June 4th, a day to forget


It’s 4:56pm and so far it’s been a day I’d rather forget. It started off fine. I got up early as intended, had coffee and breakfast and set off to Heptonstall for a run round Hardcastle Crags, Blake Dean and Standing Stone Hill. The idea behind getting up early and going for a run was that I would finish early and get more done as I have a lot to do. Intentions don’t always translate into reality though and this turned out to be one of my worse ideas.

Another idea behind setting off early was to avoid the rain that was forecast for around 10am. So around 6:30am I set off in the direction of Hardcastle Crags feeling ok and soon settling into a decent pace on the road to the descent into the Crags. Somewhere between the road and Gibson Mill it started to go wrong. The descent started ok but then got slower and slower. No matter what I did my legs just wouldn’t turn any faster, in fact they were getting slower. I got to Gibson Mill and I started to feel sick and have stomach aches. There’s a small climb before I turn left into the woods, it’s a climb I’ve done many times before and I run up it no problem but not today. I got halfway and I had to stop and walk I felt so sick and my stomach ached so much. I thought about turning round and going home but I had got up early and I convinced myself that I could run this off so I carried on like a fool.

There’s some downhill when you turn into the woods and I expected my pace to pick up. It didn’t, well not as I expected. I felt like I was running through treacle and not making any progress and a look at my watch confirmed this. I was doing 15 min/mile pace which by my standards is poor. Over the bridge, a bridge I didn’t recognise and up another short hill a hill I have run up before many times with no problems but not today. I was feeling worse now and had to start walking halfway up the hill. At least after this hill it was down and flat for a bit so I would be able to pick up the pace. Wrong again. I was struggling on the downhill, my legs were aching and on the flat it was a case of going through the motions. My pace was getting worse and I’d only done 2 miles even though it felt like 20.

There’s a short climb up to the road which I normally power up because it’s a segment but not today. I had to stop halfway to catch my breath as the sheep who were running in front of me stopped too and looked at this human who couldn’t even manage to get up some stairs in one go, stairs which were no problem to them. I resumed the chase although I knew I had no chance of catching the sheep and eventually got to the main road and had a drink. I felt better for having a drink and wondered if I was suffering from dehydration which was affecting my running. I ran off down the road to the small bridge at the bottom and on to my next mistake.

At the bridge the road bends up and to the right and this is the way I should have gone and will go in future. Today I needed a call of nature so went down under the bridge and feeling better looked for a path. I saw one that seemed runnable and set off on it. It turned out to be not that runnable and the path I kept looking for to get up to the top but there was no path so I carried on along a path that in parts was dangerous and meant that I had to be extra careful as one fall and I could be in serious trouble as no-one would find me here. I eventually got to the end of the path and recognised the bridge from the Widdop fell race I had done last year. At last I was back on better trails and I set off up the hill in the direction of Standing Stone Hill.

Again I was walking up the hills. My legs had gone and didn’t have the strength in them to carry me up the hill at anything other than walking pace. I got to the houses at the side of Lower Gorple Reservoir that I recognised from the race and followed the signposts to Heptonstall Moor. I started making decent progress on the path over the moor and then I made my next mistake of the day. I got to the crossroads where the path to Standing Stone Hill crosses and decided to go up to the trig point. I set off and it started to rain. By now I was feeling cold as well as tired and now I was getting wet. Not a good combination when you’re on top of a moor, exposed to the elements and haven’t brought a waterproof with you.

I began the descent down from Standing Stone Hill but this was hard work. My legs had completely gone by now and I had trouble maintaining my balance so I ended up walking down the hill which only made me colder and wetter. I got back onto the trail that goes over Heptonstall Moor and felt like lying down and going to sleep but I knew this wasn’t an option as I was feeling the first signs of hyperthermia and I knew that if I laid down it could set in very quickly and that would be it. I would be dead. So I carried on doing my best to keep moving at some sort of pace even though my legs had gone a long time ago.

I eventually got back to my car and was able to put a warm top on and get something to eat before I drove home. I reflected on my run and I concluded that it was a run too far, one run too much and I should have stayed in bed and gone for a walk instead. I realised that I haven’t recovered from all the running I have done in April and May and my body is still wrecked from all those long runs in hot sun. I think running in the hot sun has affected my mind too and my ability to think clearly and reasonably.

I got home with the intention of getting something to eat and doing some work but after having some sausages and eggs which turned out to be a bad choice as they made me feel sick again I was overcome by tiredness. I managed to go to the post office and pick up my new pyramid and resisted the temptation to go and get some cigarettes and went home and straight to bed.

It’s now 6:10pm and it’s taken over an hour to write this. For me it’s another day wasted and another day of lessons to be learned from. As well as the run there is an increasing amount of food stuffs that my stomach doesn’t seem to be able to tolerate anymore as they make me feel sick and I’m wondering what effect the beta blockers are having on my body. They don’t seem to be having much effect on mind yet apart from making me have even worse ideas then I had before. I’ll just have to see if things get better or if this is the new normal for me and with my reduced heartrate comes a reduction in my running ability too.

It’s 9:28pm and I’m ready for bed. I’ve been to Tesco’s and seen a high speed police car. One car driving on the wrong side of the road going at least 80mph chased by 7 police cars including a high speed pursuit car. Myself and another woman pointed the police in the right direction as the car being pursed had turned left instead of going straight on as most would have done. Hopefully they caught him and another scumbag is off the streets and in jail for a very long time.

I’m shattered. I’ve had some fish as I need to eat better and lose weight. I’m so fat. I need a good nights sleep and a good lie in and get on with what I have to do. Time to put today behind me and see what tomorrow brings.

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