Saturday, 25 January 2014

Settle Hills

Me and Haz had a jolly fine blast around the hills above Settle this morning: Home -> Scaleber Force -> Rye Loaf Hill -> Langcliffe Scar -> Warrendale Knotts -> Home. We managed to time it quite well too as the rain blasted in just as we trotted back into Settle.

I really need to start upping my running mileage soon though - January has been a right doddle so far.

Silver birches

Harry in explorer mode

Scaleber Force

Looking down towards Stockdale Farm from the side of Rye Loaf

Warrendale Knotts

The boy in his action adventure harness

Stockdale and Rye Loaf beyond viewed from Warrendale Knotts

Sheep and crows

Ze route

Ze route on Movescount

Monday, 20 January 2014

Whernside Saturday and Sutton Bank Sunday

My slow and steady start to 2014 continued with a bracing (and wind battering) trot over Whernside from Ribblehead (in the Dales) on Saturday followed by a fantastically muddy amble around Goremire, Sutton Bank and Hood Hill (in the North York Moors) on Sunday. With H and H 'on team' both days. 

I've just about managed to hold my running together, despite a hamstring tweak and a bit of a cold, both of which I have been stoically coping with very bravely since ooh.. mid-December... and not whinging about hardly at all.

The run around Sutton Bank also tied in nicely with an art project Hester is doing this year, based on the North York Moors, called 'New Ground' that she will be showing at the Inspired By gallery in Danby in November. And, like many of our run outs, lots of atmospheric weather (well mainly mud and fog to be honest) and beautiful countryside was there to be seen, enjoyed... and inspired by.

Harry (slightly mentally) playing with a stone

Hester near the summit of Whernside

Me and the boy wonder grough hopping

The full Whernside assault team - gumby hat or what?

Gormire Lake on Sunday

The elephant tree, Gormire

Me and Haz running into the foggy gloom

Hazzer at a canter

Me successfully not falling off the edge of Sutton Bank

Woody with knobs on

Hes and Haz

Mud claws

Hester "expertly" taking route one up a muddy bank

Sutton Bank and Hood Hill

The whole run was 'extreme mudding'

Swimming for sticks in Goremire

Where's Wally?

Harry the best dog in the world!

Sunday, 12 January 2014

Pen y Ghent from Horton

And at long last a wisp of snow too. 

Despite suffering from Mongolian bubonic tubercular pneumonia with added ebola virus thrown in (and a very runny nose), I managed to run a gorgeous loop around Pen y Ghent on Saturday with Hester and Harry. It was great to get some snow, albeit just a smattering, but regardless of my afflictions and the snow.... it was still shorts weather:

Hester cheerily trotting up Pen y Ghent

Sun beam

Not far from the top now

Me coughing and wheezing along at the back (in my shorts)

Harry having a not very close encounter with a friendly dog

The top

Slinky slinky

Looking back at PyG on the way back down

Horton ahoy!

Saturday, 4 January 2014

Stat Attack - total running for 2013

The final stats are now in for my 2013 running year and, according to garmin connect, I ran a total of 2,448 miles over the year. My total ascent for the year was 484,365 feet which, to put it into perspective, is the equivalent of climbing Ben Nevis 110 times! 

I continued my run every day 'regime' (although following on from one or two of my long expeditions I may have tested the exact meaning of the word 'run' to its absolute limit) and my average daily run was 6.70 miles with 1,327 feet of ascent.

Garmin Connect totals

Further "interesting" stats as follows:

Total Mountains

In the UK the general definition of a mountain is a peak of at least 2,000 feet in height and, using that definition, I 'conquered' 227 peaks in 2,013. To be honest it all gets a bit subjective counting peaks, and gauging which peaks to include and which not too, but I used my own rule that if its not 2,000 feet it doesn't count. So, for example, that meant that I couldn't count two of the Bob Graham Round peaks, Steel Fell and Calf Crag (about 1,800 and 1,700 feet respectively), even though I went up both at least 5 times and with the climb up Steel Fell particularly being a humdinger. On the other hand I did include Watson's Dodd at 2,500 odd feet, even though its a pimple on the Helvellyn ridge line, largely because its one of the BGR peaks, but there again I excluded most/all of the crags and outcrops when running up any specific mountain (Heron Pike, Great Rigg or Hart Crag going around the Fairfield Horseshoe for example). And I didn't count crossing mountain passes that themselves are over 2,000 feet either and thus when me, Hester and Gavin crossed Windy Gap (about 2,500 feet) in atrocious conditions just trying to get back to our car, having bailed from a much longer expedition (all extremely epic), it doesn't even count! 

My most climbed peaks unsurprisingly were all in the Dales with Pen y Ghent 'winning' the most climbed award with 13, closely followed by Ingleborough at 10 and Whernside at 9. Bowfell in the Lakes came in 4th at 6 with loads of others coming in with scores of 3, 4 and 5. Well done Pen y Ghent though for beating such fantastic competition. My favourite peak has to be Blencathra, which I went up just 4 times, and if I lived in the that neck of the woods I'd want to go up it every day.

Blencathra, winner of the prestigeous Stolly's peak of the year award

Most visited Trig Point

The trig at Warrendale Knotts in the hills above Settle. By some comfortable margin too

Me posing for a selfie at the trig point on Warrendale Knotts in June

Fell Races

2013 was a very poor year for fell races, it has to be said, with me running just two, both of which were in the North York Moors - the Pinchinthorpe Plod in April and the Commondale Beacon in November. Must. Try. Harder.

LDWA events

Only one this year, the 4 Lakeland Passes at the end of September.... which me and Harry won (haha, insert a big winky here).

Road Races

An even poorer year with a big fat zero road races. (Hurrah!)

Hill and Trail Ultra Races

A fantastic year with the High Peak Marathon and the Haworth Hobble in March, the Fellsman in April, the Lakeland 100 in July and the Frostbite 30 in December.

Bob Graham Attempts

Just the two this year, the anti-clockwise failure in June and the clockwise success in September

Grand Expeditions

Two cracking expeditions, the top half of the Cornish Coastal Path (Bude to Land's End) in May, and a fantastic looping tour of north west Scotland and the Hebrides in August.

Running Shoes

One of the (and possibly the only?) benefits of recording my runs on Strava is that I can log what shoes I wore for each run. My running shoe stats could well be the most exciting thing on this blog actually and, in order of distance, are as follows:

Inov8 Mudclaw 265's (2 pairs) -> 1,319 miles
Inov8 Mudclaw 300's (incredibly just 1 pair) -> 837 miles
Hoka One One's (not my best of purchases) -> 110 miles
Inov8 X Talon 212's (current) -> 69 miles
Walsh PB Extreme (on their last legs at the start of the year) -> 49 miles
Nike Pegasus trails shoes (a bit crap) -> 17 miles
Merrell walking 'sandals' (stood in when I left my proper running shoes at home) -> 14 miles
Barefoot (beach running) -> 10 miles
Inov8 Road X-233 (my current road running and evening wear shoe of choice) -> 5 miles

I absolutely love all of the Inov8's to death whilst, after my big toe pulverising experiences with the Hoka's on the Lakeland 100, let's just say I'm not so impressed with them. That said I wear my Hoka's all the time about town and while walking the dog......

And that was 2013, a fabulous running year, and coincidentally the first year of this blog. The blog itself has had some highs and lows and has morphed into a bit of a photo gallery nowadays but its generally got through okay (I think). Regardless of whether its any good or not (haha) its nice to see that, at the time of writing, there have been almost 37,000 page views of it. Is it me or the page viewers that most need to get a life? 

2014 is looking good too and, so far, I've pencilled the London Marathon (huh?) and the Fellsman in for April, another anti-clockwise BGR attempt for May and the Lakeland 100 for July. I'm also holding out for a last minute place in March's High Peak Marathon and me, Harry and Hester ought really to polish off the southern half of the Cornish Coastal path too!

Bring it on!!

Wednesday, 1 January 2014

First wild swim and run of 2014

Not bad going considering that it's still only New Year's Day. First off this morning a bracing swim with Hester in the sea from the front in Penzance and then, this afternoon, a short but stunning run from Sennen Cove, beside a wild, wild sea at full tide. What a great start to the year.

Hester maniacally entering the sea

Skin diving booties!

Diving in

Amazingly it felt really warm when we got out

Pamela Anderson eat your heart out

Wild swimming with style

Sennen Cove ahoy!

An unexpected wave

A raven

Putting things in perspective this wave is about 30 feet high!

Sea watching is just fantastic

Another big fricking wave!

Stolly ahoy!

Hester gazing

Sennen Cove

The Atlantic

Sennen Cove

Big waves at Sennen Cove