Friday 28 December 2018

It's not the coughing that carries you off,

it's the coffin they carry you off in...
"It's nothing infectious" I said to the concerned young lady sat beside me on the crowded train, "just a bit of a tickle, that's all".  She didn't seem convinced, turning her head to watch the world whizzing past the window as I hacked into my handkerchief. 
I was glad to get off.  For her sake.
Setting off on Saturday's run...   (Click to enlarge pictures)
Cough or no cough, I ran more than 20 miles with 1,800ft of ascent over the festive period which I reckon is a tad more than your average 86 year old did.   I can't recall coughing at all while I was running.  Only when I stopped!
...and it rained.  Do we really have to go on?
It rained one mile into our run on the Saturday before Christmas but it didn't stop us.  We carried on to complete a planned 6 mile route through Burnsall to Appletreewick campsite and back again.
Sunlight arriving on the bank outside our window
Christmas Eve was totally different.  I couldn't get out of the house quick enough to take pictures of the glorious sunrise.
Sunlight on mist over the river
I wandered around, clicking away ad lib while breakfast porridge was settling, until my old body felt it was ready to run.
It was a wee bit wet in places...
Before lunch we motored to Skyreholme to run a beautiful 6½ mile circuit forming part of a 10 mile walk my wonderful partner has planned for her U3A walking group in February.
...and very frosty in others
It was a beautiful sunny day but with a thick white frost in places where the sun had failed to shine.  There must also have been a 10ยบ difference in temperature in or out of the sun.
Running beside the Wharfe - white on one side, green on the other.
Through frosted fields we dropped down to join the River Wharfe at Howgill, then followed it upstream as far as Woodhouse farm.
Approaching the steading at the top of Kale Hill
Then began the uphill work, steeply up Kale Hill passing a little posse of walkers who gazed in amazement as we ran past, maybe moving faster uphill than they were walking downhill!
Flying - up Appletreewick Pasture in the sun
Beyond Kale Hill we were out of the shadows and back into sunlight to run steadily up Appletreewick Pasture, passing more walkers who said we were showing them up!
The descent into Troller's Ghyll
Crossing New Road we ran along a bit of old railway track to the head of Troller's Ghyll.  My wonderful partner was none too happy with my chosen route of descent!
Ooh, I've got a wet bum..
I'd chosen a diretissima down a steep banking which I often used to run up as part of a 14 mile route in marathon training days.  There was a wire fence to hang on to!
Flying again..
Once down into the Ghyll there was a grassy trail all the way to the bottom which made for fast, easy running - back into the sunlight.  It felt nice to get a bit of speed up.
All downhill from here..
From thereon it was pleasant running all the way back to Skyreholme, following the beck beneath Parcival Hall Gardens, to where we'd parked the car.
That delightful route
TomTom told us we'd run 6.3 miles with 789ft of ascent and a very enjoyable run it was too. 
Boxing day was so grotty, foggy and miserable that we didn't even bother to take our cameras on a 4 mile run to Burnsall and back along the river.  My wonderful partner was anxious to run it quickly, faster than she'd ever run it before, so I was enlisted to act as pace-maker. She got her wish and did in fact register a new PB.
Dawn breaking over Grimwith Reservoir.
We rose early next morning for a pre-breakfast run round Grimwith reservoir.  It was cloudy but some interesting colours filtered across the sky as dawn broke.
Sun rising over Grimwith Lodge
As we ran across the dam a procession of car headlamps pierced the gloom along the road leading to the sailing club as the yachting fraternity arrived, towing their boats behind them.
At the halfway point - in festive gear
It was one of those dreary mornings when dawn seemed to take a long time to arrive, but it was calm and reasonably warm for the time of year.
To the car park - ½ mile
From the moment we'd opened the car door a cacophony of greylags filled the air and it continued throughout our run,
  rafts of them on the water and scores more along the bank.
Wonderful running country
There was little or no wind, the surface of the water was like a mirror - wonderful for reflections but bad news for the sailors!
Yachts people gathering at the sailing club
As we set off up the final hill a runner gave us a wave as he set off in the opposite direction and two heavily dressed ladies with trekking poles greeted us as they commenced their festive walk.
Happy New Year everyone
After all the festive food and drink a visit to the scales revealed I weigh exactly the same as I have for the past 20 years - 136 lbs.
Oh, I forgot, we still have Hogmanay.  There's all the tatties and neeps, and plum pudding, wine and malt whisky to come yet.
God, I might have to run another 20 miles!
Ah well, anything's better than coughing...


  1. Good running :)
    Beautiful photographs, the reflections in 'Sun rising over Grimwith Lodge' are amazing.

    Enjoy the weekend and good wishes for a Happy New Year.

    All the best Jan

    1. Thanks Jan, that was a wonderful dawn run round Grimwith, the colours, the bugling geese, the reflections, the stillness. It was worth getting up for...
      All the best for 2019. Cheers!

  2. Brilliant Gordon, and all the very best for 2019.

    1. Cheers Martin, and a Very Happy New Year to you too.

  3. Wishing you and your wonderful partner a blessed and healthy 2019!

    1. Thanks Karien, we really appreciate that. May you and your family have a Very Happy and healthy New Year too. Cheers!

  4. Happy New Year Old Runningfox , I wish for you a 2019 with plenty of running miles . The post this week is awesome , well done Gordon .

    1. Cheers Antonio, and a Very Happy New Year to you too. Will hopefully bump into you sometime for a chinwag.
      Keep on running.