Miles with Smiles

Posted on: 09 Sep 2018

A quick update on the running. I mentioned that I’d be looking for something in the short term to make sure I had the kick up the **** I needed to get out training and I found it in the form of a 33 mile trail run on the 6th Oct called “A run with no witty name”. It’s down into Wiltshire and run by a company called Crooked Tracks Wiltshire so it will be good to see what they offer.

With 3 (hopefully) well stocked checkpoints it will be one of those races that I treat as picnic interspersed with some running. With about 1100m of ascent it requires some focus on hills as well as distance and so it’s been onto the trails and the lumps over the last 2 weeks.

Last weekend I was up at the in-laws in Horwich. Visible from miles around is Winter Hill and its huge (309m high) TV mast that serves most of the North West. It was also the scene of a bad air accident in the mid 50s (killing a plane load of Car Salesmen from Douglas) and the barbarous murder of a 20 year old traveller from Annan in 1838.



Luckily I came to no harm and enjoyed the run as whilst there was a lot of uphill involved the gradients made it quite runnable until the legs tired and the views were fab. I also climbed up to the lower peak of Rivington Pike and took in some of the old lead mine workings. 15 miles and 650m ascent nailed before 9.30am on a Saturday was a blooming good feeling.


Then Jack & I headed to York and by midday I had donated a 1935 Electrolux vacuum cleaner to the York Castle Museum. The vac is still in working order and was in its original wooden case and included all the attachments, including a paint sprayer. The operating manual included instructions for vacuuming your pet dog!

After a spot of lunch at The Punch Bowl which did amazing pies, we wondered over to the Snowhome shop on the off chance that the proprietor (one Sir Angus of Cape Wrath) might be in, but alas he quite sensibly wasn’t working on a Saturday.

Midweek I managed a short fast(ish) road run before work on Tuesday (I reckon I need to do some pace work) and then on Thursday I set the alarm early (04:45) and drove down to where my Mum lives and ran the 12 flat miles into work. I’ll be doing this regularly for a while as it’s a good way to clock up miles without eating into time in the evening, but the headtorch is going to be required from now on.

Yesterday I was out at the luxurious time of 7am and in the drizzle, but it was onto the Cotswold Way to get some lumps and miles under my belt. 9 miles in and I made it to Wotton park run and met Jim. We were early so we has a good catch up on before we headed off. I like this PR, it’s all off track with a bit of elevation and a small number of runners so it’s very chilled out.

It wasn’t speedy but it was the fastest 3 miles of the day. Almost a clean sheet, but for one Jim O’Brien, who overtook me at the start of the last lap (in fairness to him he did ask if it was OK before stretching out ahead). A quick chat at the end and then we went our separate ways. In my case that meant heading back towards Blackquarries hill, albeit heading up it from a new direction.

The legs started to grumble a few miles from home and so I decided to run on the flat for as long as possible, leaving the final hill as late as possible as I knew it was all going to be walked. In the end 20 miles and over 600m ascent in a tad over 4 hours.

A steady hours road running today helped everything stretch out and brought up a 45 mile week, more than I ran in the entire month of June. A couple more weeks like this and I’ll be ready for my October run.

Looking forward to meeting up with a lovely bunch of Buzzers next weekend. Tally Ho!

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