Bleak. Bleak was the scene that I found myself in. I’d convinced myself that I was clearly invincible and that shorts were also a good idea. The forecast was for heavy rain between 5am and 11am then sun. Couple that with 46mph gusts I thought it would be fine. I needed an early run to get back for a trip to Glasgow so waiting to 11 wasn’t an option. Arriving at the deserted car park I thought that I was the only muppet bracing the weather.
The rain was steady and at 8am first light seemed darker than what it should be. I laced up my mudclaws and put on two buffs and kept my rain jacket on.
I’d toyed with the idea of longs for a nano second but skin is waterproof and longs would just get heavy in the wet. Or so I thought.
I started running. Warming as I went. Climbing the hill, a tree lined avenue where a nice soft verge winds its way between the trees a soft alternative to the road.
I turned right at the top. The wind howling through the trees. I knew I was in for some fun. The track turned south and out of the wood and into the moor. The scene that greeted me was of distant hills, snow capped, horizontal rain and hail obscuring the view. No one else was in sight.
I headed for the copse to shelter and relive myself. There were signs of deer here. Lots of droppings so I hope they didn’t mind me adding to the toilet.
I ventured slowly out of the copse taking a video of the scene.
I started to run on the track. The rain pelting my face and legs hard. Stinging. My hood was pulled over me and a buff was covering my mouth. I was running at a 45 degree angle into the wind making the going tough.
There I was struggling to walk and run on the relative low section of the run. Was I mad to attempt to run over the tops? I’m not normally one to woose out but I just didn’t know if it was sensible to go if I couldn’t run or walk it.
My buff got saturated with water quite quickly. Making it hard to breathe. Like being water boarded with added wind.
I’d decided to turn with the wind downhill and alter my route. I’d heard of a path that was hellish bog and one that you’d never want to travel on. So I decided to find it and use that to return to the car.
It was hellish but my feet were soaking so I just ran through the bog mud and frozen ponds.
I was back at the car after an hour and only 9kms in. My planned 4 hours were not done. It took all my mental strength to move my cold, wet body, to run passed the car and start another route. This time I decided I’d stay low and follow the valleys to Loganlee reservoir and then return via Dens Cleugh. This I felt would be less prone to being wild but it was just as wet. The rain did not let up. And as I wasn’t doing much climbing I was able to run.
I made it back to the car in 2hrs 36min and although it wasn’t 4hours I felt that it was enough. Sometimes the mental parts of running are better training than just plodding out 4hours on the legs.