2 weeks 2 go…

It’s a strange thing this running malarky, full of ups and downs, especially when hills are concerned 🙂 more so are the psychological ups and downs.  It’s so addictive and when we can’t get it, we get down. Re-wind to May when it was clear I had to pull out of my A race for the Spring, I was down, depressed and injured.  I’d ‘given up’ triathlon to concentrate on running, yet the thing I wanted to do the most, I could not.  I felt a bit of a failure and a bit of loser for keeping on getting injured.  This blog was named road to recovery for a while, maybe I should rename it back!

I’m still recovering from the foot injury, but I feel like it’s getting better with every run I do, the less it hurts.  This is good as my risky strategy of increasing distance by 5km each week seems like it is paying off.  I’ve got the usual niggles and sore bits that I expected while doing long distances but nothing like the pain from the foot injury or that ITB injury.

So I ran 30kms on Friday, my last long run before the race.  I’m on my taper now and happy to be.  The 30km was tough but worth it. i really enjoy going places and as such I took a run that I did a long time ago, whilst training for marathons, a 30km jaunt eastward after work toward Portobello, and then swinging around Arthurs seat like a satellite sling shotting around a planet using gravitational forces, only to be sent on my way along the canal westward toward Home.

I’m amazed by Edinburgh, still, even though I know there’s cycle paths and I use them daily, it still amazes me that I can run around it and be ‘off road’ (as in not running along a road on the pavement) for the majority of a run that takes me all the way through the centre of it.

The route was the old railway path to leith, then through leith links onto Seafield road, then onto Porty prom where I opted for the beach to get some practice on the sand before Tiree.

From here, a little known path, the Brunstane Path skirts the East Lothian border and heads inland, following a brook toward the innocent railway path, all off road.  The innocent path takes you deep into the centre, almost hidden away from view with towering trees and in the shadow of Arthur.  I saw a walker pick a Blackberry and gave me inspiration to get some food along the way.  My mouth was dry and I was glad of some sweet sweet fruit sugar.  They tasted amazing, harking me back to my childhood as I’d go out picking them with my Granddad for my Grandma to make pies with them.  Back then, I wasn’t a fan but I’m completely converted now.

The path gets sucked up by the land and enters a tunnel under the Commie Pool and Pollock halls, a cool long tunnel, slightly gradiented against my favour so I slowed down.  My footsteps echoing through my ear phones, of which is one of only 2 runs this year that I opted to listen to music.  I figured that I would need some company on that 30km run so had put them in at the start.  I can’t remember listening to much but they were in the whole way around.

Once exiting the path, I traversed the backstreets and cycle route that winds its way to a new road layout, giving cyclists segregated space.  This snaked its way to the meadows crossing the main arteries of Edinburgh by way of Pelican Crossings.

The meadows, full of festival flare and people, I plodded around them, taking in a walking break as I had done several other times until here.  I was half way around.  From here, I ran on pavements to get to the canal at Fountainbridge where the route goes off road for 10kms.  The narrow towpath cuts its way through the city ending up in Westerhailles where I stopped and worked out my route back from here.

I’d said to myself that I was hungry and that I would go to the chippy, with it being late, I’d decided I would run straight there to finish at the chippy itself, and walk home with my food.  I google mapped it and it was spot on 4km left and my watch said 26kms.  This was a sign. CHippy was meant to be!

From here i was on roads again, travelling through the business and industrial estate that is South Gyle/ Edinburgh Park.

I ended up at the Chippy some 3 hours and 30kms which gives a pleasant average pace of 6min/km.

SO with 2 weeks to go to Tiree Ultra, I’m ready as I’ll ever be and more ready than I could have hoped for back in May.

Not sure how far I’ll go for my Taper next weekend, any suggestions helpful!

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