First of all, may I wish you all a Happy New Year!
I will be doing a 2015 round-up shortly, but with the year that’s just passed, it’s going to take a bit of writing. So I’ll not be rushing into that one.
Whereas New Year is typically celebrated with copious amount of things which aren’t very good for us, followed by a period of regret and good intentions (known as New Year Resolutions) I at least managed to finish 2015 on a running high.
I’ve traditionally stuck with road-running in the past – all my pre-2015 races were on tarmac and I guess my excuse was something of familiarity coupled with the fear of tumbling down a hill having tripped over my feet. Something which, to be fair, I can do on any surface and I don’t even need to be running.
However since discovering Lyme Park, as well as starting up as their Run Leader (for people wanting to take up running or trying something new) I’ve started to loosen my inhibitions and have gone off road far more this year than ever before.
And seeing that the local Bramhall Runners group organised a ‘Fell Race’ which is predominantly based within Lyme Park, it didn’t take me long to put an entry in. Also helped by the fact it was only a £5 🙂
The NYE Bowstones Fell Race starts at the pub in Higher Poynton before crossing over into the Park and up to the Higher Moor beyond which (just outside of the Park) are the Anglican Cross-shafts which are known as the Bowstones, dating back to the 10th Century (or earlier). The route continues along the edge of the Higher Moor before dropping through Lantern Wood and to the Eastern Drive before another climb to the Cage and then back out of the Park the same way we entered. It’s about 6.7 miles long and 1000ft of elevation.
I had a little bit of additional elevation as I completed part of my descent from Lantern Wood flat on my back. This wasn’t intentional or for show, although it was probably quite spectacular. Not least because I got back up and continued without being overtaken! Not a recommended manoeuvre mind!
The route took me just under 55 minutes which I was happy with; I’d not gone out trying to break any records (or bones) but it was a pleasant crisp day, albeit rather soggy underfoot. And under everything else I managed to plant on the ground during the run………
So that marked the end of my mammoth running year, probably the best thing to come out of 2015. My ‘official’ statistics are recorded on Smashrun, as Strava seems to have ended up with a few duplicates, some hikes, some bike rides, and a few other oddities which mean I don’t really understand the total it’s generated.
December itself ended up with a total running mileage of 105 miles which was my 5th biggest monthly total of the year, aided by the fact the weather has been pretty mild. Last December I only went out twice……!
Looking at the table, it looks like the only time I did a 1 mile on it’s own, it must have been a walk. At least I only did it the once!
Starting the new year as we mean to go on
There’s always something satisfying about putting a big run in at the start of the month. Partly because it gets it out of the way in case blizzards and dinosaurs appear during the month making it less safe to run but also feeling like the whole thing can start afresh from a good place. Admittedly, having run a Fell Race 24 hours previously, I discovered early on that the body was less willing than the mind, but I got around and chalked up the monthly half-marathon tally that started in June 2014.
It’s a big year, with two marathons already planned, one involving running up and down Snowdon as the last part of the challenge. But it’s nice to aim high and see what I can achieve. If I don’t try, it’s not going to happen, so let’s get on board the ride which is 2016, and see how it goes.