First run

. . for a long while.

I did it this morning. Out with the very early morning. You could not call it dawn, because there was no visible sun, just its light.

Nor was it cold or not as cold as it might have been. And it wasn’t wet of windy. For a late November morning it was not too bad. Unfortunately, down in North Wales, there is not much to choose from if you want ‘flat’. Out of the farm, up the hill, up again and along to the first neighbour – a campsite. It is not much more than a mile away, but there and back is quite enough for a first time out.

I must record that my knee/shin was not difficult. No pain, and that despite being quite a bit heavier than I should be and was. I suppose this suggests that I should try again perhaps tomorrow, but if not then certainly Monday morning.

Monday’s Mistake

23 Sep 2013 – Monday’s Mistake
Heath – Long Wl, Jepson Ln, Southgate, Dewsbury Rd, Pinfold Ln, New Hey Rd, Lindley Moor Rd, Haigh House Hl, Kew Hl, Blackley Rd, Hammertsone Leach Ln, Broad Carr Ln, Station Rd, Stainland Rd
8 miles. All paved. Nearly all lit.
2 cat 5 climbs, 1 Cat 4 climb, and Station Rd
Left from Heath and left at lights up Rochdale Rd/B6113 (.38ml) Across scissors and up onto Long Wall (Climb 1)
At top follow Jepson Lane toward Victoria Rd
0.89mi Left onto Victoria Rd, then right along Southgate. At roundabout, best to go round anti-clockwise onto Elland-Riorges Link, then turn right (1.62mi) down onto Dewsbury Rd/B6114
Regroup at the foot of the hill
On and up Dewsbury Road (Climb 2) to the former Rock Tavern on the left at the top.
On, across the road and first right up Pinfold Lane (2.12mi)
As Pinfold turns left before the motorway, go up and over the footbridge onto New Hey Road, left and on and up and over
Regroup at junction (3.12mi) Turn right onto New Hey Rd and into and straight through Ainley Village
At the end, take the path down and to your left to take you right over the bridge and on Lindley Moor Rd/A643 (Climb 3)
Regroup and Turn right onto Haigh House Hill (4.24mi), across the bridge, following Haigh House Hill onto Kew Hill.
4.78miTurn right onto Lindley Rd
5.17mi Turn left onto and down Blackley Rd
Take proper care on the long blind and pathless right hand bend. In good light take the short cut path
At crossroads, (6.08mi) Regroup
Right onto Broad Carr Ln
6.37mi Continue straight up Station Rd (telling your legs that this doesn’t count as a climb – honest)
At the top (6.66mi), Regroup
Turn right onto Stainland Rd/B6112 and home.

Climb Details
Rating Start/End Points Length Start/End Elevation Avg Grade
Climb 1 Cat 5 0.11 mi/0.74 mi 0.63 mi 276 ft/344 ft 2.0%
Climb 2 Cat 4 1.19 mi/2.90 mi 1.71 mi 328 ft/774 ft 4.9%
Climb 3 Cat 5 3.68 mi/4.14 mi 0.46 mi 771 ft/834 ft 2.6%

Face Plant

On Monday our SL group went out on what I think was a good route.

As we were getting back home, I simply fell on my face. I didn’t see it, of course, but am told it was spectacular. Assuredly the results were. I now have a severely gouged face. As the wet blood solidified into black, the bruising as now begun to swell under my right eye. It is a long way from closed, but is uncomfortable. ey ho.

The Full Monty?

The meaning of certain phrases can change over time.
On father’s day last, my daughter very kindly bout me a new Asics kit. There is a very pleasant shirt with pockets and variegated but subdued stripes of colour. There is also a pair of shorts, which are similarly marked, coloured and pocketed, and extend just below the knee. There are both a splendid gift. I am entirely content to wear the top, and I am managing (just) to feel that I am getting away with the legs.
There is, however, a flaw in my dear daughter’s plan: they match.
Since father’s day I have regularly run in either, but I confess that I could not bring myself to wear them together – the Full Monty, as it were. This challenge has caused endless minor amusement to those running around me. I live to please.
This week however, that same darling daughter got married. We ended up staying on Sunday night just above Newcastle, and on Monday night at High Newton, just below Bambrugh.
I packed. I knew I would only get a run in. Now was the opportunity. Together, neither, or do I take cowardly options. I took the only manly option, and packed only the two together. If I was to run, this was how it would be. So, it was, and I did.
I doubt entirely that Asics will want me to model their strip, but I ran in it – twice.
The picture was taken just after, so I was still a bit breathless.

Feeling Sluggish

Many things can cause pain when running. Among the worst of afflictions is chafing, the repeated rubbing of materials against – again and again – the more sensitive parts of the human anatomy. These ‘sensitive parts’ include, but are not limited to, nipples and unmentionable nethers. Runners regularly use combinations of vaseline, elastoplast (other barriers and creams are available) to minimise this, but let me just share . .

As you may know I am spending more and more time on a farm in Wales. I meet and exchange grunts with cheerful local farmers. One recently let the granite slip to provide a torrent of useful information – well it was a torrent for him since it consisted of more than three words.

In essence, he let slip one of those magical secrets which farmers traditionally keep to themselves. As you may expect a sheep farmer has to spend many hours wandering the wet hillsides, climbing this way and that chasing recalcitrant sheep.

It turns out that chafing of various parts of the anatomy is also part of the curse that is shepherddom. As you may also suspect, they have been at it a long time, and so they know a thing or two about the answers to their own particular lives’ little problems.

They have a solution – slug slime. If ever threatened with chafing, you need only wipe a slug’s bottom over the affected part to coat it in a silvery screen which is guaranteed to protect you against chafing.

Unfortunately, my friend, having uttered this full week’s quota words in a minute, returned to leaning on his staff, and looking out over the valley in silence. I was therefore unable to press him further for as much more detail as I might have wanted.

In any event, the next time you see a runner bend down to the grass, collecting something small before then rubbing it in places which more properly should be hidden and unrubbed (probably even in private), and you begin to get over-excited, think only of a little slug being sacrificed to the greater comfort. Turn away and be grateful that you do not yourself have need of such sluggish lubricants – not yet anyway.