Category: Running

Ben Ledi and what you should not do!

I have been up Ben Ledi in the last two month twice.

The first time was in fairly cold but dry conditions. Everything was frozen over and the higher I went the more frost and eventually snow I hit.

That day was very cloudy and only windy at the top so I was fine in shorts, though I must admit I did not stay longer than for a couple of pictures.

So I went up and because I didn’t want to do the “round” tour, I went down the way I came because it was so snowy I couldn’t really make out a trail down the other side. Back down it only took me around 25 minutes as I was running when I could. Up it was 1 hour 15 minutes.

Right. 2 days ago I was up again. Of course in shorts again. It was a wet day. It wasn’t pouring down, just light rain with 9c which was fine.

But the higher I went the windier it got to the extend that you heard me huffing and puffing with frustration.

At some point I took out my gloves and buff to keep me warm. Maybe I should have went back down but it was only at the very exposed and close to edges where the wind and rain hit me so hard, it was like someone would whack me across the face!

So up I went and when I reached the cross it wasn’t windy at all which was such a relief!

And because it wasn’t snowy or icy and I have seen the trail down the other side I decided to check it out.

So off I went, happy as Larry that descending was quite flattish and grassy. I was running fast for maybe 8 minutes (more or less, who counts the minutes anyway?) until I reached rocks and a steeper bit, paired with the wind which had so much fun lashing around my face earlier (my hood which was over my buff helped only a tiny bit).

I was looking back up but all I could think of was “I need to get down and out of the wind” and I really didn’t want to climb back up. So I started climbing down, very slowly as barefoot shoes does not have as much grip as “regular” running shoes and because of the strong wind.

It was so windy that I slipped and fell flat on my behind and hands. My hands hurt for some while but where ok as I have worn (soggy) gloves which I changed at some point (always take spare clothing with you).

And while I continued my descent, close to a never ending gully which seems almost vertical, I din’t know whether to cry or curse so the only logical thing was….. of course talking to myself!

Did I mention that I had to cross at least two streams? And that in general water from the tops made its way down? It was either boggy or very wet underfoot. I tell you, my feet where freezing!

But I made it down. It took me 50 very scary minutes and once I was back on the forest path I started running to keep warm and get some feeling back in my feet.

So to get to the point:

If you are not one of those hardcore hikers with spikes under your shoes and a proper axe, do not do the circular route and descent over the mountain! Use the nice though tough route with the pretty wide stone path because in case of an emergency, you will be found and not turn into worm food because you fell down a gully!

Also even when the weather forecast says +9C, do not wear shorts when you want to climb up a mountain as you never know what condition awaits you up there! It might be fine to run at 0C or beyond on ground, but not up there!

Lesson learned and hopefully not forgotten the second I turn off my notebook!

Franky

When you get lost running

I did it again!

I think I could have the best map in the world, with pictures and instructions + distance all the way and I would still get lost!!!

I am a lost cause, really!

Yesterday was my day off and so I thought it would be nice to run (well it was more a hike to be honest) up Ben Ledi here in Callander.

So I dropped off the babies at school and drove the 5 minutes over to the small car park where the actual route starts.

Me being me, took the cycle route instead of the route to the left which would have brought me straight to the main route until you hit the little gate up to Ben Ledi.

After 20 minutes of running along the cycle path I decided I should go up left now. I had the feeling I was wrong so I thought I have seen something like a faint trail through the spinney and ended up on a large area with chopped down trees, Ben Ledi to my left.

Bolt as I am I climbed over trees until I finally hit the actual trail.

So up I went the mountain. Believe me guys and girls, though I was in shorts and the temperature around 1C on the lower grounds, my legs worked so hard, I didn’t feel the cold at all.

Occasionally on the lower bits I was able to run a bit.

There where 3 more big climbs and before the last one I was already cursing in my head, saying that there better be the cross when I reach (what looked to me, like the other two times) the summit.

It was already getting much colder and I hit snow, so it was time to put my hood up (my OMM Kamlaika jacket did not let me down and kept me warm with a fleece underneath) and get my gloves (thin merino which was just fine) out of my bag. Warm and toasty I kept on climbing.

Finally while marching up the big rocks I reached the summit and the cross. Unfortunately the sun was not high enough to reveal nice views so all I saw was clouds, but still beautiful enough.

To make matters not worse I retract my steps, had some chats with other hikers until I hit the actual path at the foot of the mountain.

So I thought to myself, lets follow this one which I did but when it kept on turning right and higher and higher I was certain I was wrong- again (it turned out later I wasn’t).

But I also didn’t want to run all the way back. So I did the only logical and lazy thing:

I walked cross country, straight down to where I heard the river and where the cycle path is.

I can’t even tell the amount of times I nearly lost my trainers in the knee deep bog and ice colt waters, not to mention the scratches from the bushes.

If someone has seen me, they probably had a good laugh.

But eventually after I chopped my way through the undergrowth, I reached the cycle path again and when I reached the car park, what did I see?

The path I should have taken instead of the cycle path. The one where I thought was wrong…. unbelievable….

That happens when you get too excited! You just don’t open your eyes…. well at least I don’t.

Happens.

Probably will happen again.

That is fine.

Franky

My first run….

… after at least 6 month of no running was actually quite good.

I woke up this morning, looked outside and what have I seen? Nothing but fog!

Let me tell you, my heart skipped a beat!

So I got my shorts out (yes, even in North Yorkshire and though it is October you can still run in shorts!), my long sleeve, socks and shoes, dropped one baby off at the school bus, the other one at nursery and off I ran over the trails.

I didn’t go very far, as I know you can’t go from zero to hundred and believe me, I did that many times before due to impatience, but this time I thought

Lets be sensible this once.

I only felt a tiny niggle at my knee and had to catch my breath twice after a hill (at least I made it up with 20 seconds of choking, but I got my act together!).

Back home after a bit of stretching I pulled my weights out and trained for another 30 minutes. I am at 14kg at the moment but will increase as soon it gets lighter/easier (my love handles and me are still at war).

At the moment I am totally into dead lifts with different variations like one leg dead lifts (my arms where burning and I really had to concentrate balancing on one leg while trying to watch telly at the same time, *giggles to herself*).

AND a few seconds ago I found another xbionic marathon shorts online for a real bargain which I actually should not buy as money is tight, but hey, it is a BARGAIN!!! I better not mention this beautiful Mulberry handbag which would look so good on me…….

So all in all, a good day.

Franky

It’s my time of the year!!!

Yeah, what can I say? Finally, F.i.n.a.l.l.y…. the summer is over, my summer blues gone and winter is fast approaching.

Other might find the darker hours spooky, but to me, it is pure heaven, it gives me some sort of comfort like a warm blanket…. does that sound weird? Am I a weirdo?! Ah who cares?!

I could dance with joy!

Now  that it is getting colder, gloomier and foggier, not to forget  getting darker earlier and earlier, I am getting in the mood…. in the mood for running!

Actually I just wanted to get some time off running. Usually that lasts for a maximum of one month, but this time I haven’t been running since February.

Yes, you read right:

FEBRUARY!!!

And the shocking part:

I did not even miss it, nor did I dread or push myself or even feel bad about not running.

I was just too tired, because I started later and later in the evening work. And while other colleagues are/where able to have a sleep in, I have to get up in the morning to get the babies to school, have a nap during lunch (if I am lucky and my youngest sleeps as well) and when I would have a bit time in the afternoon, I have Cash to look after.

But this week I am off work and next week are school holidays which means, I could run this week in the morning after dropping off Cash in his nursery and I can run next week all day before work.

So I am keeping my hopes up for dry weather to ease myself back into running and also hope the best regarding my knees who are always playing up after such long abstinence.

I am looking forward to running around the DT20 route in Reeth and my all time favourite DT30 in Muker up to Tan Hill Inn.

So fingers crossed that my weight training (yes, my dearest readers, I wasn’t all lazy) was a good built up for my legs.

Franky

My mojo is back- hello runners knee!

Some people have or get the winter-blues, I as it happened, got the summer-blues!!!

Summer is just not my favourite time of the year. Yes, it might rain a little less, the sun is out and longer BUT it is way too warm for me!

I just can’t cope with the heat! “Heat” here in the north of England starts with 18C end usually ends with around 25C!

My, my, I sound like an old granny, but it is true. The warmer it gets, the less I want to exercise. I just can’t be bothered. I can’t get my behind up and out of the door!

Now that summer is over, the temperatures are at around 14C or less, my running-mojo has returned! Yeah!!!

It is crisp outside, the leaves are falling, the light is warmer, it is windy constantly…. yes, it might be a bit more wet and boggy, but that is OK!

I am ready to go running!!!

Unfortunately after a marathon last weekend (DT40 in Leyburn, Yorkshire Dales), I am suffering from what you call a “runners knee”!

Don’t ask me how that happened! I was a bit stiff the day after but another day later it hurt so much that I could do nothing but limp to the doctor.

“Rest it”, she said….”for 4 – 6 weeks”, she said.

Really?!?

Why now???

After a week of limping around, 1000 painkillers later, it doesn’t hurt so much anymore when I walk, sit or sleep.

Until I am able to run again, I have to survive of lettuce just to make sure, I don’t put extra pounds on.

Ha, me the little bunny…with useless legs….

But I can see light at the end of the tunnel!

Have a great one, everyone!

Franky

Quit before it even started!!!

For the first timer ever, I quit!

A couple of days ago, I finally made up my mind whether to do the hardmoors60 race or not.

For those who don’t know what the hardmoors60 is:

It is a 60 mile trail race along the Cleveland Way from Guisborough to Filey in the beautiful Yorkshire moors in the UK.

Anyway:

I woke up one morning and the urge to run further and further to push harder after a bad run, was gone. Just gone! And no matter what I did to get my running mojo back, from doing longer runs, shorter runs, road runs, different routes, running without gadgets, trying other sports, till rest and doing nothing at all…. nothing helped and my mojo remains with someone else, stomping the trails.

A lost mojo and constant little niggles here and there interfered my training so much that I didn’t think it is a wise idea to meet the others along with my husband at the start line.

It is not that I was totally lazy the past weeks, I did or at least tried a bit of running here and there and even started with hill reps (which surprisingly I really enjoy but have to stop me at some point otherwise I would have really sore knees afterwards) plus daily kettle bell sessions kept me going.

The only good thing is, I don’t even feel disappointed because I gave up/ cancelled/quit before it even started. To say it is a relieve is also not quite right, I am just fine with myself and my decision.

However, at the end of this month is another marathon in the Yorkshire Dales which I am looking forward to! Then there will be a long time nothing and on January 1st is a hardmoors30 miler, also fine with me!

I wonder…. if I am fine with a marathon and a 30 miler, maybe it was the distance I was secretly afraid  of and didn’t realize? Who knows…..

Franky

I should be running…

… but my running mojo hasn’t returned yet. It is probably on a non-stop party with another runner and obviously very happy!

Today I got woken up by bright sunshine! That and a sleepy voice whispering “cocoa…cocoa, mommy” and little feet trying to push me out of the bed.

I could have went for a (quick) early run, but I didn’t. Instead I did one hour of kettle bell, a tiny bit yoga and stretching and even then I really had to kick my own behind!

A week or so ago, I even posted on hardmoors Facebook site for advice what runners did when they experienced something similar.

I got plenty of answers and advice like

  • leave gadgets at home
  • go for shorter runs
  • relax for a week
  • do other things

As for the gadgets, I am not a big fan anyway and only take my watch if I run a new route to see how far it is and how long it takes and I did all the rest but still…

I honestly think, it is a head thing and I start to think about giving my hardmoors 60 place up.

Not because I won’t make it to the finish line. I probably would… with a little cry here and there… aching all over (because I didn’t exercise properly) and crawling the last bit…

But right now all I want to do is being lazy! Which frightens me a bit because that is so not me! I am not a lazy person! I love to be busy the whole day. I wouldn’t admit it all loud and yes I  get impatient the longer the day but only a busy day is a good day!

Or at least so it was until now.

It is (finally) nice weather, my two older children are back from their holiday so I technically could go for a run whenever I please, but why is my head not in it???

Maybe I am just not so happy at the moment and the impact is so massive , that I can’t be bothered with anything, not even change something.

That is sad, I know.

Well, maybe tomorrow is a better day. The light at the end of the tunnel is still on…

Franky