Day 2 – first Santa sighting, gold shoes outing and a small graveyard detour.

 

Bit of a cheat as this Day 2 roundup headline says more about what I did after my run rather than tales of daily running – but on this year’s December run streak I am adopting more of a devil may care – new rules for old traditions mindset – so who knows what I might write about next ? 😉

As to the run, with it being a Saturday, it meant day 2 of running was just the regular weekend fixture and at more of a relaxed pace with Alison.

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new shoes

Lots of good chat and observations, including navigating a few detours due to ongoing works along one of our favoured routes.  I gave my new running shoes their first outing ( Mizuno Wave 20 bought in Black Friday sale ) – and ‘almost’ managed to avoid the mud. At this time of year, it is pretty nigh impossible to keep my running shoes mud free – but I do try to scamper over the deepest muddiest sections of paths when my shoes still have their shiny newness about them.

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New Gold Brogues

After my run, I headed into town wearing another pair of new shoes – lovely gold brogues I had bought on impulse a couple of weeks back.

I stopped off to visit a local craft market – and spotted Santa – as you do.

 

 

Then before hitting the town proper, I wandered into Greyfriars Kirk – historically interesting church and cemetery in Edinburgh and resting place of Auld Jock – Greyfriars Bobby’s master. And it turns out last resting place of many other notable figures some worthy, some unworthy who knows – but certainly names I had heard of.

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Edinburgh skyline

Despite me living in Edinburgh longer than I have lived anywhere else ( 30 years), like many residents I don’t take as much interest in the local history than I might if I was a visitor.

 

Something else to add to my ‘to do’ list of self-improvement.

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Day 2 miles: 5.06

December total: 8.32

Weather – grey and overcast 3 degrees C

 

 

A thing of beauty is a joy forever – running with poetic inspiration

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Spring morning run – with local history bonus

daffodlls and wild garlic

I don’t know why but having Tuesday off work this week seemed like a huge treat – so much so I reckon if I could work out a way to wangle a 4 day weekend every week, all would be good in my world.

I did not even feel the usual clocks going forward weirdness, such was the joy of getting up to do just what I liked. The only thing that could  have put the icing on my ‘life is good’ cake would have been some bright sunny Spring weather – but grey and cool was fine.

Tuesday or any day  – running early in the morning is almost always a special time – a quiet secret hour or two before the day starts proper – shared with birds and dawn wildlife, and fellow early risers- shift workers, bread and milk delivery folk, bus drivers.

Today although the pink sky peeked at through bedroom curtains earlier had turned a bit grey and overcast – the air was fresh and paths were deserted and quiet – save for a morning chorus of birds and the occasional dog walker.

Having  set out with no route planned and no distance in mind, it was nice to just keep moving. I meandered through Colinton village then onto the Dell path that runs along by the water of Leith running as far as Currie Kirk . A few months back while running along the same path, I met two local ladies who in the course of conversation, gave me a local history lesson and told me about St Mungo’s well, a local spring and shrine to St Kentigern (another name for St Mungo).

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I don’t know a lot about local history or saints but having lived and studied in Glasgow I do remember a bit about St Mungo – patron saint of the city. His miracles are remembered in the city coat of arms –  – Here is the bird that never flew,Here is the tree that never grew,Here is the bell that never rang, Here is the fish that never swam – Let Glasgow Flourish.

As the ladies had told me a while back – the well is not much to look at, in fact takes a bit of finding and is somewhat neglected, but given that I have probably run past it many times – it was good to seek it out. I did not drink from the spring but maybe will try it next time.

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Now if I had taken a drink from St Mungo’s well – I could say that renewed and invigorated I sprinted off with extra vim – but as I am not a fiction writer, my renewal came more from my reduced pace and ambling along taking pictures, rather than life enhancing water.

So continuing on the local history theme – I turned off the path towards the Pentland hills and the Poet’s glen.  As the knowledgable ladies had told me when we met – the name comes from a local man, James Thomson, who was a weaver-poet living near the glen and a contemporary of Scotland’s national bard, Robert Burns.

 

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I took this section of the run at an easy pace – walking up some of the steeper stony sections , then out of the glen to the path that runs alongside first the Clubbiedean then Torduff reservoirs to a big downhill and home for breakfast.

 

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