Friday, 6th November, Feeling better :)

5:26pm. Yesterday was a good day. I went for a run round Cold Edge Dams and Castle Carr Road a route that to me seemed to strike a perfect balance between off-road, lack of crowds and distance and so it proved to be. I parked on Cold Edge Road and set off down the trail to the reservoirs. I set off with no expectations other than  to get home in one piece and with no further damage to my Achilles. The trail was muddy and wet with deep puddles in parts but had no-one around which was perfect for me. I guessed that Ogden Water would be busy as this was the first day of lockdown and everyone would head up there to go for a walk.

I ran down the trail and soon I was at Haigh Cote Dam and running round the edge. It was cold and misty with some rain in the air and Haigh Cote looked bigger and more menacing than usual. In some ways it reminded me of White Holme reservoir daring you to step into its icy cold fingers of silver to see if you can escape or if you will be taken to the bottom to meet the others who have succumbed to its temptations.

I didn’t succumb as I can’t swim but I can see why some would. It must be such a thrill to jump and see if you can survive. I carried on round the edge and soon I was running past the next reservoir, Leadbeater Dam. The trail gets trickier here being less defined and more muddy and technical. Having lost some fitness during my time off running I resorted to walking some of the trail but I stayed on two feet and I was at the other side soon enough and there was the gleaming metal gate beckoning me to go through it and across the open, wild moor.

I went through it and followed the trail that took me right across the open moorland with the wind howling and the rain dampening my face it was a welcome experience and one I had dreamed of. I love the moors when they are at their wildest and most brutal. It makes you feel alive in a way that nothing else can.

I followed the trail and went past the path that takes you to the Rocking Stones path instead following the conduit. It didn’t last long as soon the trail disappeared into a growth of unpassable reeds and I was forced to turn round and retrace my steps back to the usual trail and get back onto the Rocking Stones trail.

I was soon off the moor my feet covered in mud and cold from running through puddles and at the entrance to Castle Carr Estate. I took some photos and ran on the road back towards Wainstalls. It was great to be back in the Calder Valley surrounded by some of my favourite scenery anywhere. I felt good running too. It wasn’t fast but I was moving freely and with relatively little pain or discomfort. It was a nice feeling after the past six weeks being in so much pain and at times struggling to move.

After a mile or so of road I was back at the stile that led me to the trail that took me back to Leadbeater Dam and climbing back up the moor. I was puffing and panting but enjoying the freedom of the moors despite the rain getting heavier. I carried on the trail past Leadbeater and Haigh Cote and back up the hill to my car. The hill whilst small was hard work but I ran it in one  and was rewarded with a PB! I got home showered and changed and had something to eat feeling good about the run. My Achilles didn’t feel bad and I had felt good running, I felt like a runner again rather than a plodder.

At home I relaxed by doing nothing and enjoying feeling good due to drinking no alcohol for three days. I ordered a new hand held massager from Argos because it had rubber, knobbly heads that I wanted to get deep into my muscles and release the stress and tension from them. I went to bed feeling good and looking forward to a good nights sleep.

I woke today feeling good and headed to Argos to pickup my new massager. After I popped to Sainsburys to fill up with petrol and popped into the supermarket for a few bits which turned into more than a few bits. Home and my new massager is great! My aching muscles and tendons feel so much better. I went for a short walk as I want to be up early tomorrow for a run over Heptonstall Moor and need a good nights sleep and plenty of rest. I’ve spent the rest of the afternoon catching up on my diary and starting to feel the benefits of not drinking. I’m beginning to feel a lot better.

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