From the Wee Burn Bridge to the Barrel and Back

It’s been a wee while since I last shared my pearls of wisdom with you, sorry about that! I’ve been extraordinarily busy with all of my lives and that left little time for blogging. I haven’t stopped running though and even if that has meant 3 miles on the treadmill late at night, I’ve kept going.

Talking of the treadmill, controversy raised its ugly head last week when an online discussion on using one took a turn for the worse. To begin with I took the comments as the light hearted banter they were intended to be, but then it struck me that there are runners out there, especially new ones who probably lack confidence the most, that were also reading the comments and would be seeing them as put downs.  I don’t hate the treadmill, but I see it as a necessary evil which keeps me running at times when running would otherwise be impossible. And, in those circumstances, it becomes a God-send. Those runners who are blinkered by their own favourable circumstances (those that have all day to run, benefit from flexitime and showers at work or live in towns with well lit streets) have no right to tell those who have no choice but to use the treadmill that they are lesser runners. Even in jest.

Luckily my recent running has mostly taken place outdoors, with just a few treadmill runs. The reason for this is that I am still training with my husband and he finds running on our narrow treadmill difficult. Instead we have been regularly driving into town to run. Today I have a day off and, despite the fact that we have a weather warning here and the rain is falling horizontally, I decided that an outdoor run was necessary. I love running outside, I especially love running the trails and I really don’t care what the weather is doing most of the time. What I’m trying to say is, when I can run outside I DO run outside.

Just a second until I climb off my soapbox…

…there, that’s better. So, anyway, today’s long run was going to be relatively short one, but all off road. I set off in the driving rain and 50 mph winds wearing my Reebok rain jacket over a long sleeved running top and despite the rain the jacket was soon tied around my waist! I should have left it at home, but where we are we have the protection of a group of trees and it’s often difficult to properly assess the weather from the house.

The trail was much muddier than usual, a result of the torrential rain we had all night. It was so bad that I stopped trying to dodge puddles because they were too wide and just ran through them. My socks were soaked before the first quarter mile had passed! It was also that bad that I decided not to run the castle loop, but to run to a point and back. I’d started running earlier than I would have today because I left Murphy Dog at the house. Ordinarily I would have kept him on the lead down the track until we’d passed all the houses and then let him loose and started running. Today I started running at the Wee Bridge which would give me a bit more mileage.

I wasn’t looking at my Garmin particularly; I knew it was going to be a slow run today. The rocks, mud, puddles, rain and wind would see to that! Although the trees are tall and block the wind from the sea, they also act as a tunnel, funneling the wind along the track. It was quite strange running into the wind knowing that the wind had actually turned a corner just ahead in order to be blowing in my face!

When I reached 1.5 miles I almost turned round, but because I’d started sooner I realised that if I ran on as far as the track went I could get another half a mile out of the route. I ran to what was the lumber lorries turning point, a huge circle at the end of the track, and tagged a large barrel with rocks on its lid to keep it on. I have no idea what is in the barrel and, in this hunting, shooting, fishing environment, I really don’t want to know! It was my turning point and that was enough.

Running back was mostly uphill and I made a point of sprinting up each hill, giving my gluteus a good stretch! If nothing else the hills passed by faster! In doing so I startled a deer and saw its white tail disappear into the dense woodlands. What a scary sight I must be, hurtling around the countryside on days that most people are at home drinking soup in front of a roaring fire.

By the time I reached the Wee Bridge I was soaked. My shoes were like leaky boats and everything else was sodden, but I was smiling. I enjoyed my hurtle around the woods, albeit it a slow and careful one. Mr Garmin says that I did 3.47 miles in 37:10 giving me a leisurely 10:43 mile pace. That’ll do.

Later I expect to be heading into town to do a few more even more leisurely miles with my hubbie, maintaining my weekly mileage without worrying too much. Hopefully, by then, the wind and rain will have subsided a tad.


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