the access laws! Whoopee!!