Weather has been a bit mixed in the last week - wet at times, very windy at others. I wanted a long run as my last long run was quite slow (I blame the mud on the single track), 10km or so along a fairly flat route would do, not on roads and away from the wind.
Where to go? The canal at Inverness was discounted due to the wind speed and direction; Daviot 5km loop x 2 was considered but the track again is fairly open to the wind and there is a bit of climb. In the end, and after searching for a reasonable forecast we headed for Nairn and the tracks in the very west end of Culbin. A quick measurement on the map showed the route to be about 12km, a bit longer than I wanted but still in the OK bit.
The car park was almost deserted and there was quite a wind! We set off along the footpath and after 2.5km I realised that I had not gone into the wood when I should have. I stopped Paul and we headed for the wood where we found a really pleasant path to run along and eventually link up with our planned route.
Now the planned route was a bit of an out and back with a loop at the far end. It was almost flat but the track was muddy in places - this was not expected for Culbin! Also unexpected was the distance as when I reached the turn I had already run 7km. The track back to the split in the loop was long, straight and into the wind but I tried to keep a bit a pace up. Phew, 10km done, watch stopped and a bit faster than Sunday.
Oh no, still over 4km back to the car. No need to run it as fast, consider it to be a bit of an extended cool down I’ll probably make it! The plan worked, took a few photos, found a really pleasant bit of single track which took me 2/3rds of the way back to the car. Some stretches with a warm jacket on and then eat! I had just started my sandwich and there were spots of rain outside, great timing! End of one sooo looong run!
Surprisingly, the legs did not feel too bad on Sunday. I had to be at Inverness Leisure in the afternoon so I had a swim. The pool lanes were quiet and I managed 1km, or a sooo looong swim!
The forecast for Monday was always quite good - light winds, sunny intervals and dry. Ideal conditions for a Tomatin - Aviemore cross-over cycle. I had to collect a prescription from Aviemore so that was a reason to go there. Paul had the choice of which way to cycle - from Tomatin to Aviemore, less climb but into the wind from Carrbridge to Coylumbridge or Aviemore to Tomatin with 100m more climb but wind assisted especially along the ‘back road’ from Coylumbridge to Boat of Garten. He chose the former so we both set off, Paul on his bike and me in the car with Ruby. There had been some rain in Aviemore so the roads were a little wet; the views up to the Cairngorms from the back road were good, unfortunately the warmer temperatures and rain on Sunday meant that the hill was looking a bit black and white rather than the solid white of last week.
It was great being back out on the bike for a reasonable cycle - or a sooo looong ride! I tried to ensure that I kept the pedals turning all the time, no resting on the downhills (and it is great to push hard downhill from the Slochd, had the bike up to 49.5kph today!) and pushing on the uphills.
Roll on more runs in milder temperatures and longer cycles, hopefully keeping injury free.
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