June 10th, off the beta blockers and feeling better


It’s 3:05pm and time to do some work on my diary. So far it’s been a good day. I woke up feeling good, drinking a lot less at night is helping, and was at a damp and overcast Ogden Water on time and ready for another run over the moors with Kevin and Lenny. We did a lap of Ogden Water to warm up and I had to keep Kevin from disappearing into the woods as he had forgotten which path to take to get up the clough to the bottom of the steps. We got round to the clough and ran to the bottom of the steps. I was feeling good despite this being my fourth run in four days I was making good progress and my off road running is coming on because I’m looking for where to place my feet and putting them there without hesitating. It makes a world of difference when your confidence is going up.

Up the steps on fire and across the top of the moor with Kevin talking to me and me not hearing a word he’s saying as I try to concentrate on where I’m going and not whatever Kevin is on about! We get to the old Top Withen pub as Kevin stops to take a photo of a cow and cross straight over the road and down a dirt track. I couldn’t remember if I’d been down this track before but it was good to find it as it saves having to run on a load of road and it leads you to two nice, quiet reservoirs. They’re quiet because there’s no main road to them or a carpark so it’s another place I’ve found where I can go when times get tough and I can get myself together again. The views are stunning too looking over the Calder Valley and beyond. We stopped here to take more photos, me of some ducks or swans with there little ones.

We carried on past the reservoirs and onto a trail that leads down off the moor and onto the road leading to Castle Carr. Here we have an option. We can go down the usual CWR Leg 4 route or climb through a stile and down a new route. We opt to go down the new route and although we take a wrong turn through a field we eventually get to the road at Lower Saltenstall, turn left and turn right through a farm and onto a track that takes us down to Jerusalem Farm. This is a great route and one I plan to run up at some point in the future as it will be a tough climb.

At Jerusalem Farm we don’t go down to the bottom but take the CWR Leg 4 path back up to Lower Saltenstall Road. We get to the road and Kevin spots a stile straight opposite and wonders if we should go over it as it’s one we haven’t been over before. I get out my phone and have a look on OS Maps and we decided to go over the stile. At first there’s a path and then the path disappears and we’re running through wet grass. Kevin and Lenny are in front and I see them talking to some horses as they wait for me to catch up. I wonder what they are whispering to the horses and if they had got bored of them already!

We eventually get back onto the Castle Carr Road after going through a path that hasn’t been used for years and head towards the stile that leads you up to the Rocking Stones. Instead of going to the Rocking Stones we take a path on the right that takes you straight across the moor, another new path for me. This path leads you back to the two reservoirs and this time we run straight round them without taking any photos. We take a short track across some wet grass where Kevin does a nice fall into the wet grass. It was funny watching him disappear!

We head towards the climb at Lumb Lane just beyond the reservoirs and here at the houses we meet some other runners Ady and Mick and a lass called Lisa, going the other way. We stop and have a chat and I tell Ady about Kevin’s navigational skills round Blackstone Edge which were disastrous at best. I thought I was going to die in a clough at Blackstone Edge at one point! Kevin then says to Lisa ‘it’s good to see you’ve lost a bit of weight’ and I remind him he’s supposed to say you’re looking really good and not mention weight. Even me with my lack of social skills and penchant for putting my foot in it know not to mention weight to a woman especially a young lass! I then say to Kevin ‘I thought you was a ladies man’ and he gives me a wry smile back. We had chatted about whether Michelle and Kevin are having an affair earlier in the day and there’s so many rumours going around everyone it’s impossible to know what’s true and what’ not at times.

At the top of Lumb Lane we cross over the road and head down the hill towards the golf club. Both Kevin and Lenny ‘claim’ to know a shortcut but it turns out to be just as long but soon we have crossed the golf course and we’re back on the path to Ogden Water. At Ogden Water it’s surprisingly busy given that’s it’s pouring down with rain so luckily I couldn’t take a selfie of the three of us. It’s been a good run on a good route. A few tweaks and it will be prefect. I’ve learnt some new paths and have more ideas for future routes now around my beloved Calder Valley.

And how am I feeling? I’m feeling good, a lot better than I have been recently. Coming off the beta blockers was the right decision, they were killing me. I’m not perfect, far from it but I’m good. I can run again at a decent pace and I can go to some of my favourite places knowing that I haven’t got any problems getting back. I’m thinking better and clearer which helps me in my decision making and what I say to people. I feel brighter and more alert or as bright and alert as I’ll ever be. As it is at the moment I’ll just have to see what happens and where life takes me if anywhere but at least I feel like I can make the most of each day now rather than feeling like the living dead.

It’s 9:40pm and a final update for today. I’ve had a good day and enjoyed myself. To celebrate I’ve had a large pizza and other junk for running four days on the trot and for making progress with my mental health and wellbeing. I’m not saying I’m there, whatever there is and that I’ll ever be totally ‘normal’ whatever ‘normal’ is. I’m feeling a lot better and I feel that I’m on a better path and as long as I carry on this path I’ll be happy. All the weight I’ve lost over the past few days I’ve put on but I don’t care. I don’t want to sit here starving myself thin just so I believe that I will look better to other people. I want to sit here feeling happy and bloated and feeling that I can congratulate myself on four days of running which three days ago I would have said I had no chance of doing. Shouldn’t we all be allowed to be happy even if it’s just for one night. Tomorrow as always is another day. I’ve no idea what world I will wake up to but a long as those people I consider my friends are good I’ll be happy.

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