Mind the Map

You guys, I’ve gone and done it again. I’ve gotten lost. And this time, I don’t just mean to say that I got lost on my long run again (although that happened, too!). Instead I seem to have gotten a bit lost in this beautiful spring and life in general. It’s all good though. I think I’ll call it wander lost.

One side effect of this wander lost is that I haven’t found the time to update my blog in ages, even though I’ve experienced, seen and realised much that I would love to share.

Last weekend, for example, I went on a Hebridean island-hopping long run. My journey took me from the mainland to three different islands and involved five ferry crossings. The views were just stunning; sleepy fishing boats, sea birds, the occasional seal and more mountainous islands shrouded in mist on the horizon. I spent almost the entire day travelling and on my feet that day, although I only ran for four hours and covered just over 40 kilometres. The best part was that it didn’t feel like a long training run at all; instead it felt like a real adventure.

20140426_110432(Views from the long run, looking out towards Arran)

On Tuesday night, I commemorated my return home from the west coast of Scotland by running another accidental half marathon. I had only set out to run about 10km on the cold and misty evening, but bumped into a running buddy on my way home and couldn’t help myself but join him for more of the same again. It’s been a lovely reminder how mental milestones can be shifted.

Fog Coast(A foggy evening on the coast, near Crail)

Yesterday, I had to travel to Stirling for work. The downside of this is that it means a painfully early start to my day. However, this is more than made up for by the fact that the drive home takes me past the lovely Ochil mountain range in central Scotland. Thus, I ran up the Mill Glen, straight up to the peak of the Law (in fairness, this part of the route involves significantly more scrambling and power-hiking rather than running), and then over to the summits of Ben Cleuch and Ben Ever. While descending from Ben Ever, I set a new personal record; by adopting a running style that can only be described as a renegade miniature human windmill impersonation, I not only struck terror into the hearts of sheep all over the mountain, but also ran my fastest kilometre of the year so far, in 3:26. My quads hate me today, but it was totally worth it!

20140502_151019(Looking east from the summit of Ben Cleuch)

Tomorrow I am heading back up to the Cateran trail for more proper ultramarathon long run training. In the rain. I genuinely can’t wait!

Finally, I came across this nifty heat map of popular running routes around the world today. I immediately consulted it to find out if others are privy to what I believe to be my very own secret running places. Apart from looking really pretty, I think this map could be very useful at times. For example, if I ever really want to run on my own (say, when I have just been to see my horse and haven’t had a shower), it could direct me to places where I’d be highly unlikely to encounter another runner. The local motorway, for instance.

I hope you are all doing well and are enjoying the spring as much as I am.

20140502_143350(Spring in Mill Glen)


26 thoughts on “Mind the Map

  1. Scotland looks absolutely amazing, thanks for sharing all of your running adventures! I am enjoying spring as well, it’s my favorite time of the year!

  2. Laurel says:

    Sounds like you’re having a good time getting lost. Good luck with your training! By the way, those pictures are beautiful!

  3. Nothing wrong with getting a bit lost from time to time, as long as you eventually find your way back!

    • I couldn’t agree more! I must say, the irony of the fact that I got lost on my long run AGAIN today after blogging about it last night was not lost on me. 😉

  4. Jim Brennan says:

    Getting lost can be liberating.

  5. vttrailgirl says:

    It’s good to read a post from you again!

    • Thank you – I feel bad that it’s taken me so long, but I’ve been travelling a lot with work and just been busy having fun in life that I simply haven’t had the time to write about it. =D

  6. Laura Alonso says:

    Awesome post and great energy!

  7. Trails and Ultras says:

    I was just thinking that you hadn’t posted for a while…and now I know why! I’ve got lost this spring as well, no set training plan- just out and about exploring 🙂

    • I think it’s really fun and healthy to just run for the joy of it, without getting too caught up in training. It really helps us listen to our bodies. However, shouldn’t you be training for a certain little run at the end of June?

  8. Lily says:

    I’ve been getting a little lost on each run lately (sort of on purpose) and it’s very enjoyable, I must say.

  9. Looks so beautiful!

  10. piratebobcat says:

    Looks like good sets for a movie…and probably was!

  11. Angie says:

    What amazing scenery. Okay, Scotland is on my running (bucket) list now for sure. And that was one fast km!!

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