What a cracking run!
After having a few weeks of struggling with an injured bahooky I was back training this week, although a bit on the gentle side. So I thought the best place for a nice easy “time on feet” run was the side of Loch Lomond. There was a group going out from Balmaha up to the Doune Bothy and back, I considered joining them but I thought I’d struggle to keep up and that it would possibly be a bit too far for me on my first long outing in a month and I wasn’t planning to do any hard training, no pushing, just pure pleasure at getting out on one of the most beautiful parts of my country.
So I decided to go from Rowardennan hoping to get up past the Doune Bothy as that would join up all the training runs I’ve done so far this year on the WHW covering from Milngavie to Bridge of Orchy.
The weather was perfect, no wind, just an occasional cool, gentle breeze from the loch and it looked settled. I’d only be going a few minutes when I stopped to take a photo; the loch was a mirror image of the opposite bank, this was a day for enjoying the scenery and I had no doubt I would succeed.
I had loads of photo stops and even just to stand and take in my surroundings, I never take for granted how lucky I am that I have the health to allow me to be here and enjoy each moment.
As soon as I saw the Doune Bothy I stopped and pulled out the wee piece of paper with the directions to Dario’s memorial book that Murdo had hidden near by. I had been stumbling about for about ten minutes unsuccessfully when the gang from Balmaha arrived; I was surprised they hadn’t caught up with me earlier even though I’d had a big head start on them. Jamie found the book and we each wrote a few words.
Keith said “Hey Fi, I’ve something for you!” I laughed when he handed me some sandwiches, cucumber ones, proper triangles and no crusts! Well, he had promised! On the WHW forum, I’d put on a post that I’d be on the route that the group were going but not to knock me into the loch as they went by me as I’d be travelling at picnic pace. Keith had answered that he’d bring the sandwiches, Mad Aussie!
John and I continued up the way for around another mile, John to round up his run to 40 miles and me to join up my training runs on the WHW before heading back. John stayed with me for a wee while before heading off back at his own pace, the sun was out and lovely and warm, I pushed up my sleeves and eventually rolled up the bottoms of my tights, letting the sun shine on my peely-wally pins for the first time this year. I caught up with the group at Inversnaid, they had stopped for a drink at the Hotel but they soon disappeared again. On the first steep climb back to Rowardennan, I brought out Keith’s pieces; they hadn’t travelled too well, a bit squashed and misshapen but they tasted just fine. I suppose they should’ve been accompanied by a Pimm’s or the like but a few handfuls of waterfall went just as well.
I arrived back at Rowardennan pleasantly tired, a run on the WHW always leaves me feeling regenerated rather than done in. This was a perfect day out, the best of weather, scenery and company and also the solitude to claim it all for myself too, another day to file in my memory under “cherish”.