West Highland Way Pre-Trail Highlights

Hello from Scotland🏴󠁧󠁢󠁳󠁣󠁴󠁿 According to Ancestry, this is my 35% homeland, so needless to say, I’m ready to knock out some miles🤠

Here’s what the first few days have been like:

I landed in Edinburgh just after 10am on Monday. Went through the digital UK border (so no stamp🥲), and made my way to the tram which then connected me to the ScotRail train into the city. When I got off the tram and made my way (basically across the sidewalk) to the train, the Edinburgh Park station was a ghost town. I was the only one there and half expected it to be hours before the next train showed….

Thankfully though, this is Europe. I’ll be trying not to let the horrors of AmTrak cloud my ScotRail experience.

My first stop in the city was my hostel (CoDE Pods), right in the heart of Old Town. I was excited to see a giant Adam Smith statue right outside (shoutout freakonomics)! The rest of the afternoon consisted of lots of yummy food, drinks, and wrapped up by going for a run in Holyrood Park and hiked up Arthur’s seat.

Enjoying a post run/hike protein bar on the side of Arthur’s Seat.

Unfortunately, even with eating lots of good food and my run/hike, jet lag struck in the middle of the night keeping me up about an hour and a half…

Tuesday was filled with tourist things, and a big mid-day crash, which I was fighting tooth and nail to get through so I’d have a full nights sleep… cue my foolproof plan: I’ll just have a Red Bull… at 5:30pm… needless to say I got even less sleep that night.

At this point, you may be asking – Why am I keeping all this in a blog about hiking!? Hang on, it all comes together here.

The next morning while at the train station ahead of my ride to Glasgow, I had the realization that my Red Bull plan from the night before hadn’t yet flopped, it just needed to be redirected… so I had another one before 10am. (I’m also the person who takes a standard amount of pre-workout to go to the gym at 9pm, so this all tracks in hindsight)

By the time I make it to Glasgow, fatigue has me in an absolute chokehold… and I’m supposed to get off this train and walk *10 miles* to Milngavie. And to top it off, my guidebook says that the “trail” can have long, overgrown sections so I may need to road walk parts!?

No. Thank. You.

At lunch in Glasgow, while my heart was racing from caffeine and eyelids fighting to stay open, I made the decision to regroup and just take the train up to Milngavie. The train was £2.55 and took 25min… and this way I could (1) get all my pre-trail chores done before the 19 mile day Thursday to Balmaha, and (2) get my training run in for the day.

Aforementioned chores

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