With just a week to Lochaber marathon, it was time for a taper, but the 4-day Easter weekend was lovely weather and would have been perfect for getting out into the hills either running or walking.
On Saturday we went into Tiso’s for a quick look at boots. I need a replacement pair before a backpacking holiday later in the year since I’ve seen off 3 different pair in as many years (a much-loved but very worn 20-year old pair of Scarpa Dolomites, my son’s outgrown Trezetas and my daughter’s cast-off Salomons). I had seen a pair of Raichle Mt. Glories in TK Maxx a week ago that seemed a good fit but by the time I researched whether they were any good or not someone else bought them.
Tiso’s had a few pairs of boots in their sale including a pair of Raichle Mt. Envy in the right size. These are 3 season boots and possibly a bit stiff for backpacking but they fitted really nicely. It’s really difficult to go past a pair of boots at half-price, but I tried on about 10 other pairs and they still seemed to be the best fit. The advice is always to wear them around the house as much as you can before deciding they’re the right boots, but walking up and down stairs doesn’t really come close to the way they will feel out on trail and rock so we planned a walk for Monday if the weather held.
Sunday should have been long run day, and I did consider joining Bill on his run in the Pentlands because it was a beautiful day, but I saw sense and went for a relatively short run up past Torduff and Clubbiedean reservoirs and then back via Poets’ Glen and the new path at Blinkbonny, about 9-10 miles.
On Monday, we went out to try out the boots. It was a bit of a yomp in truth; we got the bus to Balerno and then headed across the Kips and down to Flotterstone. The boots felt really secure, it was probably the first time I’ve felt able to go down some of the gravelly paths at a decent pace without poles. We didn’t take a picnic but looked forward to a late lunch at Flotterstone Inn. Unfortunately, the rest of Edinburgh had also descended on Glencorse, so we had a pint and decided we could hold out until we got home. We walked back via Castle Law, Allermuir and Swanston Village, so it gave the boots a fair test. They are quite heavy and my feet felt a bit abused at the end but then again, no-one would recommend walking all day in brand new boots and I did like the way they held my ankles in check going downhill and their resistance to skidding down the loose stuff.
Every muscle and joint in my legs has creaked and groaned over the last few months. I can’t remember when I last walked downstairs without feeling some stiffness somewhere, but walking does use a differents set of muscles and so I hobbled around like an old croc all day Tuesday and decided that I wouldn’t do any more runs before Lochaber.
Less than 1 week to Lochaber, 7 weeks to Edinburgh, ? weeks to the Devil of the Highlands.
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