I think a side effect of the Hoka shoes cushioning feet so well is that when I come to run in fairly thin trail shoes on hard pack and tarmac courses like the Devilla Trail race or Forfar Multi, it means my calves ache the next day. Or did they always?
Anyway I was hobbling around today feeling like I couldn't be bothered. And mostly I managed to avoid any serious industry or heavy lifting. But the weather outside was pretty glorious (from inside). And I notice from the running calendar that I tend to run Mondays and skip Tuesdays. But mostly just a gentle session.
Easter Road - up
Easter Road - down
However Mary suggested rad road reps and well I couldn't see why not although again with Carnethy behind us I couldn't really see why. I felt a little guilty I hadn't given Ally R the heads up as he was keen for a bit of rad torture. I hoped he had caught up with the Monday lunchtime Arthur's Seat folk. I don't know how anyone can face a big hilly session so soon after the exertions of the weekend. I keep meaning to go along but haven't yet found the will power.
So with the sun descending I took the camera and we headed up Easter Road – the radical road visible and the crags orange in the sinking sun. Hardly any wind was really helpful – there is often a cruel blast in the face around halfway up as you turn the corner.
Without any breather recovery we were off and I judged the first one spot on this time doing 4.57 – under 5 mins but with every possibility of doing the next 2 a bit quicker. At the top I took photos and waited on Mary. After she had caught her breath we continued along to the shoulder at Hunter's Bog and then took the muddy path down and along through the bog. Back to the start. Coach Gordon at club used this as a Wednesday Summer session – 3 laps and everyone racing. The climb was the killer.
2nd lap and the sun has gone.
When we got back to the start Mary again set off – no recovery as such. The long descent being the recovery. At first I was more keen to just descend the rad rd and run another but this route meant a cumulative 7 miles by the time we got home, - 5 miles run during the 3 laps.
The finish line
The second lap was the hardest to pace. Too relaxed and it wouldn't be faster than the first. Too quick and the third would be impossible. Its not just a case of a little more than last time as you tire with each so its a little more plus some. I put off my watch at 4.45, perhaps a little too fast if I wanted to take a similar amount off for the final lap.
The descent into the bog was darker and we decided the third lap to go round the front of the crags. Back to the start and off again. Its tricky to know where to pick the pace up. The start is steep and if you overcook it you will be spent before the path levels off a bit and you can leg it. I spent the second half using my arms more and trying to take longer more powerful strides. The top can't come quick enough and I was having a near death experience when I crossed the line. 4.40 Praise be and wandering around spitting, making funny noises and looking at the ground. Emo girls watching the glimmer of the post-sunset no doubt thought I was some idiot out abusing his long suffering girlfriend.
Third lap and the street lights go on.
Taking photos and realising I hold my breath when releasing the shutter and that I couldn't because I was gasping too much. Mary appeared and we ran off and home. Good tough session on a beautiful evening.