Streets and Hills

 

What a weekend that was! 

Urban Run

Friday evening was the first RunningBeside.Me Urban run. A run around Edinburgh's streets at 11pm. The weather was perfect and a small group of us met at Holyrood Park to head out for a socialable 4 mile run.

 

We headed down Princes Street and we had hoped to get a view of the city centre from Edinburgh Castle but unfortunately the esplanade was closed off due to the Edinburgh tattoo having the seating area constructed there ready for the Edinburgh Festival which kicks off this week.

It was a really enjoyable way to see the city though and we are planning on another run on the last Friday of each month. For more information, head over to our facebook page or sign up to our monthly newsletter.  

We'll probably need to avoid the city centre in August though due to the Edinburgh festival. The streets will be busy no matter what time of night we head out. 

The Pentlands

On Sunday I met up with Robert (@hownoboab) at 8am and headed in to the Pentland hills. I've ran in the hills a couple of times now and every time I see new paths I want to explore. 

We met at the dry slope ski centre and from the car park it was a climb from the start! My lungs were burning almost instantly. We climbed until we got to a plateau and I looked back towards where we had came from, it was an amazing view but we weren't even close to the highest point. 

Profile

We continued to climb. I had to stop a couple of times and was reduced to a walk on more than a handful of occasions while I watched Robert disappear up the hillside! His hill climbing technique is fantastic and I did ask for tips while we were out. I've a lot to learn about going uphill.

As you can see from the profile, there isn't much flat on the route! 

There are a couple of reasons I wanted to get in to the hills.

  • The first was simple. I love running off road and with the Pentland hills only 30 minutes away from me, they are really accessible. The weather looked perfect to see the views and having someone to show me a different route made it even more enjoyable.
  • I have a hilly trail race planned for October so I want to get more hill work in at the weekends - this was hilly! 
  • I've always wanted to explore the Pentlands and push my body and no matter where you start, it's an adventure every time!

The descents were great fun though, going all out down the side of the hills, trusting your feet and just going for it. 

At the top of Carnethy Hill we stopped for a selfie while trying not to get blown off the top! It was a bit windy up there and the wind chill was surprising.

Windy selfie 

It was a great run and nice to get off the road. The views were amazing!


We hadn't realised the route was going to cover so many miles though! We estimated it might be 12 miles but when we got back to the cars we realised it was 15.3 miles! 

On the last two climbs my legs were really shouting out at me and today I'm having issues getting down stairs! It feels like I've raced a marathon. 

We are already thinking about taking on the full Pentland skyline next time which is 18 miles and takes in all the peaks of the Pentlands in a circular route. We just need to make sure the firing range isn't active so that we don't need to detour around it like we did on Sunday. 

 

 

I've taken some video of the run so hope to have a short video online soon. 

 

 

Owain Williams

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