Wednesday, 6 April 2016

OMG or should that be OMM?!

Walking back from the Dee party rocking my Proviz jacket!
These last couple of weeks have certainly been eventful!  Sailing-wise we had a bit of a non-event at the Dee Dart 18 Open meeting, with a drifter (no wind) on Good Friday so no races sailed, and then far too much wind on the Saturday and Sunday, resulting in only one race being completed by 10 boats out of the fleet of 30 entered.  

Unfortunately, (or fortunately if you were me) we were not one of the brave ten as it was just too windy with gusts touching 29 knots - there were 5 capsizes and one chap even snapped his mast! The evening parties were, as always, fabulous with live bands and great friends. Fingers crossed for better weather next year!

Mrs H telling the hikers we are not mad - honest!
Collecting evidence of the madness!
After the sailing weekend we headed up to Coniston in the Lake District for our annual Easter holiday with our caravan.  We had a really active week with our great friends the Harrison's - with running or biking most days (both some days!).

I think I'm on my phone here looking for directions!
Beautiful views make all the climbing worthwhile!
Notable rides were a MTB ride up Walna Scar road and back down into Torver with Mrs H.  A ride which became apparent very quickly wasn't going to be the "quick hour ride" we had in mind!  It was awesome though with skiing down peat bogs and hike-a-biking it up rocky crags!  We were a good way up the Old Man at one point!  We felt very proud of our efforts afterwards, after negotiating sheer drops into disused quarries and Mrs H braving sheer slate drop offs (I wimped out!).
Into the unknown...

Loving it!
We also did a ride which I could have done on Ladybird (my roadbike) and wished I had brought her with me! A circumnavigation of the lake with Mr A - it was really good even in pouring rain and gusting winds!  Mr H made us look very slow completing the circuit in 49 minutes on his crossbike, we thought we had been quick doing the 23k in 1 hour 17 minutes!

I said in an earlier blog post that I was planning on running up the Old Man of Coniston again, which I duly did... I have to say I learned a few lessons though - don't go just before dark, don't rely on mobile phone battery and don't forget your fell shoes!  I ran with Skye the collie (my holiday running companion) and wore a Canicross belt, which enabled me to have both arms to run and scramble up rocky crags with.  
Selfie of the ascent up Goat's Water

I followed a similar route to last year, running up the same way as we biked up Walna Scar Road then turning right onto the path leading to Goat's Water.  I love this part of the route, gaining height and looking back at the lake getting smaller and smaller.  

Looking back at Coniston Water 
Looking back at Goat's Water
As we negotiated Goat's Water - a really amazing place, I was thinking how tough and unforgiving the mountains can be, even relatively close to the civilization of Coniston, it is still a very remote and lonely place to be if you were unprepared and/or lost.  I felt fine even though my thighs were burning a bit after all the steps to the summit of Goat's Water and confident I would find the quicker way to the trig at the top of the Old Man.  

Trail panorama
I cross checked my map and continued on the path I took the year before - determined to find the right hand turn off to the top.  Alas I couldn't find it again and ended up cutting the corner and heading back in the direction we had just come, but this time negotiating quite deep snow to boot!  I found this hard and slippery going in my trail shoes (I had left my Roclites in the boot of the truck which was at Grizedale with Mr A!) and the light was going as the sun was disappearing before my eyes.  I have to say I was getting cold and a bit worried that I still had the down bit to tackle yet and thoughts of mountain rescue were creeping into my mind!  

The Trig with the sun going down
Looking down on Low Water from the top

It was 18:55 when I reached the cairn.  Needless to say I didn't hang about at the top for long!  I really struggled down the first half of the decent, climbing down the sharp rocks with Skye eager to get home too and no grip in my shoes was bloody hard.  I didn't enjoy it.  When I saw the carpark at the lower section of Big Hill I was relieved and went to ring Mrs H to let her know I was OK - my phone battery died so I knew I had to push hard to get home.  We legged it to the carpark, passing a family who had cut it fine too, and then headed down the exceptionally steep category 2 road into Coniston.  I was really pleased with my pace back to the site, I really pushed it and the Canicross belt helped as Skye was eager too!

I was pleased to have tackled the route again, but like I said, lessons learned this time.  

My biggest news is that back in February I entered a competition using my blog post "Why not Tri a Duathlon".  The OMM (Original Mountain Marathon) is a technical clothing company who run events aimed at runners and bikers from elite to amateurs where wild camping and navigational skills feature.  The competition was to find ambassadors of the brand for the 2016 season who would post monthly blogs featuring training, race reports and product reviews.  Basically, the sort of thing I am already doing.  

I put a lot of thought and time into my entry but didn't hold my breath that I would get anywhere.  It was a long wait to the 31st March when the winners would be announced.   On the day before the announcement date I was contacted by OMM to say they had been overwhelmed with 1000 plus entries,  as I read the email my heart sank, until I came to the part when it said I had made the top 10 and they loved my blog!  I read on with heightened anticipation, thinking what the... anyway, in a nutshell I have been chosen as one of 4 other amateur ambassadors (I think it should be OMMbassadors!) and will receive kit, products to test and entry into any OMM event free of charge!  

In return, I will produce monthly blog posts to let the OMM community see what I am doing and I guess to represent the average runners out there.  The aim is to inspire others to get out into the outdoors and start enjoying our amazing landscapes.  You can read the article announcing the new ambassadors here. To say I am thrilled is an understatement so watch this space for OMM blogs (I will still use my Lady Fellrunner blog in the same way - just with monthly OMM specific blogs too).  

I have entered the OMM Bike Peak District event on the 23rd-24th April which I will do with Caz.  We are very excited!

I have been sent some new overshoes courtesy of the Bike Factory (apparently my baggy Aldi ones do not cut it ;-) ) from the Manchester based DexShell rep to review. So I will get to test these at the OMM event too.  

It really is all go at the moment as Womens Running UK Magazine have contacted me to do an article on PBs - I contacted them with my story when I first wrote my blog, and they now want to feature my latest PB at Woodbank parkrun on their "My PB Story" section.  So look out for me in the magazine next month!! 

Hilariously today, Ava, my niece (after I was telling her about my article and OMM stuff etc. said "Aunty - you're trending!" 

Events coming up this week - the Thomas Theyer fell race - an 11k fell run around Combs, Derbyshire on Sunday 10th April.  You can sponsor me at - its for a fabulous cause and the race should be a great boost to the charity.  I'm really looking forward to it!

Well done if you've read all that!

Happy Running!!! :-)

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