Sunday, 11 March 2012
8th week done.
A cracking day in NE Scotland today and with 23 miles to do it was back to the Gordon Way, this time the whole trail. The Bennachie car park was strangely quiet when I arrived at half eight. I recently bought a North Face back pack and this was it's first outing. I usually use a belt type bottle holder so this new back pack took a bit of getting used to. The advantage of the back pack is it holds two 500 ml bottles but this was not enough hydration on this run, more of this later.
Soon I was on the hills once more, I could feel the stress lift and selfishly soaked up the solitude. Once again I was all alone on the trail until I started the descent at the back of Bennachie. I came accross a couple with an Alsatian which started chasing and barking at me. I stopped and had a stand off with the dog as the owners aplogised saying the dog was "soft as a brush", a statement I didn't feel like testing as the dog was put under control.
On reaching the road which was my return point a few weeks ago, I turned right and picked up the trail again after 200 meters or so. Over a stile and up through a grass field that was too steep to run. A pain began to develop at the back of my right foot, oh no, not the achilles tendon I thought looking around for a seat. Sitting on the grass I checked the foot and was relieved to find it was only a blister on the right of my heel, something I don't usually suffer from. I decided earlier to use trail shoes for this run which I was now regretting as the tracks were dry. With 16 miles to go I had to think of something to fix the raw burst blister and came up with a plan but it would have to wait until I reached Suie Car Park. The next five miles was varied scenery which reminded me of the Cateran Trail. I planned to eat my food at Suie car park and hoped there would be running water to fill the water bottles. On arrival it was a gravel car park and nothing else, no water, toilets or even a picnic table. The food was quickly scoffed which included baby bel cheese. The outer wax shell was used as a blister plaster which made my foot a bit more bearable on the way back.
Hydration was now my problem with no fresh water streams until two miles from the end. The walks uphill were exhausting and not having water on a warm day did not help. On getting back to the Bennachie range I put on the mp3 player and concentrated on reaching the cool tumbling waters of the stream. Thirst and the reaction of the brain to combat it never ceases to amaze me, at the Cateran last year I just could not take any more electrolyte and remember drinking water from a stream. The fact the stream was flowing through a field full of sheep did not stop me taking a long cool drink. Today, my thirst quenching stream soon appeared where I filled a water bottle and downed it in a oner, what a releif, the clear cool water was magic.
Two miles later and I was back at the car park, warmed down and stretched I made my way home for a chocolate milkshake recovery drink. I have blisters on both feet and hope they don't affect me during the D33 next week where I will be using the tried and trusted Brooks road shoes.
Mp3 of the week "Born To Die" by Lana Del Rey.
Saturday 7.5 miles 1.08.28 Sunday 23.71 miles 5.30.30 Weekly total 50 miles.