On Friday I decided to travel part of the way home from work by running from our office in the centre of Edinburgh to Falkirk Grahamston station. I left Edinburgh around 5pm. The first hour was spent heading westwards along the A8 out towards the Gyle, past the RBS headquarters at Gogarburn, and out past the airport. There was traffic everywhere, as people tried to get home by more conventional (and some would say sensible) means, and I was running into a strong, fairly cold wind. That first hour was dull, but things didn't get any better in the second hour: in fact they actually got worse. I crossed the M9 motorway by the footbridge, headed down the A89 towards Broxburn, turned right along a back road towards Winchburgh, and then joined the Union Canal. I have run along the Union Canal on a few occasions, and I have to say that I've always found it the most boring place to run in the entire universe. Apologies to Bristish Waterways, who are trying to get people to use the canals, but from a running perspective it is dire. The path never changes at all - no hills, no real changes in scenery with the same boring view of a canal to my left for mile after mile after mile, and just about nobody else about. At one stage I stopped to count my jelly babies, which was probably the highlight of that second hour. I discovered that I had 9, so I spent the next 20 minutes trying to work out how often I could eat one without running out of them too early. What a way to spend a Friday night. I'm a real fun guy, no doubt about that.
After an eternity I came to Linlithgow, and thought very seriously about packing it in and getting the train back from there. By that stage I had covered about 18 miles and was feeling cold. I had done enough, but for some odd reason that I still don't understand I carried on towards Polmont. The 3 hour mark arrived with my GPS showing I had run about 20.6 miles, so I guess I must have been about half way between Linlithgow and Polmont. I have to say that I really don't remember much about it, as just about every bit of that section looked much the same.
Incredibly the same thing happened to me at Polmont. I had made up my mind to stop and get the train from there, or so I thought. For some stupid reason I ran on past the station exit and continued towards Falkirk. Eventually I came off the canal, headed down the hill into Falkirk, ran passed Callendar Park, and pushed really hard to try and catch the 8.37pm train.
I finally arrived at Falkirk Grahamston, having covered the 26.1 miles in 3 hours 46 minutes. It had felt much, much longer. I missed the train by 2 minutes, and had to wait a full 28 minutes for the next one. By the time it arrived I was frozen. That kind of summed up my day.