Thursday, October 18, 2012

Gentle Running, Ruminating, Runkeepering and the Changing Seasons

I have definitely favoured the fells over the roads lately. Fell running takes a bit more planning and preparation. You need to consider your route and a miscalculation of clothing is a bit more serious than feeling a bit cold. It was nice to get out for a straight forward road run tonight. We aimed for easy ten-minute miles. You can see from the Runkeeper screenshot below that we were pretty close to that.

We finished the run under the light of head torches. The nights are drawing in, soon enough an after work fell run will be an impossibility unless lit by head torches. It also looks as though the wetsuits are in hibernation.

Autumn and Winter bring darker nights but they also completely change the scenery as well as the sensory experience of fell running. Autumn brings crunchy brown leaves and dead bracken, opening up paths that have been overgrown in the summer. Winter brings frosty, crispy ground, delightful to run on, making some famously boggy trudges such as High Tove almost pleasurable to run across. Winter also brings snow. Running in deep snow is something else. I'd love to do some cross country skiing but finances won't allow. I'm looking forward to conquering some classic fells in the snow - Helvellyn and Skiddaw immediately spring to mind.

Compared to these seasonal highlights, a few miles tonight under the light of head torches was a completely different experience. I really enjoyed it though. There is a meditative quality to the turnover of plodding feet, while looking a few metres ahead to the extent of the head torch beam, trying to run without the torchlight bobbing around.

Very zen.

Hopefully, I'll get a fell run in tomorrow.

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