Monday, 5 May 2014

A weekend of ACTIVITIES

I spent this past weekend with my friend Andrea at her Mum's home in Aberfeldy and it was a training extravaganza! The Triathlon I'm taking part in at the end of this month will be held in Aberfeldy so Andrea suggested that it would be a good idea for me to try cycling the route before the day of the event. I agreed, although it does go against my tried and tested method of just turning up and hoping for the best so I took some persuading.

Andrea's much more sensible than me though and in addition to her excellent idea of practising the Triathlon cycle route before the event, she also suggested that we climb a Munro to prepare for the climb up Ben Nevis in July. Suddenly, it's clear to me why this girl is my friend. Evidently I surround myself with sensible people in order to compensate for my failings in life. (I'm sure Ryan will agree wholeheartedly with this sentiment.)

Once the idea of being properly prepared for something was planted in my mind I decided to go the full hog and even buy the proper kit. I was only prompted by Andrea three times to do this, so I'm going to take full credit for the idea of buying walking boots to climb up a mountain. I did however forget a waterproof jacket, gloves and decent socks but luckily Andrea and her family had it in hand and I borrowed all of their gear.

Schiehallion: My nemesis

Saturday morning came and it was an early start for us mountaineers, waking at eight am so that we were ready to climb the mountain at ten. We were climbing Schiehallion which is in Aberfeldy so the car journey there was only about 5 minutes. I did at one point consider leaping from the car in dramatic fashion (Lara Croft syndrome again) to avoid my fate but by the time I'd visualised my escape route we were parked and heading on our way up the hill.

I won't lie. The first ten minutes were not good, mainly because it was so cold and I had on quite light layers. However, apparently climbing up a vertical incline is pretty good for getting your body temperature up because soon I felt quite toasty. The key to keeping yourself warm without overheating on a mountain expedition is light layers apparently. I'm so good at this stating the bleeding obvious advice malarkey.

One other thing I did learn during this climb was that I really don't have the forehead for getting away with wearing a hat over my ponytail. It is not a good look.

I should also probably invest in contact lenses if I'm to pursue this ridiculous active lifestyle.

The climb up wasn't as hard as I'd imagined and we were really lucky to get a view because often the clouds are quite low and when you get to the top you can't see anything, which renders the whole thing vaguely pointless. Anyhow there were no tantrums from me on Saturday because as you can see it was fabulous and we could see EVERYTHING. I think I could even see my house in Edinburgh from the top of the mountain. Maybe?* Obviously I have no idea what direction Edinburgh would be in, but I'm sure that you could see it anyway.

*there is no way that you would see Edinburgh from here. No idea what is in the background. More mountains mainly.

So the climb up was relatively easy and so filled with exuberance and thinking things like 'I must be really fit!' and 'this was easy!' I began to skip down the hill. What a naive, stupid woman I was. Going downhill is the hardest part. After 10 minutes of vertical descent I was dragging my big clunky feet along, tripping over rocks and wincing in pain at my burning thighs.

We made it down in once piece though and I didn't have to be carried once. In all, the trip was completed in about four and a half hours which we were happy with. After the climb we returned to the house in Aberfeldy, drank copious amounts of tea to bring us back to life and then demolished Sharon's home made spaghetti bolognese. Then it was off to bed at 10pm and up again Sunday morning at 8am to go for a cycle round the Triathlon route.

We got another lovely day in Aberfeldy for the cycle and it was very enjoyable despite the number of hills dotted around all over the place which pushed my poor, wee, sore thighs to the limit. Of course, we stopped in Aberfeldy to pick up a cake to refuel half way round the cycle which would probably be frowned upon in the actual race. I think?

Once the cycle was complete it was back to the house to have some lunch and a cuddle with our wee pal Toby the cat who looked very impressed with our achievements.


  1. +JMJ+

    What great photos! I agree about the layers. There was one time I went out running in winter, wrapped up warmly because it was so cold, only to want to shed over half of my clothes after five minutes. LOL!

    I've only climbed a mountain in a tropical country, though, and I was very lightly dressed: track pants, t-shirt, hiking boots. What I learned from that excursion was that hats are your friend and you can never bring too much water. =P

    Water is like layers in reverse, isn't it? Awful to carry at the beginning, but a lifesaver at the end . . . and not just because the bottle gets lighter and lighter! LOL! ;-)

    1. Yes agree about the water! We lost a bottle on the way up and it felt like a tragedy! We did find it again though so not too bad.