|Old Runningfox - feeling OK after a shaky start to the week....|
Something wasn't quite right last week, but nothing I could really put my finger on. Maybe it was some sort of bug, though I wasn't coughing, sneezing, running to the loo or showing any other symptoms of being unwell except my energy levels had plummeted to zero. (Mind you, I'd been stretched on an operating table two days before with a surgeon poking around inside me, so that could have had something to do with it). Whatever, at the very beginning of a four mile route, on the slightest of hills, I found myself having to walk. I carried on jogging and walking through squidgy fields and sodden lanes, to eventually arrive home soaked in sweat and totally drained after fifty minutes of dire unpleasantness. I hate having to walk....that's what hurt most.
Within a three mile run next day I ran some short
|Wonderful winter running weather, if you're wearing a buffalo jacket..|
intervals by way of sharpening up, 4 x (6 x 100m @ 24secs) with two minutes rest between sets - this being a slight modification of a plan my wonderful partner started using after borrowing Julian Goater's 'The Art of Running Faster'. All went well, pacing them exactly right, though I'd to walk part way back up the hill into the village, much to my annoyance. I hate having to walk....or have I said that already?
|Determined to keep running.....|
On Saturday I set off in a more positive frame of mind, determined to keep on running come what may. And I did - with the exception of two brief interludes, one to take a photograph for my blog and the other when a neighbour's wee dog wanted to say hello. I'd forgotten to take my HRM chest strap on commuting back to the Dales so I was concentrating on breathing as I set off through fields for an undulating 7 miles by Linton Falls, Thorpe, Burnsall and back home along the river. It was a beautiful sunny day, 37º with a cool breeze, perfect for running. Birds were singing as though it was Spring, and serenading me as I ran past their wooded haunts. They could be in for a shock as winter tightens its grip. My Garmin registered 6.90 miles/543ft ascent as I returned home after 86 minutes - which isn't too bad considering there are well over 30 stiles and gates to negotiate along the way.
A white frost followed overnight rain and there was ice on the roads by Sunday morning. After Church
|Stone man on Grassington Moor|
we set off together for a steady six miles round Appletreewick. My wonderful partner wore a hat and Buffalo jacket to protect her from a 22º wind chill. Again, the birds thought it was wonderful - or maybe singing is their way of keeping warm in such conditions! I envied the farmer sat in his warm tractor spreading muck across the meadow. In a big pasture by the river a car drove erratically back and forth, presumably someone learning to drive. Weekend walkers were out in force, courteously making way for us runners and holding gates open so we could pass through without stopping. Good weather breeds good manners. After 71 invigorating minutes we were home to a warm stove and wrapping cold fingers round hot cups of tea.
|A good hill for training....|
Yesterday (Monday) I really gave my old legs something to shout about, setting out on an ascent of 900ft to the top of Grassington Moor in 3¾ miles - non-stop. The sun disappeared behind a misty haze as I set off at a pace I was determined to maintain right up to the 'Stone Man' - a cairn at the very top of the climb - where I'd rest a couple of minutes to take pictures before returning down the long wall back into the ghyll. I'd the whole moor to myself, I never saw another living soul, there was just me, a few startled grouse and the odd sheep as I plodded upwards on automatic pilot. The cairn was just below cloud level. Mossy Mere shimmered in the distance but all other features faded into the mist. Miles away from all visible habitation it was incredibly lonely but exquisitely beautiful. I stood savouring the situation until a freezing wind told me I'd better start moving. It was a pleasant run down the long wall, sheltered from that icy blast, back into the warmer confines of Hebden Ghyll, to return home a very happy runner having achieved what I set out to do - which was to run - all the way.
I hate having to walk!