A run on Valentine’s day

I went out for a run yesterday, a run that had been going round in my mind since Wednesday when I discovered a new route that connected everything up for me. I won’t go into detail explaining it as the route is off road but it means I can do a loop rather than an out and back and this makes the route a bit more interesting for me.

I parked up at Ogden Water and set off feeling good. The aim was to do the route, time and pace didn’t matter. It was more about how I felt mentally rather than going out getting PB’s plus the wind put paid to any thoughts of going fast as it got stronger throughout the run and at times was pushing me back.

I set off on a familiar route back out towards the main road before a sharp left turn and up a rough track that takes me to the moors. I made good progress up and over the moors and soon I was at the top of the hill that leads to Leeming Reservoir near Oxenhope. I ran down the hill to the conduit and turned left here to run alongside it for a mile or so. This is the new route I learnt that makes a loop here possible.

After a mile or so you climb up the steep hill directly in front of you, the route is the old Ovenden fell race one. The path bends round to the right and I wanted to see what was round the corner, I’m very inquisitive when it comes to running on paths and trails and have to know where they all go!

Round the corner was another fine example of Victorian engineering, impressive stone and iron work ensured that the water drained off the moor down to the reservoir below. There are so many fine examples in the South Pennines you are always coming across them and I marvel at the hard work it would have taken to design them and build them in remote places.

I saw a path leading up the hill and decided to take this rather then climb over the stile that was at the side of the conduit head. Up and over the moor I went and soon I was on the path that I intended to come back on! I had missed the path I wanted to take entirely and ended up where I wanted to be. It wasn’t a problem, just a simple navigation error. Looking at my route at home I should have gone over the stile so that I would be on the path at the top of the hill. You live and learn.

Going back on the path was hard work as much of it was ankle deep in mud and water. It wasn’t unexpected but knowing this didn’t make it any easier to run! Soon I was back on the path that would take me down the side of Thornton Moor reservoir before a sharp right would take me over the moor and back to Ogden Water.

Except it didn’t work out like that. For some inexplicable reason I took a left on the path and ended up going down a road towards the Dog and Gun pub at Leeming. Instead of stopping I carried on, I hadn’t been this way for a long time but I knew it was wrong yet for some reason I carried on the same path until I got to the bottom.

At the bottom I looked for a path off road, that would take me back up the hill and back onto the path I should have been on but I couldn’t find one. It was a weird experience as I knew where I was but I felt lost and slightly confused as to where I was. I could see the Dog and Gun and the Long Causeway road, both I have travelled on and past many times on my way to the Calder Valley. Today they seemed strange and unfamiliar and I felt disconcerted as to where I was and how I’d got there.

Eventually I did what I should have done earlier and went back up the hill and rejoined the path I should have been on. It turns out I should have gone straight ahead rather than taking the left turn I did. Back on track I plowed on until I reached the gate that marked the path back to Ogden Water.

Running at this point become a slog. The ground was thick with mud, my legs were tired and I was running against the wind. I was grateful when I reached the crest of the hill and the path that leads to the carpark as it meant I could relax a bit and enjoy running. Except I didn’t. usually at this point my legs free up and I can sprint back to the car. Today my legs and mind felt tired and there was no sprint in me. I went faster but it was hard work and I was glad when I got back to the carpark and I could stop.

It was an interesting run. I’ve found a new route that means I have a nice run on my doorstep with plenty of variation in it. I made a couple of navigational errors too, one I recognised straight away, the other left me feeling lost and confused for a bit. And a combination of mud and wind left me feeling physically and mentally drained. I did enjoy the run but it did give me lots to think about too regarding my physical and mental state at this moment.

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