July 17th, one step forwards, two steps back


4:15pm. It’s grey and overcast. Traffic is flowing by non-stop outside and I’m watching Last of the Summer Wine repeats again. And I’m tired again. Again? I shouldn’t really put it like that as it seems to be the norm at the moment for em to be tired.

I’ve been for a run this morning. I had a lie in hoping it would make a difference and I would feel more energetic and alive. It didn’t work. My head was fuzzy and cloudy from too much wine last night and I was hoping a good run over the moors would sort it out. The A6033 Oxenhope to Hebden Bridge road is closed during the week for an upgrade. Why they couldn’t do it when everyone was on lockdown is beyond me but Calderdale like many councils decide to do the work when lockdown is lifted instead and people need to use the road. As a consequence it’s a longer drive to some of my favourite places to run like Heptonstall Moor so I drove to Wainstalls with the intention of dropping down to Jerusalem Farm, up to Sheep Stones, on the ridge to High Brown Knoll and back to Wainstalls.

I dithered as usual this morning but eventually made the short drive over to Wainstalls and parked up near the CWR Leg 4 change over point. I must have sat in the car for 10 minutes dithering even more as I tried to muster the energy to open the door and step outside to start my run. I should have seen this as an omen but I didn’t and eventually, wearily I stepped outside into the muggy air to start my run. I ran down to Jerusalem Farm with no problems feeling good and having no problems with my Altras. They haven’t been giving me any problems to be honest but because they are zero drop I have felt my calves aching from running in them but today there was no ache just a feeling of confidence from the stable and supportive platform I was running on.

I went over the bridge at Jerusalem Farm and up a trail I don’t remember ever running up before. At the top I crossed over the road, through a stile and up the side of a hill. This was a trial I had never been on before but I knew I was heading in the general direction of where I wanted to be. At the top of the climb I got onto High House Lane and saw the stile that I climbed over for the Midgely Moor fell race and knew this was the route I needed to take to get me to Sheep Stones. Over the stile and I walked up the hill as the grass was long and up to Height Farm at the end of a dirt track and right on the edge of Midgely moor. I got to the trail and began the long climb up to Sheep Stones via Crow Hill.

I walked up here. I tried running but my legs were having none of it so I decided not to push too hard on the uphill and run when I got to the top of Crow Hill. At Crow Hill I ran over the Sheep Stones but it was laboured and I felt jaded already. This was only around 3 miles into a run of at least 8 miles if not more. At the bottom of Sheep Stones is a standing stone known locally as Churn Milk Joan. The tale as far as I know is way back when a young lass called Joan went over the moor to get some milk. This was in the middle of winter and there was a horrendous snow storm blowing over the moor and poor Joan got caught in it and was found the next day frozen to death on the moor. The locals erected a standing stone in her memory so that the ghost of Churn Milk Joan would never get lost. I stopped here to admire the views and have a quick drink.

I moved on and found the path that takes you onto Sheep Stones Ridge and onto the top of the moor. The views are truly stunning from here. You can literally see for miles and miles all around you. Uninterrupted views of some of the finest scenery anywhere in the world. I ran on the ridge but again I didn’t feel right I felt sick and my pace was slow. As I came off the moor at Dimmin Dale Edge there is a junction and instead of going up to High Brown Knoll I decided to head back to Wainstalls. I could feel what energy I had leaving me and seeping into the damp ground. I had already taken over an hour to get here and I hadn’t done 4 miles so I knew that if I went up to High Brown Knoll I would be adding too much time to my run. I headed for Hough Dean and Goose Green not far from Jerusalem Farm.

The run back to Jerusalem Farm was longer than I remembered but at least I was moving even if it was slowly. I saw the sign for the trail I had come up and went down it again with legs that were refusing to move and an overall feeling of unwellness all over me. It was only two months ago that I was flying and felt I was in the form of my life and yet now here I was struggling to run downhill. I ran through Jerusalem Farm taking in some new paths before turning back and heading back up the hill to Lower Saltonstall and up to Castle Carr Road and my car.

On the drive home I popped into the farm shop and got a watermelon and some duck eggs. I treated myself to a couple of slices of cake too, one chocolate orange and one angel sparkle. At home I got a shower and had ham, eggs and veg for tea, caught up on some jobs and drank plenty of water. I don’t drink enough water and I am beginning to wonder if this is part of my problems I’ve decided to have a coffee or tea at breakfast and then the rest of the day drink water and see if it makes a difference to my overall wellbeing and stops the headaches and the sick feeling I keep getting. I have a headache at the moment and need to go to Tesco’s for some cat food but I’m going to stop in tonight and get an early night and pray I wake up feeling better tomorrow.

9:24pm. Been to Tesco’s the only human contact I’ve had all day. Had some wine and tired now. I just want sleep and sleep and sleep and sleep and wake up feeling human and normal for once, whatever that is.

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