Saturday, January 3, 2009

Offroad Run

Headed to Abbey Village this morning to get in an offroad run rather than pounding out more tarmac miles, my legs were feeling a little tight. I had more faff with my Nalgene bladder as it seems to leak from the filling area, this is the second one I have had that bloody leaks.

The first one came with the North Face rucksac I bought for running with, it leaked from where the hose attached to the bladder. It was ok if you put less than a litre of water in and no stuff in the bag otherwise there was too much pressure in the bladder and water just leaked down my back, not great on cold runs (or any run really). This new one seems to leak from the top and has to be kept upright, will be buying a 2 litre camelbak bladder soon I think.

It was pretty cold when I set off though at least there was little wind. The first reservoir I ran past out of the village was frozen solid, don't think I could see anywhere where it was open water. The track was ice free and bone dry but I had a feeling there was going to be some skating today.

There was very little ice in the woods, just more bone dry track though there was some fantastic icicles hanging along the side of the stream. The light levels were really not great and I struggled to get a decent picture with the little camera, it just wasn't sharp enough. It was the kind of light where you need the SLR and a tripod (and some Ilford HP5 film ?).

I got an ok one of some ice shapes in the stream itself:

I headed to Mill Lane, which was clearer and more runnable than last time I came this way but there was still fair amount on ice around. When I got to the top section with the water run off it turned to sheet ice and I had to pick my way up the very edge (think it was an old wall) until I could run again.

There was not much more ice until heading up to the moor on the Lyon Den path, there was one patch that covered the whole track that I had to hop over but not much else. I warned an MTBer heading down that way about it as it was right on a bend and may not have been obvious.

No more ice for ages, just very dry track and easy running. I headed round the single track I could barely move on last time and it was lovely and frozen, a few bits and bobs of ice but great running.

I sat on the bench opposite Darwen tower to have a drink and put the camera away (it was in my pocket and bouncing) as there seemed to be loads of people at the tower itself. At some point when wrestling my rucksack off I paused the Garmin, I noticed as I was passing by the Tower and set it off again.

I took the long way down this time and the first half was excellent for running, dry track and no ice to be seen. About half way down that all changed and there seemed to be a sheet of ice all the way down to the bottom (didn't expect that one).

There was a steep path dropping down to near where I was headed anyway. Its normally a boggy looking mess (one for climbing rather than descending) but it was frozen today and I set off down it, one or two slips but I got down ok and headed round to the road where I had a lot of problems last time.

It was clear today so no hanging onto the hedge to get down, up the steep track and I decided to head across the field today to Ryal Fold, its usually a boggy sheep trodden mess but it was hard today. The frozen sheep prints are a little hard on the ankles I discovered.

From Ryal Fold I took the concessionary bridleway back down to the bottom of Mill Lane, which was ice free, then easy down through the woods back to the car.

In the end it was 9.84 miles in 1:44 - 10:34 pace so not bad considering I was skipping ice and felt slow on the climbs.


  1. Some serious ice there! You did well to stay on your feet.

  2. Its easier to get around on foot, not so easy on a bike. Not riding there tomorrow methinks.

  3. i really like that b&w photo. good effort in those conditions too