Running with Claire

The rain is finally subsiding after a wet and windy bank holiday Monday in England. Today I’ve been for a run with a lass called Claire who I met on Instagram. I’m not the biggest user of social media so it was a surprise for me to meet anyone on Instagram but somehow I did!

I’ve been talking to Claire for a while now on Instagram and although we had discussed running together I didn’t think it would actually happen. Somehow though it did and today was the day we finally met for a run. I overestimated my journey time from Bradford to Skipton and arrived 20 minutes early despite getting lost twice but Claire was almost ready to go anyway so it didn’t matter.

We were soon setting off and Claire warned me that her dog a cocker spanial was very giddy and would set off at 100mph before slowing down. We hadn’t gone far before Claire’s dog Amber did a massive poo at the side of the road, as Claire put it a ‘mad sized’ poo and it took 3 bags to pick it up! We set off again and I was already going beyond my limits and feeling fat and unfit as I ran after Claire and Amber around Skipton desperately trying to keep them in sight. Even at this early point I was struggling a combination of too much running and too much beer had finally caught up with me and my aching muscles and joints were crying no more we want a rest and I wasn’t listening when I should have been.

This carried on for the next few miles, Claire bounding away in front of me running so easily and affortlessly and me struggling to maintain even a half decent pace. I remember Claire waiting for me at one stile and saying ‘we’ll go up there next time’ and pointing to Emsey Crag a massive outcrop of rock high up on the horizon. I remember thinking ‘ you think I’m running with you again’! but deep down I knew I would be if Claire asked.

The climb to Sharphaw got steeper and steeper and eventually my legs gave up much to Claire’s disappointment and I walked the final part to the top of the summit and a chance to catch my breath. Claire was already there taking photos waiting for me and I was worried she was getting too cold as she had dressed for a warmer day and today was turning colder and colder. We set off down the other side of Sharphaw and finally I came into my element as it was steep and technical and I came down here as fast as I could although Claire wasn’t too far behind me. We continued like this until we reached the Trial of Death and I slowed down whilst Claire bounded off up the trail making everything look so easy.

Although I didn’t say anything to Claire I was beginning to suffer now. Both my knees were aching and painful but I carried on. Walking was not an option. Claire chose a route across some fields to get back to Skipton and at first this helped me but then we were back on tarmac and this made the pain in my knees worse. The final run along the canal back into Skipton was very painful for me and I was really struggling at this point. I think Claire knew although I didn’t say anything to her. Sometimes a look says more than words ever can. We had a hot drink in Skipton before heading back to Claire’s and back home.

It was a good run and I enjoyed it despite the pain I was in. Mentally it has made me stronger and after a rest I will come back a better runner for it. Claire pushed me to my limit and beyond and this will serve me well for the races I have coming up knowing I can push myself beyond what I thought I was capable of.

Claire has a superb blog at: I highly recommend it.

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