Ever Changing Scenery

I suffered a serious lapse of self-control over the Easter weekend. And no, I’m not even talking about the inexcusable amounts of chocolate eggs I have annihilated. Here’s what really happened: four days off work, mixed with the most beautiful spring weather, sprinkled with the threat of a looming ultramarathon was all it took to turn me into a temporary binge runner.

The first run was a long trail run on the coastal path; I loved rolling out of bed and simply hitting the trail until I felt like jumping ship, at which point I headed for the road and jumped on a homeward bound bus. Saturday was parkrun day, and my legs were so fresh they even had a PB in them. It was a lovely day for it, as it also happened to be the second anniversary of my local parkrun. As such, there was much cake eating and rejoicing with the totally awesome people that make St. Andrews parkrun the fantastic event that it is!

Sunday saw me back on the amazing Cateran trail, for more exploration of the ultramarathon route. This time, I went on my own, and although the going was tough, I enjoyed every moment of it. Yes, even the bit where I got lost in a swamp and power hiking was all I could do to ensure that my shoes would stay attached to my feet. There’s learning in that, too, I am sure!

SONY DSC(Loch Beanie, near the Shoe-Stealing-Swamp-of-Doom)

On Monday morning, I joined a real ultramarathon runner for another 18 mile run in a local Nature Reserve. My legs still felt surprisingly good, but general fatigue was finally and predictably nipping at my heels. It was a challenging run, but I’m glad I did it.

All in all, I ran 96km over the four day weekend. The only explanation I can offer to explain the fact that I felt perfectly fine on Tuesday morning is that my legs were so traumatised that they simply stopped talking to me. Still, I’m sure that they are grateful for the little (relative) rest they are getting right now.

As I am typing this, I’ve put said legs up on a very cosy sofa of a holiday cottage on the west coast of Scotland. While I’m here on business (I’m attending a training course on animal assisted therapies – it’s awesome!), I can’t help but feel that this is almost a mini vacation. For a start, I’m waking up to this view every morning:

cumbrae

This cosy little cottage also happens to be fully decked out with maps and hiking guides for the area, which I continue to study vigorously. Naturally, you can expect another post about my explorunning upon my return to civilisation (and a stable internet connection)!

I hope you are all having a great week, too!

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24 thoughts on “Ever Changing Scenery

  1. Chatter says:

    What a beautiful place, love the pictures. What an amazing run.

  2. Wow! Your legs are coping with a lot right now. Are you sure you’re not some kind of machine? 😉

    • I should hope not, Allison! I was tired by the end of that (and would have been seriously concerned if I had felt any different!), but I’m super happy with how well my legs coped with all that runnage. =) I’m just trying to get ultra ready, and hope that the weekend of binge running will have improved my endurance.

      • Well it’s certainly a very impressive distance. Your legs seem to be coping well and I imagine it has improved your endurance. Not sure I’d manage such an insane total distance in so few days!

      • I’m sure you could do it, too. I’m not saying you should, but it’s absolutely possible. It was much more of a mental challenge than a physical one! The fact that all the runs were so very different really helped with that. =)

  3. Trails and Ultras says:

    I’m so jealous of your week! I’m still trying to shake off this annoying bug that I’ve had now for three weeks (aargh!) so I’m currently living vicariously through you!

    • Awwww, Becky, I hope you’ll feel better soon. Feel free to run with me in spirit. If it makes you feel any better, I came home with a bloody blister under (!?!) my big toe this evening…

      • Trails and Ultras says:

        It does make me feel a bit better! Im slowly starting to get over this bug now, hopefully will be back running tomorrow 🙂

  4. Angie says:

    What beautiful scenery! I think I could run there forever (legs permitting of course).

  5. There is nothing wrong with binge running, especially if it helps the mind and your body is up for it 🙂

    I love the west coast: we go to one of the islands every year for our summer holiday. This year, it’s Mull.

    • That’s awesome, Danielle – I look forward to hearing about your runs on Mull. 😉 I love all of Scotland, but there’s something really magical about the islands. I’m back home now, but in September I’m heading over to Argyll for a proper little vacation.

  6. piratebobcat says:

    Looks amazing! Be sure to soak it up!

  7. Jim Brennan says:

    Your words and beautiful photos make me want to go for a trail run. Oh, wait… I just did! A few years ago I stayed on the Isle of Skye, what an enchanting place. Also toured the Highlands. Would love to run there one day. Great job , Fullmoonrunner.

    • I’m so happy you are running again, Jim! You should come back to Scotland, and then we could go for a run together. In fact, why no run that bucket-list ultra over here while you are at it? 😀

  8. Sounds like a very nice Easter weekend! Had my first bike tour and first run since Rotterdam marathon during Easter weekend as well… ending my running week with 13km… So yes, this week the legs and feet and whole body felt like a bit more action would do good… although I had to wait until the weekend to get nice sunshine. Envying your views…

    Don’t forget to rest….

  9. benmattice says:

    Alright, I’ve got to get out of the desert. There are so many more beautiful places to run than here in New Mexico. Keep running! Maybe I’ll see you at a race one day. http://humanetchasketch.wordpress.com/

    • Greetings and thank you for the comment! It’s funny, because I used to live in New Mexico, and loved running there, too! I found the most annoying part was having to run mostly in the evenings… I hope we do get to meet one day, perhaps on the trails in Scotland or New Mexico! 😉

      • benmattice says:

        Where in NM did you live? I just moved here in June.

      • benmattice says:

        Oh, and I hate how hot it gets here starting in June. But, guess I’ll just have to condition my body to endure.

      • I used to live in Albuquerque when I studied at UNM. I recommend early morning or late evenings runs – they are very beautiful, actually. If you can keep your allergies remotely under control, that is. If you don’t have any allergies, you will, soon. Apart from that, it’s really lovely though!

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