June 15th, an early run round Ogden Water

It Monday again and the start of a brand new week. I woke up feeling good the sort of good I wished I felt like all the time, the sort of good where I can do anything and get everything done. Usually on a morning I get up, go downstairs, have breakfast, watch telly and decide what I’m going to do with my day. Today I didn’t do that. Today I changed my routine completely.

I got up wanting to run. Nowhere too far but a nice steady run. If I’d have had breakfast it would be mid morning before I got out, too late for running round Ogden Water as it would be full of dog walkers and pram pushers and golden oldies so I put on my running gear, had a carbo shake and headed up to Ogden Water.

Ogden was empty when I got there around 8:30am so I had no problems parking. I took a photo of Ogden in the early morning mist, looking mysterious and secretive.

I headed down towards the promenade and here I went for it. I ran as fast as I could which didn’t feel fast but according to my watch I went from 12:15 m/m to 8:30 m/m in the space of 400m or so. I did this because it was empty and I didn’t have to avoid anyone and I thought it was a segment. When I got home I found out it wasn’t but it was still nice to run sort of fast for a change.

At the end of the promenade I stopped to get my breath and looked over Ogden Water. It looked very ethereal and mysterious like a scene from Lord of the Rings or King Arthur.

I wouldn’t have been surprised if a hand holding a glowing sword had come out of the water and come towards me. It was straight out of a film. I put my pack back on and headed off.

I took the path that takes you up through the woods to avoid anyone who might have got up early and was on the main path. It’s a path I have run many times before and it takes you round the top of Ogden and as I say you avoid most of the people who go there. I carried on this path looping round until on the first descent I took a little known path on the left and entered the woods.

Here Ogden changes from familiar and runnable trails to mud and bog trails with bright greens and high ferns all around. It’s as if you’ve gone through an unseen door and gone into another world. This part of Ogden reminds me of Jurassic Park and I always expect a velociraptor to come out of nowhere and attack me.

It not happened yet but it wouldn’t surprise me if it happened at the moment! I know this route from the Midsummer Madness race and I took the race route through the woods and down to Skirden Clough Brook.

Here I usually head up to the Giants Tooth on the race route but this time I decided to take a path on the left I had never run before. It was early and I had time to explore and it was worth it. The path crossed the brook and went up the hill heading towards the fence that stops you going into Skirden Clough. I have wanted to run in the clough but although there was a stile for me to get over there was no discernible path so I didn’t risk getting injured in the clough as no-one goes there so there would be a high chance of me not being found.

I was in the middle of nowhere now, far from the madding crowd as Thomas Hardy would say. I had only done just over a mile but already I had gone through several different worlds and now I was in Jurassic Park again on the edge of the world. I headed back up to the moor and soon I was at a stile and I could see the Giants Tooth. I was dismayed though as there was someone at the tooth! How dare someone be at the tooth when I wanted to be there!

It turned out that there was two people there a mother and son and neither were equipped for walking wearing flimsy pumps. They went down one path that I knew went nowhere and then came straight back up and followed the path I had just come up which was wet and muddy and they were ill equipped for it. I ran straight past the tooth because they were there and headed back down the trail towards Ogden.

Halfway down I remembered a trail on the left and I found it and followed this down to the brook below. This is part of the race route but is tricky as the trial runs out in a clearing and you really have to know where to go or you will get into trouble. Instinct told me to go right and I was correct in doing this. It’s a steep and slippy drop down to the brook but I made it and after wading through the brook I was back on the trail.

This trial takes you back to the bottom of the steps on fire and it was here that I had a decision to make.

Do I go right and back to Ogden or go up the steps on fire and across the moor? I’d only done 2 miles so I went up the steps on fire as I wanted to do at least 3 miles if not more. Up the steps I went and across the tops heading towards the Withens Road. There’s a bridge at the top of Skirden Clough and just after here is a path I was going to take back down to Ogden. I noticed a gate on the left that seemed to lead to a trail that went along the top of the clough back to Ogden and back to the climb to the tooth.

The opened so I went through and ran on a path that was new to me. Even after all these years of running round Ogden I’m still discovering new trails. It was back to Jurassic Park on this trail but I enjoyed running somewhere new and seeing familiar views from a different perspective. The sun was blazing now and there was a heat haze on the horizon making sights in the distance appear blurred. I love this natural way of blurring scenes without the need for photoshopping everything. Nature at its best can do it better than any computer programme.

At the end of the trail I was back to the stile and I headed up the short climb to the top of the moor, over the stile and back to the tooth. There was no-one here now so I spent a moment with the tooth before heading back down to Ogden.

After the bridge at Ogden instead of taking the usual route back to the carpark I took the Giants Tooth race route to avoid people. I went up the short climb, over a stile and then sprinted for the gate and my run was finished. Ogden was full of cars now, so much for people going back to work!

It was a good run and I discovered some new trails. The vegetation was lush, colourful and comforting and made for a variety of landscapes to run through. I found out I can change and change can be good too. I didn’t miss my breakfast and I didn’t miss playing games on my laptop first thing. I enjoyed getting out in nature early and it was a far better start to my day. Change can be very difficult for autistic people and it has been for me in the past. I have to change though if I am going to be the best I can be and this is a good start to remind me that I can change and it can be good for me to change or at least try something different before dismissing it out of hand.

Mentally I feel good today. Physically my chest still hurts but I think I’ve pulled a muscle in my chest on Saturday when I was trying to get the food stuck in my gullet back up. The pain disappeared when I ran this morning and only came back when I stopped so I don’t think it’s anything serious.

6:26pm and I’ve just been super naughty and ordered another pair of trail shoes! These are Mizuno Hayate 5s and were in the sale at half price and with my discount code I get them for around £45! Couldn’t resist! Lightweight and low slung for racing in.

I’m good. I went up to the park to read but my knee was playing up and I couldn’t get comfortable so I came home earlier than planned. I feel like I’m getting my faculties back at last and feeling human again. I’ve emailed my supervisors at uni and I’m going to be talking to one of them tomorrow. I’ve done nothing on my PhD during lockdown. I always struggle to study at home and during lockdown I’ve struggled even more. My DSA assessment has recommended a new laptop, Dragon software, text to speech software, grammar software and a dictaphone which may have video capabilities too. I’m hoping I can get back into uni very, very soon and get back to studying in an environment I am comfortable with. Environment is very important to me and to many autistics.

I haven’t smoked all day and feel better for it already and I have no desire to drink alcohol or play pointless computer games all day. I hope this is a new start for me and a new and better life.

I’ve a new idea for my book too. Not having a printer to print things off has made it difficult for me as I like to read things on paper and make notes but yes a new idea I’ve recently thought of and I’ll run it past Claire later and see what she thinks.

8:52pm and time for a final update. not only have I kept off the cigs today but I haven’t had an alcoholic drink yet either although I’ll have a glass of wine when I’ve posted this. An additional bonus has been keeping off the laptop too a lot more than usual. I waste too much time frying my brain in front of the laptop and it was nice to watch some telly without being distracted by the laptop and all the garbage that goes on, on farcebook.

Yep it’s been a good day. The headache came back around 7pm for a bit and my chest and knee still ache but I’ll be out running somewhere tomorrow seeing as I’m not out till Thursday with Kevin round West Vale and Norland. Let’s see how long this good time lasts.

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