A Rough One
The long one planned was supposed to be a bit of a jolly. It was supposed to be a longish pootle for my weekly Sunday run. I'd even opted for an off-road option to take advantage of the chill-out-recovery tone to the session. I set out early under a very fresh blue sky with my bright yellow and mucky off roaders ready for the dirty stuff and a hop over the odd stile or two. After a couple of miles bumbling along the River Wharfe I noticed that the ground was not its soft and squidgy self and more rock 'ard after an overnight freeze. Rather than reconsider my route, or more sensibly run back for a shoe change I pressed on; venturing into the icy February sunshine with my porridge in my tummy, smiling at the plump mummy sheep and feeling rather satisfied that I could just relax and enjoy this one.
Clocking mile 7 took me through Barden Bridge, after much dog walker dodging and still running with a moderate spring in my step I was hello'd by a very friendly running posse (who I now I know to be Ian et al from Horsforth Harriers - hello there again if you're reading). I must have looked reasonably alive still and knew then that my plans to be out for 2h30 would take me on to Burnsall to turn at 10 miles. I hadn't expected to get so far on my bumble but all was good. The turn came quickly and I kicked myself for forgetting my camera and failing to capture the heart stopping beauty of the run into Burnsall. The sun showered the river with glittering shards and the slow thaw with the morning sun formed a fairytale mist across the valley. I congratulated myself on the route choice and regretted no running pal for company to share the bliss.
The running started to feel hard by mile 12, my feet were feeling very sore and my quads rather tight. It was beginning to dawn that the effect of running on hard frozen mud and trail was the equivalent of 20m of concrete, in very knackered fell shoes. What a noodle. As I lurched on for home my quads no longer whined but screamed. By mile 16 I had to resort to a stretch and a bit of walk. What a plonker. I can't remember ever being forced to walk before. It just felt all wrong. I ashamedly confess that the 20 planned ended at a very mediocre 19 miles with bits walking and four more quad stretch stops. Needless to say I was very annoyed with myself and had done more harm than good; mashing quads in great style all on a recovery week! My moans and grumbles when I got home were met luckily with a fantastic massage to ease the pain. M did a great job and managed to reduce the tennis ball sized lumps in my thighs to mere peas of pain. Note to self: never ever wear silly, ill cushioned shoes for long runs again.