It's been a busy week. What with the new found holiday-induced motivation, work, and planning adventures, there has been little time to keep up with the blogging. A few highlights are below though. I think I'm going to keep this blog minimal for a while and just catch my breath. There are some serious adventures coming up which will take a lot of energy to organise and prep for, and I don't want the line between 'enjoyable anticipation' 'to much bluddy hassle' to be crossed. Cramming too much in can mean, instead of having a fulfilled life, you miss it all through trying to stay afloat.
Tuesday I managed a 20 minute run between sites in the VFFs. Muddy, slippy and a great big hill climb from the off.
It hurt going up, and I precariously slipped my way back down, but it was very rewarding none-the-less. Fabulous views to distract from the ticking work clock and pounding heart rate monitor too.
Tuesday evening I rode with a friend, also broken, whilst our riding buddies headed off on their technical routes. It was great to have company, and great to ride with someone also paying close attention to their injury and the potential risks involved. Lots of very motivating discussion about future riding plans once healing is complete. What a stunning evening for it!
There was another chance on Thursday to sneak in a workday run. It turned immediately into a run/scramble as the trails were so steep they needed hands as well as feet to clamber up in places. The VFFs are useless in mud I have found, unless it is over ankle deep, and then it kind of holds you upright like a weeble.
Brilliant to be out exploring a completely different area which I will probably be unlikely to visit again. Had to baby wipe off my feet and legs by the time I got back to the van though, as it was straight back to site for more surveying. Running is beautiful in it's simplicity.
Thursday steady social ride was missing Jenny this week so I stepped back into the ride leader role. It was OK, the route mostly non-tech, but possibly a little too hilly for the tail end of the group. Hey ho, live and learn, most people seemed to enjoy it but it is imperative that we (I mean I, as Jenny normally gets it right haha) focus only on the back of the group, as the front takes care of itself.
The evening was rather stormy and I wasn't expecting a big turnout but in the end there was 20 riders battling the rain when it came in, and relishing the clear skies when it blew over.
A real 'all seasons April day'. It was a relief to get to the pub and warm the hands back up on a cuppa. Interestingly, we had a few new faces out, and a few returnees who we haven't seen for a while. It's always great to see the mix of people. There is no pressure to come every week, or even every few, you can just turn up whenever you like. As long people are getting out and about, that is all that matters.
Saturday is normally long ride day, but this week I opted for a long run. At the moment I am still at the stage where I can't run all day like I can ride, and where I am still aware of the potential for injury if I increase the distance too fast. Or if I fall off narrow, slippy, unsupported and half rotten planks forming a rudimentary stream crossing....
The weather was changeable again, beautifully sunny one minute, the next dominating black clouds demanding jackets-at-the-ready.
The fell shoes were on though, which gave me total confidence to throw my feet about through loam, mud, rainsoaked steep hillsides and slippy grass descents.
At Wellington Heath, dehydration kicked in after running for an hour without drinking enough beforehand. Heading to the church to investigate for an outside tap seemed like a good idea. No outside tap...but a genuinely kind hearted lady kindly gave me a bottle of water from inside the church instead. There I am, red faced, tattooed and covered in snot and she was as lovely as could be.
Spring flowers were out everywhere, bluebells, celandines, anemonies, some wild daffodils, but the air temperatures didn't suggest it was yet growing season with a notable icy chill to the wind.
It was just great finally, after many years, getting to visit Oyster Hill and see the views over to Herefordshire, Malvern and Ledbury from the top.
10 miles later I was close to home, feeling like I had reached the limit and glad only half a mile was left to pound. I can't wait for the day that I can run all day and travel further afield on foot.