(This is part of a series for Grampian Runs, detailing four weeks in my life as a runner.)
This week started and ended with hills. Gladly, I reached the top of them all, but not without some seemingly interminable struggle first. Is this relatable to a student embarking on his fourth year of studies? Perhaps.
That aside, the running week started proper on Tuesday with a slog up Gordon’s Brae to the north of Aberdeen. This route took me through the heart of the old town, accompanied with slippery cobblestones made even more treacherous by slippery leaves.
I’ve struggled for motivation this week and have felt quite low, but on completing this run I felt a sudden twang of determination. One step after another I wanted to rack up a decent mile total for the week. If it continued to lift my mood the sore calves and numb fingers would undoubtedly be worth it.
The next day I set off for my girlfriend’s flat – the long way. Pacing it up King Street with a headtorch and laptop laden, I tiptoed my way around a paint splattered section of pavement. The area was surrounded by white footprints, giving the impression a crime scene had been tampered with. Possibly the scene of the Dulux dog’s murder.
Most of that run was spent traversing the River Don from Balgownie to Danestone. It was very dark and muddy as I trundled through Seaton Park, and I only met one person along this section. A student dressed up as a vampire whose protracted greeting to me was distorted by my music. I’m not sure I would re-visit this area after dark again.
By the time I reached my girlfriend’s an hour late, I was content, smelly, and splattered in mud. She’s a very lucky lady.
Friday morning’s run conjured different smells as I passed numerous Torry fish factories on my way to the Girdle Ness Lighthouse. Overlooking the current mass of construction at the site of a future second harbour, this is one of my favourite spots in Aberdeen.
On sunny days the North Sea sparkles and you can look right up the coastline towards Peterhead. You can also get up close and personal with the original harbour’s South Breakwater, which on a stormy day is a site to behold.
The best was saved for last, however as today I ventured out into a very windy morning in Moray to run around a rural area known as The Glen. A northerly wind whistled through the telephone wires as I struggled to get my rhythm after a couple of pints the night before.
Eventually I found it and ambled happily along empty, undulating back roads. With an estimated wind chill of 2 degrees, it was one of those runs which I love. The vanquishing of a situation where I could have chosen ease over struggle.
Highlight of the Week: Meeting a friendly highland coo, who made a weird noise as I passed him in The Glen. I shouted hello back at him through the wind.