August 7th, headaches, running and hoping to bump into old friends


9:32pm. I had a bad nights sleep and woke up with a headache. It’s over 24 hours since I’ve had this headache and it’s taking everything I’ve got just to pretend everything is ok when it isn’t. the two options I feel I have are to put my mask on and pretend or moan and drown in sorrow all day. I’m not one for wallowing in self pity so I put my mask on and pretend and fight the battle that is going on inside my head.

I went for a run over Haworth even though it didn’t feel right. I wasn’t sure if this was the place I should run but I wanted to because I was hoping to bump into Kathryn again. That’s the only reason I parked up at Penistone at 9:30am and set off down the trail towards the Bronte Way. At least it was sunny but it was warm too, too warm for me. The temperature was already in the mid 20s even though it was early and it was only going to get warmer as the sun got higher in the crystal clear blue sky.

The trail down to the Bronte Way is straight forward and one I have run many times before but today my legs were starting to feel heavy. I’m still getting used to my Altra’s and after two good runs in them my legs were telling me they needed a rest or a change of shoe’s at the least. I ignored my legs though and decided to have one more run in them on a route that had more hard packed trail on it than usual so I could see how they performed.

I took my familiar route down and up Enfield Side Road although I have found another trail on OS maps that may provide a shortcut alongside Lower Laithe reservoir. There’s some woods there and I suspect you can get through them and have a mini adventure down there in an area that is usually off limits and difficult to get to. Going up the other side of the clough was hard work as the farmer had just cut the field and it was impossible to run without getting large clumps of hay all over my shoes.

Over the stile at the top and up Back Lane before turning right down the trail towards Ponden reservoir. I started to struggle on here, not much but enough for me to notice and ease off the pace. Parts of this trail are tricky so I didn’t take any risks and just enjoyed running and practicing my technique. I got to the reservoir and ran round it before heading up the fell past Ponden Hall. Opposite Ponden Hall is Ponden House and the names of the two houses have swapped over many times over the years creating some confusion as to which is actually which. Going past the house I saw a gate and a path that leads down to Ponden Woods, a path I will try out one day as the woods are little known so it could be a quiet spot of tranquillity and somewhere to get away from it all.

The climb up to Alcomden Stones is a long one and I could feel my energy levels dropping with the heat so I walked up taking in the views and noting the path that should take me up to the ridge and onto Crow Hill and Boulsworth Hill. It was a nice walk up to the stones and I passed a few people on my way up some looking more prepared than others. One couple I passed clearly weren’t prepared and when I spoke to them at the stones it turned out they were on holiday from Southend and had asked someone for a place that no-one went to. He recommended the stones but clearly did not tell them it would be wet and boggy on the way up! At the stones I took in the views as I always do before having a chat with the couple and pointing them in the right direction to Top Withens house and back to civilisation. It continues to amaze me the amount of people who have turned into adventurers and explores during the lockdown but clearly have no idea about where to go or how to prepare for a walk over the moors. If anything happened to them they could die and unfortunately they only have themselves to blame. It frightens me.

I carried on to Top Withens and took the trail leading to Back Lane still hoping to bump into Kathryn. By now my legs were feeling tired and I was struggling although not as badly as I have been struggling. I went back down and up Enfield Side and the Millennium Way back to my car. I was glad to get back to my car and drank over a litre of fluid to bring myself back round. I had a headache all the way round at some points it was painful but you have to keep going and not give up. The heat didn’t help but I had to go out and get this run in. It’s runs like this that make a difference in races.

Home, shower, change and something to eat. I contemplate doing some uni work but I’m shattered from running and the headaches so do nothing. Eventually I move and go to the club. It’s either drink there with friends or drink at home on my own. The club is steady and I have a good evening playing dominoes and having a laugh. I only have four pints before heading home before 9pm and having some water before going to bed. Another day of draining and debilitating headaches but it could have been a lot worse so I’m happy with today.

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