Last night I went to the running club for the first time in absolutely ages. After a half hour warm up, I decided I was better suited for the 'run' group than the 'track session' group (who would probably do hundreds of 200m reps with recoveries of about a tenth of a second, all at just under Olympic qualifying standard pace) and headed off with around 20 others towards the top of Dumyat. It was a great decision. We climbed sharply out of Stirling University towards the viewpoint, then through some woods to the fields near Dumyat. We didn't go to the top of the hill but instead followed some grassy tracks, past a resevoir, before heading back down the steep road into the back of Stirling University. The weather was lovely, although thankfully a bit cooler than it had been earlier in the day. It was just about a perfect run - a steady pace, quite tough, really good company and the most fabulous views. Anyone who says 'I don't know why you run cos it's dead boring' (and believe it or not there are some people who do say that, even in a fit and healthy place like Central Scotland) should have come with us and witnessed it for themselves. They would have been hooked for life.
I've noticed there is a marathon in Cumbria towards the end of September, which isn't too far away from here and suits my schedule. It's called the Langdale Marathon and by all accounts (or at least the accounts of people who have posted on the Runner's World website) it is incredibly hilly and tough. There is a half marathon as well. One posting said that you can expect to take 20 to 25 minutes longer than your normal time for the half marathon, so the full marathon would be double this - between 40 and 50 minutes longer than normal. Unfortunately my 'normal' time seems to have got a lot slower in the last year or so (nust be old age), so I'm probably looking at around 4 hours. It sounds my kind of race, and just the target I need to get me going again. I'll think about it a bit more over the weekend, and then decide if I'm going to go for it.
Incidentally one of my dogs, Lucy, has picked up 3 sheep ticks during our short break in Skye, so we're going to the vet with her tonight. I'm sure she'll be fine - Isla, our older dog, has had them before - but as they are horrible disease-ridden things (sheep ticks that is, not dogs), it's probably better to get them taken out.