Tag Archives: Photographs

Running route in Edinburgh; a lovely early morning run

Last Saturday morning (which was April Fool’s Day!) I found myself beside the ticket machine at Glasgow Queen Street Station collecting my Glasgow to Edinburgh train ticket. As I pulled the ticket out from behind the plastic flap, I thought to myself, ‘well getting to Edinburgh is going to be a helluva lot easier than originally planned!’

You see, at the last minute I bailed from the Glasgow to Edinburgh Ultra (55 miles). I’d been looking forward to it–another ultra in my homeland–but my training leading up to the race was a fraction of what it should have been to get me from start to finish (even considering the course had been cut short by a mile!) Trying out my running legs in the days before, I realised it was silly to think I could run 54 miles.

But I’d booked a hotel in Edinburgh and had also made plans to visit a friend not too far from that beautiful city, a city I love to visit. So I went! Not by foot, but by train! Needless to say, the journey was a breeze!

And good things happened that weekend. I got to have a run in Edinburgh, on a sunny spring morning, very early and long before the crowds were up. It was a great wee run, taking in Princes Street Gardens, Edinburgh Castle, the Royal Mile and Holyrood Park.

Here are some pics and the route.

First, my squiggly strava image of the route.Screen Shot 2017-04-07 at 1.43.06 PM

 

The hotel where I stayed was close to Haymarket (I’d chosen a hotel that was only a short hobble from the finish line of my race-that-didn’t-happen) and from the hotel I ran to Princes Street gardens and past The Ross Fountain. The plaque next to the fountain tells its history and tells that, for now, the fountain is switched off, apparently because water was leaking into the monument’s structure; so experts are having to figure out what repairs are needed to prevent damage to this magnificent piece of history.

 

Not far from the fountain is the Norwegian Brigade War Memorial, which is a great big boulder made of gneiss. You can read the inscription and ponder the words, as I did. Jeez, thinking about that era always makes me feel so humble.

It reads: During the war years 1940-45 the Norwegian brigade and other army units were raised and trained in Scotland where we found hospitality, friendship and hope during dark years of exile. In grateful memory of our friends and allies on these isles. This stone was erected in the year 1978

 

I left Princes Street Gardens and found a nice stair workout up towards the castle esplanade.

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Up there on the castle esplanade, I saw council workmen emptying bins, a couple of walkers, and one other runner. Other than that, the palce was empty! The castle looked so lovely in the quiet morning sunshine.

 

Heading down the Royal Mile I came across, down a narrow alley, a sign for The Writer’s Museum. Now, I’ve got to return to have a look in there.

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Here’s a couple more pics from the Royal Mile. There were a lot of white vans and cables around and I’m guessing from the looks of it that there’s currently a film or TV show being filmed on these mean, ancient streets.

 

I headed downhill and passed by The Scottish Parliament and “Our Dynamic Earth”, before heading back uphill. Yeah, I was in Holyrood Park. I took the trail that wound below Salisbury crags heading uphill towards Arthur’s seat with amazing views of Edinburgh and beyond. I was blessed with a clear day so got these nice shots.

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OK, here’s a funny sign seen on the trail up to Arthur’s seat.

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I more or less retraced my route back to the hotel stopping to take a picture of the Scott Monument. It was built after Scottish author Sir Walter Scott’s death in 1832 and is the largest monument to a writer in the world! Get that!

 

I jogged the final stretch of Princes Street gardens. More people were up and about but it was still pretty quiet.

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I headed back to the hotel to get my stuff,  before walking the mile or so back to Waverly Station to get a train to see my friend. So out of a failed ultra, I had a great couple of days in Edinburgh.

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Dirty Duo 50K race report

I’ve been away from my blog for a wee while, but am back again to tell you about my 50K race last weekend on 6th March. It was The Dirty Duo 50K on the rugged North Shore trails in North Vancouver, BC. It’s a trail running and mountain bike race.

The categories are

  • Run 27K
  • Run 15K
  • Run 50K
  • Relay-one person runs 27k and passes on to the mountain biker who does 30K
  • Duathlon-run 27K then mountain bike 30K
  • Mountain bike 30K

I ran the 50K as training for my 100 miler. There is no better way for me to get in the miles and have lots of fun and enjoyment at the same time. There was so much encouragement between all the runners and bikers. The 50K has 2 slightly different loops, with a lot of the running on technical single track. There is a total of 3300m of elevation gain. I know these trails well and love them.  Here is a link to a map of the route.

What I took away from this race:

  • I finished feeling strong -yee ha! there is no better way than this to tell me my endurance training is working.
  • I practiced my nutrition. I carried Cliff Bars which work really well for me. At the aid stations I drank a little coke and ate a few chips. My stomach was fine.
  • I have decided what shoes I am wearing for my 100 miler!  I got some Altra Lone Peak 2.5’s recently and wore them on this 50K. Teamed up with padded socks and some vaseline my feet felt great. My feet were pretty wet for much of the 50k but I didn’t have any hot spots. I have just bought some “2 Toms Blistershield” from Amazon, to try out on my next long run. Krissy Moehl mentions the stuff in her book “Running your first Ultra.” She has used it with success. Avoiding blisters is hugely important in long ultras!

Here are some pics from the race. I carried my iphone and took a few pics along the way.

My next race is the St Patrick’s day 5K in Vancouver, BC on Sunday.

Have a great weekend everybody!

Making My Goals Real

Like most people, I too often allow distractions to take over hours of my day. I know my wandering mind will be a huge obstacle to overcome if I am to successfully get through my 100-mile training journey. I am on a mission to find focus. With this in mind, one of my goals this week was to write down my running goals! This task has been on my to-do list for a while.

I recently bought from Amazon the great training journal written by Lauren Fleshman and Ro McGettigan-Dumas. It is a lovely item for any runner to own. I would highly recommend it. Here’s mine.

 

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One of the first sections in the journal is about “Defining your goals”. I studied Ro and Lauren’s advice and eagerly read examples of their goals, reasons for their goals and steps they planned to take to reach their goals-wonderful. Motivated by their advice, I got started on my journal today by writing down my goal (Finish the Sinister 7 100 miles), reasons and steps. Then I made my first entry in the training log. It’s such a lovely journal that you want to write in it. My first entry was for yesterday (8th February-Family Day in BC, Canada) and described my easy 10K with Peter around Burnaby Lake. I was recovering after skiing the previous day at Whistler. For me, skiing is great strength training. I never fail to feel the lactic acid burn in my legs after a few minutes going down the piste!

 

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Skiing with Eva, Peter and Mig on Sunday at Whistler. Strength training for runners!

 

Finally for today, a pic from one of my training days last week; fast hiking the BCMC trail in North Vancouver. It’s a 5.8k round trip with 790m of elevation up then down. I love it!

 

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Winter training in Beautiful BC

 

 

 

 

Trail Running North Vancouver, BC in January

Today was National Croissant Day! I discovered this little known fact written on a blackboard on my happy jaunt to Starbucks for an EXTRA HOT Soya Latte after a very wet, cold, wonderful trail run in North Vancouver with a group from Mountain Madness. The extra hot drink was most welcome as we were out for more than 3 hours merrily running in the rain.

Here is today’s Strava

https://www.strava.com/activities/482190095/embed/ffeb60ea9fa8e11b635314935791108bb19a3f6a

I travel to North Vancouver from New Westminster frequently to run the trails. The travelling often causes me frustration as it involves a drive on a very busy, slow highway. However the lush rain forest that is Mother Earth never fails to convert that negative energy to joy once I start running. It sure is worth the drive.

Here are some pics from my runs in North Vancouver this week-a wet week! The training for my 100 miler has started and the volume will be built up gradually – yeah!

 

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Mountain Madness Group Run. Camera very wet!

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Friday Fun

My right hamstring/IT band discomfort had been playing up lately, also niggles in my Achilles. I had been running mostly on the roads and flat trails the last couple of weeks and I knew my muscles would feel better getting onto some hilly terrain. What better than the BCMC trail on Grouse Mountain straight up and down the mountain starting and finishing in the brown and green vegetation with a trip to the snow in the middle. It wasn’t a run but a hike and it was great to be climbing again and giving my lungs and legs a great workout. There was time to stop for a cup of tea. I wore my newish Icebug Zeals and, wow, the traction on the steep compacted slippy snow was amazing. I didn’t have to take out my Yaktrax or poles.

Here are some pics