Tuesday, 21 January 2014

Days when I'm glad I'm a runner.....

Hoping to be here next month - at around 8,000ft on La Palma
      In less than a month's time we'll be jetting off to La Palma, our favourite island in the Canaries group. In preparation for this I wasn't sure whether I should be winding down, so as to be rested and ready for anything - or ratcheting up to increase fitness for tackling those high and formidable volcanic peaks?  I decided the former would be most sensible because one thing's for sure, there'll be little rest when we get there. There never is!  So that's been my excuse for taking things easy this last week. Well, fairly easy.....
       I'll admit to getting a little carried away on a
Castle Hill - where I get carried away....
supposedly relaxed run over Castle Hill when the atmospheric views inspired me to stay aloft and do a few 100m reps. Six or eight was what I'd had in mind but after jogging home and plugging my all singing and dancing watch into the computer it told me I'd rather overshot the mark and finished up doing twenty three (19 of them @ 23secs, 3 @ 22 and 1 @ 24). It told me something else I didn't know - that my maximum heart rate is 160 bpm. Well, what it actually said is that 143 bpm is 89% of max, and 138 bpm is 86% of max - and I was clever enough to work out that 100% must equate to 160. Using a calculator, of course!
Village of Feizor - pretty, even without the sun...
      Inspired by a favourable forecast on Sunday we drove to Austwick, firstly to repeat a wonderful 5 mile run we'd done on Boxing Day, and secondly to visit my old friend Herbert who's recently out of hospital and test driving his new hips. "I've been for a walk" he said, "just round the supermarket". Booth's supermarket trolleys apparently make good zimmer frames but could be a bit awkward when it comes to climbing over stiles around Austwick.  In some ways I suspect he rather enjoyed his stay in hospital with all the Christmas time cameraderie in a mixed ward, though little chance of getting up to any mischief with new clickety hips. Not at coming up 89.....There was a slight lull to the joviality when a chap in the next bed stopped breathing and failed to get started again. But then, one must expect things like that in such places....
       We left him in good spirits and set off across soggy pastures to the hideaway hamlet of Feizor, hoping
After we left.....glorious sunshine towards High Bark House
on this occasion to get some decent clear photographs of the place as opposed to the foggy ones we took on Boxing Day. Guess what?  It clouded over again, the sun said goodbye and it began to drizzle as we approached, once again thwarting our intentions. Then, as we closed the gate behind us and headed away uphill towards High Bark, out popped the sun, laughing I suspect, to flood the landscape with an intense yellow light. Spit! - or something like that - how does it know?  In spite of the sun's contrariness, we really enjoyed our run, and a lazy drive home through glorious countryside.

Chimney...from lead smelting days on Grassington Moor
     I wasn't feeling too well yesterday, my back was playing up, again, and I was walking around bent like a banana. But the sun was shining and I just had to get out. After 600mg of Ibuprofen and 1,000mg of Paracetamol, washed down with my morning coffee, my wonderful partner went down to the riverbank for an interval session and I set off in the opposite direction to 'do my own thing'. "Depending on how I feel I may turn back before I get out of the village" I told her. "or, on the other hand, I could be gone a long time". It turned out to be the latter, and I was glad I did for days don't come much better.
      Blea Gill was my destination, across
Upon reflection.....
Grassington Moor, past the dams and all the newly planted trees on the slopes overlooking Grimwith reservoir. There wasn't a breath of wind to ripple the water, overhead the sky was a deep blue with just a few fluffy clouds riding low on distant horizons. Valleys were wreathed in mist, exceedingly atmospheric. so my camera was clicking away before I'd even run half a mile, and in such a gorgeous landscape I'm afraid my stops became more frequent than usual. 
'What is this life, if full of care,
We have no time to stand and stare'
So wrote W.H.Davies and I share his sentiments entirely - even when I'm supposed to be running!

Old Runningfox on Grassington Moor
     After eight miles, with a camera full of new pictures, I returned home a very happy man - luckily before my wonderful partner sent out a search party. I'd warned her I might be a long time but an hour and forty seven minutes was apparently stretching it a bit!  Anyway, never mind the time, what the heck did I do with those pain-killers?


  1. I see I'm going to have the same problem on Sunday... I'm planning a 2h30 run on the mountain with a couple of friends, but I bet we will stop for a couple of pictures and a swim in the dam, then we will chat at the car and I bet I will be out for 3h30...

    I love the idea of getting fit for a holiday, but then most of my holidays have a marathon thrown in!!!

    1. Know what you mean CD, the reminiscing back at the car can take up nearly as much time as the actual run, especially if it's been a good one!

  2. Love experiencing your part of the world through your blog and your runs. Beautiful!

    1. We do indeed run in some beautiful places. All we're short of is some of your African sun....

  3. Your pictures are just beautiful, I can breath in the fresh air from here.

    Will be back again for more ..... but hope your back continues to be ok

    Take Care

    All the best Jan

    1. Thanks Jan. We'd some good weather last week so went a bit mad with the pictures. Always a good excuse to stop and have a breather!

  4. I agree, your photos are amazing and beautiful. I love reading about your running adventures. Hope your back feels better soon! Take it easy :)

    1. Your pictures aren't bad either Celeste, and it's wonderful how you get out running every day come hail or shine. Wish I was as committed......