*Touch wood* but I finally seem to be over the recurring colds that have been plaguing me since October! As a result, I have been enjoying my running and have managed to fit in more fell runs. Currently, I’ve been able to hit the fells once a week and, as a result, I am beginning to feel stronger on the hills. I’m still slow but you have to start somewhere!
The last 3 fell runs have seen me ascend Dodd, Whinlatter (a new Wainwright for me!) and Latrigg.
I found the climb up Dodd agonising! The ascent was relentless and calf crushingly steep! I made it up to the top and, despite some low cloud, the view was amazing.
It took just over 30 minutes to get up to the top and less than 10 minutes to get back down!
My next fell run was up Whinlatter to bag another Wainwright. It was a truly beautiful morning and so Tristan and Thea came down to the visitor centre to play on the park and entertain themselves in the cafe while I ran. The climb was arduous but nowhere near as tough as Dodd. As a result, I managed to maintain a run, albeit slow, up to the stile. After climbing the stile, it was an almost vertical ascent for about 50 yards before the path veered to the left and I was able to regain my running momentum.
It was incredibly boggy on the tops and it was hard work to keep on going. It wasn’t long before I reached Whinlatter Top and headed across to Brown How. This used to be thought of as the highest point but it’s been proven that Whinlatter Top is the higher point. Being such a clear, sunny day, the views were breathtaking! I stood for a while, alone, on Brown How, just soaking up the views and feeling so privileged to have this on our doorstep.
I then headed back to Whinlatter Top to begin the descent back to the car. On a particularly boggy section, my left leg disappeared up to the knee and I managed to twist my right knee. Luckily, it wasn’t too severe and I was able to continue . I then made up the miles with some loops on the tracks and met up with Tristan and Thea who’d both had a lovely time enjoying the weather.
My third fell run in 3 weeks was up and round Latrigg. This time I was joined by Sam and Dave and it really helped having them there in order to drag me round. The ascent starts almost as soon as we’re out of the car. The first part of the climb up to the second gate is definitely the toughest part of this route. I kept plodding away, slow and steady, and managed to hold off a walk break for some time. Once past the second gate, I managed to maintain a run all the way to the summit, distracted from the pain by the chat! Again, despite some low cloud, the views were, as ever, amazing.
We headed back to Gale Road carpark, veering right at the gates in order to head down to the old railway line. The descent was a lot dryer than the last time I was there. The run along the old railway was a slog and I had to dig in to maintain a steady pace. Again, having Sam and Dave with me really helped keep me going as the path seemed endless!
We picked up the pace for the final half a mile and I was pleased to find that we’d averaged just over 10 minute miles for the whole route. I’m hoping that my efforts on the hills will help me increase my speed on the flat and help me achieve my goal of a quicker 10k time this year.
I’m really loving hitting the fells right now and hope I can continue heading to the hills as often as I can. Running up fells is tough, really tough but I feel so lucky that the fells are on my doorstep and I am fit and healthy enough to enjoy them. the effort of the climb is always repaid by the glorious views and the real sense of achievement you feel from being able to say ‘I did it’.