This week I have been so lucky in being able to spend a long weekend in the Lake District. I have never been before and boy have I been missing out. Granted we have been lucky in having glorious sunshine the whole time, which I’m sure doesn’t happen all the time in that region of the country, but it truly is the most beautiful and friendly place.
We were there because my husband (David) had entered the Windermere marathon on Sunday, the last day of the Brathay 10 in 10 (10 marathons in 10 days for a few completely insane people). The marathon on the Sunday is a serparate marathon with over 800 runners, the 10 in 10ers have it as their last marathon and the 20 mad souls entered this year set out an hour before the main race.
We went up on Thursday to spend a few days there, which meant I had to some how try and fit some training in around this. This week, the training plan called for a long run of 8-9 miles on Sunday, knowing I wouldn’t be able to do that I did 8.5 miles on Tuesday instead. Slow and hot, but it was done and I could forget about it for the weekend.
Friday we did some walking, not running I know, but still good exercise and managed to cover 11 miles. We had considered walking (or should that be climbing) the Old Man of Coniston, with an ascent of over 2600ft. However, with the marathon on Sunday we decided it would probably be wiser to do a couple of easier walks instead. First was a walk around Yewdale Valley and the popular beauty spot of Tarn Hows, taking in some pretty waterfalls. Returning to Coniston, we grabbed a sandwich to take with us and then set out for a walk round the lake shore. Not terribly taxing in the walking stakes, but nevertheless a beautiful and very enjoyable way to spend the day.
Saturday we were up early and headed off to the nearest Parkrun at Fell Foot, the bottom southwest corner of Lake Windermere. I had only read the description on the Parkrun website of Fell Foot quickly and was expecting two laps round a park and a field, not particularly exciting. Was I in for a surprise, I think it must have one of the most scenic finishing lines, with a view up the lake and the fells as the backdrop (see top picture). It was a hot and sweaty run, but beautiful and some even had a dip in the lake to cool off at the end.
Sunday I dropped David off at Brathay Hall for the marathon and went on to Coniston. I didn’t really know where to run, but had to get something in, so decided to run the lake shore walk we had done on Friday. It wasn’t ideal as there were a lot of gates to go through and one downhill part that was all rocks. Still, it was relatively flat, in a region of the country that doesn’t do flat, and having walked it, knew where I was going so wouldn’t keep needing to look at a map. Clocked up another 5.5 miles, before returning to watch the winners come in for the Windermere marathon.
Managed to get back to Brathay Hall about half an hour before the first man of the marathon came home in at 2:44 hours, the first lady came in at 3:18 hours. Amazingly all the 10 in 10 made it home with a full house, and David managed a respectable 3:54 hours. He said it was a hard slog, continual up and down all the way round, with a last hill up from Ambleside to the finish at Brathay Hall. During the day they also had trial activities for people and one event was a trail run for Matt Campbell, the runner that died in this years London marathon. He had been due to enter the marathon and last year had won the award for fastest time by a local runner, an award set-up in honour of his father who had died the previous year. A sad set of circumstances, but they managed to raise a further £23,000 in honour of Matt for the Brathay Trust.
So a bit of a light week in the running stakes, next week I’m going to have to try and stick to the plan. But it was a lovely break away and I will definitely be visiting the area again.
As an aside and not related to running at all, other than I noticed it on a running trip, there is some strange sink/basin furniture combos around. We stopped at a service station on the M6, I think Stafford, but I could be wrong. Went to use the facilities and noticed that they had the smallest sinks I think they could possibly have found, yet they had these huge mixer taps that practically reached the far side of the sink making it difficult to get your hands underneath. It seemed so ridiculous that I mentioned it to David on returning to the car. Unfortunately being a newbie to this blogging lark I didn’t think to take a photo, until… At our accommodation in Ambleside (which was lovely by the way) I went into the bathroom and they had huge sinks, with the tiniest taps, that only just cleared the back of the sink. You’d think they’d be some kind of sink/tap ratio, but it doesn’t seem so. Has anyone else noticed this, or is it just me?
And with that, I hope you have a great week and may the sun continue to shine.