Category: Running

Mine’s a half

It’s nearly summer. Never mind that I had the heating on three times last week, and one night I nearly put the gas fire on too. Never mind that I got drenched while walking to the bus station on Saturday. I know it’s nearly summer for a few reasons: the menopause, the gift that keeps…



Heptonstall : the return

This was my third year of running Heptonstall Fell Race. The first year it rained all the way round. The second year I got lost. And here I am again on the cobblestones, listening to a kindly vicar say actually very sensible Christian things (I am an atheist but think there is a lot of…




Helvellyn and The Dodds

There are many Dodds. Watson’s, Great, Little, Stybarrow. I know their names because I learned them, and I learned them because getting them in the right order seemed necessary, when my nerves were skyrocketing in the days before the race. I had entered us — me and FRB — just after the Three Peaks, in…




A run in a city after dark

I run frequently in the dark, unafraid, over moorland and hills, but always in company and with a torch on my head. I run more rarely in my city, on urban streets, in the dark. This afternoon I lay on my sofa in a gloom that I cannot explain, and I knew that it could…




The 64th Three Peaks Race

There are harder jobs than writing books. Trauma surgery, or being a Conservative politician who manages to keep her or his job. Truck drivers, nurses, teachers. So many people are what is called time-poor. I have more freedom than many people – that’s why my job is called free(lance) — but writing a book, when…




DNF

DNF. Did. Not. Finish. My first ever. Entirely avoidable. And entirely my fault. Heptonstall. I ran this last year and all I remember of it was pouring rain from start to finish. It was meant to be held last Sunday but was snowed off. I couldn’t have run it then as I was still deep…




Folk

I haven’t been racing. I have been writing. My schedule has been heavy: up very early, into my studio very early, 10-12 hour days at my desk. There has been a lot of comfort-eating. I’ve tried to keep fit, going to spin classes and doing weight-training, and running once or twice a week, usually up…



Unrunning

So. My grand plan to get fitter, faster, stronger? It’s not really working. Since I did the Three Peaks, I have hardly run. That is, I ran ten miles the week after, because I had to do a recce of the Calderdale Way Relay, which is this Sunday. FRB, who was kindly guiding me round,…



Thrifty foreign fitness

There is an obvious way of keeping fit on business trips, of course, which is the hotel gym, assuming you are not a cash-conscious freelance author but are instead someone with a sizeable expense account that allows for expensive hotels with good fitness centres. I don’t have an expense account. Normally I’d just work out…



A run

I spend many weekends racing. I spend a lot of time preparing my race kit the night before (if it’s a fell race) or at least getting my Kirkstall vest out of the laundry basket where it probably is, and deciding which shoes to wear, and packing a spare t-shirt, pants and wet-wipes for dry showering…