Well I’m back after a week off training and work, enjoying some fine food, rest and relaxation in beautiful Scotland. Just the right kind of break, with no timetable to keep, no set plans, just seeing what each day brought and enjoying the landscape and surroundings whatever the weather.
I had planned to ease back while I was on holiday, but took things even easier than planned when I hurt my finger. I did manage a wee run one morning, 4 miles over some trails and up a geet big hill near Port Appin. It was lovely just to run and explore the countryside, although it reminded me that I don’t hit the trails often enough. While I could still run, I really missed my cross training.
I’m hoping the rest will have done me good. It certainly won’t have done me any harm. In the big scheme of things, I’ve missed one long run, a couple of interval sessions and some cross training. So, not much really.
I love Scotland. The landscape changes from day to day, hour to hour and even the skies seem bigger. I’ve inherited Gary’s old DSLR camera as he’s had an upgrade and really enjoyed getting out to take some photos, especially as we were lucky enough to see lots of wildlife, including some very photogenic otters at the Sea Life centre.
We ate well too. Lots of local sea food, including divine scallops and oysters. Even a bandage wasn’t going to stop me getting stuck into a grand platter. But fantastic 3-course meals, big breakfasts, late starts and lie-ins have left me feeling rather lazy.
Oh, the finger’s fine by the way. I had my stitches out on Thursday and it’s healed really well. I’ll still keep a dressing on it for a while to protect it, but I really am very lucky I got off so lightly. A break would have put paid to my next triathlon and tendon damage could have meant long term trouble. No more boxing for a couple more weeks though!
Today I enjoyed a really lovely long slow run with my friend Penny. She’s training for the Marathon du Medoc, so really building up the mileage a bit more than I am, but it worked out well for us to run together today. We opted for the Run for Bob route, a lovely route that takes in the seaside, cliff top paths and some up and downs through a woodland glade and finishes back on the coast.
With a gorgeous sunny day, we kept the pace conversational and just enjoyed getting some miles in the legs and easy chat. We were out for over an hour before I looked at my watch or started to wonder how far we’d come. As we peeled back around to the coast, Penny continued for a little longer to complete 11 miles, while I stopped at just over 9 – my longest run of the year to date and definitely one of the most enjoyable.
I enjoy my solo running for the space and freedom it gives me to think or just clear my mind, but with the right company the miles just fly by on the long run. And today 9 miles was a real pleasure topped off by a ’99 with monkey’s blood.
It’s given me lots of confidence ahead of next weekend’s really long run – The Northumberland Coastal Run, which could be up to 14 miles depending on the tides. I shan’t be racing, but I am looking forward to a scenic run along the beautiful coast of Northumberland and meeting lots of my running buddies. I’m hoping there’ll be ice cream at the end of that one too.
Stats and stuff:
9.2 miles 1:34:01
1) – 1m – 10:30(10:30/m) – 103cal
2) – 1m – 10:24(10:23/m) – 105cal
3) – 1m – 10:25(10:25/m) – 103cal
4) – 1m – 10:33(10:33/m) – 104cal
5) – 1m – 11:05(11:05/m) – 105cal
6) – 1m – 9:22(9:21/m) – 105cal
7) – 1m – 9:47(9:47/m) – 106cal
8 ) – 1m – 10:04(10:04/m) – 104cal
9) – 1m – 9:58(9:58/m) – 103cal
10) – 0.2m – 1:53(9:36/m) – 21cal