During a cold, wet, miserable week I somehow managed to get ahead of schedule towards the end of it. Lately, I've been happy to average 3 miles a day - 21 miles per week - but catching up with mileage after a shaky start to the week got a bit out of hand and I'd to tighten the reins when I got to 28 miles. Between rogue showers I really enjoyed my slow plods round the countryside, then later over open moorland, and got a bit carried away.
|Don't even think about it, big ears! (Click to enlarge)|
Midweek runs over Castle Hill are my bread and butter, usually a quick 4 miles, on Tuesday and Thursday mornings. Last week it became extended to a 4 and two 6's with the inclusion of a Wednesday run. All at a steady pace, taking in the panoramic Pennine views, listening to the the yellow hammers and thrushes, talking to the rabbits (!), running the gauntlet of cows with their calves, saying 'Hello' to the horses, photographing wild flowers, praying that various loose dogs were of friendly disposition.......
|"Hello horsies...sorry, no Polos today"|
An added attraction on Thursday was watching the antics of masochistic members of 'Total Fitness' running up the hundred or so steep steps towards Victoria Tower, all the time being shouted at from the top by their sadistic instructor, made to do press-ups when they reached him, then sent down again to repeat the torture. Unless I'm mistaken, there was a bit of swearing going on! Membership of 'Total Fitness' certainly isn't cheap, so it amuses me to what lengths they'll go to get their money's worth. And all before they start work....
|'Total Fitness' devotees having fun. "Come on, quicker, sprint!"|
It felt great, come Saturday, to run for eight miles into the comparative silence of Grassington Moor. Apart from the whispering wind the only other noises were an odd brace of grouse clattering off into the distance and an agitated pewit calling to its late brood of chicks to lie low until we'd passed. With my wonderful partner we'd set off together but separated for a while for me to run a slightly longer and rougher route over Bycliffe Hill, an area I love for its remoteness and solitude.
|Space and solitude, lone figure running up Bycliffe Hill.....|
As I neared the top I became aware of something I hadn't seen before, something strange on top of a hummock in the distance. It wasn't until I got closer that my deteriorating eyesight recognized the shape of my wonderful partner, taking pictures of me as I ran towards her across the moor! From thereon we ran together down the 'long wall' and back into Hebden Ghyll, stopping only to photograph a bank of wild thyme before scuttering home ahead of threatening rain clouds
.With various members of the congregation on holiday I found myself on Church duty again on Sunday morning where a refreshed and enthusiastic Rev. Janet Clasper was conducting her first Communion service since returning from a three month sabbatical. She 'went on a bit', as they say, so instead of a planned six mile run afterwards, I'd to opt for a quick 4 miles along the riverbank before the heavens opened again and kept me indoors for the rest of the day.
Things were a bit different for my wonderful partner. After National Parks duty on Barden Fell and cloud capped Simon's Seat she arrived home later in the afternoon in a somewhat soggy state, fortuitiously, just as I'd put the kettle on.
|.....and another running down|
|On Sunday's short run by the River Wharfe before the clouds opened|
Now wasn't she the lucky one?