Paste your Google Webmaster Tools verification code here
Show/Hide Navigation
 

Bob Graham

Driving north, I was confident. I’ve been training hard (I ran a spontaneous marathon last week; boasted about it on social media). This year I am spending a day a month running in the hills, my self-prescribed Minimum Effective Dose to maintain sanity. (Driving north I’m all Radio 4, earnest podcasts, Leonard Cohen and healthy snacks. Hammering home next night it’s 6 hours of 90s Classics, Chumbawumba, Born Slippy, fizzy Haribo and Maccy D milkshakes.) For the past few months I have been running and filming. But this time it was only running. It was to be head down and go – see what I’m made of not looking at the scenery.
It was a sobering day. I learned that I am not as fit as I thought I was, as I need to be, as I used to be. That’s the thing about mountains. They find you out in a way that laps of a park or exercising in a gym cannot do. Bullshit-detection is part of their appeal. After 5 hours of running fast and happy, with 3.5 still to go, I blew up, out of steam. My hamstrings, my knees, my mind all gave up. Chastened, cross, despondent I was forced to cut my losses, dropping down from the fells for the long drive back south to the flatlands. I need somehow to find more hills, more time, more hard work.
But there were good bits: hobbling pitifully back to my car I stuck out my thumb to try to save myself a few boring road miles. This being the Lake District a car soon stopped. Alicja kindly drove out of her way to help me. We chatted about bothies and big hills. Her Instagram bio (@alicja_zasucha) reads “Wild Camping. Climbing. Running. Pottery”. That is someone who has their life’s priorities nicely sorted, I reflected as I headed for the M6 and wished that I could just stay here instead.
Earlier I had, by sheer chance, found an iPhone almost completely submerged in a bog. I mentioned it on social media and a swathe of internet sleuths (aka people who should have been doing proper work in the office) tracked down the grieving owner. We met at a service station and I reunited Debs with her phone. She rewarded me with a jar of homemade jam and a freshly-baked cake which cheered my long drive home to face the realities of much hard work still to go.

Read Comments

You might also like

Las Vegas and Zion National Park – my thoughts I had never seen such anticipation from passengers on a plane. We have, us lucky few who travel regularly, come to take for granted the extraordinary aerial view of the world that flying offers. But dropping down over the Nevada […]...
The Reading Lists A website I like called The Reading Lists interviewed me recently. I thought I would share it here… When someone asks you ‘what do you do for a living?’ – How do you respond? It depends! Normally I don’t like […]...
Social Media Advice A while ago I gave a talk about social media and how to use it well. I intended to write up my notes afterwards into an amazing, comprehensive blog post. But I still  have not got round to it, and now […]...
 

Comments

  1. Even though I live near the Andes, I have never yet found anywhere near my house where I could run for five hours fast and happy in the mountains. Two or three yes, but any more than that would require running uphill which is not going to happen. 🙂

    Reply

 
 

Post a Comment

HTML tags you can use: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>

 
 
 
© Copyright 2012 Alastair Humphreys. All rights reserved. Site design by JSummerton