Archive for July, 2016


It’s been an interesting week for me especially with my running.

I ended last week having run further than I have ever run before, 41.5 miles. This was done deliberately as this past Thursday I had decided to enter the Rydal Round fell race at Ambleside and I believe in overtraining the week or so before a big race, having a rest the week before and then I am ready for the big day.

So the first three days of this week were a living hell for me as I rested my legs so that they would be fresh and strong on the day. Seeing all your running friends posting their runs on Strava makes it harder but I had never done a proper fell race before so I knew I was doing the right thing.

Come Thursday and after a drive of a couple of hours I was at the Ambleside Sports Day and getting ready for the race by getting changed at the boot of my car! Luckily it was cold and wet so I wasn’t hanging around and neither was anybody else which spared embarrassed blushes for everybody.

Then a massive disappointment. The race had been shortened from a 9 mile horseshoe loop to a 4 mile out and back to the first summit Nab Scar. This was due to horrendous weather conditions on the highest summit Fairfield which the marshal had decided too dangerous to race under. No-one could do anything about this as the organisers are responsible for the safety of the runners and no-one wants to put anyone in a dangerous situation if they can avoid it.

So under a sky of mist and rain around 100 mad runners set off to run up to a summit that they couldn’t even see at that point. The first mile was fine. Nice and steady uphill trail, nothing I hadn’t run on before and I was keeping a decent pace with some of the other runners at the back of the pack.

And then we saw the last house and turned right up the fell and the real race began. Immediately I went from running comfortably on trial to scrambling up the side of a cliff! This was rocky, steep and wet, a combination of surfaces I had not run on before and none of my training on the hills where I live had prepared me for this.

This was a brutal and intense introduction to feel running and nobody was messing around. Everybody was doing their utmost to beat everybody else, even more so it seemed than in the road races I had competed in. I felt strong going up and whilst I was never going to be the fastest I was catching and passing people. All my training and rest had paid off. I was moving with ease up the side of the fell and making good, if steady progress.

Then I got to the top and my problems started. What goes up must come down and coming down was far more difficult than going up had been. I was wearing was wearing my fell shoes and still struggling for grip. I seem to find going up a steep climb easier than going down and today was no exception. All the runners I had passed on the way up passed me back on the way down and my progress seemed to slower and slower.

Eventually I reached the bottom and found I couldn’t remember which trail I should take to get me back to the finish. I started going up one and then decided it was the wrong route, turned back and ended up on the main road. Whilst I knew this was also the wrong way I had now been running for nearly an hour and was cold and wet so headed back to the fair and relative comfort.

My next run wasn’t till Saturday after the local parkrun at Shroggs park and it hurt. My legs had not fully recovered from Thursday and I was aching in places I didn’t know I even had! It was obvious to me I had giving it everything and more on Thursday and put my legs in extreme positons that normally I would not even think of attempting. My thighs in particular were burning with pain but I knew a steady run would be the best thing for them to get rid of the stiffness and soreness I was experiencing.

After my run I ended up going to two parties and instead of driving home in my car from the last one ended up leaving it in a field the other side of Halifax! So I woke up today in the knowledge that I would be running to get my car and wondering what shape I would be in. Surprisingly I felt really good. Yes, I still ached but nothing I wouldn’t expect. I soon get into a steady, comfortable rhythm and was at the field within an hour. But I carried on past my car and extended my run from what would have been around 5 miles to nearly 9. Even then I felt I could have run further but decided to stop there and give my legs the rest they need.

This week I have come across two people who have similar reasons to me for running. One of them is a lad from Halifax known as the ‘Pink Running Machine’ and it was interesting learning about his reasons for running and what he gets from it.

The other was a lass I hadn’t heard of but again I could empathise with her as to why she run.

To see these two people out running it would be easy to make a judgement about the ‘Pink Running Machine’ as he runs topless and dyes his hair pink and think of him as an attention seeking poser. I can guarantee you he is not. The lass you wouldn’t notice out running, she would just be another runner you pass on the road yet they both have much in common as to why they run.

Maybe if we get to know someone properly before we make a judgement on them we might find we have much in common with them as to why they do certain thing and that the façade they put on is there to hide years of pain and to seek attention. Next time you see that person whether it is a runner or not get to know them first before making a snap judgement about them and maybe you might find out you have much more in common with them then you first thought.

 


water flows down
the neck of the moors
a silken scarf
of life giving blood
a life captured
in one perfect
moment as light
meets dark reflecting
back a portrait
of a person
been and gone
a star burning
brightly, intensely, before
fading, extinguishing itself
through a life
over indulged, lived
half hearted, such
promise never fulfilled
a life to be
half remembered
half forgotten
 


I knew July would be a tough month for running but I didn’t realise just how tough… 2nd July: The European Mountain Running Championships (Arco, Italy) 9th July: Sedbergh Sports (The British & English Fell Running Championships) 16th July: Râs Yr Wyddfa (The Snowdon International) 30th July: British Mountain Running National Championships incorporating the World Championship Trial (Uphill) and […]

via Râs Yr Wyddfa — The secret fell running diary of Ben Mounsey aged 34 and 3/4


i look in the mirror
see someone
in their forties
i do not recognise
i am twenty again
the person i
wanted to be
all that time ago
i am now
age has distorted
my perception of
who i am
confusing my real age
with my imaginary age
reducing me to a child
learning about life
all over again


AM I RUNNING FOR TIMES & PBs, OR FOR SANITY? I spent most of my 20s on a potent cocktail of Prozac and rosé wine. I feigned false happiness; I went to parties where I didn’t belong; I worked in…

Source: AM I RUNNING FOR TIMES & PBs, OR FOR SANITY?


A great blog from John Foggin featuring my writing inspiration Gaia Holmes

The Great Fogginzo's Cobweb

bubamara_blog_cottura_raku00

I suspect that when people think (or, in my case, dream) of Scottish islands they have in mind extravagantly sheer cliffs, loud with gannets and fulmars, out in the wild Atlantic. Or the Gothic fretted ridge of the Cuillin. A dusting of snow on Jura. I know less than nothing about the islands of the North East, and of Orkney, unless its an image of the angular stones of Callanish. I just know they’re not my place, without mountains, low-lying. There’d be no place to hide from the weather, from the implacable winds, from yourself, or your neighbours. Places like Shapinsay.

shaping up2

Shapinsay is where Gaia Holmes has been travelling to in the last year or so. You can probably get to Australia more quickly than you can get to Shapinsay from Halifax.She wrote this about it. It needs no commentary from me.

December: Shapinsay, Orkney

 Now the nights

are…

View original post 1,605 more words


looking over the valley
to the big school
far away on the hill
where dreams will come true
i will be so big, so mature
i will know everything
and be anything i want to be…
i wish i could dust
off the years of adulthood
lose my life experience
forget all the joy and pain
forgive so many
say sorry to many more
empty my mind of knowledge
and enjoy that one
moment of childhood innocence
forever
 


dust holds…
the dreams we have
the memories we create
the people we meet
the places we go
the loves found and lost
the spark of genius
the drunken moments
the times we forget
the fights we have
the making up we do
the books we read
the films we watch
the time we get up
the time we go to bed
dust holds all of these memories
as it watches life unfold
from a corner of the room


dust dreams of escape
from the boredom
of four dust
covered, grey walls
and being set free
to glide on a breeze
and land in faraway places
where it can dance all night
run all day
play on the beach
drink wine in the sun
have a lifetime of fun
without having to hide
for fear of
capture from the
big, angry duster
 

dust words

Posted: July 13, 2016 in poem, poetry, Uncategorized
Tags: , , , , ,

words were like dust to me
dancing on the rays of sunlight
mesmerising, captivating, enchanting
my world stopped there
as the dust came to life
in a make believe fairy world
laughing, playing, having fun
they took me to far away places
worlds i had only dreamed of
became my reality
and then the night came
darkness enveloped my world
words were lost in a void
dust disappeared, words escaped
into the night
all meaning was lost
and i was left
staring into nothing