The Deer Runner

The Deer Runner

Sunday, 28 February 2016

Weeks 6,7 & 8

It's been a downward spiral these past few weeks.  I have not been in running mode and junked practically all midweek running.  By the time I got home from work it was cold and dark where I had no inclination to head out and run on country roads.  In years gone by, a steely determination would see me complete a training program whatever the weather or how I was feeling.  This is probably the one thing that's got me through a lot of ultra events.  With grit absent I am concerned and with my first race two weeks away (the D33) I'm seriously questioning my fitness.

In desperation I headed out to my North Sea route.  I definitely wasn't fit enough for the full Aberdeen to Peterhead 37 miles so I cut it short, catching the bus from Peterhead to Newburgh instead.

I've blogged this part of the world a couple of times before but there was a section of coast still not covered, between Collieston and Whinnyfold.

Saturday 27th Feb, I parked in Peterhead and caught the number 63 bus to Newburgh.

I got off at the first stop just inside the village and headed north.

Forvie nature reserve was as spectacular as ever with the stunning Hackley Bay.

A beautiful day with clear views across the bay to Aberdeen.

Uncharted territory for me, the coast path from Collieston climbed out of the car park.

A great view back towards Collieston.

This was difficult terrain, muddy sheep tracks made for slippery progress.

With steep 45 degree grass slopes and cliffs extreme caution was required.

Some slopes showed signs of land slips, on some sections I had to resort to clinging to the barbed wire fence.

Old Slains Castle soon came into view with a spectacular setting for the house nearby.

At Slains I had a choice, take the farm track to the road to Whinnyfold or continue the precarious journey along the coast.  I had enough of the exhausting slippery trail and settled on the farm track.  After half a mile I realised it was taking me back towards Collieston, I had no choice but turn back and join the coast once more, it was going to be a long day.

The trail didn't improve, in fact it got worse.  I regretted my choice of Hokas for the day, they don't cope with mud very well.

This turned out to be a muddy hike, with 22 minute miles at one point.

On the plus side, I didn't meet a single person between Collieston and Whinnyfold.  It was about as remote as the North East can get, the solitude was amazing.

Eventually, Whinnyfold came into view.

It was good to get onto the beach at Cruden Bay but the slippery trail had taken it's toll, I was exhausted.

It was time for some lunch at Cruden Bay in the warm sun.  I still had around 11 miles to go to Peterhead.

I've photographed this coast before but make no apology for posting more images, the scenery was simply stunning.

The terrain had taken it's toll, a relatively short 23 miles felt like much more.  Good training for the Cateran and WHW races I suppose.  I'm not so sure about the D33 in two weeks time though, it could be ugly.

Week ending 14th Feb - Thurs 3, Sat 10, Sun 16.  Weekly total 29 miles.
Week ending 21st Feb - Thurs 1, Sat 12, Sun 10.  Weekly total 23 miles.
Sat 23,  Weekly total 23 miles.

Monday, 8 February 2016

Weeks 4 & 5

I'm struggling to match the training program.  Week four was okay, a 20 mile long run meant only one mile under the total.  Last week was supposed to be a fairly easy week but I managed to make a meal of it.  A week totalling 28 didn't start well, I just couldn't be bothered with the Tuesday three.   A dismal run home from work (only 3 miles) in the pouring rain dodging vehicles in the dark wasn't the best run I've had.

Things didn't improve at the weekend where I just couldn't fit in a long run.  In the end I settled for three short runs but just couldn't make it out for a fourth, settling for some core strength exercises instead.

I think I'm bored of the cold, dark and all too familiar local roads which have been my training ground this winter.  I think it's time to find a different training area, if I can be bothered.

Week ending 31st Jan - Tues 5, Thurs 5, Sat 20.  Weekly total 30 miles.
Thurs 3, Sat 4 & 5, Sun 7.  Weekly total 19 miles.