My days are always fairly random. Especially weekends as I usually don’t have much on. When I woke up I knew that at some point during the day I’d run. I didn’t know how far but since I’d done 21kms last weekend over the Pentlands it was going to be at least that.
Then while browsing Twitter in my not-so-random morning routine which involves a bucket of coffee and lying in bed browsing my various social media fields, there came some “runspiration”
Cogs started turning and so I looked up the route I’d done a few years back and it came up as 26kms. Not too bad I thought.
After a big breakfast and some tweets which pretty much meant I was committed I popped the trainers on and ran out the door.
Craiglockhart Hill was first on my list. I joined the “course” at corstorphine road and headed due south crossing the tram line which wasn’t there the last time I did this and headed to Chesser. There was a wee niggle in my right knee and my glutes were stiff – a definite result of Pilates last night!
Now I mentioned the course as this is a race held in June that starts on Calton Hill. The course is a bit loose in that runners can choose any route as long as they clip in at the summit of each hill.
So there I was entering Craiglockhart Tennis centre and headed to the base of the hill where usually I’d scramble up the hill hanging off roots and bracken. This time I chose the not so muddy route as my choice of footwear is no good on trail.
Now it was hear that I was thinking to myself “take it easy” not as much as the Blerch but more like common sense. Reaching the top I stopped to take in the views. The Pentlands rising over to the south west with hill end looking super close but in reality not that close. Corstorphine hill in the distance.
It was here Lyndsay popped up. I’d not met her before but by the time we said our goodbyes I felt like I did. She had an infectious energy and was also randomly running the 7hills tho in the opposite direction and she’d started with Arthur. Nice lass and also as crazy as me.
Off I went down the hill and it was in no time I was topping Braids Hill
Braids is lovely as it is the first time where I could see all 7 hills.
The next hill is Blackford and this involves a jaunt across a public golf course. Checking the fairway was clear I ran just a wee bit quicker across so I didn’t get hit by a golf ball. I’d imagine golfers don’t take too kindly to runners legging it across their grass and also I’d make good target practice.
The next obstacle is to get across a dell which means finding a narrow path lines with Spikey hawthorn bushes which pop you out abruptly onto a main road. Then you drop down into the Dell and you are either faced with wading across the river then bolting up a near vertical muddy cliff or you take the leisurely route which adds about 1kms onto the route. I chose the non muddy path.
Heading down the hill I had memories of the 2012 7 hills race. The cliff was where is injured myself. A crack of the ITB meant I was out of running action for 18month (tho that didn’t stop me doing IronmanUK)
Given in that race is just needed to do Arthur I carried on doing the race but it hurt.
Running down observatory drive turning left there is usually a short cut through allotments. No such luck today so a longer route taken across Newington toward the Commonwealth Pool. Entering Holyrood park I was getting tired. I decided on the safer ascent which is the staircase choosing to walk more than run. These shoes are rubbish on the smooth volcanic rock – that’s my excuse and I’m sticking with it.
The route was full of tourists keen to take in the views of Edinburgh. Their looks of puzzlement as I squeezed passed them. The summit was busy as expected, my legs tired and my heart rate at its peak.
The route down from Arthur was fun. Hapless arms waving around passing tourists and trying not to trip or slip!
I bolted across holyrood park and up the foot of Calton Hill. Getting tired I took the opportunity to eat some cliff bar.
Calton hill was busy as expected too and I knew the route to Castle Hill would be too but I didn’t mind being slowed down. I ended up running down the centre of North Bridge in the White chevron area between islands which made the journey easier. I took a short cut through North Bridge Archade then up the awesomely named Fleshmarket Close and out onto the Royal Mile. Tourist dodging was the name of this game and I used a mini bus as a shield as it pushed through the crowds making their way up to the esplanade.
Taking the Princes Street gardens route I took a different path than usual and ended up jumping through a bit of the castle at the bottom crossing the railway at the Fountain. Crossing the tram tracks again the traffic held me up with a much needed rest!
Off I trundled down Queensferry Street onto Belford Road and eventually Ravelston Dykes passed all the posh houses and starting to ascend for the last time.
The journey to corstorphine hill is a long drag gently rising and easy enough to run.