Monday, 28 July 2014


A bit hot on Tuesday....I'd to take my vest off!
     I was rather surprised to read the other day about a fellow blogger, in his late 70's, who'd been out running in a temperature of around 95ºF. I was struggling a bit last week when my Garmin recorded 75ºF on a couple of occasions while I was plodding round the hills. On the first of those runs, on Tuesday, I aborted a planned six miles and toiled back home in the mid-day sun, dripping wet, after only three. In the short space of time I'd  been out, I must have shipped an awful lot of fluid, in the form of sweat, because since breakfast-time that day I'd managed to lose a good 2 lbs. Mind you, many moons ago when running up to 22 miles on mountainous marathon training runs it wasn't unusual to shed up to 6 lbs - and I well recall the look of disgust on my wonderful partner's face at the pool of water on the flags when I wrung out my sweat band!
      Although I find it terribly difficult to motivate myself to get out and run before the sun has warmed the
My happy stomping ground....Castle Hill
flags, on Thursday and Friday I felt rather chuffed to be out running before 10am - and right good it felt. On both days the 350ft climb onto Castle Hill felt an absolute doddle and during the descent on Friday my Garmin recorded one of the fastest miles for quite some weeks. It wasn't quite like the 5½ min/miles I used to run in my prime (in fact, it was nowhere near) but quick enough to get me thinking about resurrecting an old 1-1-1 training run again. I came across it some years ago in Joe Henderson's book, Better Runs, and it became a training method I used regularly in racing days. The idea is to run one mile one day a week at one minute faster than normal training pace. Or better still, one minute faster than 10K race pace - but it's 12 months since I last ran a 10K so haven't a clue what that pace might be!
Jogging home up Edge Lane after the 'magic mile'....
   So Saturday was 1-1-1 day and I shamelessly persuaded my wonderful partner to accompany me for some moral support. Unfortunately, for various reasons, it was late morning before we set off up the ghyll and the temperature was already climbing well into the 70's. In little over a mile the sun felt hot on my neck, the back of my vest was soaking wet and there was some slight chafing round my arm pits - in spite of applied Vaseline. My Garmin was on auto lap to record each mile, so I jogged around a little until 3 miles came up, then accelerated over the next mile. My wonderful partner had set off to do her own thing down Moor Lane while I was 'faffing around' waiting for my watch and was already well on her way. Initially the track is rocky for a couple hundred metres before smoother and more runnable tarmac is conducive to a faster pace - all the way to the junction with Edge Lane where I was frantically waiting for my watch to trip to 4 miles so I could slow down and get my breath back!  After what seemed an eternity, it did, and I was pleasantly surprised at the figures that shone from its tiny face. 7.46 is what it said. I was happy with that and jogged home wondering whether it's time to start racing again?.
      I suffered the next day, feeling distinctly wobbly struggling up steps into Chapel. "It serves you right for
Stone Man and Mossdale track - where Hallelujah, it rained.....
going out running in all that sun yesterday" said the door steward who'd passed us in her car as we were setting off on our run the previous day. To make matters worse, I was reading the lesson, doing my best to stand still and concentrate while my ears were trying to pop and I felt badly in need of something to hold on to. I wasn't drunk, honest!  I wobbled back home, had two cups of strong coffee, changed into running gear and set off for my longest run of the week, an eight miler over Bycliffe Hill with 900ft of ascent. It was sunny to begin with but as I ran up the ghyll clouds were gathering and I began to feel a wonderful coldness on my skin I hadn't felt for many a week. As I climbed onto the open moor the wind increased. Then it began to rain and the feeling bordered on ecstasy as the cooling drops dotted my bare shoulders, my face, my arms and my legs. It was one of those Hallelujah moments when God's in His heaven and all's right with the world.......and a fitting conclusion to another glorious week.   


  1. You ask if you should start racing again, well let me put this to you: I'm injured and can only really run slow and short... But I've still found myself on the start line of a couple of amazing trail races. Now on the other hand I wouldn't line up for a flat 10km race as I'm not ready to stretch my legs.

    you could be ready to stretch your legs, or you could be ready to enjoy I route you wouldn't otherwise run.

    Good Luck

  2. It certainly has been hot in recent days and I've found it easier to go out earlier in the morning the day has got on it has become muggy and not too pleasant, shouldn't complain.

    At the moment I've been enjoying watching the Commonwealth Games,

    All the best Jan

  3. Hi, great blog - stumbled across it looking for info on the Burnsall 10 miler.

    Mighty impressive PBs from your younger days, it's inspired me to keep pushing to go faster (I'm 35), and encourage my clubmates in their 40s and 50s that they can break some barriers and PBs yet!

    If you don't mind, I'd be intrigued to learn more about your training methods from racing days - liking the 1-1-1 idea by the way and will give it a go next week!

    Had you run fast as a young man or was it a case of walking and climbing giving you a good foundation to train hard for running? How much/little speedwork did you do in your 50s, did you have to be careful not to get injured?

    Many thanks and keep running, you are an inspiration. As for racing... plenty of nice trail races around or you could do the Yorkshire Vets Athletics Association meets - - although you need to be member of a club to do so.

    Kind Regards,


  4. Thanks for visiting my Blog, and for your kind remarks Gareth. You can come again! To answer a couple of your questions: I started running aged 54 and never had any structured training plan, just did what I felt like doing. Most of my knowledge was gleaned from "The Competitive Runner's Handbook" and most of my running was over the rough stuff (still is). However, before serious races I'd do Track work - fast repetitions over 200m, 400m or 800m. And in my early 60's I could comfortably handle 4 x 5½ min/mile repeats on the Track or 4 x 6 min/miles on undulating roads.
    For years I was plagued with calf injuries - until I discovered orthotics, and I've had no problems since. And yes, I know about the Yorkshire Vets and have won my share of Gold medals with them. See my blog for Sept 30th, 2012.
    Happy running....