There are times when I feel so good, I could run forever. Well, the mind does, the body usually has other ideas. Last week mind and body were in total agreement with each other - both of them in 'sod off' mode. Maybe 16½ miles the previous weekend was too much for someone catching up to Methuselah, or maybe my biorhythms were in the critical phase, but I've really struggled since. The weather hasn't helped either, no smiling sunshine pouring out its healing rays, or stuffing Vitamin D into systems of erstwhile sun-worshippers. All we got was cloud and clag hanging over the hills, bringing semi-darkness and making it difficult to take any decent photographs.
|Some Valentine's day things...not the Nytol! (Click to enlarge)|
It didn't stop me churning out 21 miles over three runs to show complaining muscles I'm still their boss and they've got to do what they're jolly well told, though I'll admit, it hurt a bit at times. My two early morning runs around Castle Hill, each of 5 miles, were tolerable though I'd to spend considerably more time stretching and 'Sticking' before settling down to porridge and toast with Liz Green, our local Radio Leeds breakfast- time presenter.
|The dreary scene at Barden Bridge, no blue sky and no sun|
Come weekend we'd planned a long run, ostensibly in preparation for a 12 mile off-road jaunt in the Troller's Trot on March 7th which my wonderful partner appears keen to do. As yet, I'm not sharing her enthusiasm even though, some months ago, it was my idea. I really must be more careful what I say and start engaging brain before I open my big mouth! She's very hard to talk out of things once the seed has been planted.
|A rare splash of blue along the riverbank path|
Saturday was a non-day so far as running was concerned. Half a ton of logs arrived at 10 in the morning and dumped by the roadside from where I'd to shunt them into a coal shed with a doorway only 5ft high whilst my wonderful partner did the stacking. The afternoon was spent resting our aching backs, catching up with various sports (notably England thrashing Italy in the Six Nations) and fasting until our Valentine's day meal in the Clarendon Hotel, our local hostelry.
|A stretch of river by Woodhouse Farm, and misty hills|
Sunday was forecast to be the better day weatherwise but the real meteorological powers that be had other ideas. Hardly once did the sun peep from behind dense cloud while a bitter east wind kept temperatures to around 36ºF. Vastly different from the previous weekend. Three cups of tea and one of coffee wasn't so much to get well hydrated, more a cunning delaying tactic to avoid facing the elements. It was 11am when I finally got out the door, my wonderful partner having tired of waiting and set off alone. Both of us were bound for Barden Bridge, 5 miles away, but each went different ways so never met.
|Almost home......passing Thor's Gill|
I'd opted to run there by road, through Appletreewick and Howgill, then back from Barden Bridge via the riverbank. Reasoning behind this was to get into some sort of rhythm at the start then have a little respite from running at the 30+ stiles and gates on the way back. That was the plan and it worked reasonably well, though I'd forgotten how much hillier it was along the road, or how much further - almost an extra mile. Some sort of off-road transport would have been appreciated over the last 2 miles, preferably a microlight to negotiate the narrow suspension bridge! To put it mildly, I was knackered when I got home. I'd a shower, stuffed some lunch down, then promptly fell asleep. At 3 o'clock, when our afternoon service began in the village, I was still in dreamland. So alas and alack, last weeks sins remain unforgiven.....