Sunday, 4 December 2011

out for a run

Long run on friday was pretty good- if rather longer than I originally intended. (Not through getting lost, I must hasten to add, more through getting excited and neglecting to actually look at how long the planned route actually was before setting out).

From home up the Shelf moor race route to 621 trig, trying to keep the heart rate lower than going eyeballs-out, I knew I had some way to go- possibly 15-20k or so... keeping it easy. From there to Herne clough, really nothing to report, except that I was using an Inov8 race elite 3- a rather wonderful birthday present from my sister- review to follow once I've worn it in a bit more and have formed a decent opinion.
Down into Herne clough for a bit, and then a small amount of nav to make the journey interesting. Down and up the clough to the south, following a grough line and onto the top- where it was a tad chilly, to find a small pond. No problem there.

Then a bearing leg in a southerly direction over bogland- what else?! to a rain gauge. In the process of getting to the rain gauge, I came across a weather station, which was rather snazzy, if a little out of place in the middle of nowhere. I was a bit surprised and felt like I was on a film set. Took a photo and carried on. I got to the shooting cabin next to the place where the rain gauge was meant to be, (on the bearing I was about 15 metres out) but couldn't find anything at all where the thing was meant to be. I know that they don't actually exist anymore, but I was expecting some kind of base or something... Stopped in the shooting cabin to put on a windproof and eat half a Torq bar. Yes, this one was pretty horrible too, and I couldn't have eaten it AND moved at the same time- it just clogs up the mouth.

Ah well, East to Alport trig, up the grough and across heather- scratched legs, a significant and severe downhill and then uphill leg, round the corner and up a clough, follow a trod that looked like it went in the right direction- boom. I landed right on top of it.

The Sheepfold
Excellent, bearing off to the sheepfold up north, and bash across some serious heather- I was still "running" at this point, but getting a bit tired from having to lift the legs up high, either that or wade my way through- there weren't any trods where I was going, so I had to improvise. Saw a few hares though- they are much easier to spot now they have their white coats on. Evolution doesn't seem to have kept pace with the fact that its not snowed yet...
Took the bearing and came out (eventually) slap bang on top of the sheepfold- which was nice. The next challenge was another rain gauge. Considering my last attempt, I wasn't confident, but I was hopeful. Taking the most direct line I shot off down the trod next to the stream, and then up a rather impressively steep clough, up to a small pond, and then a bearing for 300 metres. Could I find the thing? Could I heck.
I wandered around for a while in a heathery, boggy hell hole, and instead of getting cold, I went by dead reckoning to find another shooting cabin, and eventually came out- again, right on it.
I was more than impressed with myself, it has to be said.

The visitor book
I've not been to that cabin before, its really rather pleasant, and I signed into the book, noting a few names from DPFR that have been there recently. Another quick bite to eat and off down the track to the main path which would take me up over to Shepards meeting stones, somewhere else I've not been before. In thr process I managed to take the worst line off the hill possible and ended up dropping/falling/sliding down a near vertical hillside onto a riverbank, which although was fairly amusing, jarred my wrist a little.
Up and over the river and onto the path, this is about as far away from home as I could get, I had one geobar left and was getting a tad tired.
Shepherds Meeting Stones and then on through the bog into the teeth of the wind up to Swains head, following a vague trod that ended up in a bogfest. Great. Didn't even notice going past Swains head, put hunkered down at one point to change gloves for some dry ones- my hands were more than going numb- and also to put on all available clothing as well. Still, despite being cold and wet, I was on the return leg, and it was all fine.

Except the bog was big and sucking and horrible, running on/through it was more effort that I thought it was going to be, I'd been out for quite a few hours and things were looking interesting. I followed the "track" up to Far Bleaklow Stones- which took about a month and a half by my reckoning, and on the way up there I came across a bottle of Calsberg. Full. How bizarre. So I picked it up- can't have people littering on the moors like that- and carried on up. I had the last of mu chocolate here, figuring I was close to sugar-crashing and probably needed a bit of energy.
Finally I hit Bleaklow stones, and took the trod going to the south of it, (I hate running across Bleaklow at the best of times and wanted to find out where this trod went). I have a GPS track of it now, but I really didn't know where I was going at this point. Eventually made it to Forkstones and then took a bee-line back to the 621 trig, stumbling through groughs and bog and all kinds of amusement. I knew pretty much where I was as Herne stones were off to the right, and as long as I kept climbing, things would be fine.

Hit the top, cold, dreaming of haribo, toast with cheese and honey (yes, its actually a really good combination, don't knock it til you've tried it), and a cup of hot, sweet tea. Windchill must have been somewhere below zero, as it had been for the past hour or 2, and I wasn't always moving fast enough to keep up a decent temperature. I couldn't run uphill - or even up a slope, so I picked a line off Higher Shelf that took me downhill all the way to Mossy Lea without any hint of an uphill slant.
When I got back, I switched the GPS off, only to find I was turning it on. Damn. Where did that happen? Looking at the track, it seems to have been about 6km from home, just near Herne stones. Ah well, at least I got the lions share of the run on record.

36km in the end, with about 300 metres of it on road. A bit of an effort, but well worth it. I now have a blister the size of a 2p piece on my left 1st met head, courtesy of my Baregrips. Nice.

So it was a long day out, and I didn't take enough food, but I had just about enough fluids. (not including the beer, which, by the way appears to have a best before date of 20/12/2010) but I really need to remember to keep some spare emergency emergency haribo in my bag. Thats the second time I've come home from a 30km+ run and been dreaming of jelly based sweets....

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