Monday 18 December 2017

Black ice - not nice......

Tuesday's dawn run round the cemetery was a bit iffy, lots of ice and crazy patterned skid marks where cars had been sliding around.  But it was one of those occasions when all thoughts of danger were cancelled out by the sheer joy of being outdoors on such a beautiful morning.
Tuesday's sunrise over the War graves  (Click to enlarge pictures)
I pottered around effortlessly at an easy pace, breathing the pure, cold air under a cloudless sky and never met another living soul.  Not a solitary dog walker or Personal Trainer putting clients through their paces.  I was in the zone. I didn't want to go home. 
Until my stomach reminded me it was way past breakfast time!
A bit skiddy
Come Thursday I rose early, donning running gear as the kettle boiled for that first mug of reviving coffee.  Then I happened to glance out the window and didn't like what I saw.  A long line of cars with dipped headlamps were crawling down the main road towards the village.  My worst fears were confirmed when I stepped outside to investigate.  Black ice.  I didn't even reach the garden gate, it was so treacherous. 
Studs can cope with this - but not that black variety
It was the same on Friday.  Three times I attempted to get out and three times I turned back, clinging to the wall.
Black ice frightens me.
Long sleep, low pulse and a convoluted route on Tuesday
Saturday dawned clear and beautiful but the dashboard thermometer was recording -3ºC as we drove back to the Dales.  There was ice on footpaths and verges but roads had been gritted, so we'd no problems reaching Hebden village.
It must be Christmas
It wasn't until we'd had coffee and changed into running gear that I discovered TomTom had run out of juice.  It was a blessing in disguise for while it recharged we were able to drag the Christmas tree into position and bring all its baubles and coloured lights down from the loft.  Meanwhile, bright sunshine was melting most of any remaining ice and making it safer for us to run.
At 11am TomTom was ready to go.
Reflections at Burnsall
We chose a riverbank route to avoid any slippery tarmac.  Conservation workers long ago levelled rougher parts of the river path with tons of gravel to make it accessible to wheelchair users - thereby making it ideal for runners too.
Easy running along the River Wharfe
My old Canon camera doesn't like cold weather, especially if the battery is starting to run low.  I'll start to focus on a subject and the darn thing closes up causing me to miss getting the shot. 
Watching a male goosander fly up-river.  Can you spot it?
On Saturday the opposite occurred.  The lens stayed open, for a change, as I focused on a female goosander.  But just as I was about to press the shutter the duck dived out of sight.   Fooled again...
Taking a breather at Loup Scar.  I'm allowed to at my time of life!
Other than a pair of goosanders and a few mallard we saw little in the way of bird life.  A dipper flew by as we approached Loup Scar and that was it.  Roll on Spring.
I love these mossy walls near Postman's Steps
By lunchtime, any ice on the road had cleared so we ran home through Burnsall and down what we call 'Postman's Steps' to make it more of a circular route.
According to TomTom......
TomTom said we'd run 5.83 miles with 388ft of ascent but I don't always believe him.  He can be very flattering at times.  Like when he says I have a Fitness Age of 62.  I wish!   At 62 I was running sub 3 hour marathons at around 6min 36sec/mile pace.  Nowadays I can't even run a mile at that pace, let alone 26 consecutive ones.  My current pace is almost double that time.  I don't know who the 62 year old guys are that TomTom compares me with.
They must be lousy runners.


  1. I've met many 62 year olds who can't do half of what you can!

    Oh and Ms Garmin has told be to Move 30min after finishing a marathon... I just laughed at her!

    Have a great Christmas

    1. Racing-wise I was in my prime at 62 - having been a late starter. Just proves what people can do if they put their minds to it....
      You have a great Christmas too......Cheers!

  2. Some days you just can't get out there. I had a couple of those days here too.

    1. Yeah, it's very frustrating, but a wonderful feeling when you next step out into the sun. Have a nice Christmas.

  3. When the weather is bad you just have to stay in, but those good weather days sure make up for it.
    Lovely series of photographs again, even if your camera does play up from time to time.

    Your Christmas tree looks great.
    Enjoy the season, my good wishes

    All the best Jan

    1. In days gone by I seemed to be out a lot more, running or Munro-bagging, Are there more bad days now, or am I just growing soft?
      The tree is an artificial one Jan and has saved us a considerable amount of money. And the needles don't drop!
      Have a wonderful festive season. Cheers!

  4. Merry Christmas Old Runningfox , have a good 2018 with plenty of running , I like very much your posting . Antonio from Otley AC.

    1. Thanks Antonio, you have a very nice Christmas too, and all the best for 2018. Maybe see you at Burnsall. Cheers!