Sunday, 21 November 2010

No time to run

Been catching up on jobs around the house and garden and also doing some amateur conservation work on some land that I have been given permission to use by the company I work for. I have a few bird boxes out there and I have been building some wood piles among the trees.
This in turn has taken its toll on my running program and with the cold, wet weather now taking over it is so easy to look for excuses to stay at home.
I must kick my own backside and get out after work this week before I start loosing interest completely.
I have also just seen the weather forecast for next week. Wind coming in from Scandanavia and making things even colder with temperatures down to below minus. It is definetly going to be hard work getting out to run in the dark and cold and probably wet aswell.

Google view of my land can be seen here  http://maps.google.co.uk/?ie=UTF8&ll=54.389667,-1.654027&spn=0.001624,0.005284&t=h&z=18

Saturday, 6 November 2010

Accidental marathon

This is yesterdays run. But as I was totally knackered when I got home all I wanted was a hot bath and sat and chilled out for the rest of the night.

Easy run through Westfields and Applegarth before dropping down to the road and on to Marske. Heading out of Marske. From Marske it was a short run along another short section of tarmac which is called Skelton Lane. Turning left at a T-junction the road took me to Telfit Farm then it was another left turn and back to some real trail running.
After a short hill climb I was met with a cross roads and turned left to head for a small hamlet called
Hurst. This was a great running trail as it was mainly grass and feeling spongy underneath and heading downhill it was easy to get carried away with the speed and not concentrate on sticking to a steady pace. After about ¼ of a mile I recognised the road below as the one I had just come along so now it was a matter of stamping my feet, calling myself all the plonkers under the sun, turning round and running back up the hill to the cross roads and getting back onto the right track.
Now for a proper run across the moors to High Greenas Farm. The map said go straight ahead. The sign board said go straight ahead, so that's what I did but getting to some farm buildings I was confronted by two gates of which one was all tied up as if to coral some animals so no way I could have opened that one and not wanted to climb over with the farm house in full view I went for the other gate which lead me into a field and on reaching the other side there was still no way out so now it was a matter of jumping the wall which also had barbed wire on the top so this wasn't one of the most elegant jumps I have ever made. And still in full view I was still expecting a shout from an irate farmer but luckily this shout never came.
Down through the farm land and eventually turning right onto Stelling Rd which took me into Hurst and more familiar surroundings. This area is one of my favourite parts of Swaledale as it has a long history of lead mining and the mind can easily get carried away emagening what life was like there hundreds of years ago. In fact, history mining in this areas goes back to the days of the Romans and this is backed up by a lead ingot that was found in the 19th century inscribed with the name Emperor
Hadrian (of Hadrian's Wall fame 117-138 AD).
Anyway, from Hurst it was down to more climbing up to the top of the moor and along to the end of Fremmington Edge. Then it was a nice easy run down Slei Gill towards Langthwaite and once I reached Arkle Beck at the bottom I thought I was in for an easy run to Grinton.
How wrong can you get? It wasn't long before the trail took me away from Arkle Beck and back up onto higher ground and this was the hardest part of the run as it was on the lower slopes of Fremmington Edge and as the rain water from the previous couple of days had managed to settle on the narrow footpath which was only 12ins wide in places. So it wasn't long before I gave up trying to keep my feet dry and just ploughed on the best I could. Slipping and sliding as I slowly picked my way along. This section was about two miles long and took about 45min to complete. Getting off that section and back into the fields, it was a pleasure to be running again and I soon managed to get to Reeth Bridge and a ½ mile run along the River Swale to Grinton Bridge.
Another short run along the river brought me to Marrick Priory which was built in the mid 1100s and was occupied by Benedictine nuns. Today it is an outdoor education centre.
From here it was onwards and upwards to Marrick Village itself. The path between the priory and Marrick was a real treat as this goes up through some woodland and is paved with stone slabs that look like they could have been laid down at the same time the priory had been built. Half way up there is even a stone sided channel built across it to let flood water get away without the path getting flooded.
Once in Marrick it was now a long road run back to Marske and then it was home via the way I had come out earlier. It was a relief to get back to Applegarth as I knew the running was going to be easier with only one short climb out of Whitcliffe wood and then a down hill through Westfield and back into the house for a well earned soak in the bath. That said when I tried to get out of the bath parts of me had started to cease up and as the night went on I just got stiffer and stiffer.

All in all, a great day, even if it did turn into an accidental marathon and a lot of this run is on the coast to coast route.
Follow the link to see the whole route http://connect.garmin.com/activity/55597098

So now for the summery.

Time; 06:56:05 (Taking refreshment breaks into account, the actual moving time was 06:37:29)
Distance; 26.24 miles
Elevation Gain; 3,616 ft
Calories burned; 2,981. 

A few images from the run. "Sorry about the quality as they were taken with my phone camera.

                                Top of Fremmigton Edge. The highest point on the run

                                Foot bridge over Arkle Beck

                  After the muddy section on the lower slopes of Fremmington Edge

Marrick Priory sitting in the lower slopes of Swaledale

Monday, 1 November 2010

6.15 mile trail/road run

Another hilly run with 800ft of elevation gain along trail/roads around West-Fields, Green Ln, then following the River Swale to the bailey bridge and back home via Easby abbey and Lombards Wynd. (Lombards got the better of me again). Then a nice easy flat and down hill road section back to the finish. (Time; 01:07. Pace;10:53 min/mile).
Felt great afterwards and could have done a lot more but must get some dinner and then get ready for work. Hoping to go cycle the 4.5 miles to work. and then cycle home in the dark at half past midnight. There's something that floats my boat when cycling or running at that time of night. Maybe the stillness of the night and the fact that you can hear more of the natural sounds and not cars screaming past all the time.