I must admit that the two weeks in Scotland have flown by. And it has been a mostly pleasant and relaxing time, away from all I had left behind at home.
With being physically fit this time around it meant that I was able to explore a little more of the area which was great, despite the Scottish weather’s best efforts to put me off.
Do they not know I’m from Manchester and therefore used to it? 😊
Whilst most people at the centre I was staying at departed for the weekend, I set out to see a friend over in Dollar, about 15 miles away by road. I was tipped off about a trail through Dollar Glen, which helpfully reduced the distance by a just over a mile and got me away from the traffic on the main road, most of which appeared to be heading towards the T in the Park event close by.
The weather held out at least until I got to my destination, and this was finally my first half marathon distance north of the border! being driven back later in the evening however and the clouds were firmly down over the mountain route that Dollar Glen cuts through. which would probably explain the rivers underfoot which I encountered earlier in the day!
Note the final descent into Dollar as shown on the graph…..
Having a social catch up with another local friend on the Sunday allowed the legs to recover, although a trip to the physio a couple of days earlier resulted in a pile of stretches which would be beneficial.
Despite it being my second visit in the area it was only in the next week that I began to explore Gleneagles itself. Now I’m not one to hit the shops,or the bars in these places, however there is a route designed for runners and cyclists which covers both the Kings and the Queens courses, which of course I had to try. And then try again in order to see if I could do it any quicker (curse you, Strava!).
My final run from Auchterarder was in the nearby hills, looking to visit a number of the Strava segments that I’d not run. This is less about trying to beat the world at running (besides I’m not fast enough) but an opportunity to see where other people have run and felt it worthwhile to tell the world. It is in fact one of the ways I look for new routes.
My final couple of days were far more reserved. Mostly because I was physically exhausted but I was also struggling a bit myself. Perhaps it was talking through some of the issues which had led up to the visit in the first place, but it dampened things down. In many ways it was a shame as the fortnight had been positive for the most part.
The trip back was marred by a bunch of drunken and leery Scots on the way to destruction it would appear in Preston, thinking it was acceptable to play loud music and swear loudly throughout the journey. On arrival in Manchester their counterparts – a gaggle of girls on a 40th birthday do screaming at each other from either end of platform 13.