Tuesday, 29 December 2009

Seeds of life renewed......

And the inspiration did indeed fire me up and get me back out there enjoying myself. I've had a fabulous week of running and managed to clear my head of all doubts and negative thoughts and 19th June it will be!!

Last Tuesday did indeed start with a trip up into the moors in deep snow and dense, low cloud. Amazing how you think you know somewhere and that your intuition will see you right....until the light starts fading, you can't quite recognise where you are, and you're struggling in a thigh-deep snowdrift!! All was well in the end, as I followed a compass bearing and managed to drop down to the Calderdale Way and follow that back over to Midgley, then down through the woods in darkness.

Wednesday was a gorgeous day, so another trip up onto the moor to work out where I went wrong the day before (defintely went to the right of High Brown Knoll!). Progress was slow in the deep snow but thoroughly enjoyable. Arrived back home with frozen shoelaces and trousers! Pleased to have got a good run in though, and rewarded myself with a couple of extra pints in the Fox in the evening :-)

Xmas Eve saw a club run from Old Town and, wouldn't you know it, we went up to High Brown Knoll again!!! Low cloud again made navigation interesting, along with a good coating of new snow...but Richard B was spot on to see us up to the top. A smashing run, lovely "credit crunch lunch" and a couple of pints, before heading down into Hebden for another pint in the Fox....excellent!!!

Not content with that run, at 11pm, we got kitted up again on a beautiful evening, and headed up onto the moors, where the deep snow and half moon meant that torches weren't needed as we slithered along the paths to see in Xmas Day. We had a lovely vision of some child in one of the villages looking out bleary-eyed, seeing lights heading across the moors, and imagining it was santa and his reindeer :-) Two hours out on the moors then back to hot drinks and Xmas Day.

A rest on Xmas Day, although we managed to walk a few miles down for a lunchtime pint at the Fox.

Boxing Day saw a trip out to my old running ground of the Stiperstones and the 3 mile "Dash" or "Dawdle". I was somewhere inbetween!!! Not much snow, but sheets of ice all ove the place, making it tough. Smashing run though, and nice to get into the pub and see several old Harriers and Newport friends. Lovely!! Oh, and of course, Rob was there as well, only seen him a few times since supporting on his BG. Still running well, finished in the top 10 and, of course, was there with wise words and motivation, and reassurance that, of course, I will do it this time.

27th saw us heading to Llangynhafal for the 2-mile downhill Jubilee Plunge. We arrived nice and early to have a bit of a run first....only to find the race was cancelled due to ice near the top. Actually, it was a good thing, and meant we had a couple of hours out on the Clywdian Hills, including the steep descent and then ascent up the gully from the November race. It was slippy on top and I can't blame the organiser for calling it off....but nice to see most folks had a run anyway!

28th saw me back on very familiar ground, parking up at Carding Mill to do a recce of the Valleys race. 13 of us in total I think, on a lovely but very cold day. Conditions underfoot were solid and slippy!! Lovely to see everyone though, and I really enjoyed being pushed along a bit.

And now, I'm back in Calderdale, with a race on Thursday and LDWA event on Friday to look forward to!! The achilles is complaining a bit today, but should settle down. Whereas the head is in good condition and raring to get stuck into training.

Tuesday, 22 December 2009


Follow the link on the right "In the bleak midwinter", into the linked blogs on that site, for some incredible photos of what looks like a tough, but inspiring day out. I'm sure Mark must be a bit disappointed to not have dipped under the 24 hours, but what an incredible achievement to get round in true winter conditions. So inspiring, and I feel a wave of excitement and anticipation rising in me just reading about it. I think that desire is still simmering, and once Christmas is out of the way, the training plan will be in place ready for 19th June.

Little in the way of running here for a couple of days. Having had a lovely solo walky run over the moors on Saturday afternoon (including a quick trip into the Cat to warm up in front of the fire with a pint of Pennine Gold ;-) ), Sunday and yesterday were both busy days with little time to get out.

The snow's falling again this morning, adding a new layer to the carpet of snow that covers the moors. Pleased to day I have the time to get out there this afternoon, so will wade my way across to High Brown Knoll and take in the bleakness of the situation.
I hope there's a sunset like there was the other day, but can't see it at the moment.

Saturday, 19 December 2009

We are our own saviours....

Snow comes to West Yorkshire and turns the fells into an exciting playground :-)

Which sort of puts all that last post into perspective. Or not, as the case may be. Perhaps it's my age, perhaps it's circumstances and events. Perhaps I'm getting a realisation that I've been planning the BG for other people rather than myself? To prove something to others? To pretend I am as good as them?

At the end of the day, it's just a day out in the hills. There are people I know who've done it and who admire both for their achievements on the fells and as people. Then there are people I know who've done it, who I respect for that achievement but who are, quite frankly, not the sort of people I'd like to be or be associated with.

And therein lies the enlightenment...the BG won't make me a better person, it might gain me "acceptance" from some people (including those whose acceptance I don't crave) but actually, I'm no longer very interested in that. I'm even getting to the point of feeling that I don't need to prove anything to myself either.

So where does that leave me? Either it leaves me deciding that I'm not bothered and to shelve the idea, and go back to just enjoying the fells for what they are....beautiful and real. Or it strips away all the "wrong" reasons for doing it and leaves me with just a pure desire to have a nice day out and get myself around those 42 peaks because I CAN.

Alternatively, of course, both this post and the last could just be dismissed as a load of self-indulgent claptrap (which they UNDOUBTEDLEY are!)and just a slight veering off course on the path between birth and death, which happens all the time and is nothing to write home about (or indeed write a blog about!).

Anyway, as you were......

Finish with a photo.....lovely snowy fells yesterday

Tuesday, 15 December 2009

And nothing ever happens, nothing happens at all...

Seems a bit early and a bit worrying to be questioning whether I have the motivation at this stage! And what exactly my motivation is?

Having been very focused last year, and even through the early part of autumn, I'm now wondering why I want to bother. It's not as if the world is going to stop, or even my own little world is going to care much.

Better to just go out, walk and plod round and enjoy the fells perhaps?

Perhaps this is just a stage, perhaps I'll get over this and find my desire renewed. Or perhaps not. Either way, the hills will still be there and that's where I'll want to be.

Life's too short....