I set myself a target this past week, a last attempt to kick start the "ultra" training and make it to the Glen Ogle 33 in November. If I had the motivation and trained properly it would be time to taper rather than put in a desperate week of running, mostly late at night around the local roads. I decided to do eight miles every night for five nights, an attempt to bring my weekly mileage up from virtually nothing to at least forty.
It was after ten before I got out on Monday, a beautiful clear night. I was half way through the run when I noticed a peculiar glow above. The northern lights, streaking all the way from one horizon to the other. It's not the first time I've seen this phenomenon, New Deer is in the heart of North East Scotland well away from urban light pollution.
Another clear night on Tuesday, no northern lights this time but I could see the orange glow of Aberdeen low on the horizon which got me thinking about light pollution. It dawned on me that the head torch I had on was a form of pollution and decided to switch it off. The difference was remarkable, once my eyes got used to the dark I could just make out the single track road I was plodding along. This wasn't as reckless as it sounds, I knew the road was in good condition and was pretty straight for around a mile. In fact, the biggest risk would be stumbling upon a fox or badger. I ran on the crown of the road and was able to see vehicles coming a long way off, allowing me to step onto the verge. I was a lot sharper, more aware of the surroundings, free from looking at the circle of tarmac illuminated by my head torch. Trees were silhouettes against the dark sky and stars above.
A three mile lunchtime run on Wednesday meant a split shift, with just five miles to do at night. Just as well, I was getting fed up running the same distance and route.
Thursdays run was a thought, the weather taking a turn for the worse. I had to force myself to go out and endure another eight miles in the pouring rain where I got absolutely soaked.
Friday was out. I didn't go which annoyed me in not achieving the goal I'd set. So much so, I decided to run after work on Saturday. Twenty miles, I finally found the motivation and time to put in a decent training session, on roads, over hills and through forests. I was pretty tired at the end of this run but I should be able to scrape through at the GO33.
So a "huge" total of 52, I have to go back to April where I completed that sort of miles in a training week.