Friday, 29 July 2011

Meanwhile, back in Shropshire......

....council employees in Telford have been served with 90 days notice on their jobs and been told that they will be re-employed after that if they agree to new conditions which include a 5.4% pay cut. Otherwise, goodbye. Sacked. Not redundant apparently!

At the same time (you couldn't make it up), the Chief Executive, who hasn't been there that long, has apparently decided that he doesn't fit in with the plans of the council and has offered to resign.....for which he's getting a "redundancy" payment of £125,000!! And then they're looking to hire a new interim Chief Executive!

All in it together, right?

Anyway, onto much more agreeable matters, and a tough old week of training. Last Friday saw us meet up with the Bannermans over at Fyrish and. while the girls had a 5 or 6 mile trot out, Ross ran me ragged over plenty of new paths, covering approximately 8 miles at not a million miles off my race pace! Nice! Smashing evening though, and great company to run with.

Then Saturday saw us head up the road for a leisurely day out on 4 munros in the Fannaichs. A cold day on the tops, and a long, tiring trek back from the furthest peak. But we didn't half enjoy being able to sit in Scooby and brew up before heading home!!

Then on Sunday, we picked up Claire and headed over to Fochabers, for the Gala hill race, a 5.5 mile run around the wooded hills. It was quite a trek over there, and the cloud and wind increased as we headed east. We arrived and registered, and had a chat with a couple who saw Kirsten's Calder Valley hoodie and turns out they're good friends with Alan Greenwood.

Socialising over with, we donned HHR tops and the tartan shorts got another outing! The legs were definitely tired from the day before, and I struggled to hold on in the initial 3 miles of gentle up. There was then a half mile steeper uphill to the highest point, before a 2 mile downhill, which suited me perfectly and I flew down to overtake the person in front and finish 8th! Pleased with that.

Claire came in looking sick and having clearly worked hard and Kirsten followed soon after, looking pretty much the same and feeling quite wrecked from 3 consecutive days of decent training. That'll stand her in good stead in due course.

On Wednesday, I headed back out to Glascarnoch and a tough day on Am Foachagach. The usual boggy path across to it had been dried out by the sun, and the river crossing was simple. But the heat was a problem during the ascent to the ridge. I'd banked on it being colder and had 2 tops on...mistake!

It's a splendid hill despite the books saying it's dull. It has some of the best views going, immediately west into Beinn Dearg and Cona Mheall, south to the southern Fannaichs, An Teallach, the Fisherfield hills, Slioch etc and north to the marvellous hills of Assynt.

Instead of heading back down the path, I dropped north to the bealach between it and Cona Mheall and then headed south down the pathless valley, passing three lochs on the way back. It was hot, the going was tough, the flies were out in force, and it took some willpower to keep a decent pace going. Again though, it was lovely to get back and relax in the van with a nice cool milkshake and reflect on a smashing day.

And then last night, I met up with another local runner Graham Briffett, who it turns out, is planning his BG for 13th August. Plenty to talk about, lots of past in common, smashing new paths over the Cat's Back and around to Loch Kinellan. I think Graham took it at a trot, while I had to work and was feeling the previous day in my legs and breathing. Great run out though, including wading through head-high bracken and being scratched by thorns and raspberry bushes!

And so to the weekend, a good weather forecast and the whole of the northern Highlands on our is good!!!

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