Friday, July 18, 2014

Hardly AC Binsey Run

wide grassy track up to Binsey summit

This was definitely the flattest Hardly AC run so far.  The only significant climb being at the very start on the grassy track to the summit.  This is usually runnable for me but not tonight due to tired legs (I blame cycling).
We had a couple of new people come along and a few who backed out.  I'm going to have to officially retire the term "Ashworthing" as Jonathan has been consistently present at these runs.

It's a nice route, near to where most of the group live and would be ok in poorer weather.  There had been very heavy rain during the day but the ground was dry (lots of flies though).

Well done team!  Coledale next week.

just over 5 miles

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Skiddaw via Sale How

looking back from the flat(ish) top of Skiddaw.  There's a little trail to the left of the last shelter that cuts off the corner.

10 miles was on my planner today.  I'm continuing to gradually up my weekly mileage.  I had heavy legs yesterday on the group run around Binsey and was thinking I would still be feeling it a bit this morning.  I've been wanting to test out my Hokas too.  I got them a while ago and never really felt good about them.  I'm not sure why.  A descent down the brutal Skiddaw main path should sort out both issues I thought.

The legs felt a bit better today.  I managed to run up to the car park at Latrigg which I would say is the equivalent of the Binsey climb.  I then carried on around the Cumbria Way track to Skiddaw House.  I was pleased to be able to run all the way around, even if it was at a slow pace.

The climb up Sale How is a slog (although it's very nice in the opposite direction).  It brings you out near the top of Skiddaw though and is a nice alternative to the main path.  There were plenty of people on top.  I circled the summit trig point and then started the run down.  I think the Hokas do make this descent easier, my feet were fine on this descent but my legs were aching.  I managed the descent at a moderately fast pace, slowing down at Latrigg due to dead legs.  Rest day tomorrow.  Three Peaks on Saturday!

Skiddaw from Latrigg car park.  There was an ice cream cart there today (the car park)

from the gate on the Cumbria Way looking back over Derwent Water

nice trail around the back of Skiddaw

looking back from the Sale How Climb (I think) Lonscale Pike centre left

This is the point where the Sale How track joins the main path, looking back to Skiddaw Little Man (that's the name of the fell, not the little man in the picture)

along the top of Skiddaw looking over Longside Edge and Bassenthwaite

busy on the top

12.4 miles, 3000ft of climbing

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Far Eastern Fell Run

from Wether Hill looking Westwards.  Hallin Fell popping up in the middle in front of Ullswater.  The Blencathra range can be seen on the horizon.

In training for the Cumbria Way, I'm following a plan which basically ups the mileage run, getting ones legs used to running when tired.  It's an enjoyable challenge.  I sat around on Saturday and eventually slogged out 16 road miles in the rain.  On Sunday I had a really nice trail run of about 14 miles.  Monday was a rest day and then I had 12 miles on the plan for today.  The forecast was good and I had the day off from work so I thought I would head over to the far eastern fells.  This is really nice running ground.  The route I took didn't have massive climbs.  The majority of the climbs were runnable but my plan was to have an easy day and get the miles in.

just over 12 miles

I parked at Pooley Bridge and followed the road from the church, crossing over and carrying on until I got onto the open fell.  I took a bit of time to get going, walking up the road but eventually broke into a trot up to The Cockpit, a famous Bronze Age stone circle, which acts as a bit of a junction for the various bridleways that cross these hills.  From here, I picked up the more direct path to Loadpot Hill, the first Wainwright of the day.  Once up here, it is a nice run across to Wether Hill, my furthest point at around six miles in.  Neither of these hills are impressive peaks but there is a trig column on Loadpot Hill and a cairn on Wether Hill and the views from both are impressive.  I turned around at Wether Hill and ran back, skirting around Loadpot Hill this time.  I had intended to visit Bonscale Pike but I was enjoying the track so much that I carried on to Arthur's Pike.  Here I chatted to a couple who were enjoying a can of Fosters before carrying on over Brock Crag and back to the entry road.

Loadpot Hill looking West.  Place Fell is in the centre with Helvellyn directly above.  St Sunday Crag is clear on the left.

from Wether Hill summit cairn looking back on the gentle slope back up to Loadpot Hill

at Brock Crag looking over a calm Ullswater

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Walla Crag Run

Climbing Cat Gill, looking back on one of my favourite views in the Lakes (with Dawn and David spoiling it)

Out again with the Wednesday running gang.  Jonathan has dubbed us "Hardly Any Climbing" or Hardly AC after my habit of not fully disclosing the impending ascent in order to encourage fuller participation in activities.  It was great to have a good turn out again and hopefully the little group will continue to grow and we will continue to have a laugh.  I had a really great time.  This is a great group of people and my hill climbing skills were definitely impeded through the act of laughing out loud.

This week's route was one of my favourites: around Walla Crag.  Parking at Great Wood NT car park, we climbed up Cat Gill then headed over to the summit.  We set a good pace which continued all the way around.  After admiring the views from the top, we continued on the path (it's a path on the map) down the hill to the road turning left into Spring Woods for more downhill joy before coming out at the cafe.  We then ran along the road for a bit before turning off towards Castle Head, a cheeky little climb but a great viewpoint.

From here we headed over to the shoreline path and followed it the last half mile or so back to the car park.

I managed to get to the top of Walla Crag before the crowds

here they are though

and again at Castlehead viewpoint

Next week Binsey.  Come and join us.


from the road

Heavy legs today after building up my running mileage so I capped this run/walk off after Yewbarrow and circled back around along Overbeck back to Overbeck Bridge car park.  I started with an ascent from the car park directly up the south side coming out at Great Door then continuing the half mile to the summit.  I carried on along the top, dropping down Stirrup Crag to Dore Head where I turned south along the valley.

5 miles

steep path alongside the wall - Bell Rib is ahead

picking a path up through Dropping Crag

Great Door looking over the east end of Wast Water to Scafell

back towards the screes

from the summit Scafell Pike and Scafell with a lot of cloud hanging over them

over towards Red Pike and Pillar.  Wind Gap scree path can be seen centre left

looking back towards the summit

from the North Cairn - Wasdale Giants

this is back around to the wall I climbed up.  A panoramic view of Wast Water, the screes and the Scafells

closer in on the screes

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Cumbria Way Long Run

heading towards Skiddaw House before turning off on the eastern arm of The Cumbria Way

I've won an entry to The Cumbria Way Ultra, a 73 mile event being held in September.  My mate Paul has entered so we thought we would have a long run checking out part of the course nearest to us.  We parked in Keswick at Spooney Green Lane and headed along The Cumbria Way over the Latrigg path, around to Skiddaw House, where we turned right towards High Pike and Caldbeck.  We went into Caldbeck to top up on water and grab a can of coke then set off back turning around through Fellside and Longlands to Peter House Farm where we took the track back past Dash Falls, back to Skiddaw House and then back down the track to Keswick.

32 miles

As part of my training for the event, I've been trying to get some longer runs in.  Today I wanted to pass the 50k mark, a significant milestone in distance running.  It was also a great opportunity to fine tune gear, nutrition and running strategy.  It went very well, I had no real low points and was able to eat the whole way around.  I've been eating Nakd Bars on my long runs, trying to have one every hour.  We both had a can of coke in Caldbeck and I was pleased to keep that down with no upset.  Later on, as we were climbing to Dash Falls, I supplemented with Jelly Babies which gave me a sugar kick.  I had water with hydration tablets in there.  I set off with two litres, had used a litre at Caldbeck and filled back up to two litres there.  I had plenty of water near the end.  I tried Rhubarb and Custard boiled sweets, thinking that these would be nice to suck on, giving me a nice sugar trickle.  I found out that plenty of saliva is necessary to eat these sweets, something you don't have a lot of after 25 miles.  I have also decided I need a new bag as mine rubbed on my back where it was moving around.  I ran in Salomon Speedcross 3 and have decided I need something more trail (rather than fell).  A bit of cushioning and comfort are more important than grip on this route.  Having said that, my feet held up well.  I had a bit of a sore back towards the end (need some more core strength) but seem to have escaped with only a slightly sunburnt neck.  

climbing up from Graingill Beck looking back towards Mosedale

Paul leading on towards Lingy Hut

High Pike summit

Caldbeck Parish Hall will be an aid station 60ish miles in I think

looking over Overwater towards what I think is Binsey on the left

Following the track up from Peter House Farm towards Dash Falls

further up and the scree we ran down in this run is visible

Paul at the top of the same scree before we bombed down it three months ago

Derwent Water was a welcome sight.  At about 30 miles here, some steep downhill to come

Friday, July 4, 2014

Gowbarrow with the Gang

us lot at Gowbarrow summit

I was interviewed last week for the latest episode of The British Trail Running Podcast.  The interview was about one of my favourite routes.  I talked about the run around Gowbarrow Fell.  On Saturday, I had a walk with a couple of mates and persuaded them to have a go at fell running.  We agreed to have an easy run around Gowbarrow Fell.  I asked Jonathan.  Jonathan asked Lucy and Stephen.  Lucy asked her mates, I posted on Facebook, saying everyone is welcome and it turned out we had a healthy sized group heading out for a run on Wednesday.

at the start


Dawn about to have a moment

Titanic moment?

Lucy leads the fast pack down from the summit

Jonathan talks the first time fell runners down
It's fair to say the run was a real success.  The people trying fell running out for the first time really enjoyed themselves.  Old hands enjoyed checking out a new route and soaring around the single track corners.  We all agreed to meet up again next week to have a go at another route.

good times.  We're heading out again soon