|Shades of purple on the Mossdale track....(click to enlarge)|
Although the sun had stayed in bed and the forecast was dire from lunchtime onwards, conditions on Friday morning bordered on perfect for a short run up Castle Hill. A very pleasant 63ºF, and a tolerable 8mph east wind to keep the sweat at bay, meant I stayed within my comfort zone for the whole of the run. After six hilly miles the previous day and a tough ten miler planned for Saturday, I decided a gentle four would be enough to sandwich between them. Slapping aside inquisitive cows cluttering up the field path I was running easily past Clough Hall and along the level trail to Ogley before striking uphill onto the level plateaux of Castle Hill. Maybe the forecast had kept people away for I'd the whole place to myself. Heaven. It's only 900ft high but views are so extensive, it's like running on top of the world. I never tire of the ever changing landscapes in all their seasonal moods.
Cloud was low enough to slice off the top half of Emley Moor transmitter, Yorkshire's
|....and on the moor, my wild garden|
tallest building, and totally obliterate the wind farm over towards Haworth. It was one of those magical mornings when I was 'running out of myself', totally absorbed in my surroundings with little or no conscious thought of what my legs or feet were doing, my body circling the perimeter path on automatic pilot whilst my head was somewhere up in the clouds - metaphorically speaking. On the last of these circuits a glance across the valley revealed the whole of Holme Moss had disappeared under a great cloud of rain - and it was heading towards me! I free-wheeled down, passing the ever present cows, and stopped my watch on exactly 4 miles. Or so I thought. On downloading to 'Garmin Connect' I was greatly surprised to learn I'd run precisely 5 miles. I can only surmise I'd been experiencing something of a 'runner's high' during that extra phantom mile.
|Atmospheric view running towards Great Whernside|
There was no such occurrence the following day on a blustery 10 mile circuit of Mossdale. The temperature was only a couple of degrees cooler but the wind had swung round to the west and increased to 17mph, maybe gusting to 20mph during the short, sharp showers that had me donning a rain jacket on occasions to maintain some body heat. But I couldn't resist. Heather is currently in full bloom and on Saturday I was determined to feast my eyes upon it, smell it, photograph it and enjoy it to the full as it lights up the moor in its brief annual display. I wasn't disappointed, though the suns disappearance each time I reached for my camera was frustrating, to say the least. I could hardly sit around waiting for the right conditions when I was supposed to be running, especially at 1,500ft where wind and rain showed no respect for my lightly clad body. It was a stop/start affair that bore no resemblance to the previous day's easy rhythm or out of body experience. But I'd done what I set out to do and jogged home contentedly with the heathery smells in my nostrils and the pictures in my camera. All's well that ends well.....