Monday, 31 May 2010


Another day - another run. That's four eight to nine mile runs in four days under the belt. This morning the sun was out - so it was a nice eight mile trot through Innerwick and then up via the pylon road to Weatherly before the quick downhill section back home (slowing slightly only to look again at the "crocodile").
The "recovery" is coming along nicely and "normal service" can probably be resumed very soon. Which is good news indeed. Good news in as much as I have missed my runs at lunchtime in the "Dear Green Place".
Not that I "miss" the D.G.P. you understand. Hell no. The last people who could say with any true emotion and conviction that they "missed" that dump were the brave lads who piloted their twin engine Junkers 88's over it in the spring of '41.
No I miss the running as it's the only thing that keeps me sane when I'm through there. But now that the taper's over and the recovery complete it's back to my wee jaunts up and down the banks of the majestic Clyde... Oh joy.

Saturday, 29 May 2010


The tiny bothy that is the Hay country residence is bursting at the seams.
I have, if not actually surpassed, then got very close to "crisis" point "vis a vis" storage. The storage of CDs ... Jazz CDs to be perfectly honest. I'm up to my ears in them.
Current storage arrangements are, at best, a bit of a mess. I have two sets of drawers in the palatial "main dinning room/function suite". The larger of the two chest is very much the "mother lode" with hundreds of CDs removed from their bothersome "jewel cases" and inserted into space saving vinyl sleeves. These are ordered alphabetically from mainstream trumpeter Bruce Adams through the whole spectrum of jazz to Joshua Redman's organ led trio YaYa3 (no "Z"??).
Next to it there sites the smaller "treasure chest" where oft played classics by Jan Garbarek, Andy Sheppard, Tommy Smith, Courtney Pine, EST and the likes reside.
Upstairs in the luxurious "guest room/office" are two further cabinets where yesterdays idols and lesser works reside. Trouble is, what's a lesser work one week can suddenly turn into a "must hear" very quickly. These CDs I'm saddened to admit are "roughly filed in order". This makes the instant laying on of hands a bit bothersome. Though to be honest the fact that these two storage facilities are in the office has meant I have "rediscovered" a lot of really good jazz while working from home. But that in turn brings about problems, because when I rediscover how good something old is I automatically want to rehouse it back in the mother lode - closer to my "good" quality HiFi. "Harmos" by Barry Guy and the London Jazz Composers Orchestra! Hidden away -  and why? I listened to it and was blown away by how good it was. One piece of music that starts and ends with bitter, angry, almost discordant, disjointed notes but in the middle there is this lovely melodic, charming, orchestral, almost pastoral, passage. You find yourself immersed in this beautiful music and you can't really put your finger on when it emerged from the sounds at the beginning and you cant really grasp when it slips away again - the whole 40 minute piece is organic.
But I digress... Over and above these four storage facilities there are various wooden boxes, cardboard boxes and one steel case that holds about 500. This currently resides in the master bedroom.
I need something that I can access all my music on efficiently and quickly.......
I need one of these........

Problem is, if (or when) I get one of these. I'll still have as many CDs (surely you didn't think I'd get rid of them???). But at least I could file them away permanently and access the music I want easily.
Another, perhaps obvious solution, would be to go down the road of a high storage Ipod and quality docking station. But that goes against all my existing prejudices against the horrible bloody cultural hegemony of the Ipod brand and it's sheepish followers. I really do believe there are much better MP3/WMA players out there ... you just can't get the good quality docking stations for them.

Of course the cynical might just say I could buy less.......

Friday, 28 May 2010


Been a bit affected by the "post race blues" this week. A sort of melancholy I suppose. A state perhaps brought about by the sudden realisation that after weeks of preparation, there's bugger all left to aim for (in the immediate future that is).
Ah well. Best, to find something then.. My mind keeps wandering towards thoughts of the rolling roads along Loch Ness in October ..... hmmm, we'll see.

Or perhaps my blues has been caused by Amazon's failure to deliver the new Steve Lodder CD I ordered in time for me to "get into it" during the long bank holiday weekend.
So.. just in case that's what was causing this mild psychological disorder I went out today and bought another new one. The new Keith Jarrett and Charlie Hadden offering. Gets good reviews and I love Keith Jarrett's piano (though his highly audible self accompanying mumbles and humming can grate at times). Anyway. Get a chance to listen to it over the weekend.

On the running side? Yes I have been out a few times since Sunday. Failed to go out a run on Monday though. I really did intend to go a wee recovery run (a gentle 3 or 4 mile trot), but on returning home from work I was overcome by a huge tsunami of "couldn't-be-arsedness".
So, my first run ended up being the club run on Tuesday - a "gentle" (hoho) 9 mile cross country trot through the chicken farm and John Muir country park at a steady 7:20 pace. Which may explain why on Wednesday my legs felt as though they had been put through a bloody mangle!
Managed a nice run up and round by the wind farms today, and, while the legs don't exactly have their old "bounce" back yet, they are getting better.

Got my number today for the Black Rock 5 in a coupe of weeks. Also hope to do the Haddington 5 and the Portobello prom race in June.

Monday, 24 May 2010


I've tried for a few years now to get a sub 3 marathon, and I've always wondered what it would feel like once I did.
Well, now I know. It's a combination of elation and agony.
I've seen a couple of different reports about yesterdays race that put the temperature between 21 or 25 - but out there on the road it felt a lot LOT hotter.
I'd like to say that I had a plan yesterday and that the race went to that plan and everything just fell into place - but that would be a lie.
While I'm more than happy with my time it was for me what has become a bit of a "signature" race. Paced all over the place, ugly, painful and disorganised.
The "plan" I did have was actually to go for 2:55. So that meant in an ideal world mile splits of about 6:41 (a pace I feel comfortable with in normal conditions). Anyway, what the plan didn't take into account was the sun having his hat on hip-hip-hip-hooray!

First couple of miles were a bit [too] fast and I was off pace already. Did slow down slightly at one point going along the prom at Portobello (6 mile mark ) where volleyball nets had been put into the sand and there was a ladies beach volleyball game going on - always been one of my favourite spectator sports !
From there to be honest I'd like to give a blow by blow account of the race. But I really can't remember that much about it to be honest. It was just a case of head down and get on with the job in hand.
Took a little bit of water at every stop and likewise took a little bit of energy drink at every station where that was available.
Passed through the Pans where Anne and Ian were marshalling feeling good. Past Seaton sands and then into the grounds of Gossford House.
To be honest I felt really good right up till about the 22/23 mile mark .... then the wheels fell off. Sudden retching and the fluid contents said "goodbye stomach" and "hello pavement". Picked up the speed again, though still a bit slower than previously, but the last mile was a slow one, again with the old stomach giving me a bit bother.
Luckily I'd "got enough in the bank". Turned into Musselburgh racecourse onto the mats up to the finish line knowing I'd done it.
For once I think there will be a photo of me crossing the line looking happy! 2:59:11 !!

All in all I was very impressed with the organisation of the marathon this year. Having the baggage buses and "village" out on Pinkie playing fields really made sense.
Got my gear, got changed and then started making my weary way back up the road to meet Anne and Ian at the Pans.
Stopped off at the wee Post Office out by Mrs Foremans for something cold. Looked in the fridge and noticed Ice Poles. I cant remember the last time I had one of those, but on a day like yesterday it was just the ticket. I'd completely forgotten that the shop is owned by Ian Wood of Musselburgh running club - so free ice pole! Top man.
When I got to where the others were marshaling the crowds were still swarming through and you could tell that a lot of people were really suffering in the heat.
Crowds were great though with lots of impromptu water stations set up and garden hoses and sprinklers set out in the road to cool the runners down.
Marshals and first aiders really had their work cut out for them though.
It didn't bother me too much - but I still question the the idea of having an 8:00 half marathon start and leaving the marathon runners till 10:00 to start.

Anyway. That's it. "Job done". Sub-3 obtained.
Immediate plans are to recover, then get back to enjoying running for a wee while (10ks and halfs etc). But what next? Well, I'd like to do it again, but a bit more comfortably.

Saturday, 22 May 2010


Oh lordy.
Don't know if it's heatstroke or if I've been affected by "taper madness" to that great an extent that I've started hallucinating!!
It's bloody typical. Nearly through May and after a year, so far, that can be best described as "crap" the weather takes a turn for the scorching. Expect all the Sunday papers tomorrow to have pictures of corpulent Brits tucking into ice-creams or young ladies in bikinis, all accompanied by "Britain Bakes" and "Phew! What A Scorcher" type headlines.
Spare a thought however for those daft enough to run 26.2 miles in it after training in somewhat cooler conditions. Spare a moment too to ponder the wisdom of setting off those who are running 13 miles at 8:00 in the relative cool of the morning. While those doing the full 26 get the fun of hanging about till 10:00 - just to make sure the sun's really out!
Oh Well. Anyway. Due to the dreaded taper I had already decided that today was a rest day - no running for yours truly.
Decided therefore to go a wee bit of a walk and at least keep the legs moving and also to stave of the boredom or even worse the temptation to watch Saturday afternoon telly!!

Just went out for about a mile... "up the back" from our bit.
There's a pond there. Well, I think it can be classified as a pond - it might just be an immense puddle. Anyway. It's very popular with all the cattle at the moment. A wee place for a drink and a paddle (amazingly, it's also a popular place for some of them to pee - which you would think would greatly reduce the desire for the others to drink and paddle).

It was there though that I first spotted the new wildlife. The crocodile!!
Emerging from the pond, and silently creeping towards the road is the belly-shuffling, beady-eyed, hard-skinned little croc.
I couldn't believe my eyes!
Closer inspection, however, reveals that it's little more than one of those three piece garden ornament type things.
Wonder who put it there? How long has it been there? How long will it stay? And what does it eat!!

Wednesday, 19 May 2010


Trying my hardest to stave off the "taper madness" this week.
Last nights club run was perhaps a "tad" too long and too quick, but nowhere near as bad as the last couple of weeks. And any other run I've done this week has been a gentle 4 mile trot.
So. Nowt to do till Sunday, but sit and wait.

I've also been self-medicating with jazz to try and sooth the old nerves a bit.
First up and very much in a modern groove is alto saxophonist Rosario Giuliani who hails from Italy. Now. I got this from one of those "previously owned" places and thought to myself "never heard of this chap - but it looks good. I'll give it a punt." Well. Shows how much I know - I've already got a few albums that he's playing on. Not "headlining" the albums admittedly but he's appeared on two Guy Barker albums that I own and, given that he's played with Enrico Rava and Michel Petrucciani there's a chance I may have some other bits and bobs by him.
Anyway. Glad I got this one. Saxophone led quartet that is pretty mainstream, but with a decided modern "edge" to it. It reminds me of Chris Potter. Really nice cover of Petrucciani's "Home". The original is really light and joyful; the rhythm section giving a nice pedestrian beat for Petrucciani to, not so much walk along with, but dance in between. Petrucciani's "home" is a place where something wonderful awaits and he is almost child-like in his eagerness to get to it.. This version is just a bit slower and ballad-like, it gives the impression that here "home" may or may not hold wonders, but it is more a journey back to sanctuary from troubles and weariness.
I like cover versions that take a piece of music and change aspects of it, while remaining recognisable. This really fits the bill. Some covers - you want to listen to again and again. Some - you want to listen to the original again and again. With this? Makes me want to listen to both.

I have also decided to plug a gap in my collection. Johnny Hodges. For years Duke Ellington's lead alto player and band leader in his own right.
I don't know if he was against the bebop trend of the 50's, or if he simply stuck to doing what he did best. But as you would expect of a contemporary of Ben Webster, Lester Young and the likes his stuff is a bit "old school" - but it swings. And there's always a place for a bit swing in this world.
Those jolly nice people at "Avid Jazz" have done it again. Not two, not, three, but a stonking four Johnny Hodges albums on two CDs for a mere three and a half pounds! All good stuff. But the first album "Castle Rock" is a real jive/jump/dance album. Of the four, favourite so far is "Creamy" where he's joined by Billy Strayhorn on piano and Clark Terry on trumpet, among others, for some really warm ballads (a few by Strayhorn) before ending it what sounds like a hot ten minute jam session called "No Good Kicking".
The other two albums are "In A Mellow Tone" and "Perdido" which are both pretty standard Ellington covers albums. But these are covers done well by guys who were deemed good enough to be hired by Ellington himself, and that should be a good enough recommendation for anybody.

Monday, 17 May 2010


Every bloody time! Without fail.
The week running up to a marathon there's always some bastard comes
into the office full of the cold - dripping and sweating all over the
And its usualy the bugger thats usually "off sick" at the drop of a
hat the rest of the year.
Piss off!! Your only a civil servant anyway - not like you actually do anything.

Sunday, 16 May 2010


Yesterday was the Loch Leven Half Marathon. A race that I really enjoy and have done a few times.
However, being half way through my "taper" for the marathon next week I thought it best not to race.
Anne was though, as were a few others from the club, so I went along to spectate. Now - being on a taper doesn't mean no running at all, so I decided to don running gear - take a nice steady trot out to the three mile mark - take some photos - then trot back to the end to watch the runners coming in. A nice outing and a nice six and a bit mile run. "Simples".
Quite pleased with some of the pictures: (
Loch Leven is a really picturesque route but while, individually, none of the hills in it are too bad when you combine them all up its quite a testing one. Especially on a windy day like yesterday.

On the way home we took a slight detour to look at some "Art". Or to be more specific contemporary sculpture.
I really like a lot of contemporary sculpture, and I particularly like the work of Antony Gormley. I always get a kick out of the Angel Of The North when we are travelling down, or back up, the A1.
So, I was interested a few months ago now to learn that one of his newest pieces is being constructed close by in Macmerry just off the A1.
In fact this piece has been visible from the A1 for some time and it's been fascinating to get glimpses of it during it's construction (it is going to be dismantled into manageable pieces and shipped and then reassembled in Holland).
The piece is called "Exposure" and consists of a colossal 25.6m figure squatting.
It was strange to see it in this context. Obviously it isn't "in situ". I don't know where it will be placed (on a hill like the Angel?). At the moment, it's inside a fenced works yard surrounded by industrial storage boxes and crates and is also surrounded by girders (used during it's construction).
At the moment it looks trapped and caged. I couldn't help thinking of orange boiler suited figures in cages.
I'd like to think that once placed where it is ultimately intended it will give a sense of freedom and space.
I did find a photo of, what I assume is, a model of the finished thing. I think it looks wonderful.

Thursday, 13 May 2010



Yesterday’s run was rather short and gentle, in keeping with my taper plan. Because I was working from home I was able to go out for a wee trot at lunchtime – only to come home to a large envelope through the door marked “Edinburgh Marathon”. My number, compuchip thingummy-jig, final details etc had arrived. Brings it all home and a bit more “immanent”.

Anyway, later on in the afternoon I was up the stairs (on the phone making a work related call). I happened to look outside, down by the back door where I had placed the clothes horse with some washing on it to dry – the sun having finally decided to make an appearance. Anyway, while I was making the call I noticed that one of the clothes horses was shaking.

Finished the call and went downstairs… Only to discover Fatso the cat rolling about, claws flapping wildly, shrouded in my favourite (and oldest) pair of Nike shorts that he had pulled off the lowest rung of the dryer!!

They were all catches in the inner linear and all covered in cat hairs!! Little sod got one hell of a fright when I opened the door and he scarpered pronto, dragging the beloved Nike’s half way along the garden with him! Ended up throwing them away. And they were only six years old!! Hardly even “worn in” yet!

I loved those shorts – even if there were certain marks that wouldn’t shift in a wash. They were a sort of “badge of honour” it was a six year accumulation of sweat and effort …… and I hope that cat catches something off it!!

Wednesday, 12 May 2010


Away to the dentist this morning for a wee check up.
Got there a bit early and thought I'd kill time by savouring some of the earthly delights on offer in Dunbar's beautiful and vibrant high street. What with all the beautiful and elegant "daytime people" that inhabit the street at this time, the casual observer could be forgiven for mistaking it for a Parisian Boulevard.
Anyway. I was there - I might as well look at the shops. Lesson learned? Never, ever look in charity shop windows at their CD collection when they're not open - Courtney Pine "I've Known Rivers"..£1.
"Wayhay" I thought, I'll pop back once the old teeth have been picked, prodded, scraped and polished.
Or that was the idea. Shop doesn't open till 10.
I'll try and get back at the weekend. I might be wrong but I don't think there's a huge demand for Courtney Pine records in Dunbar.

Shame I didn't get it though. It might have raised my spirits slightly. Even although we all knew it was going to happen - the sight of a Tory outside number 10 has left me feeling scunnered.
Still, as long as Posh Dave leads his minority government with the same humility and disregard for personal advancement as Wee Eck leads his, we should be OK.
Doesn't help that everybody seems to be resigned to the fact that we will probably have to go through the whole sorry thing again in about a year.

Sunday, 9 May 2010


Well, today was the last long run of my buildup to the Edinburgh Marafun, and to use that oft quoted medical term - my legs were shagged.
My "plan", for what it was worth, was to have a fairly "heavy" three week period that included the Edinburgh to North Berwick... then to taper. And for what it was worth I have stuck fairly closely to my plan. However, I think I have underestimated the E2NB a wee bit. To be honest, although its "only" 20 miles, if you go at it full pelt it can still take a lot out of you.
The rule of thumb (for marathons) that I stick to is that it takes a day for every mile that you race to fully recover. Now, that doesn't mean that you cant run for 26 days after a marathon... lordy no! Often I run the day after. What, I think, it means is that it takes about 26 days to fully recover full race fitness.
So, as I say, while the E2NB is only 20 I think the same basic principle applies it does take a wee bit to fully recover the fitness in the legs (maybe not as long as 20 days). And given that as well as the race I ran every day last week including a 10 mile run at race pace on Tuesday and the fastest run I've ever done the 6.77 in the "Dear Green Place" on Thursday it's probably not too surprising that the legs still feel heavy today doing 21 miles.
I shall take my taper a bit more seriously than I have in the past this time I think.

I am also going to prepare for my race with the help of "the Lords music"...Jazz!! Last week before the E2NB I was listening to Gerry Mulligan and Ben Webster's version of "In A Mellow Tone". A wondrous thing to behold... Webster has such a deep, rich, velvety tone from his tenor sax that it's really at the lower end of the tenor spectrum, while Mulligan conversely makes the baritone sax "floaty light"! The two don't quite "meet" tonally - but come as close as dam it and compliment each other wonderfully. It swings!! I think I listened to it about three times in a row. Don't know if it helped get me "in the zone" for a run - but it didn't do any harm.....
So... I would not race with an MP3 player - BUT, I have 4 mp3 players. Including an old 128mb one that really is on it's last legs (probably couldn't buy a 128mb one these days). So what I think I'm going to do is put some tunes on it. Listen to music up to just before the gun goes off... then chuck it (obviously I've got some crappy throw away earphones too).
Last year at Edinburgh they had some moron with a microphone who was trying to "gee up" the crowd for about an hour before the race. Think Id rather listen to my own stuff.

Thursday, 6 May 2010


Strange run at lunchtime today.

Well I say lunchtime, but it was actually earlier (I had someone coming to my office to see me at lunchtime – most inconsiderate).
Anyway. I realised that if you do the same run, regularly, at the same time – you start to get used to seeing the same people at the same times. You regularly pass (or are passed by) the same people, obviously out doing their usual run as well. I know the runners who acknowledge my nod or “hello” and I know the ones who don’t (so I’ve given up trying).
But this was half an hour earlier – and it really threw me. Either different runners altogether or the same runners in different places.
Luckily, unburdened by employment or responsibility, the junkie dole scum were still nestled under the bridge (safe now that the “art” has been removed).
The other thing that made it “strange” was using Ian’s Garmin GPS that I’ve borrowed for a wee while. Now I can use a Garmin, but I’ve not got used to using a Garmin. If that sounds strange what I mean is that I do know how to turn it on, set it up, start it etc… BUT I’ve not yet got used to having so much information readily available on my wrist. Time? No problem… get that with my watch anyway. Heart Rate? No problem… get that from my HRM (and, if I’m honest, I’m getting fairly good now at guessing my three “zones”).
But speed?? Minute mile pace?? Ya beezer. It’s great fun… but it’s also a potential for disaster.. I need to learn not to keep looking at it.
Because every time I look at it I think “ooh... could I pick it up a bit here?”. Bottom line is – a short quick run is the last thing I need right now. Just coming off a fairly high mileage and high effort week and getting ready for my last LSR this weekend before the taper.
So why did I push it to 6:20 pace for 6.77 miles? Madness. Three fairly “heavy” weeks training wise lately, so for once I’m almost looking forward to tapering down.

Wednesday, 5 May 2010


Not a big fan of Spring. Or Summer either, if I'm honest. All that "new-life-bursting-with-promise" guff just gives me the boak.
I'm an Autumn and Winter type of a guy. Fits my morose and miserable personality better some how.
What's worse than the alarm going of just after five?? I'll tell you what - a load of bloody birds, coos and sheep kickin' off at the back of four!!
Anyhoo... I've another reason not to look forward to Spring and Summer this year.
Three very large fields around our bit have been turned over to rapeseed this year.
I was out for a wee bit of a run at lunchtime and you could taste the pollen in the air - never mind smell it.
Just what I need on top of my asthma ... itchy eyes and a runny nose.
Roll on October....

Sunday, 2 May 2010


I don’t know if my interval session on Thursday night really did me any good… but at least I know id didn’t do me any harm.

Woke up yesterday to rain battering off the velux window in the bedroom and the sound of a moderately stiff breeze blowing over the roof. Of all the things I really wanted to do, I’d be lying if I said running twenty miles, into the wind, from Portobello prom to North Berwick was one of them. Well “tough”, because that’s exactly what I was doing.
We still had time for a fairly relaxing breakfast in front of the telly watching an episode of the Sopranos on DVD (there’s nothing like a bit of mindless violence to start the day!). A shower, change into the kit, a final check of the bags and we were off.
We met Theresa and Brian at North Berwick and then we all travelled to the start in their car. I must say that Brian was very calm and composed for a man about to run that distance for the first time. I’ve done this race a few times now and still get nervous. More so this year, as every other year I’ve done it there has either been no wind at all, or whatever wind there has been was in our favour. As we travelled to the start, we could tell that the wind was picking up – and blowing the wrong way. Still. It’s a race and the conditions are the same for everyone.
Got registered, made some final adjustments, toilet stop, bag onto the baggage bus and started my modest warm up before heading off to the start line.
The start line of a race is always a good place to meet others, share a few words and generally just try to keep your mind off the task ahead. Well, that’s what I do anyway. I know some runners just like to keep themselves to themselves, focus and get into a “zone” or whatever.
I was surprised to see Pete Buchanan of Portobello at the start line. There can’t be many who do a 53 mile race one weekend then feel up to a 20 mile race the next!
Now. I had a “game plan” yesterday. I had planned on trying to run the race at my hoped for marathon pace (6:40).
“Best laid plans…..” and all that…
The gun went off and my brain just went off into race mode. Though even I’m not that daft that when I clocked the first mile at 6:06 I thought it prudent to apply the brakes a tad.
The first five miles were still a good bit faster than I wanted, but I found myself in a little group (that included Pete B and a guy from Dundee and a bloke from Carnegie – the later two were to become my “close friends”). Despite the wind the first five miles weren’t too bad as people appeared to be willing to “take turns” at the front and share the pace.
However, at some point our little group was reduced to three. Me, Dundee guy and Carnegie bloke (I honestly can’t say when the split occurred). Anyway, by the second feeding station we were down to three – with me in front. A situation that was to remain for the final ten miles.
Now. The wind was “stiff” it wasn’t a howling gale, but there definitely was a stiff headwind for almost all of the way. And I ran into it, like Quasimodo with a two man hump on my back. I know there are no rules against it and I don’t want to complain (too) much, but if you’re running in a group, into a head wind either take a wee turn at the front or drop back a wee bit. I reckon that for ten miles we ran in a line, with me at the front, and never any more than six foot separating the three of us.
I was starting to feel the pressure on as we got to Direlton and decided to take a leaf out of cycling tactics.
At the 18 mile mark I dropped the speed right down… they slowed down to. I veered to the left, right into the fence line to try and make it obvious I was leaving room to pass … they veered too.
OK. If that’s how it’s going to be. I slowed down a bit during the last mile and tried to conserve just a wee bit in the tank for what was inevitable.
As we drew into the new finish for this race (on the putting green by the shore), Dundee guy made his move. I immediately tucked in behind him, waited all of two or three seconds then went round on the right and sprinted like hell for the line, and beat him for 7th place overall (maybe the interval session on Thursday did help). Clocked 2:08:37 so managed to knock about 6 minutes off my time for last year.
Luckily, for me, it turns out as well as 7th I also managed to bag 1st MVO45 place!!
Stood about and watched a few other runners coming in before taking the advice of Richard, who was down to watch (after his VLM race last week) and tootled off down to the shore line for a very, very cold paddle – a bit of a poor-man’s ice bath I suppose.
As well as the slight change to the route (new finish) there were a few other changes to the race this year. There is a marquee at the end for water and juice. Also Mars Bars (a donation, I believe from HELP - may the lord smile on them). Importantly the marquee offered welcome shelter from the cold wind.
Then, once the runner has made their way up to the sports centre for a well earned shower, there was a nice spread of sandwiches and coffee. Much appreciated.

Today saw me heading off into them thar hills with Ian for just over 13 miles at a very steady pace… me to recover from yesterday and Ian because he’s tapering down for a 61 mile race next week.
Try to keep the mileage fairly high over the next week or so then start my taper for Edinburgh.