When your training gets you down, usually it just takes one great run to top your happiness levels right back up again. I’ve only been running three years but in my time training so far I’ve learned that in EVERY cycle there’s a period where everything just sucks and you can’t be arsed. It’s almost inevitable; in fact it’s as inevitable as the breaking point which comes just before you start to taper, when you feel like you just can’t train any harder.

So training, like life, has it’s ups and downs which is no huge surprise. I knew that after the running blues descended upon me last week, there was one thing guaranteed to fix everything right up again – and that’s a day in the hills with friends.

A group of us were mustered by Mike to run around the five Munroes of Lochnagar in the Caringorms – an approximate 18 mile run with thousands of feet of ascent but worth it for the views alone. In the end some concerns about weather, personal safety an experience made the group split into two, but a wonderful day was had by all regardless.

I ran the ‘low’ route with my friends Iain, John, Dave and Minty, which saw us circumnavigate Loch Muick and do some snowy exploring for about 12.5 miles. I’ve ran this once before as part of a race in the Spring, but the terrain was very different this time and we were up to our thighs in snow on many occasions.

Here are some pictures from the day. Last week I was asking why I do this again? Well here’s the answer.

20130217_09213820130217_09281520130217_095105 20130217_095112 20130217_09535920130217_100714 20130217_101144 20130217_101157 20130217_102804 20130217_10564320130217_105859 20130217_114900  20130217_115843 20130217_120153  20130217_120202 20130217_120216 20130217_120536

In the end when the weather cleared and the sun came out, it became clear that our concerns about going up into the mountains were unfounded for that day, but I’m still happy with the decision I made. I am not an experienced hill-walker or mountaineer and I would not like to put myself in a position that I am not trained for. The people I would have been with may have known everything that was required to be safe and navigate if a storm descended, but it is not up to me to rely on others for my own safety and I believe that everyone has to be responsible for themselves when in the great outdoors.

20130217_121036

Looking up to a clear Lochnagar

We shall return in the Spring when the weather is less volatile.