Here's a needlessly long report on my run today.
My Sunday Run
I felt a bit lazy after declining Eddy's invitation to do the Stuc a Chroin race yesterday. Too unfit and a dodgy back were my excuses although I could have thought of about half a dozen more - it's one of the running skills I've really mastered.
Anyway I've been nursing a daft idea to have a go at a big Pentland run, perhaps taking in almost all of the tops. Combine that with Julie lost her hat while walking in the Pentlands last week. So I decided to recce the tops in the southern part of the Pentlands, where most are just slight high points of the heathery and boggy moorland.
It was sunny with a slight chill on the breeze when I started from home at 10. I took in Mendick and its ridge, Ingraston Hill, beside the Dolphinton straight, then over the road near Garvald and up to White Hill and Black Mount. I've long thought of organising a race on these two fine little hills (does Black and White whisky still exist? potential sponsor) and today I may have solved the main logistical problem - parking - by cutting up through Garvald Quarry where I found ample areas of hard standing (now only need the quarry owners permission).
Down the backside of Black Mount and across the marshy lowlands to Dunsire, crossing the awkward Medwyn by a footbridge I'd spotted from high up. Next was Dunsire Law, a lovely grassy hill with cultivation terraces and a spring of sweet water to quell my thirst. First meal break (Snickers) lying in the sun in the shelter of the top watching showers over Tinto, away to the west - perfect.
After this I hit the moors, a mix of heather and bog but mostly quite runnable. The next few tops, Mid Hill, the aptly named Bleak Law, the Pike, Darlees Rig and White Craig are so insignificant they're not visited much so there's no path and the tops are only obvious by the shepherd's cairns. Although none of the showers reached me, it did get overcast and I got cold, eventually needing a second top on and gloves. Trouble was, I was low on energy and wasn't running enough of the time to keep warm.
Headed over a pimple also named the Pike and up Craigengar, a bit more of a hill but nothing compared with Mount Everest. Ate my second Snickers here as I was really feeling done in. It worked wonders and got me home via Byrehope Mount, King Seat (where I dozed off lying in the sun again) and the molehill in a field that is Little King Seat. I made a beeline for home across Westie golf course, fields freshly perfumed with chicken sh1t and the paths alongside the Lyne. A final sprint got me into the house in just under my target time of 6 hrs, 38 min and 33 sec - made it by a second!
Water, milk, sugary tea and mexican beer worked wonders of revival and now I'm just hoping I won't feel like using the holiday tomorrow to try some more Pentland tops (I know I won't).