The Daily Grind
If I’m honest, at times I’m starting to get a bit fed up of the ‘lockdown’. Being back at work after the ‘holidays’ where I enjoyed having lots of free time, I’m now working 3 days from home / 2 days in school. While some semblance of normality is good, it’s frustrating not being able to see family and friends and having no concept of when this may be feasible. The daily routine is now all too familiar and there are limited possibilities to do something different.
On the other hand, I do consider myself fortunate to have a beautiful garden to enjoy and the good health required to escape the confines of home to enjoy the outdoor spaces close by. I appreciate that not everyone is as fortunate.
Yesterday we took our old singlespeed bikes out for a change. We followed the usual route around Hazlehead and Countesswells, not certain at the outset whether Kingshill would feature. In the event we were pleasantly surprised by our burgeoning bike fitness and decided to give the aforementioned hill a bash. Riding clipless pedals, once you’ve committed you keep going – or fall off. My heart was thundering by the time I reached the top with every ounce of weight required for the final couple of pedal turns. Bruce advised that next time I should try zig-zagging towards the top as it makes the effort easier; either that or falling off less hazardous!
Sunday is usually Social Sunday – a large group of friends meeting up to run the trails. Sadly, for now this can’t happen, so today was anti-social Sunday instead. I love the Countesswells trails and have enjoyed riding them, so today decided to change my route, find a couple of shortcuts to Hazlehead and hopefully make it over to Countesswells.
I was well prepared with my running pack – gloves, leggings and a base layer plus water and a snack – very conscious that I need to be self sufficient at all times. The lack of people on the trails today surprised me; certainly at the start of the Hazlehead parkrun course there appeared to be far more people walking on the golf course than anywhere else! It was a pleasant surprise to bump into a familiar face along the way and good to enjoy a socially distanced chat.
Continuing on, I reached Countesswells, my favourite local forest. Knowing that we’re all missing our Sunday runs I enjoyed a leisurely pace and frequent stops to take photos to share.
We have a few points along the route where we’d normally regroup. The selfie spot is where we always have a shared photo! Nobody else in sight today!
I decided against Kingshill as the loop adds a couple of miles and my legs aren’t quite up to that distance at the moment. I clocked up 12 miles overall and that was quite sufficient being my longest run since lockdown.
Running back along the usual route, I enjoyed the swooping trails, reminiscing fondly of previous runs in company. Heading back to the car park I took in a couple of new paths to avoid the main trail, somewhat lumpy and rutted, the result of forestry works prior to lockdown.
The final climb of the day led back up towards Hazlehead. Here I met a familiar Metro man, flying down the track; the opposite of me as I plodded my way back up on increasingly weary legs!
Although there were a couple of rain showers, I was fortunate in being sheltered. The lack of rain saw the trails as dry as I’ve seen.
Round the corner towards the golf course the sun broke through again. Definitely a couple of seasons in one day.
From here, it was pretty much all downhill to home. Mixing things up, I headed along to the halfway point of the Hazlehead parkrun course before turning down towards the park. Staying off road for as long as I could, only in the final mile or so was I back on pavements.
Looking to the Future
A beautiful run and a reminder that friends are never far away! Roll on the day that we can be social on Sunday once again.