Ice, ice, baby!


Today was a choice of either heading to the gym for a run on the treadmill or brave the cold and see if I could find a route that was free from ice. Around this area of Edinburgh it seem to really get hit badly when ice decides to land and today is no different. I have a couple of routes which I thought would be OK but I decided to ignore all those routes and head up to the Union canal instead, probably the most likely route to be hit by ice out of all of the routes I have available to me. When I got there, which is about 1 mile away from the office I was surprised by the lack of ice. The path along side the canal was clear so there and then I decided to do 4.5 miles out and then turn back and finish with a total of 9 miles. I do have a 8 mile loop but I thought if I do an out and back, at least I know there is no ice on that route for the entire distance.

I really like this route because you get a short section of the canal and then you are up on to the water of Leith. About 2.5 miles away from the office is the Spylaw tunnel which is always a lucky dip. You never know whether the lights will be on or off, whether there will be mud inside the tunnel or not and if you can get through the tunnel without being dripped on from above, it’s a bonus!

Heading further up the Water of Leith the path started to get a bit icy but nothing to cause any concern. There were quite a few other runners out on the route today, some wrapped up even more than me. One runner passed and the only bit of flesh I could see was around their eyes, the rest was covered from head to toe.

I got halfway and started to wish I had remembered my running tights, my calves were really tight and I reckon it was due to the cold, they just never warmed up! When I looked at my gloves I then realised how cold it really was. The warmth from my gloves was cooling down and then freezing! I had a nice shine to my gloves by the time I got back to the office. If this was what was happening to my gloves, I hate to think how my legs must have felt with them exposed to the cold air.

Tuesday is usually a club training evening but due to other things today’s 9 mile run is replacing this session. Tomorrow I will head to the track and see how my fitness is coming along with the 12 x 400 metre session. For anyone that hasn’t read about this regular session that I do, it’s 12 x 400 metres with 50 metres jog recovery and then you finish on a 200 metre sprint. It’s a tough session but really works your VO2 levels and I have found it has already helped my pace.

I’ve also put together a training schedule for London marathon which will kick off on the 1st of January with the Promathon down at Portobello. I made the mistake of going to the loo before the start of this years race and ended up racing from the back of the pack, since it wasn’t chipped I was at a major disadvantage and finished the 4 mile course in 24:37, this year I want to get sub 23 and if possible get close to the 21 minutes. It really is a weather dependant course though and some years it has been cancelled due to ice. I see a common theme here! If we don’t remember this winter for any other reason (apart from floods down south), I think having lots of ice may be one of them!

Owain Williams

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