It is beautiful in Glasgow this morning. The sun has lit up the shoulder of Slack Dhu and Dumgoyne, and I can see the snow on the mountains around Loch Lomond.
Over the last couple of weeks, I’ve loved seeing various blog posts and photos from fellow Scottish runners hailing the return of the early morning light, and today was the first time I’ve not needed my headtorch on the morning dog walk.
I’ll miss seeing groups of eyes staring back at me from behind the trees and the resulting scamper of deer running away, but oh the anticipation of the longer days to come, the evenings up in the hills and hopefully getting out on my bikes again.
Tomorrow, at last, is long run day.
Weekends have been packed since the start of the year and there has not been any space for a decent run. Evenings have also gone by, not so much in a blur but in an awful rattling shrieking express train of stress, pressure, conflict and general unpleasantness.
I’m just starting to build my running miles up again, carefully to allow for the worsened asthma and the constant lurgy that has been lurking and threatening to take hold since November. Somehow I have kept it in its place.
Tomorrow I will be heading out on one of my favourite routes that takes me past some of my favourite haunts and never fails to lift my spirits. I’ll pull on favourite, familiar kit that has seen me through good days, bad days, long days, freezing cold, soaking wet days, baking hot sunny days. I’m not sure I’ll have enough oomph to drag myself up the distillery hill, but I shall give Glengoyne a wave on the way past with a nod to friends far away.
Spring isn’t quite with us just yet, but patches of snowdrops appeared a few weeks ago now, and while mine will sadly be trampled by eager greyhound paws, it has been wonderful to see them emerging on the coldest, darkest of days. Daffodil leaves are starting to poke through the soil too, and my road will soon be a flash of yellow as I come and go.
The training plan for the Great Glen is always at the back of my mind, as is the kit list for the Great Lakeland 3 Dayer. Both have given me something positive to focus on through these last awful weeks at work. I’m so excited about both, although apprehensive, nervous and more than a little bit scared.
I entered a new race last night, which will take me to yet another bit of Scotland that I’ve never been to. This one has a deep personal connection as it’s where my parents met on teaching practice all those years ago.
Running has given me so much, particularly running here in Scotland. I’ve missed its regular and defining presence lately, and it’s so good to have it back again.
Some favourite running pictures…