Monday 27 January 2020

A little further....

My plan for last Sunday was to run a little further, to get strength back into my legs, but we'd been celebrating Burn's Night so things got a bit out of hand.  A horrible pain in my nether regions caused something of a delay at the start of our six mile jaunt to Appletreewick but after a brief stop we were soon on our way. 
Well wrapped up against a cold wind by Hebden Suspension Bridge. 
(Click to enlarge)
It's nearly six months since we ran this route and I was really looking forward to running the riverbank again. 
River Wharfe near Loup Scar
A dipper bobbed around on a stone at Loup Scar but by the time I got the camera out, it had gone,
Passing the Red Lion at Burnsall Bridge
It was early morning and I can only remember passing four people and none of them had dogs.  Quite an unusual occurrence!
On the bridge at Woodhouse Farm
We pressed on, following the river past the Red Lion in Burnsall  (it was shut, not that I'm ever allowed in such places) and through Daggett's car parking field to Woodhouse Farm.
Running the short road loop
Here, we normally leave the river for a short loop onto the road, hence the name - the Appletreewick lollipop.
Passing the campsite
In half a mile or so we cut back to rejoin the river at the campsite.
Flat, easy running
We'd run three miles and were now at the half way mark and turning for home with a cool wind in our faces.  
Peering into the River Dibb at Woodhouse Farm
There were no hills until the last ¼ mile, it was all delightful running, through Burnsall, over the River Dibb that flows into the Wharfe, past Loup Scar again and on to the Suspension Bridge.
Passing Loup Scar again
After another mile we'd got into our stride.  Breakfast was calling.
A cormorant drying his wings
We'd never seen a cormorant on the river before so were surprised to see one perched on a rock mid stream, wings outstretched.
Full steam ahead
We tried to take a decent picture of him but he flew away. We ran on.
Towards the Suspension Bridge seen in the distance
It's a lovely stretch of river to the Suspension Bridge and we never tire of running this, especially when we have it to ourselves!
Crossing the bridge again 
Pretty soon we reached the Suspension Bridge and out onto the tarmac again. It was steep tarmac and shhhh,, never let it be said, we walked up it....   It was only 150 yards or so.  Pretty soon we were home enjoying porridge and coffee, crumpets and honey.
Well, I was.....

Tuesday 21 January 2020

A good weekend...

The forecast was good for our neck of the woods so we were determined to make the most of it.  On Saturday we went walking over Hebden Crag, past Mossy Mere and back via Hebden Ghyll.
I needed some hard uphill work and some faster running to get the old body operating as near to optimum as possible. for my age
Hebden beck   (click to enlarge)
Approaching the Crag path gate

The Crag path
Crag path
At Mossy Mere

Back into the ghyll
Hebden Ghyll
Dwarf ferns growing from a mossy wall

On Sunday we got out of bed in the darkness, had a quick coffee and were driving up the road to Grimwith, scattering pheasants as we went., prelude to a glorious run.

Breaking dawn.  Running frequently stopped for photographs
Dawn colours and ice on the track

Avoiding the ice

More ice
Running into the sunrise
Feeling a bit of warmth in the sun
Back o' Grimwith
Sun rising on a frozen landscape, back o' Grimwith
Reservoir like a mill pond
Back into the shadows under the hill
Almost finished
Time for porridge - almost - just a short drive home now.
Hope the car hasn't frozen up again!

Wednesday 15 January 2020

When you can't sleep...

A full moon was lighting up the bedroom when I awoke at 6.30 last Friday morning.  After injections to both eyes on Thursday that almost blinded me I'd gone to bed early.  Now, I could see again and was rarin' to go for a run to erase nasty memories of the previous day.
Friday's full moon...   (Click to enlarge)
I stepped out under a clear sky into a silent world.  Grass was brittle and glittering in the moonlight as I made my way through frozen fields towards Castle Hill.  
Two masts at breaking dawn
At breaking dawn the local poacher materialized from the gloom with his two whippets and asked the inevitable two questions,  "Have you seen anything of Geoff lately (a mutual friend who is quite ill)" and "how is your prostate now?"  I answered  "No" to the first question and "It's manageable" to the second before tackling the final steep slope to the summit.
The ghost runner
The sky had lightened to pale orange as I circled the rim of the hill for a couple of circuits, waiting for the sun to peep over the horizon. 

I didn't have to wait long.  Pretty soon the whole landscape was awash with the sun's fiery rays and for the first time that morning I began to feel warm.  I jogged home in search of further warmth, hot porridge and a mug of reviving coffee.
It's two months since my last radiotherapy treatment and I haven't yet found the eagerness to run.  The Oncologist told me it would take time to recover but I didn't expect it to take this long!  Perhaps my 87 years has something to do with it?
Sunrise on the cricket field
But I'm trying.  Early morning reps on a local cricket field, stopping and jogging home when the sun comes up, is a current favourite.  I don't like folk seeing how much I've slowed!
Round Grimwith
And, together with my wonderful partner I've been on dawn runs round Grimwith reservoir.
Come on, slow coach...
She sometimes has to wait for me, which rankles a bit, but she is a tiny bit younger than me.... 
...which is better than thinking the radiotherapy hasn't worked.