Just over 3 months since my BG, the smile is STILL there, the emotions flood back when I think about it and I long to be out on the high fells again.
So what's been happening? Well, plenty really!! As far as running goes, it's been tough to get back into it. The bleak, flat moors of Calderdale hold little appeal for me now. I want to be out on big, big hills, toiling up long slopes and feeling part of a wilderness.
So running has been at a premium...which was fair enough for a wee while afterwards, time for the body to recover (which it has done in the main). But you can't go on basking in "glory" and celebrating with eating and drinking what you like for too long, can you?!?!
But life otherwise has been a whirlwind of excitement with its usual curveballs thrown in just when you least expect or want them!
For a start, and the best thing of all, me and Kirsten got married on a remote scottish mountain on 7th September. What a wonderful day, so special and everything we both wanted it to be. I'll blog seperately about that I think, I want to write things down so that I preserve all of the special memories of the day.
As for the associated curveball, a few days before we left for Scotland, our landlord gave us notice on our house and we suddenly had a mad panic to find somewhere else! As it happens, the location of the new place is even better but the timing was not the best!!
Having come back from Scotland, and made some tentative plans to be there in the near future (which we now need to follow through by looking for work), my 5 days a fortnight job suddenly disappeared, quite unexpectedly and I was facing up to a period of unemployment. But, as luck would have it, a 3 day a week position came along for a fixed 6 months, which should see me through my time in Calderdale nicely. It means I'm a city commuter now, but after initially baulking at the thought, the chance to devour mountain literature during a 50 minute train journey, coupled with a renewed commitment to make the most of my days off, has actually been a bonus.
And so, back to the running, after doing the Ben race on desperately weak legs (and my descent time being quite similar to my ascent time!!!), we had a wonderful week's wild walking in Sutherland, on remote, trackless, deserted mountains . I sense another blog coming on to "log" those days for memory!
And then it all tailed off until these last few weeks when I've started taking myself off to the Dales and exploring some quite beautiful places, and I've found my sense of excitement with running again. I've even done some races!! Starting with the Passing Clouds race a couple of weeks ago, which was a lovely race over the Roaches and Hen Cloud. It's a splendid area, and it was great to see some familiar faces and feel part of the "crowd" again. I ran ok really. Very strong on the uphill, catching people all the time, but the leg speed on the flat and down is lacking and cost me time and places. Still managed 76th of 192.
And then, the weekend just gone, I went for a "double" - Great Whernside (4mls & 1550ft) on Saturday and the Bronte Way on Sunday!
Great Whernside is a "real" fell race. Committed, serious fellrunners there, who run for the love of the fells. Starting in a field at Kettlewell, it's 2 miles of grassy uphill, with just a brief rocky interlude, before turning at the summit and hurtling down the same way.
Or at least that's the idea! Again, on the up, I was strong, running nearly all of it and going past people I have no right to be ahead of. But, come the top, the legs were just not there for the descent. And yet this sort of grassy descent is where I did used to be able to let go, it really suited me. I think it's just a leg speed issue and I'm planning to start going to Calder Valley speed sessions as soon as I can. But no matter, I thoroughly enjoyed the day, which ended with me and Rufus going for a lovely walk around Kettlewell in the warm sunshine, before heading home.
And then Sunday it was the Bronte Way, which I decided to do as I trotted up the last part of Whernside with Brett, the organiser. I'd done it twice before so knew to expect a flat, fast race....perfect for getting some speedwork in. And I ran ok. 3 minutes down on last year, despite my lack of training and the fact I did a race the day before. On a misty, damp day, the conditions were spot on and, despite wearing only a vest and shorts, I was boiling hot! A lovely little race, and one I'd consider coming back for at some point in the future.
Plenty more plans in the running pipeline as well. Off to Wales this weekend and one of my favourite races, the Clywdian Hills. Then the Roaches the following weekend....and the slurry yard!! :-)
As for longer term plans.....a Paddy was on the radar, but with our plans to move to Scotland, I think that will have to go on hold. On the other hand, A Ramsay.......................?