My running has been feeling easier with very little discomfort in my chest over the past week or so. I was keen to do one longer run before the Tour of Helvellyn on Saturday 21st December to see how I coped.
I chose a route around Ben Lomond that good friends Marco and Matt had shown me a few years ago. It has similar terrain and climbs to the Tour of Helvellyn so I thought it would be perfect.
I was keen to have some company so I was really pleased when Neal said he was keen to come. Then a few days before the run a runner John had seen my post on my Facebook page and said that he and two friends would also like to come.
We met at Rowardennan at 9.15am and I realised that I knew Andy from various Glee runs. Andy’s brother Pete was the fifth runner.
The first 5 miles or so is along the West Highland Way route so fairly easy going. We went on the newer lower path. It was good to get to know John, Andy and Pete as we ran along.
The weather was reasonable until we left the West Highland Way route and headed up the hill. The light drizzle became more persistent rain and then heavy rain!
The route is on decent paths for the first 15miles or so and then the route follows a river and then over very boggy ground. I had warned them that it would get boggy and I wasn’t wrong! Our feet were really, really cold!
The trickiest part of the route is heading across to the join the Ben Lomond tourist path. Normally it is fairly easy to navigate as you can see Ben Lomond but the cloud was very low and we were in heavy rain.
I did think it would be a good idea to take a compass bearing but my hand were wet and cold and I thought we could just follow the trace on my watch.
We did wander of my gps line but then regained it so I thought we were fine. The only problem was we were heading in the wrong direction. After 15 mins or so we came back to the same forest and river that we had left!
So this time I did take a compass bearing and we made it to the tourist path but not without a few slips and slides! Another good lesson learnt in my ongoing map reading skills!
We were all absolutely soaking by the time we go back to the car park but we all enjoyed our day out – well most of it!!
Thanks for your company everyone. It was a real confidence booster for me as that was the longest run by far I have done for 11 weeks and I didn’t have any issues at all.