Saturday, 19 December 2015

Recovery Run - 19 December

Office 'Xmas Do' last night and while I avoided all alcohol I couldn't avoid the very late night so in between getting other things sorted for our "Early Xmas" on Sunday I snuck out for a few miles over (and through) the muddy fields around Borsdane Wood.

Towards Aspull

Towards Hindley Hall

Towards Westhoughton

Plenty of cycling this week with no running up hills, not that I have ever really ran up hills, and my knee has been fine - a little creaky first thing in the morning but that I can live with.

Monday, 14 December 2015

Rufford - 13 December

Saturday was something of a write-off, cold and wet all day until just before dark. I managed out for a few miles on the road in the rain which wasn’t great but it was better than nowt.

Almost by accident I discovered the Leeds-Liverpool canal has a northern branch that starts at Burscough and goes north through Rufford to join the River Douglas at Tarleton. The Douglas, being a tributary of the River Ribble, effectively provides access to the open sea as well as Preston.  In theory the “Ribble Way” could provide a route that might be cycled from Much Hoole to Preston thus creating a big loop much of which would be off-road. With rain forecast for lunchtime I didn’t have time to get far beyond Rufford if I wanted home dry. The plan was to cycle to on the towpath to Rufford, take the road back to Parbold and then re-join the canal for home.

Everything went to plan apart from the rain arriving early, the very badly flooded roads between Rufford and Parbold, and the very soft towpath beyond Burscough. This towpath was just like a muddy field, badly rutted in places and with the occasional boulder to make it interesting. About a mile short of Rufford the rain came on and I by then I had had enough of the soft muddy towpath so I escaped to the road for Rufford and Parbold. Perhaps in the summer this towpath  might be worth another look but until then I’ll be staying away from it. 

After having to ride through several stretches of flooded road I just wanted to get home and had to choose between going up Parbold Hill or round it on the towpath. Up won and I headed for Standish and Red Rock to get back on the canal for the final stretch home.

Fishing near Haigh Hall

Near Parbold

Bridge Number One where the canal to Much Hoole starts

Looking north from Bridge Number One
Last look at the soft towpath just short of Rufford

Sunday, 6 December 2015

Healey Nab - 06 December

Very short walk to blow away the last dregs of a hangover after a very social trip to the Christmas Markets in Manchester. 

20151206_001_healeynab-2-EditTowards Great Hill

20151206_002_healeynab-115-EditSouth west towards North Wales

20151206_003_healeynab-120-EditMuddy Path

20151206_004_healeynab-7-EditWaterman’s Cottage

Monday, 30 November 2015

Top Lock Turnaround – 28 November

Best laid plans etc., etc. After months of improvement my ‘fragile knee’ reverted to its old self and I have been reduced to short runs for the last few weeks but I thought it was about to find out if these have allowed any improvement. A run over Winter Hill seemed a likely way to find out and it looked as though I would be able to do it before the worst of the weather arrived on Saturday morning. That was the plan but it seems that even just thinking about it is enough to set my knee off. Although it often improves through the day, the ache that greeted me on wakening was enough to suggest a long run would be only a little short of foolish.

Cycling doesn’t seem to aggravate it so I had a ride out to Top Lock and beat the rain back home, just.


20151128_001_toplock-20-EditTop Lock, Wheelton



20151128_002_toplock-26-EditAbove Top Lock

20151128_003_toplock-29Yarrow Reservoir outflow 


20151128_004_toplock-36Yarrow Reservoir outflow with Anglezark reservoir beyond

Tuesday, 24 November 2015

Yr Arwydd & Holyhead Mountain – 22 November

More snow and rain overnight along with a low cloud base quickly convinced us that bagging the two Marilyns on Anglesey would make a reasonable day out, and it did. Keith had bagged them previously but had seen nothing from Holyhead Mountain because of the conditions and was happy to back to both.

20151122_001_NantPeris-1035View through the window at Beudy Mawr on Sunday morning

Yr Arwydd is very nearly a ‘drive up’ with a car park beyond the nearby village which wasn’t there the last time Keith was. A well worn path leads to the Trig Point and impressive views in all directions. I am sure the views of Snowdonia are impressive but the the low cloud there hid them from us.


20151122_002_NantPeris-39From Yr Arwydd east to Great Orme


From Yr Arwydd west to Lleyn Peninsula

Yr Arwydd was good and Holyhead Mountain even better. Once out of the heritage park and up the hill the views are really superb. The sun was low in the sky and under heavy clouds but the horizon in all directions was clear. Assuming we correctly worked out what we were looking at then we were able to see Southern Ireland, Isle of Man, Southern Scotland and the Lancashire coast.

20151122_004_NantPeris-65-EditTwo Ferries going to Dun Laoghaire


20151122_005_NantPeris-78-EditLooking west from Holyhead Mountain

20151122_006_NantPeris-225-EditIn front of a roaring fire to conclude the afternoon

Tal y Fan – 21 November

The overnight snow wasn’t as heavy as it might have been but the wind was strong enough to be troublesome and the weather forecasts were uncertain how soon Saturday night’s snow would arrive. After bright and sunny start we headed to Sychnant Pass to follow a route over Tal y Fan (to bag another Marilyn) for Aber.

20151121_001_NantPeris-15Nant Peris – looking up the valley

20151121_002_NantPeris-37Nant Peris – towards Llanberis as the sunshine arrives





20151121_005_NantPeris-172Strong sunshine in the Conwy valley



20151121_006_NantPeris-175Towards the Glyders


20151121_007_NantPeris-176Towards the Glyders again


20151121_008_NantPeris-177Gareth & Netty


20151121_009_NantPeris-180Tal y Pen summit 


20151121_010_NantPeris-183Route Choices 


20151121_011_NantPeris-184More Route Choices

 20151121_012_NantPeris-186 Back to Conwy & the Great Orme



20151121_013_NantPeris-188Last look at the higher mountains (and the sunshine)

 20151121_014_NantPeris-194Pylons marching to the coast and the incoming snow 


20151121_015_NantPeris-197Below Aber Falls

 20151121_016_NantPeris-1028Table is ready for Dinner

 20151121_017_NantPeris-1029Just the waiting left to do

Huge thanks to Audrey for a brilliant Meet, we’ll be back next year!

Great Orme – 20 November

On our way with Keith for a weekend in Nant Peris on a Rucksack Club Meet and with Great Orme on Keith’s “still to bag” Marilyn list it would have been churlish not to stop. With a winter forecast for the weekend and the wind strength beginning to build a “drive up” was, by far, the most attractive means of ascent.


20151120_002_NantPeris-1011-EditGreat Orme Summit Complex

20151120_001_NantPeris-152-EditLooking west towards Anglesey

20151120_003_NantPeris-1019-EditStorm sweeping into the Menai Strait



20151120_001_NantPeris-154-EditPete’s Eats

Monday, 16 November 2015

Not Winter Hill Again – 14 November

Many is the time when we have been peak-bagging and defeated by the weather or some other foible that the day was recorded as “Not Name of Target Hill”  and so it seems appropriate to refer to another weekend and the preceding week of short runs as “Not Winter Hill”. Since and including last Sunday I have run/walked/cycled everyday including last Friday and my knee is no worse than it was a week ago. It seems running not very far on little hills doesn’t do it any harm, even running on consecutive days. Next week I’ll do a bit more until and keep doing a bit more until I reach the point when I have to back off and that, by and large, will determine how much running I do next year.

In the meantime, I enjoyed a pretty gentle wander around Borsdane Wood in hazy sunshine.


20151114_001_Hindley-32Flooded Field

20151114_002_Hindley-33Pond without any ducks

20151114_003_Hindley-42Big sky with steam from Fiddler’s Ferry Power Station

Monday, 9 November 2015

Borsdane Wood – 08 November

Not exactly what I had in mind for my “long weekend run” but sometimes things just don’t go to plan. Last Monday didn’t go to plan either because instead of joining the Monday Night Recovery Run Group I went for a run in the sunshine in the morning. Glorious it was too, until a few hours later when my right knee started aching. It does from time to time but this time it didn’t stop aching and didn’t even ache a little less until Friday, my rest day. Saturday became a rest day too and that seems to have allowed it to recover.

Sunday morning’s weather forecast was less than encouraging so I chanced to get out early and be back before the rain and, at last, I had a plan that worked! 6 miles more or less on the flat and my knee didn’t complain either. I’ll just have to take it easy this week but it does look at though I may need to stick to short distances, even if only for a while.

20151108_001_aspull-4-EditOne of the benches in the woods

20151108_002_aspull-10-EditPath to the “Top Ale House” in Hindley

20151108_003_aspull-19-EditHindley Hall Golf Course

I’ll be less ambitious this Monday and join the Recovery Run group and hope my knee doesn’t complain afterwards.