In spite of reaching the tender age of 84 my brain steadfastly refuses to acknowledge it, though sometimes I think it ought. Like on Sunday for instance when I struggled round an eight mile circuit in hot September sunshine to arrive home practically leg-less having lost half a bucket of sweat along the way.
|Sunrise on my only mid-week run (Click to enlarge pictures)
Hey, the old body says, you took me for a hard 8 miles yesterday with nearly a thousand feet of ascent, are you trying to kill me? The brain politely tells it to beggar off and stop being so soft before musing upon where to run next and really putting my body through its paces (possibly something to do with just renewing my passport).
|Occasionally I relax
Back to back 8 milers came about because I'd only managed five miles during the week, so 16 miles short of my preferred average of 3 miles per day or 21 mile total. On Wednesday I awoke to thick mist. Same on Thursday. On Friday it was raining. So mileage had to be made up at the weekend - in unseasonable heat.
Actually those misty mid-week mornings cleared by lunchtime giving way to blue skies and warm sunshine. I walked for miles, picking blackberries along the way and shaking apples from an old tree on Castle Hill.
Wild fruits are currently in abundance creating colour in the hedgerows and scrumptious desserts for our evening meals.
|Getting a bit of speed up
70º+ on Saturday had me running in shorts and sleeveless vest that gave me more freedom of movement and hence a little more speed as we descended from the high point, 1,550ft on Bycliffe Hill.
|What's going on in Burnsall?
My wonderful partner was also stripped down to basics for Sunday's run to Appletreewick where she sensibly turned for home considering 6 miles quite enough after the previous day's 8.
|River Wharfe at Howgill
I left her and continued along the road to Howgill, then back beside the rowan fringed River Wharfe, past the busy campsite at Appletreewick to run the gauntlet of picknickers thronging Daggett's field at Burnsall.
A short, steep ascent from Hebden beck back up to the village took all the remaining wind from my sails. But the animal was happy. Another 21 mile week was in the bag.
Bacon and mushrooms on toast went some way to replacing spent calories. A can of cold beer on the lawn in warm sunshine, late swallows hawking around and honey bees humming among autumn flowers brought a wonderfully relaxing end to another glorious weekend.
|Rowan trees, River Wharfe and Daggett's field
|Rowan berries against the blue