Sunday, 10 April 2016

Running up a blizzard! (February)

Long run time (on Sunday, yesterday) and i had no one to go with, shock horror!

My plan said 25 miles. I used the route building doodah on here and joined some of my not quite so long routes together to come up with a suitable route. It looked hard, even on paper.

I haven't run on my own for quite some time. Well, I run down to Club, or to 'collect' friends in town but I haven't done any major solo running. I don't know why? When I was training for my first marathon or two, I thought nothing of having OH drop me off in the middle of no-where and I'd run 3-4 hours by myself, no probs. I can't even pin point when that changed and suddenly, going out by myself became A Big Thing.

I had 2 choices basically, man-up or spend the day kicking myself and feeling generally miserable.

I had my breakfast and put on all my warm clothes. As I was getting ready to set off, I saw it was snowing... I put on another layer and put a better hat into my pack.
The hardest step is the one out of the door, right?

I figured if the snow got bad, I'd come home. OH was at work and all my various buds were either on holiday or busy so I had no back up if anything went amiss. 
I'll just get to Kilburn, I told myself and work it out from there.

Thankfully, about 1.5 miles later it had stopped and the sun came out and I was too hot.
I was using Gavin's advice of 'one objective at a time'. First objective, far end of Green Lane. Green Lane is very dull and goes on forever, wet and muddy once you get past the last farmhouse. Bit it was nice and quiet and the sunshine was lovely.
Into the little village (hamlet?) of Bagby and down past the playground and into muddy fields. Next objective Thirkleby, and I'd have something to eat there. The route passes a caravan site, people must live there. And of course I ran straight into the permanent wet patch in the field. Always.
I ate my first cereal bar in Thirkleby. A little footpath along a beck joins little Thirkleby and Great Thirkleby together, although I am not sure which is which!! A man voiced his surprise at someone running through the village!
Along a lane past some holiday cottages and into more mud, only for a short stretch then back on to good track again. I passed some walkers who I assumed were staying at said cottage. 
Past the small stud, then I had to look out for the path off up the hill, it's been a while since I've been this way and I didn't want to miss it! 
Spotted it no probs and ran along the field edge. I came through a gate and in the next field were a pair of deer grazing on the young bean plants. I stood to watch them a while before pressing on.
I couldn't remember much about this part, but the path was obvious and I didn't need to get my map out. The sky was clouding over a bit now.
I did remember the next bit, a long muddy slog uphill along a disused lane. I like mud, but this was the thick, wet, lose your trainers kind of mud. I squelched my way up, taking advantage of the chance to have a drink and few sweets.
The lane pops out into the village of Kilburn. I ran down the main street, past the pub where we go on a Thursday and on, out of the village. The road is quite hilly and was busy with cars, I was very glad I had my hi-vis jacket on!
Oh, it also snowed at this point, but only a bit.
Along the road and into Kilburn Woods. It was busy with walkers and dogs and families in the wood! It looked great now the sunshine was back out! I ate a bit of pork pie (experiment... hmm not convinced) then took the Horse Gate track away from the crowds.
On the far gate, I stopped for 5 minutes to stretch everything out and deal with a shoelace malfunction!
More road, I skirted the edge of Oldstead and got to the bit of the route I was dreading, the climb up Oldstead Bank, otherwise known as the Silver Fox. One of our toughest local climbs, its a full mile in length, it's muddy and awkward underfoot and rises 600ft in one go. I had no intention of even trying to run up it and instead ambled along eating yoghurt raisins and sweets and talking to the Exmoor ponies who live here semi-wild. 
A hiker warned me about a fallen tree further up, but as he'd said I got round it easily and continued climbing.
That pretty much wiped me out.
I'd been needing a pee for some time, but it was a flat mile to the visitor centre on Sutton Bank so I shuffled on, through the crowds. It was bloody cold up here!

It bugs me here, the path is good and flat I even see people with buggies and wheel chairs so it is plenty wide enough, so why do I still have to run on the grass when I pass people walking in pairs?? Why can't they just drop into single file for 2 seconds?
If we run in a group, we drop into single file to pass walkers and other 'path users'. grr, ignorant twats. The etiquette is used else where, if I pass couples they drop in to single file and we usually exchange greetings etc. Not up on Sutton Bank, bloody townies.


I made use of the facilities at the visitor centre and if I'd had some money, I may have purchased a nice cup of tea. But I hadn't, so I didn't and I think that was maybe a good thing as in the few minutes I spent in the loo, I'd already started to get cold so having a cuppa would have resulted in me phoning a friend...

It had been snowing for a little while now, and on the top of the bank the wind was whipping it along horizontally, mostly into my face. Running was hard work, and as you leave the immeadiate visitor centre environs, the path gets muddy and more rugged. The people also go back to being friendly. 
I ate a chocolate bar and put on my hat as well as my hood.
The snow looked more set in, so I decided to drop off the bank a little early and slithered my way down the Boltby turn to town pasture. Above Boltby, I could turn left or right. My thigh muscles were cramping with cold and it was still snowing so I turned left, towards home.
Home still being 4 miles distant of course!

The last four miles were so hard. All on metalled road, and by now in my trail shoes, my feet were starting to ache a bit. I walked over the Mount, and had more fluid and sweets. The cows were inside (lucky buggers) so I didn't get chased today! Then its down the hill, past the pub and a long jog home. My objctives were getting closer together, I managed to pick out 5 in the last mile!! But they got me home, and I was still running, albeit slowly.

Straight in to light the fire which I had laid before going out (central heating?? Whats that?) and kettle on. I avoided the usual shakes and shiver and was soon sat in front of the fire with a pint of tea and pot of ricepudding.

Overall, despite the fact I was very slow, I had a consistent pace. But more importantly, I'd kicked my own butt and got out there and did it!! Happy with that.

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