My part of North East Scotland has missed snow fall so far this winter. While runners have been posting pictures of training in deep snowy trails, I have been running on roads in sleety, icy conditions. It's my own fault, not making for the hills or attending some of the Glee / WHW training runs. Rolling farmland means there's not much shelter from the wind, mostly gale force from the north.
I was already down on miles midweek, no surprise there. With strong winds, sleety showers and hail forecast for the weekend there wasn't a snowball's chance in hell I was going to achieve the weekend target.
Program stated - 25 Saturday, 13 Sunday. I'll split it I thought, 19 Saturday and 19 Sunday which should leave quality family time. So after donning double layers, a balaclava and one of the best purchases I've made lately, an Aldi ski jacket, I left the house and ran straight into the wind. Now there was method in my madness. Keep heading into the wind till half way no matter how exhausting, turn around and let the storm push me home. It didn't quite work out like that. I found a back road I'm not familiar with and kept going in to the wind, eventually arriving at the A947, a road I had no intention of running on. Lucky for me I found an old entrance to an estate. It was lined with old broken trees which had long ago given up fighting the elements and dropped their branches across the track. The wind was so strong I was concerned one of the rotten branches would crash down on top of me on the old avenue. After around a mile I came upon a large house, obviously still inhabited as a car was parked outside. I had no choice but turn round and run the gauntlet of creaky broken limbs back to the main road. Movescount would later identify the area as Hatton Estate near Turriff.
Not wanting an out and back I had no choice but run a section of the A947 to reach Birkenhills then the back roads home. Here's where I thought it would be easier with the wind at my back but the storm always seems to settle down once I put my back to it.
Sunday was the same tactic, local roads into the storm but there was no way I was fit for 19 miles. Stinging hail felt like needles on my face as I squinted into the storm. This was a pretty uneventful run broken up by some scenic views across the fields. Once again, the weather seamed to settle down once I turned around and made my way to New Deer.
So that's another training week done, this time 14 miles short. Let's take something positive from it. Training in that sort of weather certainly toughens me up and although short on miles, I'm sure the effort required would equal more. I now have a painful hip, I'm sure it's caused by all the road running. This week is another 58 miles but I don't know if this niggle will stand it, now might be the time to listen to my body.
Tues 4, Wed 3, Thurs 4, Sat 20, Sun 13. Weekly total 44 miles.