Tuesday, January 04, 2011

Janathon #4 -Two Trig Tuesday

It's amusing, how friends, when they perceive that you may be having a crisis of faith (running faith, in this case), come up with all sorts of motivational tools, from the encouraging (thank you AM, Nonie and Gary V), to the abusive (cheers Graham) via the downright blooming strange (merci, Ross).

For the record, my resolve may have flickered a little, but only in that I needed to eat and then let my food digest before I went for tonight's Janathon Two Trig Tuesday spectacular!

In the past, while poring over OS maps for the little blue triangle-and-dot symbols that make me so happy, I'd spotted a couple just across the Aire valley from the house - beyond Kirkstall and over into Bramley. I'd always planned that, as these two were both on or close to tarmac, I'd pick them up by road bike, but with a little kick in the jacksie needed for Janathon, and a suitably configured route, they looked like a viable foot option. About 7km, 120m-ish of climbing. I reckoned on sub an hour for both.

As I said, I'd got in from work in need of food. As part of this month's exercise regime, I MUST start eating a proper breakfast. I can cope through the morning 'til lunchtime on caffeine alone, but hunger starts getting the better of me mid afternoon. I've been good enough to avoid the plethora of biscuits that lurk in the office, but I would be better served by having breakfast and then being eat dinner later... Anyway, I digress...

HandyMap (TM)
I'd had a bowl of noodles, and an hour-or-so's break while I checked the route on Memory-Map. Not wanting to carry a full OS of the route with me, I decided to take a diddy map of my own. In marker pen. On the back of my hand. Not that it was a complicated route, just an area I'd never run in before, and a little bit of reassurance would probably be a good thing. I headed down to leave the car at Kirkstall to set off out and up. And I do mean up. The map (the proper one) and profile below shows you the route. Four kilometres of climb followed by three-and-a-bit kilometres of descent, more or less.

The Author at the first Bramley trig pillar
Bouyed by the encouragement/abuse/strangeness of pre-run conversation, and by the Best of the Beach Boys ringing in my headphones, I set off from the car and started the SportTracker. Steady jog along the canal, beautifully paced by Good Vibrations and California Girls. The climb starts, a long gradual drag and I up my pace to match the beat of I Get Around (Maybe I should worry about that, but anyway...) and Wouldn't It Be Nice (To stop? Not yet...) It all starts creeping up on the legs, swaddled as they are in 3/4 tights and Skins calf guards as  Surfin' Safari kicks in and I just have to smile. I'm not moving massively fast, but I'm honestly feeling pretty damn good. The night air is chilly, which suits a sweaty fatboy like me. Up the pace a little notch more to Fun Fun Fun, though I'm in no fit state to sing the high notes. A sad loss to the world, I feel, but at least the inhabitants of Bramley get to keep their windows and eardrums...

Behind Bars - Bramley Trig #2
A handful of tracks later I'm nearly at the first pillar, and searching desperately. The HandyMap (TM) has a junction missing, so I'm looking about 500 yards short. It turns out to be nearly in someone's front garden. Quick pic on the camera phone and onwards. Short lope along the flat then turn left up towards Bramley Baths and part rictus/part grin a lot as the road steepens and my Minidisc throws me Don't Worry Baby followed by Little Deuce Coupe. I don't have the fastest set of legs in town, but it kept me smiling as I jogged into the park and headed up the grass towards the transmitter mast where the marker pen marks tell me I should find the second pillar which turns out to be on the wrong side of a large fence. A pic has to happen all the same, but it's a distant one, unfortunately.

From now, it's pretty much all downhill, so time to up the pace. Little Honda and D'You Wanna Dance work well, but Little Surfer Girl and Oh Caroline No get skipped. Not in the mood for those, having too much fun.

In the ensuing confusion of skipping track I manage to slip the MD into Random mode. Normally I would regret this, but for the steepest, fastest section of the run it throws me an absolute diamond. I leg it down the hill, head down, parachute-wide grin probably retarding my speed more than my legs, all the while trying to keep enough air in my lungs for the low parts of Barbara Ann.... Just take a moment to picture that, please. I hope that image makes you smile.

Pushing on, I hit the bridge over the still icy canal and decide to sprint the last 750m-ish to the car. As I do, Do It Again comes on. I'm sure this is a run I'll repeat, or run a variant of, but for tonight I'm done. 7.4km, 54mins. Not bad at all. Janathon run #4 done, and still smiling.

Many thanks to all my friends for encouragement and abuse in equal measure, to Brian Wilson & co for company and fantastic running music, and to whoever first created SportWool tops, 'cause they're just damn great.



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