I set myself a few personal goals at the beginning of the year. These were:
- Run a half marathon. Whilst a disastrous experience, I completed my first half marathon in Inverness back in March. I have since run seven more (although one was as half of a relay team), and it still kind of baffles me that I consider 13.1 miles an achievable distance for a Sunday morning run.
- Run a marathon. I conquered this beast in Inverness as well, finishing the Loch Ness marathon in 8 seconds over my goal time of 4:30:00. This obviously means I need to revisit this distance and cut out the fat. Paris 2013 – I’ve got my eye on you!
- Run 1,000 miles. While I didn’t run the Fraserburgh half today, I went for a couple of penance runs within the last few days to make up the mileage. This morning’s 5+ mile run meant I finally hit that 1,000 mile milestone!
To mark this memorable achievement, I brought along my camera to document the moment.
I started out before 7 am. Here in Scotland, because we are approximately 274,349 miles north of civilized sunrise times, it was still totally dark. There was also frost everywhere. My first stop – the post office on Union Street (Aberdeen’s ‘main’ street). My mother’s [age withheld] birthday is very soon and I had to send her birthday card:
I continued along Union street, dodging the puddles of vomit (not pictured) and streams of piss from doorways downhill to the curb (also not pictured) like a pro. I stopped at the other end of the street to take a photo of the local Christmas lights (for Amy, since she’s Christmas crazy). These particular lights are semi-famous for being semi-destroyed last year after ‘gale-force winds’ (or ‘a light breeze’ as it is known locally) hit the Northeast of Scotland. Anyway, unlike Humpty Dumpty, the giant red globe was put back together again, as evidenced here:
Not much further along from the giant balls is Castlegate. Although I walk past it nearly every day, I have never taken a photo of the gold postbox, repainted to honour Katherine Granger’s Olympic gold medal in the women’s double scull race.
From here, and after dodging a couple of drunks, I made my way along King Street with one place in mind. For years I have run a relatively similar route, regardless of where I live, when I’m in the city center. Sometimes I add on a trip down a particular side street where there’s a pretty sad looking playground. For some inexplicable reason, I have always wanted to take a photo of the playground at sunrise.
After the playground, it was off towards Aberdeen University. I did my undergrad degree here. And my masters degree. And when I still couldn’t get a decent job (I shit you not, I was in charge of pens at an art shop and I was glad for the job), I went back and did my teacher training. I spent a LOT of time on campus, and I’ve always loved the old buildings. Like this one:
By the way, still totally feeling like I am the master of the universe here. I ran past some of the dorms (no lights on – also, not pictured because they’re way ugly) and back towards the city center, where I snapped a photo of His Majesty’s Theatre:
This was near the end of my run, and I decided to finish off with a really nice photo of the sun rising over Aberdeen’s skyline:
Also not photographed on my run:
- dead seagull – presumably hit by bus whilst trying to eat food that drunk people dropped in the street.
- dead crow – presumably died in the same manner as the seagull.
- shopping trolley – not photographed because, well, I’ve been there. I’m so rock and roll I spent New Year’s Eve 2011 hunting down shopping trolleys in Australia.
Once home, I booked in to spin tomorrow night, showered, and then traveled with Ian and his mom to Edinburgh for his niece’s third birthday party, where I was essentially a human climbing frame and cake dispenser: