As ever, I’m not sure where the past while has gone – summer definitely seems to have disappeared in the blink of an eye! I started off the trail running season on a really positive note and was ready, and very excited, to get my first ultra-race of the year ticked off nice and early in April. But, and as seems to be a recurring theme over the past year, I was far too ill to take part and had to go down as a DNS (did not start). To be honest, this was really a bit of a blow and it took me an age to get over it; not just being ill, but the weird feeling that occurs when you are forced to pull out of a race the day before because you physically can’t do it! I’ve never had that before and the last year has really made me realise and understand that there are actually limits to what is possible!
Anyway, once I picked myself off the floor and started to feel a little less sorry for myself, I thought about running again and I actually didn’t want to do it – I’ve got plans for lots of long runs and overnight fastpacks on the long distance trails in Scotland, but for the moment they are on hold.
Instead I have somehow spent the summer falling in love with being on the water again, and found myself taking up stand-up paddle boarding. I think I was lucky with my first attempt – it was an amazing day in the Scottish Highlands – bluebird skies and just a gentle wind. Bikini day isn’t often included in conversations in Scotland, but this was definitely a bikini day. After a wobbly start, I was paddling around Lochandorb, just outside Aviemore, quite the thing in my element. I imagine if it had been a typical Scottish day – horizontal rain and gales – I might not have been quite so hooked, but it was grand and I’ve been paddling at every given opportunity ever since.
Although this is definitely still a new thing, and there’s been none of the white water and big swell stories to equal some of the stuff I’ve done in other places doing other things; the white water and swell is definitely in the planning and I’m hoping to be reporting back on some of that soon!