Tag Archives: Yorkshire

A windy weekend in Yorkshire

I love living in Yorkshire. It is a truly beautiful county – especially when the sun shines! This weekend it was still beautiful but also brutal! Average winds were 20 miles per hour with gusts over 4o miles per hour. Intermittent hail stones joined the party.

The training plan was 2 x 20 mile runs with a 4-5kg pack. In the wind – do you run in the shelter of woods with the risk of falling branches and trees? do you run on the sheltered but incredibly boring canal bank? or do you get on with it and stick to the planned route taking in the highest point on the moors? We stuck mostly to the plan! Saturday, our training group was 4 – John, Fiona, Renee and I. We started with a 12 mile loop around the twelve apostles (to include the ritual circumnavigation of the stones) on Ilkley moor, returning over the Odda. John and I then continued on another 8 mile loop to make it up to 20 miles! We were blown to pieces. the reservoirs looked tidal. But it was fun….

Sunday – time to do it all again. The weather forecast was colder but stiller. Well it was colder but the wind was extreme. Rombolds stride route in reverse (less the top corner). 8 miles in 2.5 hours moving time. The headwind was ridiculous. We could barely move forwards on Ilkley moor. It was more like crawling than walking, let alone running. Occasionally tiny hail stones would batter us in the face – training for sandstorms in the desert – that kept cycling through my mind! Eventually we reached Keighley mast as the bigger hail stones set in. As we turned towards home we had the pleasure of a tail wind. The hail stones ricocheted off our head and shoulder, but with every stride we moved an extra few feet. I loved the running and hop skipping with the wind propelling us. I stopped to wait for John who complemented me on my chicken impression as I flapped my way along the stone flags – but it worked and I had fun for the first time on the run.


A somewhat delirious photo, Sunday on Ilkley moor.

Eventually we made it home again, exhausted but pleased to have set out and achieved the plan. Lots of stretching, a hot bath and feet up in front of the fire followed for me :o)


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Snow is like sand….right?

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year all.

It’s been a busy few weeks of running…and eating….and socialising! I am feeling happy with how my training and preparation is going despite some recent over indulgence!!

Is it all going according to plan?

I revisited my plan in my previous blog post. Some of it is exactly on track. Some elements haven’t happened – but I have learnt some things about myself and understand why. I am typically running 30-40 miles a week, sometimes more. I go to hot yoga weekly. Sometimes I swim or cycle but neither of these happen regularly! I have realised that running tires me out much more than cycling or swimming and as such I sleep more.
My plan to lose weight has been slow but I am a couple of kg less so it is going the right way.

Training milestones

In training I have done some long runs Saturday followed by another Sunday. It feels good. Most of my training is with MDS buddy John. The long miles pass much quicker when chatting.

We ran out first Ultramarathon at the beginning of the month. Frostbite30…..although the name is deceiving when the route is 34 miles! It lived up to its name in other respects though. It was freezing. Nidderdale was white with frost and it made for beautiful scenery for running. Having not run over 27 miles before this was unknown territory. The route was off road and hilly. The plan was to walk the ups and run the rest. Like clockwork it went until the last 6 miles when we bored of walking and ran strongly to the finish. It couldn’t have gone better and we felt very pleased with ourselves. Better still, the next day I got up (and after some good stretching) ran the first winter league cross country for my club. Only 4 miles but the legs worked well carrying me through the mud and up the hills well. I was slow down hill but that was partly in my head as I feared my legs would give way!

We squeezed in a lovely relaxing weekend break in Budapest before Christmas, with lots of spa time and fantastic food. There was still time to run though. My boyfriend James even came out to keep me company. As he is someone who doesn’t usually run, this was really special. While not a runner, he is fit and encouraged me to “smash it” round a 5km track in the middle of our run!


Over Christmas my aim was to run everyday. This included a Christmas day parkrun. It was lovely to see so many of my running friends. Getting beaten by James was even good as I love that we were out running together. I was very lucky and Santa brought me desert food and foot cream!

The Chevin chase was boxing day – a 7 mile trail race. A lovely route with the main climb like something from the Tour de France – so deep with spectators.


Racing with olympians is always exciting too, with Alistair Brownlee taking the win, closely followed by brother Jonny.

The 27th brought an epic 28.5 miles round a variation of the Haworth Hobble. wpid-20141227_102011.jpgEpic as at times we were thigh deep in snow! Snow is like sand…right? Trudging through the snow must be good training for sand??

The landscape is so different when covered in snow and I was pleased my running buddy Chris knew the way well! We got back just as the sun went down. Stunning views over the Yorkshire hills.


My last run of 2014 has been the Auld Lang Syne fell race at Penistone Hill, organised by Dave and Eileen Woodhead. A fantastic, muddy/snowy/slippery race, again with Olympians heading up the field and full of all kinds of fancy dress – my favourite being emu on stilts!

What’s next?

Order kit!
Plan the desert menu!
Add some regular gym strength sessions
Increase the pack weight
Loose a couple more kg
Stay well ☺

Thank you and Happy New Year

The fundraising for the Intensive Care Foundation is going amazingly. Thank you all so much for your kind donations. I have been really touched and quite emotional by it all.

An especially big thank you to Joe and Simon who made me a wonderful fundraising video, which not only does a great job of explaining why I am running for the Intensive care Foundation, but also of showing off our Yorkshire countryside. If you haven’t seen it yet, you can watch it here:

I wish you all a fantastic, healthy and adventure filled 2015!


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