Wednesday 27 June 2018

A good week......

It's difficult to sit up here in my den tapping away at a keyboard when the weather is so wonderful outside.  I'm very much an outdoor person, especially when the sun is out, so I'm afraid this posting will be fairly brief.
Castle Hill in early morning light  (Click to enlarge)
I'm glad to say my mojo returned stonkingly well last week enabling me to vastly improve on the previous weeks mileage.  Well, maybe not vastly, but 13 miles to 21 seems like a reasonably good percentage for a doddering old has-been.
Still going strong, last push up on Tuesday's run
Tuesdays 5 miler was tough running over uneven tracks through dark woodland beloved by horse riders.  Normally it's soft and churned up but now it's all hard ankle twisting stuff.  Chuck in an undulating 615 ft of ascent finishing over Castle Hill and I was sweating abit when I got home, even though it was only 6.02 am.
Solstice sunrise - 4.40 am
Thursday's run was even earlier.  It was the summer solstice so I rolled out of bed at 3.45, had a quick cup of coffee then trogged up Castle Hill to watch the 4.36 am sunrise.  There were some strange people up there but not the ones I'd expected.  For the past few years a Morris dance group, Thieving Magpie, have danced at every solstice, summer and winter.  This year they were conspicuous by their absence.
Castle Hill beacon and solstice sunrise
There were a lot of cars in the car park, people huddled up in sleeping bags, others dressed strangely and carrying lanterns.  I suspect they were druids.  I ran a few circuits hoping the dancers would turn up.  They failed so I jogged home after only 3 miles. I was tempted to go back to bed but had to get over to Grassington for a talk by Chris Mason (Political correspondent) in the Festival hall.
Hot day on the Dales Way - Saturday's run
Saturdays run was short (4 miles) but interesting.  Leaving Grassington we stopped once again by a recently formed pond that has attracted an increasing amount of bird life.
Lapwing and young redshank
Geese were there again wit their goslings, moorhens swam around with chicks, immature lapwings poked around in the mud, a black headed gull sailed majestically across the water and what we thought was an immature redshank skulked along the far shore.
Oystercatchers up the ghyll en route to Grassington Moor
Sunday's run was an 9 miler to investigate a plot high on Grassington Moor where new owners of the estate are planning to erect a new wooden shooting hut on the site of an old stone one that was pulled down.  I'd sheltered in the old one many times from storms and blizzards, once in a heavy snowstorm when a kestrel hovered in the doorway  but was too frightened to join me.
Setting off back from site of old shooting hut
We returned over Bycliffe Hill where the trod has become very indistinct since all the sheep were taken off it.  But our navigation was spot on and we soon arrived at the main track across the Moor right by the side of our old marker cairn.
Reaching our marker cairn - spot on!
It was all downhill from there.  "Not far to go now" a walker said as we passed him by.  Neither of us had a clue who he was but he obviously knew us!
So that was the week that was, a steady 21 miles to get back on track again.  Hopefully...


  1. A good week indeed Old Runningfox ,21 miles with this temperature is not bad at all , and to get out of bed at 3.45am is significant of iron will power , but what still impresses me looking at the pics , is your stride ...I wish ..Antonio .

    1. Hamstrings shorten as we get older, therefore stride length. While racing I used a Stick - - to roll out knots in all my leg muscles to keep them flexible. Now I seldom use it. Also with age my stride rate has dropped from 180 to around 160. Darned muscles are nowhere near as efficient as they used to be, but I'm happy...

  2. I was backpacking in the area earlier this week, (Hebden - Grassington - Whernside - Kettlewell) but had to cut the trip short by a day such was the heat. Virtually no water on the high ground, even the Wharfe at Yockenthwaite was bone dry! I hope it cools off a bit soon, I'm due to do Afoot in Two Dales from Harmby next week - 50 miles in 24 hours.
    Ho hum.

    1. It's been too hot for me too, had to move into the shade. My beer was getting too warm!
      An 18 mile run from Hebden to Great Whernside and back was a favourite training route in marathon running days. It would kill me now...
      It's forecast to come a little cooler next week, but who knows what next weekend will bring? Hope conditions are OK and all goes well on your 50 miler. Cheers!

    2. Thanks - I'll be carrying a lot of water, just in case!