Sunday, 5 February 2012

Should have studied the Currickulum!

Mon – nothing
Tuesday – Spring reps with Fiona on Cockfield Fell. 7 Miles, 200m of ascent.
Wednesday – nothing
Thursday – DFR hill reps, 6 miles, 500m of ascent
Friday – nothing
Saturday – Hamsterley run with Fiona, 11 miles, 500m of ascent,
Sunday – 21 miles, 1000m of ascent – more on this later.

45 miles, 2200m of ascent.

Really busy with work this week, but managed to get out 4 times, so quite a good week. Not enough ascent, but a good workout on Sunday makes me fell like it was a decent week.

Not convinced by sprint reps, hard work and quite dull. Thursday reps were fun, turned up late so only did 4 sets, but felt strong. Saturday morning was fun to get out with Fiona on a glorious winters day.

Sunday, I didn't want to drive all the way to the Lakes with the snowy road conditions and the early start, so decided to have a go at a silly idea of mine. A round of all the curricks on Hamsterley Common. For those of you who haven't met Stuart Ferguson, a currick is a pile of stones, the ones I had seen prior to today were like a well constructed cairn, about 5-6 feet tall, after today I think the definition is “a pile of stones, which may or may not have once been a well constructed cairn used by ancient shepherds, and perhaps might just be a couple of rocks on the floor.”

At around 10pm on Saturday night I started planning the route. Quickly realising I didn't know where the boundaries of Hamsterley Common were, I expanded my currick search to cover the whole east sheet of OL31 (Teesdale and Weardale). I found 15 Currick or Curricks marked on and with a bit of string reckoned the route was about 40 miles – see above, I didn't run 40 miles. That was the planning done.

Setting off at 7:30am the weather looked perfect, the ground conditions less so, with thick snow covering all the fells, I realised this was ridiculous, but fancied giving it a go.

Things were going well, at around 13 miles I started to get tired, trying to take a traverse around James's Hill rather than going up and over was a mistake, the running was atrocious, with deep drifts and gullys every few yards some drifts knee deep and some chest deep and requiring a swimming motion to get through. I was knackered, starting to get cold and on my own, 5 miles from the car it wasn't time to get exhausted so I plodded up to the top of James's hill and set off back to the car, disappointed but happy that the day hadn't ended up with a rescue or hyperthermia.

I got back to the car after 21 miles and 5:50 minutes.

It is only now, that I have looked at the second part of the route that I have realised that to pick up the extra curricks I was planning would have only been 5 or 6 miles longer than the direct route back to the car. I had mis-measured my route. Thinking it was 40 miles there was no way I was going to get round, so came home. Had I realised that my route was only 27 miles I would have plodded on through the snow and probably made it.


Anyone who has an interest in this sort of thing, I would appreciate it if you give me a few months to have another crack at this “OL31 (east sheet) Currick Round”, so I can complete the inaugural round and perhaps get rid of some of the disappointment of cocking up the planning so badly today!

Sunrise on the drive over

Currick 1, not in the right place, but looked like a currick

Currick 3, very curricky

The Ewestone currick - not a good currick.

Turning around, James's Hill, feeling pretty tired.

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