Friday, 28 October 2016

Will running sweat out my cold?

Not a great week. A sore throat and headache became a cold. The headache vanished but left my head full of cotton wool. I felt weak and tired. I was keen to be out in the fresh air and the forecast was good. We had entered the inaugural Ullswater way challenge on Sunday and I was keen to test my body. Plus I like being away in the van. I resisted all temptation in the New Balance shop and we parked up in our favourite place near Oddendale.

It was wonderful to run just for fun. No eye on km or times, not even a planned route. I was free to explore new paths, anything I came across and just enjoy. I don't do structured training and although this means I will never perhaps achieve my full potential it keeps the love of running alive. I think that matters more.
Lots of layers- determined to sweat out my cold
The start was deliberately slow and steady as I headed south on the big easy track. After the woods I turned SW and picked up smaller paths to the unnamed hill with the trig point and big cairn. Then I went exploring onto the old Roman road running sough towards Orton.

I think it is now used by the shooting set as I passed a huge wooden hut. Instead of dropping to the minor road I climbed to another small hill and followed a great quad bike track by the wall. A small detour took me to a lime kiln.

The quad track led virtually to the road I wanted to cross to climb up to the stone cross on the moor. I was having fun but had run about 6 miles so thought I should start heading back soon. I saw a few people in the distance but nobody close enough to speak to.

From the cross there were views into the northern Howgills and Cross Fell on the Pennines.

Following a new path I headed north towards the Crosby Ravensworth road. It was here that I met a man on a quad bike.

He was 92 and had 'escaped' from the farm kitchen. He was tired of being told he was too old to work and just wanted to be out. We had a chat and he assured me he would return before the family got too worried about him.

Some smaller paths after the road allowed me to head back on the reverse of the 3rd Ring of Shap route. My return had wetter and muddier paths but it was not a total bog fest.

 Up past the big granite erratics and I was back on the grassy paths which are so common here. The sun came out and I decided to add a little loop going roughly NE on grassy tracks towards Crosby but then turning and heading steadily back up to the van. I loved my run.

 I had not pushed it hard and so my legs and chest felt fine.

We moved to Dacre once Bob was back from his run. Sat in the van I worried he had been caught in the rain shower but it must have been very localised. Once he was back it rained hard but again was dry by the time we got to Shap.

There is a lovely little layby near Dacre and it was perfect ready for Pooley Bridge in the morning. I went for a stroll to explore the village.

It is only tiny but has an interesting church yard with an admiral and daughter of a Sir buried there and an old school house with an old English. I remember when the boys were small- " I am going to build a house with lego. Look, I have builded it"

The UWC was not really a serious race and Joe had encouraged walkers, joggers, families etc all to take part. Another relaxing day! We did not need to be early for the start but were worried about finding the car parks full. A leisurely breakfast and I still had time to play with. Bob went off to the start at 9 and I wandered around chatting. 

The plan was to wait til 10 but I had said Hi to timekeeper Paul and to Stuart and there seemed little point hanging around getting chilly. At 9.50 I set off. Just behind Jeff and Serena who I caught after the permissive path and camp site.

 There were some boggy fields on this first third of the route and we were already overtaking walkers. Running with them made me push harder than I had intended but it was good to chat and have company. Jeff was after a partner for the OMM in Japan- sadly we would be in Nepal by then. At the route choice we parted company - they explored the fields and I went up the lanes. The lanes were longer and had more climb. The muddy fields were marginally quicker. 

By Gowbarrow the sun was out and the views along the Lake or just of the autumn colours were fab.

 A flouro jacket on the summit led us to believe we must visit the top. There was no CP but the view was worth it anyway. The descent was slippy and the rocks greasy with mud from boots. Some of the walkers were already struggling and wondering what they had got themselves in to. Jeff shot ahead and by the time we reached the road CP he was out of site. I grabbed some savoury food but forgot to put any water in my bottle. Oops. After a squeeze under, over trees and a stile it was a rather boggy path up next to the wall towards Glencoyne. 

For Joe's challenge we were doing the high level variants over Gowbarrow and the Cockpit plus an extra bit in Glencoyne.

 At the end of the bog I caught Jeff (temporarily) and also Bob. The path then became a lovely little single track that was dry. 

This was my favourite part of the whole route. I liked the rock steps but was now starting to struggle to breath and my chest was not happy. A pounding heart even caused me to sit and let it recover for a couple of minutes before running off to the moonscape and bridge high above Glenriding. I passed Jane R and others before dropping to bell Cottage where Nicky gave me a giant hug and I handed over loads of beer bottle tops to her. A jelly baby from her youngest and a handful of cheese before I was off again. I passed the always happy Trawden runners and then the not so happy Andy F who had a sore knee. Down into Patterdale with a view of the flood control river banks, past the tourists and along the roadside paths to Side Farm.

 No stop here today but the big wide track along the lake side. 

At least it started that way before getting narrow and clambering over rocks and tree roots. I was still passing walkers and slower runners but not exactly racing hard. Near Howton I saw Sandra putting her mended ankle to the test. 

From here it was the home stretch and I knew it well. Up one field, through a garden and onto the big path by the wall. The new barn cafe was open but there was no time to stop today. I picked off runners as we climbed steadily to the trees at the top.

 The run round to the Cockpit was easy and I was so surprised to find no marshal that I stopped to take a photo. Only a mile or so left now and almost all was down hill thankfully.  Back into the village and the pub car park. 4 hours 43.

 It seemed very slow after 8.5 hours for RR50 but I was happy. Lots of refuelling with cups of tea and cake! 

Great gift of a mug from Joe and a nice chat with Jeff who finished about 10 minutes ahead of me and then Paul and others. 

Getting chilly I went back to the van and changed before returning to watch Bob finish. 

A great day out on a route most found tougher than expected. Quite a few bailed and took the steamer. I had not sweated out my cold and needed two sit downs to get my heart rate normal again but it was a great day to be out and the views were splndid.

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