Wednesday, 25 February 2009


Reading Pacepusher's blog where he took his dog Harvey for a walk and lost him, reminds me of my recent outing with Millies where they considered me lost but I considered they meant missing.

Two stories come to mind; My wife's grandfather apparently asked his father if something is lost if you know where it is. "Of course not!" said father. "That's all right then, if you're looking for your anchor it's at the bottom of Loch Fyne."

The other relates to my own dog, Cher, who was left at my in-laws whilst we were on holiday a number of years ago. Cher is a German Shepherd, now sadly getting stiff and old (they do say the dog and the master get to be like each other - I'll say it first!)but then was a sprightly year old dog who, when my in laws were out, managed to get through a slightly opened window that should have been too hard to reach! On their return said in-laws searched high and low for her, and my brother-in-laws family were also out looking. As my in-laws stay on the A82 and beside farmland they were convinced that she had been hit by a car or, worse, shot by a farmer. 36 hours later my brother-in-law heard a dog bark and looked out to see Cher sitting on their doorstep. She had been at their house once before, although she had contact with his family on a regular basis, and had never been walked there from my in-laws. How she got from one house to the other, right to the doorstep, is uncanny. I'm sure she inherits it from me. The number of times I made it home from the pub, when the laws of nature and physics say I should be lying in a ditch sound asleep, was amazing.

Anway, enough doggy tales. Last night I went along to the club for a 12 miler, having failed to get out in the morning. I really wanted an easy run so tucked in at the back of a pack of six. However, I kept running into the back of Richard and Jimmy and as we crossed a junction at the Vale Hospital, moved to the front for a blether with Geraldine. Brian moved to the front too, and the two of us were left alone at Lomond Shores. I told Brian I was looking for a slow run, and he said he was tired after a long run on Monday which, combined with his shifts had left him feeling fatigued. Twice we slowed right down to allow the others to catch up, but by the time we had reached the top of a loop through Mollanbowie, they were no longer behind us. We cracked on, onto the Horseshoe and both of us, usually at different times unfortunately, felt strong and the pace got faster. A couple of truces were called but made no difference, as it soon picked up again. Strangely, we didn't pass a single car on the Horseshoe, which was a blessing as neither of us had a headlamp, relying on natural light to get us round. No time noted, as neither of us had looked at a watch when we left the club, but exertion wise it was 8 out of 10 with the odd hill topping that. It's funny how the good runs come when you least expect them!

Monday, 23 February 2009

My Wife's on Holiday!

For two weeks, too! Except for a course she has to attend tomorrow, I have her company for 14 days. Great! We never get enough time together and the first day? She went for lunch with her pals and I was left with the ironing. Well, OK, it was the same ironing I was doing on Friday but still...
On her return I was ready to run and we went to see her Mum and Dad for coffee and biccies and to see how he got on at the doctor this morning. Good news regarding a wee problem he was having so a bit of relief for Mairi. I ran home from their house which is about six and a half miles although the route I took to avoid traffic took me an extra mile. I started by running along the private road they stay on and then down a steep, quad bashing hill to the quarry gate at the Bowling roundabout. On arrival at which I found locked! No Probs! Three or four years ago it would have been a slog back up the hill but having lost a few pounds since then including 7 pounds in the past few weeks, I just lay down and slid under. Trust me, there were a few years in my life that would have been impossible.
A nice steady run with a few road crossings in rush hour slowing it to 71 minutes. Traffic fumes were bad where I met them but the cycle track through Dumbarton and some back streets to avoid the main roads eased things but made me realise the benefits of night time training with Millies and off road running whenever possible.
Mairi's course is in Glasgow tomorrow. If I'm driving her up I'll go dressed to run and perhaps head for Pollok Park for a few miles, but I'll still aim to get to the club at night, adjusting the length of my club run to suit. We'll see what the morning brings.

Saturday, 21 February 2009

Glee Club

Picked up at 0830 this morning to get a head start on the Glee Club's run from Inverarnan to Tyndrum. Jim wanted to get away as it takes him a while to get going and I must say I sympathise these days. Today's run took my weeks mileage to 71, a previously unheard of level, so it took me a wee while to get going too! An easy run from the Drover's to Carmyle before the splash through the climb to Ewich Forest. The cattle had obviously been on the curries this week. This was one of the parts of the WHW that I was unfamiliar with and those Millies who have been up there before me were sure to let me know it was a toughie. I didn't find it too bad, but I was sticking with Jim at this point so perhaps the pace made it easier, but I was aware from what I was running that it was going to be worse on the way back. Towards the end of the descent we were caught by Aileen, John and Jamie from the following group and I got the message from Jim to head on as he would have plenty of company from then on to Tyndrum. Right I thought "I'm off" and immediately lost it on the descent to the A82 and went over on my ankle. No real damage though and the run through Strathfillan to Tyndrum was fine, except that I was caught by Keith "Corn Beef" Hughes and his mate(?) Norman. That meant I had to put up with a "race commentary" into the Fling Finish line with a dip finish from guess who to win the world title.
Soup in the Green Welly set us up for the home leg, and after after being dumped by JR who told me not to wait on him and his new running partner Ellen, I set off feeling refreshed from our break. Ran fine until climbing through Ewich, as tough as I'd thought, temperature inside my jacket rising, until I decided to take it off, at which point I was passed by Keith and three others. Run/walk from there to the top of the hill and down through the farmyard smells to the A82 before I was forced to replace the jacket due to being freezing. As I did so I suddenly felt the right Hammy tweek, although why I put the jacket over my head as I stepped onto the flight of stairs at the A82,only I can tell(donkey).
Simultaneously, I suddenly lost energy and I had run out of fruit juice and couldn't face a Trek bar. So it was a struggle from there, although a Robertson loop (navigational error? Me?) didn't help. Garmin showed that the last 12 miles completed were done in 2.45. Good enough for me as I wanted to run at a realistic pace and as I'd now done 70 miles this week (did I mention that?) I wasn't expecting a fast time.
Some light refreshment in the Drover's afterwards, good company and lot's of laughs, although Jamie who had spent the night there certainly doesn't recommend an overnight stay! And did you know that the Loch Lomond Mongoose was hunted to extinction and the only remaining example is a stuffed and mounted one in the Drover's snug?

Thursday, 19 February 2009

Club night reps

To the club for Thursday night rep session, this time intervals on the 1.1k Polaroid Estate circuit. This is rectangular and the session is run all four sides with one side jog recovery.That means alternate recovery of short leg and long leg. Plenty involved at various paces and as we started at different times due to different warm up distances and pace we all had someone to chase most of the way round. I must say I wasn't looking forward to it but once started felt I put in a good session of 6 reps after a 2+ mile warmup, albeit not the fastest I've run. As I am intending attending the Glee club organised run from Inverarnan to Tyndrum and back on Saturday I was a bit apprehensive as I think I made that mistake a few weeks ago when I did the Balloch Park session before the WHW group run which was a disaster. However, as JR is coming on Saturday, we are leaving the Drovers at 9 (to give the old fella plenty of time :-)) so I might just manage this one! Give him his due though he'll be back out on Sunday with Mad Jim Drummond at Aberfoyle. I'll be thinking of them! Measured tonight's session at 9.5 miles making 45.5 already this week so Saturday will top that off nicely. That gives me tomorrow off. The ironing awaits.

Wednesday, 18 February 2009

Easy Running

After starting the week with some hard work, I decided the club run on Tuesday would be at an easier pace than I usually manage and the absence of some of the regulars helped create the necessary ambience. But prior to starting I had another sighting of Debs and Cairn, risking life and limb by crossing the road in front of me again. They don't know how dangerous that can be!
Although still a good turn out numerically, only Ian and Garry of my normal group were there as was Stefan, an occasional guest. I sent the three of them off on what they eventually turned into about 8 miles round Balloch, Mollanbowie, Haldane and Old Bonhill. A fairly undulating run in places! That left me running with Catherine. Normally one of JR's group, but really a much better runner than she thinks she is! Anyway, although I still managed to have an easy run, I managed to get her out of her comfort zone..... nicely though. She worked really hard on Mollanbowie, had a breather when we caught JR's lot who had taken a shortcut and gotten ahead of us, then worked even harder round Haldane before heading through Jamestown and over the Bonhill Bridge with just one more hill to go. She was asked, and said she was ok so Catherine had the pleasure of running the full length of the hill right to the railway bridge and getting faster all the way up until she was sprinting at the top.
And she loved it so much and was so chuffed with her effort that I got a hug!
A slow jog back to the club to cool off and then she got to claim bragging rights over Jim's group who took another shortcut back to the club.
Catherine's 10k PB of 52 minutes will tumble this year! Note to Debs; training partner?

Tonight's Jog Scotland group was a bit depleted but still 8 in the group setting off for about 5 miles to add to the three I did prior to meeting them. All easy miles although I did have to work hard for a while when one of the girls set off on a mission. I ran after her to tell her to adjust the route to take account of the time we had still to run and that was the last I saw her as she sped off into the distance. Apparently she had eaten some porridge oats and needed to run off the energy! Add that to the WHW menu.

Tuesday, 17 February 2009

Change of Plan.... and Scenery

On Sunday night, as I put away my laptop after writing a final paragraph about doing a long run on Monday, my wife suggested that, as she was having to attend a course in Glasgow and bearing in mind her hatred of city driving and me making plans,I might like to take her in and return for her, cutting four hours out of MY day. But there's always plan B! So after coming home to change, I drove to Mugdock with the intention of running some of the WHW and getting a bit of trail in within the park as a bonus. So far so good. I parked at the visitor centre, planning on a coffee at the finish of my session and set off downhill to find the Way path at the bottom. After a few Robertson loops (lost!) I got to the Way to find that these wee blue and white signs that I saw flashing past me as I descended were actually way markers for a divertion caused by tree fellers, and that to get back to the Way I would have to ascend the path I had just descended! "Like $@*&" I thought and went for plan C, a lap of the Milngavie reservoirs. Flat, boring and windy, but with an ascent to the start of my lap that made up for it...... a bit. Plan D then kicked in with some more Robertson loops that took me from the bottom right side of the park noticeboard map, to the top left without really having a clue where I was, necessitating a request from a dog walker for directions back to the visitor centre, a destination about a mile east of where I thought it should be. Never mind, great trails, paths and shoe sucking MUD negotiated totalling just under 10 miles by Garmin, that could have been a mere 5 or 6 had I known where I was going. Got back to the car to find that my good lady was going to be expecting me at 4.30 in Glasgow and wanted to go to Braehead on the way home! And me in my best shopping attire, tracksuit bottoms and muddy trainers. So I missed out on my coffee but managed home and showered and back to the big bad city in plenty of time.En route, a sighting of Debs and Cairn risking life and limb crossing the junction that I was turning into at the Renton by-pass(doesn't she know about my driving). Debs doesn't seem to be doing "putting her feet up". A quick visit to the "Waterstones" shopping centre in Renfrew, (why do they have these other shops when they could fit more books into the space?)and home for tea.

Sunday, 15 February 2009

Inspiration....... from a 4 yr old

After posting Fridays episode I set off on a local run in the village, achieved by running about 1200 metres in village streets in a 5 mile run:-). That remark aimed at a reader who got dizzy running round the village streets. Out of the house, up the Carman road, through St Peter's College and the golf course, round past the primary, up Darleith Road, through Drumhead, down Red Rd to the A814 and back along to my house. Plenty of options to extend it without crossing my path or using the same street twice! Suffering a bit of pain around my Achilles; possibly from last weeks walk.
No running on Saturday due to domestic duties in preparation for some visitors in the afternoon. My sister Anne, neice Sarah Jane, nephew Ally and Sarah Jane's two sons Jack (6) and Darren (4). My son Andrew is a casual leisure assistant in the Meadow Centre, in Dumbarton and regularly works with disabled kids through a group called Shining Stars. Darren has special needs and we thought that it would be agood idea to bring him up from Irvine to see how he got on at the group. The Saturday sessions are set up so that other family members can participate so we all went along. Jack soon found himself in 6 yr old heaven with someone paid to play football with him, but Darren was brilliant, absolutely loving being on the huge, bouncy castle-type, agility aparatus. I will admit to getting the shoes off and trying it with him, but he alone could climb the ladder to the top of the slide.(I don't think the steps are designed for 6'1" 14 1/2 stone adults. He had a ball and when Andrew took him on the trampoline it made his day. Darren has overcome a lot; even to walk has taken a lot of practice and patience, building muscles and getting coordinated enough to put one foot in front of another. He also has communication problems,although he is more than capable of getting his way!
The whole day was magical and makes me realise how lucky I am to be capable of training for the events I tackle.
Some time ago his parents were asked to pay a lot of money for the specially designed tricycle (in the picture above) to aid him in developing his leg muscles. Either that or wait a long time for funding, which would have delayed the progress he has made. They were about to start some fund-raising, when a mystery benefactor stepped in to pay, for which they are very grateful. However, I reckon that I could take the opportunity to do some fund-raising when I'm running the Fling and the WHW race, in order that, if they are in that situation again, they would have the money available. So add that to my goals. One problem will be that I can't use Just-giving or similar sites as I'm not raising for a registered charity. It'll just have to be the old fashioned sponsor sheets then!

Run today also affected by their visit. Tidying up! Then, of course, I was obliged to sit and watch the Old Firm match, and how boring was that? Saw Everton's first goal before setting off on an easy paced run which turned into a 10 miler, although it finished with the run(and walk!) over the Carman Hill road from the Renton side. Back in time to see the players shake hands and thought that would start off John Kynaston's week nicely. Pity Derby couldn't do the business! By the way, the Derby v Man U game was on Sky channel 993 (ITV London). Too late now, but maybe you'll remember for the 6th round!
Plan for this week involves a long run tomorrow and an attempt to do another on the WHW on Saturday.

Friday, 13 February 2009

Club run in snow....not in snow

Snow. Nice to look at, nice to run in when it's fresh, but why can't it just disappear all at once never to re-appear until it's ready to snow hard? Last night I appeared at the club to find JR heading out to do hill reps, but cutting back on the reps per set per hill, if you follow me, that meant I would have had to do an extra rep on my own per set or do a full set of hills after the rest finished. Steph meantime was staying off the hills as he is doing the Carnethy 5 on Saturday and decided to do a 10miler out into the cycle track besuide the A82 beyond thge Carrick Golf Course and return. So 4 of us set off on that with Steph and Geraldine taking it a bit slower than yours truly and Brian. Mainly good surface for running but every now and again we would hit slushy, slippy snow or rutted crunchy stuff that does nothing for me except tighten the muscles in preparation for what my pea-sized brain anticipates...... a fall!
Fortunately I didn't fall but by the time I hit the climb out of Duck Bay on the old Luss road, the one covered in aforesaid crunchy icy stuff my muscles were tighter than a tight thing and I had to stop for a stretch and slow down. A pity because it was a nice run until then, apart from the white stuff!
Checking my e-mails this morning I found this from my neice and I post it without comment except to say that it continues the driving theme that the Subversive Runner started on his site.

Wednesday, 11 February 2009

A testing run at JogScotland!

After Saturday's long walk in the hills I was a bit tender around the left knee, nothing serious but a wee bit worrying as I've had some bad experiences in the past with knees like footballs. Laying off running until Wednesday as a precaution, although I'd probably have gone to the club on Tuesday had I not arranged to travel to Embra for the Run and Become Training and Inspiration night. An excellent series of speakers, even if some did waffle on a bit :-)
Very informative and often inspiring, in particular the twins Pauline and Fiona whose enthusiasm for the race was infectious. My passenger for the journey was Jim Robertson who, much against his wishes was called to the floor with (Mad) Jim Drummond (25 goblets between them). Both very forthright with their views and although they have decent PB's for the race, base their preparations on good old fashioned LSD. Long, Slow, Distance. And LESD. Long Even Slower Distance! JR had previously warned me about running on the WHW training runs organised by John Kynaston, knowing, probably, that I couldn't live with the faster runners who take part. In hindsight, he was right. On the first run I got tight calfs running at what I thought was a comfortable pace for the distance, forgetting that I was on an alien surface with serious technical sections. I was knackered on arriving at Inversnaid and got injured on the way back. On the second, most of the group just ran away from me. Now that was fine, I don't expect people to wait for me, but it made it a long run although I turned back early and ran about half the planned distance. That's not to say I was slowest, but,I would have been much better starting an hour earlier. I wanted to be part of the "team" though and paid for it! I was glad to see that Ian Beattie also covered that in his talk and, although he still runs in the groups, doesn't get caught up in the "racing". JR made comment re these training runs, which I thought was a bit unfair, as no-one has to go on them, but his point that some may be put off by reading the times taken to run them and (compared to their own ability) may be discouraging runners was valid. However, that is where the information available to entrants these days, given the website, forum, blogs and e-mail gives us an advantage compared to those running a few years ago (see Ian Beatties talk).
Anyway,nice to put faces to a few names I see on the blogs and forums and look forward to meeting many more.
Back to running tonight, and after procrastinating all day about doing an easy run to try my knee, decided to go over early to JogScotland and run with Jim's group that starts an hour earlier than mine. Lottery on and papers bought saw me a bit late and playing catch up, before jogging slowly to say hello to the girls in his group. Stayed with them, on a three(ish) mile loop, with a few strides to see how the knee reacted and pushing hard up a couple of hills I detoured onto. Everything was fine so I took 12(!) out in my group, including the daughter of a "Flinger". Watch this space as she is a nice runner who is probably a good runner in the making. All managed the first run of the "Advanced level 1" with ease although it was a bit fast in places for a couple, but after explaining that I was there to run with them and not push the fast ones they settled into it and I fully expect them to stay on course.A couple of efforts where I ran from back to the front to keep the leaders on course gave the knee a good try out and absolutely no problems experienced. Must stop turning dramas into crises!

Sunday, 8 February 2009

Luss Hills in the Snow

Up at 8am on Saturday meeting Steph, Geraldine, Ian and Jimmy to travel the 15 minutes to the bottom of Luss Glen before running up the glen road to Edentaggart Farm. Just before the farmhouse we left the road to start the steep climb to Beinn Eich. On a very cold day, windy in exposed places, sometimes causing a list to the side of about 45 degrees, I started to struggle immediately, hard to breath although the legs felt ok. And by the way; this is not a post about running to borrow a phrase from the Subversive Runner. More a tale of hard walking, good views and a few original methods of progressing and stopping as the icy, snow covered tops and slopes required. Along the west side of the ridge, after a warning from Steph that the ridge top would be a bit(?) treacherous, to Beinn Lochain and Doune Hill, captivating views of the Firth of Clyde as far as Ailsa Craig and Arran, and north to the Arrochar hills and beyond. Many descents only possible by sliding on our bums with shoes braking or inching across ice covered snow ready to fall at any time, Geraldine's screams and giggles punctuating the odd curse from the males in the party. One nasty moment when I slid down and my left leg went through the ice, my knee taking the brunt of the sudden braking. After rather gingerly picking myself up, there appeared to be no damage done although I was a bit more careful from that point on and when, when descending Doune Hill into Glen Mollochan and climbing to Midhill, the others started to run I was a bit reluctant to join the dash for the top. Until Midhill we had the place to ourselves other than the solitary sighting of a lone walker about 5 miles behind on Beinn Eich. However after that point we met a few groups of two walkers before it turned into Sauchiehall St on Beinn Dubh. A pause at the cairn to wait our turn to get past a group of about 30 walkers then Steph sprinted off, followed by Jimmy and Ian. I walked. I don't do downhill. Neither does Geraldine. Good day though. Better repeated in friendlier conditions although it's a long time since I had such fun sliding (when it wasn't painful!). Thinking back it was like being a kid again, re-enacting the D-Day landings on the beach before climbing the Blue Billy bing (of sainted memory) a wonderful playground razed to build the Magnum at Irvine. Then we fought the German occupiers all along the bing before the reward of escaping down the slidy bit at the east side, ripping more than one pair of shorts over the years! Oh Happy Days!

Thursday, 5 February 2009

Spam and Ice

Jogscotland last night was a case of keeping them going on a slippery surface on which the girls were not at all happy. Therefore the run was slow and slower! Never mind, one more in the group than last week though for the life of me I can't remember which one was the extra, and with one of JR's group also running with me tonight there must have been two others.... senility, senility. The result of picking my way through snow and ice this week is an iffy knee that keeps hinting at collapsing under me.
At the club tonight it was a case of "It's Thursday, It Must Be Hill Reps". Off to the Mollanbowie Estate, Balloch's very own Spam Valley. Where every corner on the right is the start of a rep, running the full length of the street jogging back to the start of the next street for recovery. Each hill is different in length and incline with the last one probably the longest. One set this time with the threat of a second set next time we do 'em. Looking forward to it already! With a couple of miles each way to and from the estate it still tots up a total of 7.5 miles for the session. I intended starting off with a bit of care because of the knee, but as soon as I started running at a decent pace it was OK. Felt it a bit when running slower so I don't think there's any serious damage.
Tea and chips and cheese with JR afterwards undoing any fat loss from the session.

Tuesday, 3 February 2009

Counting Hits and Miles

Spent yesterday evening trying to work out how to get a web counter on the blog. Not easy for a technophobe, but I was desperate to see if I was talking to myself. All I need to do now is find out if it counts me logging on to see how many have logged on!
28 in just under 24 hours so at least someone's reading.
To the club tonight where two groups set off on fairly long runs. JR taking his group to Dumbarton and Marco making another appearance to lead us round an extended Horseshoe in reverse to the normal direction with an add on loop through Lomond Shores to add a mile for a total of 11 per schedule. Setting off we ran into traffic problems and with Brian and Marco in front crossing ahead of the cars, by the time we reached the Bonhill Bridge they were already onto the Jamestown road, never to be seen again. I ran with Garry and apart from a short period where he had to tie his laces we pretty much ran ourselves as Jimmy, Geraldine, Ian and Richard followed on. It was a beautiful, clear, moonlit night with enough frost to make it tricky underfoot and a good steady pace a must. Very hilly (in my opinion more so in this direction) but at least I could see where the hills led this time. Good blethering made time stretch a bit, as it seems to take much longer to run the 7 or so miles on the country roads as it does in daylight. It's also amazing how many houses there are up there, as in daylight you don't notice them all but at night when they're lit up they are all the more visible. One strange moment when a car drew up beside us and the lady driver asked what club we were with. Don't know if she wants to join or she is one of these people who don't think runners should be allowed on her country road. I await further developments! We're all pretty well appropriately dressed for running in the dark and most of us had headlamps, the real reason for running in the dark being to get used to running with them. So if she is going to complain she will be quoted the bit from the Highway Code about drivers being at a speed to react to any eventuality! Then again if she wants to join us her house is handy for a water station.
Off to yet another funeral tomorrow, an ex-colleague who was tragically killed on the M8 a fortnight ago. Diane came onto my shift when she joined, dead keen and a very confident, capable officer. She was in the CID and possibly heading for one of the elite Crime Squads, with a great career ahead of her. Sadly missed and I'm sure there will be a huge turnout for a special person's farewell.

Monday, 2 February 2009

A golf course round

Quite then best fun I've had on the course for a long time. £700 better off and free of club regulations prohibiting me from running thereon, I set off over the snow clad fairways for a bit of fun; additional to what I'd have on a schedule,as I'd normally have a day off on Monday. However a slower than normal Sunday run and a cancellation by Linda of a scheduled massage gave me a window to have a run on the course, as my now ex-fellow members sat in the lounge looking wistfully at the snow and wishing that snow was red in order that the balls would be visible. 18 holes, in reverse, meant I ran the steepest hill right at the start, although that gave me the benefit of running the 17th downhill. Steep and known to club members as "Heart Attack Hill", in memory of a past captain whose sudden death on the slope I had to report to the Procurator Fiscal some years ago. The first mile was a long one by Garmin as due to a lost pin I had it in my pocket and therefore the 11.57 was ridiculously inaccurate for a mile! The course is a hilly one and run in reverse mainly has the hills in the first nine. Now carrying the Garmin in my hand, 8.30 was a bit more like it for mile 2 and 7.07 and 7.30 reflected the mainly down hill aspect of the "front nine" again in reverse. About 2 or 3 inches of snow pretty much all the way round meant that I had my wits about me as it was shallow enough to allow some sliding, but the Inov8 Mudrocs, hardly used since being purchased 4 or 5 years ago, kept me firmly on course with only a couple of blips, mainly due to lack of concentration, stretching the tendons. Good fun, and I'm looking forward to repeating it in better weather, although greens staff and early morning members will require me to run at first light to avoid disrupting play. Forecast for more snow Tuesday and Wednesday gives rise to the hope of at least two more similar runs that will insure against being unable to run on roads later in the day.
Popped into The Coachhouse for some coke and soup, and found myself talking to a wee guy who's (apparently!)in the pub most days. Turns out he's an ex Comrades marathoner, who did most of his running in S.Africa but now walks most days on the Clydeshore or Carman. Tales of his running days made the soup so tasty I came home and put a pot on!

Sunday, 1 February 2009

Another New Muir

It's only when you look at the OS maps (in this case Loch Lomond South), that you realise how many moors surround the Dumbarton and Vale of Leven. In my past two long runs I've managed to knock off quite a few of them. They're all rough running and today's was rough walking! I met JR, Ali,Sandra and Christine at 8am for one of Jim's "local" runs. That only means we leave the car at the club car park. Where you end up is in the lap of the running Gods. To be fair, he often talks about these runs, but today's run was new to me, at least after we'd climbed to Pappert Well. Thereafter, we ran through the trees at the back of the trig point and across the moor to a cairn, before heading east (away from where I thought we'd be going, but that's JR) towards a fir plantation. At this point the (mainly flat) terrain consists of knee high tussocks of grass, moss, potholes and water, lots of cold water. I'm sure my next running injury will be chilblains! After about a mile and a half of this, a loup over a burn and nearly a loup over another one before I spotted a landrover track that saved the leap, we reached the trees and thereafter it was pretty easy running along a forest road, farm roads and back towards the Auchencarroch Horseshoe beloved of runners in the Vale. Arriving back after about 3 and a half hours of slow running/walking in WHW mode. Probably covered in the region of 15 Robertsons, a measure of distance that can be plus or minus whatever your guess is!
Only problem is bit of a clicky knee that has come about as a result of my wife lying on my leg when I was sleeping the other night. Woke up to a shooting pain in the knee. No great problem I hope but annoying.