Forgive the lofty and possibly misleading headline – but today as per my ongoing post marathon quest to rediscover my love of running, my ‘mojo’ or however best to describe the need to get back on the two-legged horse, and remember why it is a fun thing to do- I decided to try running a favourite route.
The route I chose is much loved for many reasons. First and foremost – it includes a section through the evocatively named Poet’s Glen, whose name appeals to my inner romantic – but beyond these literary references, it is a much loved run because when I am not in training or being a ‘serious’ runner, I opt to walk part of the route.
I could run the narrow uphill section – but I choose to walk not simply to avoid the steep incline and the stony path with associated high ankle twisting potential, but importantly – and here is the big thing – sometimes it is nicer to walk than to run.
Walking the short section that takes you from the road above the Dell path to the reservoir section, is a welcome pause to gather breath, take in the surroundings and slow down.
This route has lots of other things going for it – not least the views. After the first half of steady uphill running, you find yourself elevated above the tree sheltered Dell path and see all of Edinburgh and Fife below. And knowing that after a two-mile uphill slog there is a welcome downhill section leading me back to my front door is a very rare and attractive feature in a run route. There is something very pleasing about a run that takes you home with a downhill ending and something I appreciate living as I do on a fairly elevated part of Edinburgh.
This route is a good illustration of the contrasts you can enjoy running in Edinburgh. As a fairly compact city surrounded by both hills and water – you do not have to be a distance runner to experience a smorgasbord of rugged heather clad hills, bucolic pasture, leafy glades, urban architecture and a glimpse of the sea all in the course of a morning’s running.
To return to this route – I would love to give an authoritative account of the significance of the Poet in the poet’s Glen – but this requires more research than I have undertaken. Earlier this year, I did meet two ladies from a local historical society who were very well informed and shared a lot of background on local history with me as I stopped at a 7 mile half way point on a training run.
Alas, I confess when I am running my ability to retain detailed historical or other relevant detailed facts is limited.
So today’s outing was an easy Sunday run, filled with many life-affirming views of nature – and at 5 miles is the longest distance I have managed to cover since the marathon, so was a step in the right direction.