Thursday, 24 November 2011

How to fool a Garmin...

After a knackering week (training all weekend with the mountain rescue search dogs - which meant lots of steep climbing followed by lots of lying down - shovelling 3 tonnes of compost at Holehird, the garden where I volunteer, 8 hours of shredding at Holehird and a gym session), it was a relief to go for a run this morning. It also helped that I was in Harrogate with the lovely Mrs HF for the Knitting and Stitch show, and Harrogate was a new town for me to run in.
I did a simple loop from our B&B at about 0730 this morning as the day was lightening. The traffic was beginning to flood into the town as I worked my way uphill past substantial yellow stone houses and seemingly endless restaurants, Indian, Thai, Japanese and fast-food.  It was one of those runs where you have no idea where you're going; you just follow your nose. Luckily, at the top of the first hill was a church with a striking steeple that I was able to keep an eye on as I worked my way round the loop. I dropped down a hill, left at a roundabout and back up another long hill, following 'Town Centre' signs, until I emerged at the International Conference and Exhibition Centre from where I made my way back to the B&B.
I've no idea how far I went because the Garmin took over 7 minutes to locate the satellites. At one point it pointedly asked me 'Are you indoors?'. On answering 'No', a spark lit up its little brain and it asked 'Have you travelled hundreds of miles since last use?'. Well only sixty-something actually. All this led me to think that the poor little thing was busily scanning the heavens for its familiar Cumbrian satellites and, when it couldn't find them, started looking for Yorkshire ones!
All in all, a super little run - and another town to add to my list of places I've run in.
Smileyrating 7.5/10

Saturday, 12 November 2011

Warm sun? It's November!

Is it me or is the weather just weird this year? It's November 12th, so on my trot out today, I dressed imagining it was November 12th: Long-sleeved thermal, shorts, leggings, windproof -with hat, gloves, waterproof overtrousers, cereal bar and water in bum bag.  I should have dressed as if it was August 12th. The sun was beaming, the breeze was a balmy south-easterly, and within 45 seconds I was wrestling the windproof off and rolling my sleeves up. What a gorgeous day.

I did a familiar route around my local hills. According to the Garmin it was 7.38 miles with 931ft of ascent, which I ran at an average moving pace of 11.05minute miles. So not bad, considering I've not done any specific hill training for ages. It was just a lovely, steady/slow plod up to a tarn with the curious name of Gurnal Dubbs:
The route comes in from top right of the tarn and runs all the way round it. From here it continues on towards Staveley, past a place called Potter Tarn, which you can see in the mid-distance here:

Here's a curious fact about Potter Tarn. My hairdresser's Mum swims in it quite regularly throughout the summer. She's probably not supposed to, so don't tell anyone will you. In the shot you can just make out the path snaking down towards the tarn on the right hand side of the picture. This was a fantastic part of the route as it was on close-cropped grass (thank you Kendal Rough Fell sheep) which was a joy to run on. Lower down, the route degenerated into cow-trodden mud which was just hard graft, but still enjoyable.
All in all, a top run for a lovely day.
Smileyrating  9/10

Saturday, 5 November 2011

A christening in the sunshine

New shoes. Always an exciting moment for a runner. Here are mine, fresh from Pete Bland's in Kendal this morning, before I set out on a wonderful, life-affirming run...

Being such a glorious day, I headed out to the gorgeous runner's playground that is the Kentmere valley.  The village was busy, with lots of parked cars, but I squeezed into a space and (pausing only to photograph my new Roclites - as you do) headed for the Nan Bield bridleway which begins by winding its way between stone walls...

...before arriving at a point where the valley is laid out in front of you. Imagine these two are a panorama and you get an idea of how gorgeous the day was:

It was great to be out and I was ran fairly easily, enjoying the sensation of having mud, rock, grass and stream bed underfoot. The Lakes have had a lot of rain recently which means that the streams were in full spate, so I had wet feet for most of the way. It was refreshing, shall we say.
I ground on, being made painfully aware of how little hard running I've done recently; as soon as there was an uphill section, I really struggled, plodding and gasping for breath. After 45 minutes, I'd made my high point, paused for a cereal bar and drink of water and made my way back down.  Once the energy from the bar kicked in, I felt a lot better and really enjoyed the run. And it's no wonder. The sun was shining, the breeze was delightfully cool, the sheep were content, the Lakes looked superb and the route was gently undulating but tending downhill. I couldn't have had a better day to christen my new shoes:

As I approached the car at the end of the run, I caught my reflection in the rear windscreen. A vision of sweaty contentment I think you'll agree...

Smileyrating: 10/10 for the occasion, 4/10 for my running