Some Stuff About Me ......

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I live in Harrogate, North Yorkshire with my wonderful wife and soul-mate Helen. I have two incredible sons - Evan and Matthew - who are occasionally show up at home, usually when they're hungry or need money. The three of them are the best thing that ever happened to me and I love them all. I spent over 24 years in the Royal Navy, but since I packed it all in and got a proper job my life has gone from strength to strength and I've never looked back. I am a die-hard soul music fan and this remains a serious passion, but in recent years my life has been dedicated to running on the fells and trails of Northern England, it's what I was made for. Please read about my adventures and experiences ...

Tuesday, 28 February 2012

Leg 3 Wanderings

I'm a bit knackered. This is mostly to do with the fact that I've been sleeping very badly in recent weeks, my sub-conscious mind is obviously a very unhappy place and needs a good talking-to. I think I know WHY it's so unhappy, but doing something about it - heck, being ABLE to do something about - is a completely different matter.  I'll concede that my poopedness *might* be something to do with some fairly strenuous exercise of late: I went up to the Lakes on Friday to meet up with some blokes from the FRA forums and do a recce of most of BGR Leg 3. We met up at the Old Dungeon Ghyll (ODG) hotel in Langdale, then followed the Langdale Horseshoe route up to Stickle Tarn, but then cut across to the NW and Sergeant Man. It was the standard route from that point onwards, the intention being to get at least as far as Scafell before we turned back. I think I should point out here that this was always going to be a *long* day out and it proved to be just that. Weather was a bit murky to start with, but it wasn't any worse underfoot than you'd expect for this time of year and we made reasonable forward progress. Still gloomy as we reached the top of Bowfell (you couldn't see the Scafells) but from then on the cloud did begin to lift ..... we reached Scafell Pike and all agreed that if we were going to make it back to Langdale before 5.00pm, we couldn't really go much further. I was a bit disappointed, as I wanted to recce the Lords Rake/West Wall Traverse route, however this was probably a sensible decision and there were a few pockets of snow still around. We decided to drop off Scafell Pike down the scree to the Corridor Route and head back to Esk Hause and then down into Langdale via Rossett Ghyll .... I have to say (and this is a bit of a confessional) that I completely screwed the descent up down that scree and I don't know why. My legs felt completely unstable and balance poor, I just don't know what went wrong, I'm thinking that I might have got a bit cold on the top of Scafell Pike, but I couldn't say for sure. Not good.

Anyhow, we made it back to Langdale OK, having covered about 20 miles and 6,500 of ascent, weather was very nice by now and the sun had been in our faces pretty much from Esk Hause. After cake and cuppas, I took a leisurely drive home, completely forgetting that Helen had a night out planned with the girls. I called her when I was close and was told that the pub they were in (Revolution in Harrogate - highly recommended) was a bit quiet, but more importantly had dark lighting and if I showed up and got past the door staff she'd order food for me It was a bit surreal to be honest - I went into this posh pub clad in mud-spattered running tights, a very smelly Helly, a battered baseball cap and some old trainers that I had swapped for my Mudclaws. I didn't even have socks and you could see the mudline around my ankles ....nobody batted an eyelid and I enjoyed a couple of pints of Guinesss and a tasty Revo-Burger in some of my favourite circumstances (ie. being the only bloke surrounded by girls in full Going-Out mode). So now I know: It really doesn't matter what you wear and the girls really DO like a bit of rough (he says, nursing a slapped face).

Saturday was spent getting my breath back and contemplating my navel, however we scooted off to Ilkley on Sunday for the annual Ilkley Moor Fell Race. I was never going to do this hard as my legs were far too tired from the preceding day, however I totally enjoyed it. It cost me at least a couple of minutes getting boxed-in at the start - you really do have to position yourself sensibly for this race, but once underway I made some good progress and managed to overtake everyone I was racing with on the final descent, which has to be one of the best around, taking you straight to the finish line. Just five miles, I'll concede, but it felt a lot longer!

Felt a bit more alive after this, so cleaned cars and kit etc on Sunday afternoon, then collapsed into a rather nice bottle of Shiraz on Sunday evening. A mistake, methinks, because I felt terrible at work the next day .... not good at all. My training plan called for a session on the Hill Climber after work, so I knocked out about 2,700ft before wobbling home and the Monday Pilates session.

So here we are, and apart from a bit of lethargy I feel pretty good. I do believe that things are looking up .....



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