...well, if you can call it a long run. Haven't ran over 10 miles since Helensburgh half at the beginning of August. Wedding, holiday and general busy/lazy-ness got in the way. Woke up feeling quite excited, as it was a glorious day outside. Decided to do the very hilly Stoneymollen route (above Balloch) over to Cardross and back.
Gentle warm up along to Balloch and then up, up and up for a couple of miles. I thought I would have to slow to a walk at some point, but managed to dig in. Once I was in a rhythm it was less brutal. Mind you, my stride was less than spritely. More of a bouncy shuffle.
The views on this route are amazing..Loch Lomond, Ben Lomond, local towns and then to the sea at Cardross.
Met Marco and his gang at the top of the hill. They took the hard way up.
Left them and headed down through a glorious trail towards Cardross. Couldn't help thinking "this is the life". The sun was shining, I was away from the hustle and bustle. I few brief words and waves from local farmers, but I was out there on my own.
I took the session really easy. There was quite a few very challenging inclines, but the goal was to get the miles in my legs.
The route is just short of 12 miles. And it took me just over two hours (2:02) to tackle the hills. Now before you laugh, let me give you something to really laugh about. I spent about 15 minutes of that trying to navigate my way round a serious amount of coos. I'm not really a fan of the daft buggars, but unfortunately they were more scared of me. As soon as I got near any, they'd dart down the trail. Some were feeding their young, so I didn't want them getting all maternal instinct-y on me. They were all over the place, frantically moo-ing away. I ended up climbing fences and running through fields to stop them from getting further down the trail. I was convinced they were surrounding me. And once I was away I was convinced they were chasing me. Big sigh of relief when I came to the next gate. The experience was definitely worth filming for You Tube. There was probably a farmer somewhere, pissing himself silly.
Onwards down the route passing a farm...where the sheepdog tried to attack me. Despite the hills, sometimes mucky paths and farm animals, I had a fabulous run. I even managed to pick up the pace for the last few miles.