Tuesday, 5 July 2022

Horton-in-Ribblesdale to Settle - 2 day adventure

Day 1

I travelled by train go Horton-in-Ribblesdale, it was a nice easy journey I just had to change at Sheffield and Leeds. I arrived at 235pm and had a plan to do about 10miles before camping.

I could see my first peak of the day, Pen-y-ghent as I left the station. It soon got steep climbing up, I even pit my poles away for a bit so I could use my hands to climb! 

Amazingly I got to sit and eat my sandwich at the top with noone else there, as I went to leave a group arrived though.

These were the last people I saw for the day. As I walked along to Plover Hill I could see over to where I was planning on heading. The weather was lovely although there was a biting wind high up.

I even tried to identify some plants!

I dropped down and crossed  river, where I was hoping to fill up with water. But it was completely dry, I was glad I had carried 3litres with me! 

I continued with lots of off path navigation, I was happy to find this trig point as I'd done some pacing to measure the distance.

On my way to where I was thinking of camping I found some flowing water, it was a little brown but I had my filter bottle with me to filter out any nasties.

Had to think a lot navigating the final stretch to Fountains Tarn as visibility had gone down to about 10m. In fact I nearly missed the tarn!

Then tent up before eating and then bed.

19.1km 1120m ascent

Day 2

I briefly woke up for sunrise but didn't actually get up till 630am and was on my way for 730am. It was lovely and clear again which helped with navigation.

I decided not to follow the wall, I rely on them too mych for my navigation but that meant that it was hard going.
But I found the first trig point i was heading too!
Descending to a road I was followed by some sheep and lambs, I couldn't help thinking how Cybi would have reacted to that.

After some footpath walking, it was more off path stuff to a trig point, I had to be careful with my navigation to avoid some crags.
I had views of Settle, where I was heading from this spot.

I was please with my navigation back down as I made my way perfectly between crags.
Dropping into Settle I enjoyed the flowerpot men as i walked to the station.

14.9km 378m ascent 


Bring gaiters
Make sure don't drop map
If you have a nav plan, don't just follow what looks like a path
Need to rely less on walls for navigation - next walk do some practice with a 1:50000 map

Friday, 3 June 2022

A wild camp to test out my new tent.

Ali kindly picked up a one man backpacking tent for me from Decathlon so obviously I had to get out and try it out. I plotted a route that started from a car park on the snake pass that would let me practice my navigation, it's something I really need to work on. But arriving there at 3pm it was packed, with cars circling trying to park, it looked like a lot of people were heading for a wild camp as they were unpacking lots of kit from the cars.
I headed up onto Snake summit thinking I could start the route from there and camp somewhere different to planned, but when I realised there would be a bit of road walking I changed my plan. Lots of off path stuff really tested my nav,  but in the whole it went well and minor errors were corrected. I barely saw anyone and those I did where in the valley while I was on the tops.
Arriving at Grinch Rocks, where I hoped to camp I wandered around a bit until I found a flat spot for my tent. It was nice and quick to pitch, which is good as it'll be even quicker now I've done, and Chip and I were soon enjoying our tea. 
I was in bed nice and early but unfortunately didn't sleep well, seemed to constantly wake up, it was windy and rainy overnight but I think I was too hot in hindsight as everytime I woke up I was super thirsty, this tent is noticeably warmer than my 2p tent.

The next morning we had breakfast early since I wasn't sleeping and were on our way at 6am, however the mist came in and my nav was poor, I went round im circles a bit but eventually got on my way again. 
As we weren't parked as far away I added on a trig point for some more navigation practice, turns out the Bleakow Bomber crash site. We were back to the car for 10am and heading home.
Another fabulous mini adventure and shows I really need to work on my navigation, I'm too used to having gps!

Wednesday, 21 July 2021

Hathersage Hilly Triathlon 2021

On Sunday I completed my first triathlon the Hathersage Hilly. Back when I lived in Edale for the summer 2001 after graduating I heard about this triathlon when swimming at the pool, I remember thinking I'd love to do something like that but couldn't imagine being able to. Well 20 years later I did it!
On the Saturday Ali took me to register, I was quite stressed by it all. I'd made notes on all the rules but was ready to turn round and not register. Ali managed to calm me down and then the race organiser kindly answered all my questions. So I collected my numbers and we walked through the transitions so I knew where I would vlve going.

Sunday morning and transitions set up we got to the pool ready to be called for my start which was sometime between 730am and 8am. It had said you had to wear a mask when setting up transition and when moving around the event before racing, but no-one else seemed to be. There was also no social distancing. I was surprised as other events I have done have been strict about this and with triathlon having lots of rules I was expecting it to be enforced. But it did mean I was a bit less worried about making a mistake with the rest of the rules.
Once in the pool it was a lot quieter and I had a quick chat with the lifeguards which helped me feel a bit more relaxed. Soon it was time to start, first length and my Garmin flies off! I dived down to get it and swam holding it, I realised partway through I should be counting lengths as it might not be doing it correctly.... When it buzzed for 14 lengths I wasn't sure so did another 2, once out I knew I'd done 16 and checking my watch later showed it was correct. 
Into transition and I wasted some time trying to put my watch back on, until I realised the clip that held it to the watch was broken so shoved it into the pocket of my trisuit. But otherwise felt my transition was quite efficient and I was soon rubbing out with my bike.

It took me a little time to get my feet into my pedals, been a while since I've used one sided pedals, bit soon I was on the way to Grindleford. I know the road well from riding to and from the pool for a swim which was an advantage for the little hills that suddenly appear. Arriving at Grindleford I was talking to myself "put your foot down, put your foot down" as I was so sorry I'd forget. There is a stop sign there and the rule was you had to stop and put your foot down, usually I just pause in a trackstand.
Soon it was the left turn onto the Froggatt climb, this is my commute to work and it was lovely riding it on Ruby and without panniers. Near the top a tractor with a trailer went past me and when we turned at the top I got stuck behind it descending for a while, fortunately it turned off before I was on the long descent to Hathersage.

Into transition 2 and it was a quick rack of bike, change of shoes and grap my running pack so I had water before heading out on the run.

I had wondered if I should leave my pack as noone else was, but it was a super hot day and I was glad of the liquid to sip on the way round. The run route was lovely, super tough uphills but with some lovely downhills as well.  I walked all the uphills as my running is beginning to feel a lot harder with the lack of training.

Coming into the finish I could hear Ali cheering, no chance of a sprint finish in the heat but I felt strong still.

So would I do another one? Probably! I'd do this one again but not sure about one with a mass swim start and a road run. I also think I'll wait till I feel happier with covid and stick with the small running events that feel safer with their covid measures.

Also pleased with my time, swim obviously longer than expected due to swimming 480m instead of 420m and diving down to collect my watch. Bike was great and run wasn't embarrassing. Have to not think how fast and strong I was two years ago. The last few months I've barely trained due to CFS/ME so really really pleased, I was hoping for sub 2 hours and smashed that. Super big thank you to Ali for looking after me and taking lots of photos!

Wednesday, 17 March 2021

Not the PB57

So last year we went into lockdown meaning the PB57 was cancelled, my entry was rolled over to this year. The original route was along the Pennine Bridkeway from Middleton Top to Hayfield. To make it work in Covid times the route was changed to an out and back along the Pennine Bridkeway from Hayfield with individual start times. This meant they wouldn't have to bus us to the start. Unfortunately this year's was postponed to September and the date was close to another event I am doing.

So I decided to run the original route and Ali kindly offered to support me. Ali suggested doing it midweek so the trails would be quieter since the trails here are so busy at the weekends at the moment. Then we had to find a date we could both have off work, which turned out to be yesterday.

The first 13 miles or so is along the High Peak Trail, so easy running. Unfortunately it was also into a head wind and the weather was being changeable so I had to stop a few times to put my jacket on and off.
Ali met me at two points along the way so I could replace my water bottles and top up my food. It worked really well and I couldn't have done it without her. She had new bottles ready every stop with torq mixed in which saved me loads of time.
Leaving the trail the weather closed in again and I couldn't see that far so it meant no enjoying the views. Meeting Ali at half way I had a stitch and my feet were getting sore. I knew that the route was about to get a lot hillier as well so it was time to get my poles out.

After what felt like a lot of tarmac I had some steep climbs, which actually felt good. I think partly as I didn't feel I should be running which I did on the flatter parts.
The weather even played ball and the mist cleared so I could enjoy the views now I was higher up.
Ali came up the hill to meet me when I was a few miles from the end and got some lovely photos for me to remember the day.
Finished still feeling strong, if a bit slow and sore. Really pleased with my overall time of 8hrs 30mins.

Monday, 2 November 2020

Spire Ultra

After my first ultra was cancelled in April due to the country going into the locdown for Covid I put my name on the waiting list for one in May, that then got rearranged for October and I forgot about it. On the 31st October I was meant to be running the Cani-Trail 22mile with Chip again but it was postponed for a year after the County in Wales went into lockdown. Just days after I got an invite for the Spire Ultra as unfortunately people in tier 3 areas aren't meant to travel. So on Saturday I was lining up for my first ultra without dog power.
I was in the first starting pod, pods were made up of six people and so lined up next to my smiley face.
On go I headed off, being careful not to head off too fast as my plan for the day was to be sensible for the first half in the hope I wouldn't die. It still took a long time till people started passing me.
The weather was pretty wet and very windy and the ground very muddy. A couple of times I nearly fell over.
As was getting close to nine miles I hear cheering and there was Ali, she'd been shopping after dropping me off so stopped on her way home.
After seeing Ali the rain got heavier but although my top was wet I was warm and it was keeping the wind out so I never put my waterproof jacket on.
On one section someone had put a selection of signs up especially for us which made me smile.
I stopped at a couple of checkpoints to fill up with water and took advantage of a couple of walls to add torq powder so I was keeping getting electrolytes as well as water into me. 

On one descent I thought I must be coming to the last checkpoint but no it was a pheasant shoot.  They moved soon after I went last and I actually saw them again on another section.
The last checkpoint mentioned in the toute notes was at 20miles and I was pleased that I had maintained a 12 min mile average. After this I had a long section straight into the wind that was hard going and it was starting to hurt. But otherwise I felt okay as I had been eating and drinking well.
About 25miles I started  swapping places with two guys and then the last six miles was mainly uphill so I did slow as I was walking most of it.

The last bit was over boggy fields but as I approached the finish I heard Ali cheering for me which kept me running. I crossed the line and stopped my Garmin at 6hours and 40minutes which smashed my Gold goal of breaking 7 hours.

Really chuffed to find i finished 3rd female and 25 out of 63 finishers.