Sunday, October 14, 2012

Cheeky Run

It was one of those days where I'm supposed to want to go out. Impeccable sunshine, clear air.

I did a bit more planning for The Race training, packed my bag for running and ticked one item off my to do list - digging out wheels from the basement for my first attempt at building a wheel - the golden standard for bike mechanics.

By that time I had to get to mum's for lunch so I reluctantly drove over the hill non-stop.

On the way home through Glossop I made a split second decision to go running at Crowden reservoir because that's the way the sun was shining.

I parked up, tried to figure out what time the car park gets locked - if at all.  I didn't have a bag other than my shoe bag so I packed phone, garmin, car key, a nut selection and a fleece.  No waterproof, no compass, no map.

After 2 minutes I had to put the fleece on it was so lovely and crisp. My hands seared in the cold but my skin bristled with excitement.

I was out on my own. It was a little bit reckless but the sky was beautiful and the quarry looked spectacular in the twilight sky. I ran and ran until my lungs hurt then run-walked until I started to get near my turn-around & go back time, 15 minutes in.

Just-on-time some trees appeared and I resolved to take a peek & look for a obvious path down to the trail on the other side of the valley. It was clear that there was a route down and in the spirit of everything outdoorsy, I turned right at the dead sheep.

The path was steep and tiny and very deep streams crossed it in all directions, luring me like the proverbial rabbit hole in Alice in Wonderland to break my leg and fall, lonely into that scary and trippy place that is hyperthermia.

I hissed in a breath as I ran through the inevitable almost freezing marsh but I emerged the otherside unscathed, though wetter.  The grasses before me were sodden from earlier rain but I held out my hands as I ran and enjoyed them whipping against my hands and soalking my leggings.

Now I was on the track down I could relax.  Bouncing down the hillside my mind turned to the carpark closing and the headlights just arriving.  I have to get home to feed TSK who was 3/4 through a 200km AUDAX.

So absorbed was I that I ended up at the Youth hostel & not the car park. There was a Mountain Rescue team seminar in progress & as I ran past the window I became acutely aware. a) that their dinner smelled amazing b) that I was out fell running without a map,compass, whistle, waterproof or friend.

I started nonchalantly running up the path behind the hostel, JUST so I didn't have to run past their window again.  I then realised that was silly. I was heading back to my original path just because of a bit of pride. So, I made like a cat and pretended I'd gone up there to take a picture of the building from above before going back past their window.

Investigating another "shortcut" down I found myself on private property & my bail-out path took me through a patch of sludgy black muck which did a great impression of solid ground but actually sucked me in beyond my socks & threatened to rip my shoes off.  At least by this point I had done everything I could to avoid the mountain rescue team passing one more time and I ran off in the opposite direction to join the path to the campsite & ultimately the car park.

Arriving at the car I realised just how dark it had become.  I took this picture of my steaming feet to show just how cold the air was & how dirty I was.  4 degrees according to Maurice. We headed back to Sheffield to pre race dinner & tsk and feeling smug & a little bit lucky.

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