Saturday, April 19, 2008

Tour of Strathearn - now that was tough

I'm trying to build up my mileage now we are into April, so today's session was a 20 mile run around the 'Tour of Strathearn'. This run was first shown to me by a few of the Strathearn Harriers, and it is an absolutely brilliant route, with a bit of everything: some roads, some hills, and some trails. You can start at any point, as it is a circular loop, but today I started about a mile north of the Famous Grouse Experience, and headed south in a clockwise direction. I went through Crieff via a number of paths and trails, then headed up on to the hills on the south side of the town along a track that eventually comes out at Auchengarroch Wildlife Centre. The paths here climb quite a bit for about 4 miles, with some incredible views of Strathearn from the top, before dropping down steeply off the hill and into the wildlife centre. I ran past a few ducks and other strange looking birds, then followed the road for 2 miles into Comrie. So far so good - in the first 2 hours I covered 12.8 miles, although the hard bit up and over the hills to Loch Turret was still to come.

And hard it was. I was running into a strong wind, there were a number of steep hills (mostly up), and I was getting tired. It was a real struggle all the way to the reservoir, and then I had the best part of 3 miles down a really steep road back to the car. My legs were shot by the time I got there, although the last section was covered at around 7 minute mile pace, entirely due to the steep downhill. The total run time was 3 hours 9 minutes, and the distance per my GPS was 20.4 miles. I managed to get out the car at Somerfield (although it was a bit of a struggle), picked up a few bottles of beer, then headed home for an easy night in front of the television. What a glamorous and exciting social life I have - I spend my Saturday nights reading running magazines, watching a bit of televsion (usually the sports news), or sitting blogging. Who said accountants were dull?

Finally, a note to the subversive runner , who is a big boxing fan. I was thinking about watching the Calzaghe fight later tonight, but I don't think I'll be able to stay awake that long as I'm shattered after my run, as explained above. However we do have Setanta Sports, which is showing it live at 2am. As well as the boxing, Setanta covers Scottish and English football and US Tour golf. It's only £9.99 a month and, even better, you don't need to sign up to an annual contract. I would go for it.


Tim said...

Sounds like a great run Ian. Any chance of joining you sometime between the Fling & the WHW race?

David Waterman said...

I think I'll have to sign up to Setanta. It seems they're cornering all the good fights. My girlfriend, Karen, has Setanta so I can watch the fights at her place although she lives 140 miles away. I was at work last night but I convinced her to make a video call to my phone and hold her phone facing the TV for 12 rounds.....result!! I got a bit worried when Clazaghe hit the canvas in the first round.

Brian Mc said...

Your accountancy lifestyle sounds much like my academic one on a Saturday night but with fewer nappies. I too feel very exciting.

See you on Saturday!

allybea said...

He forgot to mention that he usually falls asleep in front of the TV as well!

Anonymous said...

I commented on Deb's blog that I spent my Saturday night reading all of the articles on her blog! Thanks for the support re London, I am now actually really looking forward to Edinburgh in 5 weeks and the chance to do better. We are at a wedding in Bristol this weekend so pacepusher is not getting to do the fling. Good Luck - hope you good running weather!

Debbie Martin-Consani said...

Sounds like a great route. I once-upon-a-long-time-ago did the Crieff 10K. Although it nearly killed me, I was totally overwhelmed by the course.

Hope you have a fabulous run on Saturday. I was kinda gutted that I can't do The Fling...but that brief moment of insanity passed quite quickly.

Take care. And try not to fall.

Marco Consani said...

Hi Ian,

Just want to wish you good luck for Saturday. I really wish that I could do it too and will be so jealous reading all your blogs with all your excellent times.

Take care and dont get injured.


Thomas said...

Good recce for the Fling. See you Saturday. I am really looking forward to the post race discussion!
As long as you wait for me at the finish ;-)