August 13th, A run round some reservoirs


2:16pm. Woke up thinking about what my supervisor said about sending me feedback about my proposal and saying he’d resend it. If he had sent me an email he could just resend it to me so it’s obvious that he hasn’t done any feedback and sent me an email and is lying to me. Why do people lie and why do people lie to me? Do people think I’m stupid, too stupid to know or strongly suspect that they’re lying to me? Do people think I will believe them and everything they say blindly without putting some thought into it? Do people think I’m just a gullible idiot that they can say anything to and I won’t question it and have suspicions about it? Do people think that because I’m autistic I’m swallow everything they say and not give it any thought? If people do then they really do not know me. I’ve been lied to all my life, mainly by people I trusted and then let me down, and I have a deep mistrust of people and I take everything they say with a pinch of salt. I’m not as stupid and gullible as people think I am. Sick of people lying to me and putting me last.

It was with these thoughts swirling round in my mind that I set off for the Hinchcliffe Arms to run up to Gaddings Dam reservoir and back on the Shepherds Skyline route, around 9 miles. I arrived at the Hinchcliffe around 8am and dithering and trying to find reasons not to run I eventually set off. I was conscious of my knee so I wore my Hoko’s which have plenty of cushioning. It’s an uphill start but not a difficult one as it is tarmac all the way to Withens Clough reservoir when it turns to trail. I felt good going up the road which surprised me. My knee felt fine and I couldn’t feel anything and I was happy with my pace. I wasn’t pushing it, just going at a pace I felt I could maintain.

At the reservoir instead of going up the usual trail to the Pennine Way I went to the end of the reservoir to get a good photo and spotted a different trail going up to the Pennine Way. I took some photos and ran back to get my pack which I had left on the trail and ran up this new to me trail.

The trail brought me out on the usual trail but I like discovering new paths and it’s always useful to know them if you can’t go your usual route for any reason. At the crossroads on the trail I could see Lumbutts below me and the moors around Todmorden stretching away in the mist. I felt a calmness come over me seeing this view. After the past few days when it’s been too hot to run it was nice to be able to breath and feel the air on my body.

I carried on the Pennine Way towards Warland reservoir looking for a path going off to my right to take me to Gaddings Dam. At Gaddings I was disappointed to say the least. I have heard so much about it and had built up this mental image of it in my mind and the reality didn’t match it in any way. It’s a small reservoir with a small beach in one corner or it was today. The reservoir was surrounded by cows with calves so running round it was out of the question and I decided to change my plan and go to the other reservoirs near here instead.

I went back on the path I had just run on and rejoined the Pennine Way and headed towards Warland reservoir. Warland isn’t far from Gaddings and I have been here before but a long time ago. It’s higher up and the wind had picked up blowing mist off the moors over the reservoir making it look like a scene from a Sherlock Holmes film all very mysterious and ghostly in a gothic way. I half expected to see a dead body float to the top of the water. Thankfully none did! Stoodley Pike appeared briefly in the distance looking equally mysterious in the mist.

At Warlands I notice two paths, one a large trail and the other a narrower mud trail. Feeling adventurous I took the mud trail to see where it went. It took me round Warland and onto Light Hazzles reservoir but not before a little detour over the moors on a trail that petered out and deciding this wasn’t a day for wandering over moors with no paths.

I turned back and got back on the Pennine Way. I carried on here past Light Hazzles and onto White Holme reservoir. White Holme looked even more mysterious than the others being the biggest of them and I was in awe of how it looked today.

At White Holme I was faced with a choice. Go towards Blackstone Edge reservoir and the road back down to Cragg Vale or carry on the circular reservoir run route that goes over the moors. I chose the circular route despite my legs beginning to ache by now as it looked for more interesting than running down the road back to the pubs. It proved to be a good choice too. The path takes you over Turley Holes and Higher House moor and you are in the middle of the wilderness just you and nature. The wind was still blowing cooling the sweat pouring off me and my legs were getting heavier with every step. I was loving it though. This most be one of the remotest places I have run over for a long time, no sheep to be seen, the occasional fence post and walker and that was it. I felt truly free here away from everything and everyone. I was reading Run Wild yesterday and remembered how the author said the connection with nature was most important to him far more so than times and distance. Here running on my own over barren, bleak moors covered in mist, unsure where I was and where I was going I felt that connection. I was being guided by nature following the paths that had been there for hundreds of years that had guided hundreds of other people over these moors in all weathers. I felt happy here, at ease with the world and I knew that all I had to do was trust in nature and I would soon be back on familiar paths and running back to my car.

The path is around 3 miles long but it seems a lot longer, the twists and turns and exposure to the natural world and open moorland distort your perspective of time and distance and you become unsure of how far you’ve gone and how long it has taken you. It’s at times like this you have to have confidence in yourself and your abilities and not panic thinking you’re on the wrong path but believe you’re on the right path and keep going. Today I felt that confidence despite my legs screaming in pain at me to stop. I knew I had to keep going and not give, not give in to the demons that tell me to slow down as soon as I see some tarmac or a flat stretch but keep pushing and see what I can really do.

Today I dug deep and pushed on and kept pushing through the physical pain my legs were telling me they were in. The pain helped me forget all the problems and worries I have as it entered every neuron in my mind clearing them of all the thoughts that had accumulated there over the weeks and months.

And then I was back on the Pennine Way, back on the same path I had trod a couple of hours earlier. My adventure into the wilderness was over for now, now I was on the familiar path back to Withens Clough reservoir and the Hinchcliffe Arms but it had been worth it, discovering new trails and seeing nature at its finest.

The run back was nice and steady. As soon as I started going downhill I pushed the pace my legs wanting to wrap themselves round my throat now and kill me but I kept pushing, enjoying the feeling of going beyond my limits mentally and physically, exploring parts of my being I didn’t now existed.

And then it was over. I was back at my car. I spent some time getting my breath back, drinking some Lucozade to replace the energy I had lost. Home and the usual shower and food and then some jobs. The headache is still there, it never really goes, but today it is mild and tinged with tiredness from the run. I should do some uni work but I haven’t the energy. The benefit of doing a long run today is that I can have a couple of guilt free days off now and get on with my uni work then. I’m really pleased with todays run, not just my pace but how I approached it and kept going when it would have been easier to give in.

8:39pm. So, so tired. Nothing left after today’s run. Legs and mind are gone. Time to sit in my chair and fall asleep.

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