Saturday, January 15, 2011

Janathon #15 - Saturday Shakedown

I'd intended to get up onto the moors and put in a good, solid, long tab day with a racing partner, Steve, today, but a spell of miscommunication meant we never made it to the moors, and I was sat in Leeds, having missed my occasional Saturday 'fast 5km' at parkrun. At that point, about 10am and my second cup of coffee, the usual nagging doubts set in. The niggling little "Well, you could skip it and make the blog up - no-one would know", the occasional "You did loads last week, you could have a day off, maybe just walk round the block, that still count, right?", the ever-present "Face it, pal. You've run for 14 days consecutively. Your legs aren't really in the shape you'd like 'em to be. Knock it off, eh?" and the particularly seasonal "Look out of the window. It's pissing it down and blowing a hooly. Put the kettle on and sit back down.". This is, after all  'annual festival of activity and excuses', and so far I've been long on activity and short on valid excuses...

With all that in mind, I stuck my running gear on, conceded to the weather gods by wearing fleece tights and a Paclite jacket, and headed up to Harewood.

I've run a few loops around Harewood in the house, but it occurred to me that I'd always confined myself to one set of tracks. So the plan was to park jut off the main road, walk/jog across the estate, then walk/jog back, dependant on how I was feeling. A vague plan, a bit of food, and an OS map in hand, I sauntered off.

The route was a bit convoluted: Down the old driveway (it may not actually be the old driveway, but that's what I always think of it as), up through the woods towards the Emmerdale set  and past it, onto a track I'd not run before. A lovely sight as I pottered along, a pair of Red Kite hovering over me and following me along the path. I'd have a picture, but the sods buggered off as soon as I got the camera out. Typical....

I rambled out of the far side of the estate, and stopped to have a look at the map and realised two things:
1) I wasn't far from Lineham Farm, a place I'd had a number of dealings with in my former job but never actually been to, so maybe it was worth a quick ramble over thattaway.
2) There was a trig pillar not far from there, so it was definitely worth a quick ramble thattaway!

Pleasant if muddy filed-edge-type footpaths took me over to the wonderful facility that is Lineham Farm, an outdoors centre type place that is run by "A charity which provides free week-long activity holidays for local children in need of a break". I didn't go in, but the high ropes course looked awesome. And yes, I am just a big kid at heart. And then they took me back away from the prospect of Jacob's Ladders, aerial balance beams etc, and up another set of field edges to a slightly more grown up obsession, trig pillars. This on, at the Bowshaws, had evaded me so far as it doesn't sit easily on any of my regular routes. Well hell, if it wasn't the right day to go bimble about off a normal route, I should have gone home ages ago for a nice cup of tea and a sit down.

Should have kept my hat on! Bowshaws trig pillar

After finding it, and taking the obligatory photo (as demonstrated by me here and by Gary V on his latest blog) I toddled back down towards Eccup reservoir and homewards. Here again came a quick check of the map and a moment of "Hmm, north or south side of the reservoir?" North - Shorter and straighter, but mainly tarmac access road and boring. South, more wiggly and longer, footpath. South it is then, I've been reliably informed by an Osteomyologist that running on tarmac can cause cancer of the knees.

I rambled off, more field-edgy-type stuff, round slightly familiar trails, glad of the Gore-tex because it was still raining, and then onto the shoreline footpath which, as it's fenced off from the actual reservoir by quite a meaty fence, widened so they can drive Yorkshire Water vehicles down it, and hardpack surfaced, mean I might as well have run down the tarmac. I believe the internet vernacular is 'FFS'. Still, it was all mileage in the bag, and getting back onto actual tarmac then came as less of a shock and I trotted across the dam and up the bridleway.

I have to admit that a minor error on my part sprang up at this point. I'd set of a lot later than intended, and rambled a little further than I thought I was going to, a little slower than I thought I was going to. And it was kind getting dark. And I'd kinda neglected to take a headtorch with me. Which meant it was time for a more direct loop home. The problem is that the direct route was very muddy and potholed, and I couldn't really see where I was putting my feet.... Oops. The handful of people who saw me as I wandered, wet, muddy and grinning, back past the Emmerdale set (fully lit up and looking busy, they must have been filming) must have wondered what the hell I'd been up to. I didn't stop to explain, it'll be much more fun to let their imaginations play with that one.

Anyway, I made it back to the car intact, having had a thoroughly pleasant day out, a nice trot along some new places I'd never been, another trig pillar in the bag and a little night adventure to boot. SportTracker showed a final tally of 18.8km in a smidge over 3hrs.... Hang on...

Okay, I'm not going to be leading the mileage charts by quite a long chalk, but today's bimble has given me two new acheivements to celebrate in my own inimitable ouevre...
1) I've just done my first 10 miler of Janathon
2) I've now passed 100km in total! Woo!

Definitely beer and a bath time now, methinks.


Chris said...

Me thinks I may have been misquoted!!!!!!!!!!!!!!but at least you spelt it right

Gary Vallance said...

You might not be leading the totals, but by my reckoning, today's efforts mean that right now, you have 12th highest total of all the "everyday" runners. Great work Carrick!

K, like in caKe said...

What an adventure! Makes me think I should mix up the route a bit today - we'll see ;) Great post & well done on the mileage.