Coniston and beyond

Something was different today, I don’t really know what.

We set off fairly early, but a little later than planned- porridge and tea take priority.. I’m not one to compromise. I slept pretty much the whole way, easy in the campervan. It’s spacious and comfy, I imagine it like the barrel of a ship, rocking me to sleep.

We’d planned just under 30 miles, the weather had taken a turn for the worse and rain with high winds were forecast….so upon arriving to Coniston we had another look at the route, cut out the road sections and shortened it to mostly fell.

It was grey, it was wet, it was perfect.

We jogged to Tarn Hows, it took a while. We talked about the future…something that I’ve struggled to picture for a long time.

We had planned quite an interesting route- it overlapped both the Cumbria Way Ultra and the Lakeland 50. It messed with our heads, it’s funny how these things overwrite…move like ghosts…there was a lot of reminiscing, past races, past lives….I’m not the easiest to live with, I’ve made mistakes. It’s that time of year again, the Facebook posts come flooding in…but really so many of us are moved to look back, and ahead, reflecting on all sorts of things. As we ran, these knots of regret gradually came to the fore in my mind.




How guilt refined the methods of self-torture, threading the beads of detail into an eternal loop, a rosary to be fingered for a lifetime.

Ian McEwan, Atonement

I’m so lucky to have such a wonderful husband, amazingly supportive parents and a beautiful sister, who all want the best for me, yet have had to put up with me and my selfishness.

Wow it’s all getting a bit heavy!

So I kept talking through these thoughts as we ran and they gradually unwound, we just kept running…soon we were at Tarn Hows, then through the forest to the Langdales.

From here we continued to follow the Cumbria Way all the way to Chapel Stile. The weather began to turn as we ascended Wrynose Pass. Ed spotted a Heron overhead.

We made our way down to Blea Tarn and on towards Tilberthwaite. Then began the last climb of the day: ‘the stairway to heaven’ – as it was referred to on the Lakeland 50. A steep climb through a quarry, full of magical rocky caverns and eerily still pools.

This section went on for ever. We talked about the future here, all our plans. Exciting things, things we were worried about. What I need to do, how to do it. I felt better.

Then the descent came and we were happy.

I can have a tendency to dwell on things, I’m very inward facing in that respect. This year has been a big one, in lots of ways, good and bad. I’m thankful to know myself a bit better, but I also know that I’m exceptionally fortunate- to be happy, healthy, able to run and work in a profession that I love, but most importantly, I have my family. I want to let you all know, Sister, Mum, Dad, Husband- I love you all so very much and you mean the world to me.

22 miles, 1100m elevation, 2016, done.


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