|Woodland colours en route to Castle Hill|
After six frustrating weeks the old ribs are slowly healing so that over the past few days I've managed to clock up some enjoyable miles with seemingly no ill effects. On Wednesday I set off on my Castle hill route - yet again - in some unusually warm November weather that made running a sheer joy. As I've mentioned before, towards the end of this route there are a couple of 'Watch your Speed' traffic signs which, up till now, have always been 0.27 mile apart, according to my Garmin 305. However, for reasons best known to itself. it has decided to chop off 0.02 mile and reduce the distance to 0.25, a straight ¼ mile. This is all very well but it means that when I run this distance in the usual 1 minute 36 seconds my pace has dropped from 5.58 to 6.18 - which does nothing for my morale. This infernal gadget is slowing me down. Next time I'll run without it!
|River Wharfe on the way to Burnsall and Appletreewick|
Saturday's run was a delightful six miles along the riverbank to Appletreewick, and back. It was another clear day with extensive views and sharp imagery. Only problem was, I forgot to take my camera so was kicking myself every time a likely shot materialized - like the incredible reflections on the still waters of the river, or the dozen or so canoeists paddling downstream, or the lone goosander sunning itself in a calm backwater. The miles passed easily, running at a steady pace while marvelling at all the magic of another glorious day.
Sunday. After a convivial evening of wining and dining that extended long into the night it was a somewhat sluggish old Runningfox that set off for Church on Sunday morning. Things speeded up a bit when I realised I'd forgotten my collection money and had to jog back for it, only reaching my pew on the last clang of the bell. But it was worth it as my somewhat depleted batteries were recharged at the communion rail - though I'm not sure it did my knees any good!
Our minister, Rev David Macha, is a keen runner who completed this year's Great North Run in a respectable 1 hour 38 minutes. Next year he plans to run two of my favourite races, the Burnsall 10 mile road race and the Upper Wharfedale off-road ½ marathon, both of which are tough courses with many hundreds of feet of ascent. If I run these two races I'll be competing as an MV80 which is off the end of the scale as far as prizes are concerned. I'll have to think about that.
In the afternoon as mist descended into the valley my wonderful partner and I set off through the fields for a five mile circuit to Grassington Bridge, then back along the riverbank where a few faster spurts made this into a fartlek session. It brought my mileage to 14 for the week, the most I've run since my unfortunate accident. It will be ages before I'm back up to speed again. But I'm working on it.
|Running back from Grassington Bridge along the misty riverbank|
Whilst surfing the net the other day I happened to click on the Mallerstang Yomp website. The 'Yomp' takes place annually over a 23 mile route (with 4,000ft height gain) over Wild Boar Fell, Swarth Fell, Mallerstang Edge and Nine Standards Rigg before dropping down to the Start/Finish point at Kirkby Stephen Grammar School. I ran this race way back in 1996 and, quite by accident I'd imagine, set a new MV60 course record of 3 hours 42 minutes. Understandably I've been quite proud of this record over the years, so imagine my feelings on discovering that the official website lists a certain R.Moulding of Blackburn as the current MV60 record holder with his time of 3 hours 45 minutes - i.e. three whole minutes slower than my time. Needless to say an email to the organisers, with an attachment of the 1996 results, went hurtling through cyberspace at a great rate of knots with an urgent request to rectify this mistake PDQ. As yet, my record hasn't been restored but an email from David Prince, treasurer to the organising committee, indicates they're looking into the matter and will be in touch with me soon. But how soon is soon? Watch this space!