Usually I enjoy running long – not today though! It was one of those days that sadly didn’t work out the way we’d planned it. It felt long, it was slow, and it truly did feel like we’d been out forever by the end of it.
The plan had been to meet Ali at 8 am, run for an hour around Hazlehead, get 6 miles in the bank and then meet Marie. We’d then all head from Hazlehead over to Countesswells sharing lots of chat and putting the world to rights, all the while running effortlessly round the trails.
The reality, however, was quite different! Having been delighted to get up to find a clear windscreen, I then found myself at Hazlehead with a car park resembling a bottle! Neither Ali nor I are fans of ice running and this therefore got us off on the wrong foot from the outset. It appeared that we may be in luck as the start of the Hazlehead parkrun route was clear and only the usual open bits were iced over as we progressed up past the golf course. However, the gate to gate section at the top of Hazlehead was again very icy and at this point we decided we weren’t risking going any further. Resigning ourselves to going up and down several times over to clock up the miles if required, we retraced our steps.
An attempt to continue around the parkrun course was foiled by an icy path towards the ‘bus shelter’ at the top of the golf course. Running along the edge of the grass rethinking our plans we then went on to complete a loop of the Hazlehead housing estate. This saw us less than impressed, albeit perfectly timed, as we made it back up the reps lane to find not only Marie, but also Ruth and Tanja waiting to greet us.
Repeat: up the track to the gate; contemplate icy section – bail. Run back down. We then found ourselves heading out to Kingswells, along the infamously icy bike path (which wasn’t that bad today at all, just the odd patch, but having been diverted from the planned trails this was enough to add to the scunnered feelings). Back in the old road (now bus route), along Lang Stracht, through Woodend, and then down Springfield Road to finally get another trail section in, we then again found ourselves on the track up to the gate one last time.
A final up and down and up a bit / down a bit on the reps lane saw us complete the run. Don’t think we quite put the world to rights, but we did mump and moan quite a bit, wishing our lives away in favour of longer, lighter nights and better days to once again have the freedom of the Deeside line and the joy of not worrying about where you put your feet!
Not long now … these are the runs that make us! 16 miles, 2:44:19