June 26th, reflections

9:41am. Unlike Wednesday evening I only had a few glasses of wine last night. I couldn’t take anymore alcohol. My body was destroyed from the run up to the stones and beyond.

I woke around 4am as usual but felt worse than I did yesterday when I woke with a hangover. I had planned to get up early and go for a walk somewhere but as soon as I opened my eyes I knew it wasn’t going to happen. I could barely move my legs. They weren’t going anywhere and I felt shattered too. My whole body was tired and I struggled to raise my head off the pillow nevermind get out of bed. I knew that this was a day of recovery for my body, I had pushed it beyond it’s limits yesterday and now I needed to rest so it could repair itself and come back stronger. I’ve done this many times before and it does work for me. Push through the pain and then rest and a couple of weeks later I’m flying and running like the wind.

I turned over and went back to sleep. Even the sun pouring through my curtains couldn’t get me up and I’ve taken enough photos of sunrises recently anyway.

I got up around 7:30am, a nice lie in for me. I thought about yesterdays run and how special it was especially the first part when I found the Cuckoo Stones burial mound and then ran to the stones. The website on the net I use says that the burial mound is radioactive. I don’t know if it is but it did feel a sense of awe to think I was stood on a burial mound that was maybe 2,000 years old and it had lain there all this time undisturbed. It’s even more amazing when you realise that at one point there was up to 25 farms on these moors so how it survived without being disturbed is a miracle.

The stones in the warm morning sunshine with a breeze blowing as always, I always think it’s the spirits and druids of the past talking to me, was another very special moment and the perfect compliment to when I went up there earlier on in the year in a bad snowstorm and witnessed the stones at their most brutal and savage standing there proud, defiant and strong as they have since the dawn of time as the weather threw everything it had at them and came away with nothing. I went up and was as strong as the stones that day battling against the wind and drops of ice hitting my face. I had a choice that day too, go back the way I had come or go down through the bogs to Ponden Kirk. I chose the right path that day and went back the way I had come. Something or someone told me not to go down to Pondon Kirk. That route is tough at the best of times being wet and muddy and rarely used and parts of it hard to follow. On that day I couldn’t see the path across the bogs and although it’s only a small area it would have only taken one slip and that would have been it. Going back was hard enough. Going down would have been suicidal.

Yesterday was in complete contrast. There was a warm breeze blowing but the early morning sun warmed my skin. The stones yesterday were content in a way that only those who know how to use knowledge and power wisely are. They sat there proud and magnificent in the splendour of magical, misty morning. I felt lucky to be there and to be able to experience them at their very best. They spoke to me through their hard, warm surfaces and I could feel the energy they possess coming up through the ground and entering my body taking away my anxiety and fears. The calmness they give you is worth all the effort of getting to them up high on their remote moorland top.

I looked around at what surrounded me, Walshaw Dean reservoirs, Boulsworth Hill and Ponden Kirk resplendent in the warm sunshine or hidden away in the mist below rising up as if from nowhere. Yes this was a special moment. I got my dream shot of the stones overlooking Stanbury with Ponden reservoir below in the mist, for me a once in a lifetime photo. My time at the stones was short as it always feels. I could spend a lifetime up there and it would not be enough.

I moved on and ended up going round in loops, not finding Withens Height, going the most difficult route and going too far, the last two being personal qualities of mine that I frequently do in other areas of my life. The run / walk home over the tops from Haworth Old Road was brutal. I was drained of everything I had and had nothing left but I had to carry on. The terrain was lose rocks, dangerous at the best of times but especially so when mentally and physically you can feel yourself going rapidly downhill. I only just made it back to my car, the temptation to stop and lie down was getting stronger but I knew it would have been the wrong decision too as I might not have woken up. The sun can be a cruel and vicious foe when you’re not careful as I was yesterday.

I tried to find some positives from yesterday and there are some. I pushed myself too far yesterday but I also pushed back my own limits. After some rest my strength and endurance both mental and physical will improve and I will be a better runner for it. My legs today feel good a lot better than I expected them to be. I know I can’t run today so it’s only a short walk but they feel stronger already.

Claire surprised me with a message yesterday asking how I was. I naturally assumed it was about my run but I then surprised myself by finding out I had written some garbled rubbish when I was drunk and sent it to Claire. I couldn’t even remember writing it but as soon as I read it I understood and Claire was right to not respond to it.

Wednesdays diary wasn’t my best. I tried to inject some humour and failed. Humour is not my style of writing. Wednesday though I was annoyed. Annoyed at Kevin constantly asking me if I was ok when I had a plan in mind and was determined to stick to it. I wasn’t going to go too hard and too fast on a training run so I stuck to my plan and it worked because I had plenty of energy for the run unlike Trevor who didn’t take any water and bonked with two or more miles to go. Then there was the endless gossiping between Kevin and Trevor which surprised me as neither come across as the gossiping kind but they are and they do. I realised on Wednesday I need to be very careful what I say to them or innocent words will snowball and turn into full blown rumours in no time. Then I mentioned about listening to Alan Bennett in the sun and went off on one about a photo of me and the amount of likes it had, had and the compliments too. It wasn’t my best writing on reflection but sometimes I have to write how I feel at the time and the only person reading them at the moment is Claire so it would be drastically altered should it ever get published. I’m grateful to Claire for pointing this out to me.

I’ve sent Claire an email this morning about getting to know each other better and being equal about what we say to each other. That’s what I mean although if it came across that way is another matter. I was thinking about why I feel like this about Claire enough to message her and although we haven’t been friends for a year it already seems like a lifetime yet I know so little about her. That’s life and how it passes us by and can distort our perception of time and make us think we’ve known someone a lot longer than we actually have. It would just be nice to get to know Claire better as we still have a run to do, I’ve to give her a bottle of wine (NZ SB) and she has a painting for me. I know the whole Covid thing hasn’t helped at all disrupting everyone’s life especially Claire’s with her asthma being bad. I hope I don’t come across as pushy? I was so nervous about sending that email as it’s not something I usually do. I’ll just have to wait and see what happens.

And that’s it so far today. I have a route in mind for Ben’s virtual fell race and a route round Gorple and Widdop reservoirs for next week. I might even start doing a speed session too, I have somewhere local in mind that’s off road that I could do a speed session on a couple actually so it’s doable. Time for a walk now and then uni work.

3:32pm. Went for a nice walk in the sun round the village and had something to eat when I got home.

4:09pm. Getting a headache as usual. Not having a good day.

6:01pm. Done some housework and been for another walk in the rain. Had tea. Time to relax.

7:52pm. Tired so an early night. Need to rest.

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