Monday, June 23, 2008

Fife Coast Trail Run

The day before we left St. Andrews, I learned that our hotel sat next to a trail that followed the cliffs all the way into town. I hadn't run in Scotland yet, and decided I had to give it a try. I had already walked 18 holes and Hub was going back for another 18. A free afternoon and time for my first real trail run!

I headed down the hill from the hotel to find a wall with a ladder over it. The trail started high on the cliff and was wide and grassy. For some reason I was expecting more of a bike path paved type of thing. Oh my, was I wrong. It soon became narrow and steep and there were some beautiful bridges and a nice section that was completely covered. I think you can see it in these pics.



I ended up going up and down several of the cliffs all the way to shoreline and back. At some points the trail was over heavy boulders, rocks, sand, and you just had to pick up the trail on the other side. I had no idea trail running was like this. I ran whatever I could. Sometimes the steps were too precarious and I had to pick my way carefully, but always went back to running. Some nice people snapped a pic of me about 2 miles in. There were some spots where you could see the trail going up the next cliff - oh my. At one point I had to climb over a little fence with a sign about the Fife Coast Trail.

I started taking some pics of the town in the distance. It looked like a really long way, especially by way of cliffs, but I did eventually make it down into St. Andrews harbor. I went through a really cool stone gate (below) and up through an old cemetary and cathedral ruins and proceeded to run through the entire town down to the Old Course. I knew there was a shuttle there back to the hotel. When I got there, I realized I had only gone 4 miles!! I still felt pretty good and wanted to go along the coast I had missed by running through town. I'm glad I did because I got to see the ruins of St. Andrews Castle, the University (where Prince William recently went) and the pier where the University students parade every Sunday in their red gowns.

I decided if I was going to make that treacherous, mostly uphill climb back I better have a sugar pop and some water. I sat at the harbor and enjoyed the gorgeous view and the fact that I had discovered a great trail. Finally I headed back and did more walking on the way back than I care to admit. The last picture is on the way back, looking back at the town. It shows the pier - I actually went about 3/4 a mile beyond that down to the course.

I decided I am really really bad at trail running, my Nemesis and his sidekick probably would have been rolling their eyes at me, but I had no idea how demanding it is. I did roll an ankle but it wasn't severe and got some nice scratches from thistles. All in all, I had a great sense of accomplishment and was so glad I found the trail. I'd say it was a pretty good first trail run!

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Since getting back, I have done some very short, difficult runs. I'm not sure if it's the time off or the heat + humidity or perhaps the stricter diet but it's been tough. Many miles in the 13's - yikes. I still have difficulty with having enough energy to run with out overdoing the fueling. I am down about 8 or 9 pounds in Viv's Challenge and hope to keep up the new mentality of no matter how much you work out, 80% of the work is in the kitchen. Still I have to have enough energy to work out. Blah. I hope to be back to p90x on Monday.

17 comments:

Wes said...

and we wonder why trail runners think 12-15 minute miles is good :-) How exciting that you got to do your first "trail run" in Scotland!!! That is superb!!!!

chia said...

The best way to experience a country is to take it on full force by foot!

You rock girlfriend!

Laura N said...

Wow, that sounds like an amazing time. Imagine, if you weren't a runner, you never would have had that experience.

Kevin said...

Great place to get your first trail run it. WOW!

Viv said...

That trail run pics looked so serene, and pretty for the eyes to take in. I bet you got a few years younger just running it, soothing the soul is what the pics made me think of. anyhow, when the heck did I get so mellowdramatic, oh always....hehehe!

80% is in the kitchen and your kitchen is looking great! It is hard to do both feed the machine and sculpt the machine ;-)

Jess said...

Trail running is a whole different world from road running. But now you can say that you ran in Scotland; that's sweet!

Lily on the Road said...

trail running, that's why the Scots are a tough breed!

Glad you enjoyed the trip. But you're still suffering from jet lag, it takes longer to get over coming "back" than from going over.

Rest up, lots of water, you'll be ready in no time.

Kristin said...

What beautiful pictures and a wonderful experience for you! I am quite obsessed by England (although I would love to go back to Scotland someday), and spend a lot of time there walking the footpaths. (My policy is walk in the country, run in the cities, e.g. Bath and London.)

Unknown said...

All I can say is I am jealous, an d the pictures make it more so.

Looks like a beautiful place to run.

RunnerGirl said...

Amazing pictures!

RunnerMom said...

Wow, I want to try trail running for the first time in that exact spot!

I think we are all suffering slower times in the heat of summer. Even short runs just seem harder.

I need to find out more about finding that right mix of fuel for energy without consuming too many calories! Share more, please!

Sarah Kathryn said...

Thanks for sharing that beauty!!

That's fantastic. I always say my running gets me places and to do things I've never considered before. This is an example of it doing the same for you - and people wonder why we're addicted!?

I wonder if you are having a harder time with your runs because of the type of fuel you are consuming now? I'm no expert, but I know that if you, say, got the majority of your energy from simple carbs and have switched to more complex carbs and higher fat (low-carb eating more or less) that sometimes your body has a hard time adjusting to the new way of fueling. I know when I was a hard-core low-carber I read something about how when the body switches from starchy/sugary energy to buring the body's fat for energy, it can be sluggish while it makes the change. Again, I'm no expert, but it might be something to explore?

Razz said...

yep. Not any less jealous, ya know. :)

Marcy said...

OMG how lucky are you!! Beautiful beautiful, beautiful scenery!

sRod said...

Wow, that makes Central Park look like a trash heap. Absolutely breathe-taking!

Laura said...

That's gorgeous! Congrats on your first trail run :)

akshaye said...

brilliant pictures.. I love the layouts you did!