Monday, 19 February 2007

Above the clouds

Sunday morning began with a very sore, stiff, aching Dave hauling himself out of bed for the Sunday Long Run. Normally we run up to 14 and a half miles around our nearest big lump of hill, Moel Famau. Last week had been brilliant around there - lots of snow and no sign of anyone except for us nutters out in our shorts and T's. This week i felt like i had been run over by a truck after Saterdays race. Either way, we made it up to the Carpark and began the run, despite being determined to not let saterdays setback affect my training i was aware of a very sore Hamstring - its on my mind and I'm not really chipping in with the oul chat as we leave the road behind and start up the stoney farm track. Each stride aches and i am thinking of stopping so as to at least try and get a decent weeks training and recovery in before the next big race. Putting all such thoughts out of my mind for now, i just set myself a goal, make it to the saddle and the Fence. At least there i have some options. Up to this point it was a fairly unremarkable morning in the hills as far as weather goes, bright, cool, still with the odd cloud lingering around and a bit of mist lying in the hollows - but once up on the saddle, the ridge leading to the top, Offas Dyke, the view over Ruthin and out towards Snowdonia was Inspiring! A complete inversion... thick white, dense, level cloud lay across the entire plane right out towards Snowdon. It was incredible. totally obscured all signs of human existance. there was no sea, no towns, no masts, nothing, just pure white, partly encircled by an immense horseshoe of rocky peaks. I let the others go on and finish the full run while i nursed my leg round a easier 9 or 10 miles -all the while being carried around by the spectacular view. I stopped at a cairn once, on the ridge, just to take as much of it in as i could before heading back around the hill through the farmland back to the car. It was almost like a sea itself, ebbing and flowing like the gently swell of a late summers sea. you couldn't focus on any one point of it though because it was an illusion - the complete serenity and utter stillness was composed of endless motion. like currents within the clouds, if you tried to capture the stillness, you lost it in focus and motion - it was beautiful. Thats why i enjoy those runs - i took such a striking vista to hammer that fact home to me. I enjoy them for the process of doing them and where they take me. Sometimes with running and climbing its easy to forget why we do it and just get caught up in numbers and goals - they come eventually i suppose but they're worthless if we dont appreciate the journey we took to get to them...

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