A ‘routine’ week of low mileage club training was twisted slightly with a departure from the usual interval session on Thursday. Susan and Mary decided to head up out of Dunbar to do some hill reps leaving most of the other clubbers to do some short loops around Dunbar, as our grass track has been so wet as to render it unsuitable for fast stuff. We passed our club comrades but were subjected to picket-line jeers, having the temerity to form a break-off group and head off into the hills. The hill reps were hard – cold air and a brittle, icy wind made a hard job more difficult, so it was a bit of a relief to run back down into town, using the lamp posts as markers to do some fartleking……
Saturday morning and a plan was formed with Mary to try and run the ‘Goats Gallop’ route, this plan was, shall we say, ‘ambitious’, given the severity of the snow still lying up in the Lammermuirs. As we approached Longyester, the road resembled a surreal bobsleigh track, with the snow easily 8′ each side of the road. We aimed to park up by Hopes Reservoir, but this plan was thwarted by a coal lorry jammed on the road, so we parked up at Longyester Farm, and ran up to Hopes. It quickly became apparent that knee-deep virgin snow as we approached the reservoir would not be runnable, so we headed back and skirted some low hills to the east, heading for the tops where the wind had blown some snow off. There were some impressively deep drifts that caught us unaware, and the snow had a fantastic meringue, crystalline consistency that caught you out when the surface cracked through. Both of us fell flat on our faces.
We eventually wound up on the Gifford-Duns Road, and then did some exploring and eventually came out within the grounds of Yester House. Clean roads from Gifford up to Longyester provided a more stable running surface and we bumped into Lee and Norrie who had also just been up and around Lammer Law – luckily, a tractor had been up so they found the running ok in the ruts.
Further up we exchanged hellos with a couple of intrepid bikers out exploring the snow – I subsequently realised this was Bruce out with his Surley Puglsey, see HERE for their adventure.
By the final mile, we were both fairly tired and needing some food. 12.5 miles in the snow is pretty hard work, and it was a relief to sort out my sugar craving with a caramel shortcake from the co-op in Gifford. Mary managed to resist.