Monday, 11 January 2010

A Winter Break Summary

The cold weather over Xmas has hampered my running a little however I am hoping that with the start of the New Year I can stick to keeping the training in and shed some more weight. Previously, when I first started running I had started dieting which helped me to shed about 2 stone in a short amount of time, so I’ll try again although I do tend to lapse a little so it might not work as well as last time.

At the trig point atop Winter Hill before heading off pisteJust prior to Xmas I managed to get out with Lostock for a Head torch run on Winter Hill, a good run off-piste going down the scar at the back of the mast was quite fun too. After this my next intended run was going to be the Whinberry Naze fell race but I came down with a 24hr bug on Xmas day so I ruled out the race to make sure I was over it, I had planned on going as an oXo cube but maybe next year. On the 27th though after feeling on Boxing Day I managed to make it to the alternative venue of the SELOC Christmas orienteering event in Bolton with both Albert and Tony Varley.

No other running happened then before the New Year and then on New Years Day I headed up to Lancaster University for the SROC New Years cracker which had also changed location due to the weather conditions. It was a great event, trundling around the campus. I should have got at least another 10 points and possible even another 10 on top of that but with the score I did get, I managed 13th out of 52 participants on the longer course. I felt a little guilty for not taking Josh, not really knowing what the event would be like, however I planned to take him to the MDOC event on the day after at Lyme Park.

Josh and I set off early the next day (partly because I misread the start time) to get there in time but then en-route the snow started to fall heavier and heavier, so much that when we arrived I worried about being able to get out of the park up the hill. We registered for the event and made a “donation” to the Mountain Rescue in lieu of an entry fee and we waited around for an hour before the off. Then 10 mins before the start, we got out of the, now heavily coated, snow covered car to see the organisers clearing things away. It turned out that Lyme Park had been closed and the staff were only waiting around to make sure we got off the site, so the organiser cancelled the event. I thought about asking for my “donation” back, being the cheap skate that I am but as it was for the Mountain Rescue I left it. Never mind Josh, there’ll be another one soon.

On Sunday (4th) I took the opportunity too get up to Winter Hill nice and early and managed to head up to the trig point. It was slow going and on the top it was still quite thick and made running impossible (for me anyway), but the sky was clear and there wasn’t really any breeze so it made for a great run and I managed about 9.5 miles.

More snow on the Tuesday and I decided that I would just run local. Donning my NEW ($16) Headtorch I headed out over the fields behind our house towards the motorway and went up to Billinge Hill. The snow over the fields made running VERY hard, so it was more of a walk than a run with some parts between 2-3 ft deep and my feet not even coming up above the top of the snow. Eventually though I made it to Billinge Hill, the first time I have actually made it there (most times I just run past it).

The following night again saw a night run with Lostock. Running up to the Trig point was difficult work. I ended up running up the road to the mast whilst the others headed to Two Ladds before heading to the mast but after visiting Two Ladds the other runners also resorted to using the road to the mast. However after passing the mast we were met with snow drifts crossing the road which were over 3ft deep in places and at one point we had to resort to crawling on our hands and knees to get to the trig point. The run down the scar on the back of Winter Hill was hard work with a cold wind blowing much stronger on that side of the hill and the thick snow made finding the path down to the wooden bridge impossible. Eventually, back at in Horwich, I joined Adrian, Alan and Albert for a quick pint before heading off. I have to say that I it was a good run but, at that point, I was glad to be off the hill with a pint in my hand.

No running since Wednesday and my final run of the week (Sunday) I thought I would head up Winter Hill, you know just for a change. Running up from the Barn through the gardens was like running through Narnia. Eventually making it to the Pike I was hit with the wind blowing over the top of the hill. The wind was so bitter that I was actually in two minds as whether to head back down. Although I had thought it was going to be cold so had brought a flask of Tea with me, so it would have been a waste to head down so soon so I headed on to Two Ladds. I had tried to take a few photos on the way up but then the cold must have got to the camera and it stopped working. Sat on the rocks drinking my Tea, I spotted two runners heading up which turned out to be Ian and Pauline Charters. I had decided to run back to the barn and out of the bitter wind so ran down with Ian and Pauline to Georges lane where we departed company when they headed up to the pike. The run down was quite nice but in the car trying to leave Rivington Hall Barn was madness. A bit of snow and people turn into idiots, just parking anywhere and not worrying about the hazards they cause.

So what next….
I had planned to do the LDWA Two Crosses circuit (the shorter 18 mile course) however it seems that the snow may have cancelled that event. Also the night orienteering event next Wednesday has now been cancelled and the Compass Sports SELOC event on the 24th has also been cancelled. Looking further forward I had hoped to take part in the Winter Hill Fell Race this year after only marshalling last year due to a dodgy knee but as it’s Josh’s birthday I have decided that i will do NO running on that day (even though he has told me he doesn’t mind). I had thought about doing the LDWA Anglezarke Amble but runners are only allowed to enter the longer route which is too long for me so instead I am planning to do the Parbold Hill Race followed by the SELOC night event both on the day before his birthday.

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