It’s Tuesday and already it feels as if things are changing, there’s something in the air and I’m feeling more positive and confident than I have for a long time.
My chest aches from working out yesterday but nothing I didn’t expect. It’s all part of the way to a better chest and a leaner and fitter me which will hopefully translate into faster running and more endurance too when out on the fells.
I’ve managed to finish reading a book! It might not seem much but for me it’s a massive step forward after struggling to finish most books for so long. ‘There is no map in Hell’, Steve Birkenshaw’s first hand account of his epic record breaking run across all 214 Wainwrights is truly inspirational and gives you an insight into the physical and mental battles it takes to overcome the self doubts and achieve what seemed impossible. For runners such as myself who are never going to achieve anything close to what Steve has it may seem a book as far removed from their experiences as can be but for me it is not. Most if not all of what Steve writes about can be applied to anyone who runs whatever the distance. We have all suffered and had self doubts whether it’s on a 10k or a marathon. It’s how we overcome them and carry on that matters and we can learn a lot from Steve and his experiences. I’ve been in many situations when it would have been easier to turn round and quit or felt ill on a run and wondered if I should carry on or not and not listened to my body which is something I’ve learnt to do. If my body says no it’s saying no for a reason and I must listen to it and rest or the long term effects will be far worse as I know only too well. A great book and highly recommended.
In the evening I set off to Mytholmroyd for the weekly Calder Valley Fell Runners club run. As I set off from my home in Queensbury it began to rain heavily and I was hoping it was ease off. Unfortunately it didn’t and it got heavier as I pulled into the carpark at Mytholmroyd Community Centre. I sat in my car hoping that no-one turned up as the rain pounded my car but people did turn up including an Inov8 elite athlete new to the area who was coming along to learn the routes and this meant the run was on.
I struggled from the off. I had forgotten to take my decongestant and I was struggling to breath correctly. It took me an age to warm up and get going and by this time I was freezing cold and finding it hard to get warm. I was at the back of the group at this point but after a couple of miles I found a bit more pace and began to close the gap. I wasn’t sure of the route we were running so just kept plugging away and eventually as we neared Midgely Moor I began to breath easier and my pace improved so that I was near the front of the group now.
We climbed onto Midgely Moor and ran round the perimeter. It’s rocky and undulating but runnable and here I began to run faster and faster. A lot of this was because I could feel my core getting colder and this for me is an early sign of hyperthermia so I knew it was important for me to keep moving and keep going as fast as I could. We got to the top of Crow Hill on Midgely Moor and decided to head back to Mytholmroyd as the weather was worsening and it was getting colder. I was pleased to hear this as the cold was getting unbearable now for me so I set off as fast as I could towards Churn Milk Joan across the moor.
I was hammering it now across the moor, going as fast as I could so that I could get off the moor and get warm again. My legs were aching but I knew I couldn’t afford to let up and that I needed to keep moving to keep warm. The run down to Heights Road was good, the trails on Midgely Moor are well defined and easy to follow. After Heights Road it’s the tricky descent down to Mytholmroyd. It’s a long descent and after the technical section at the top it’s a sprint through some farms and then the big drop down to the bottom. I took it easy down here as I could feel my legs tiring and I didn’t want to go over in the wet conditions. Soon I was at the bottom at back at Mytholmroyd freezing cold, soaking wet but still happy after another cracking run in challenging conditions.
Once home I showered and changed as quickly as I could to minimise the risk of getting a cold. I had a few glasses of wine before heading to bed after a good day.