Feeling hot, hot, hot

Now that the nausea and delirium have passed fully, I have been pondering on my two overheating runs and trying to work out what I can do to resolve or improve this situation. The run itself has provided some inspiration, as have the lovely people on twitter, and these are some of the solutions I’ve come up with.

The Fisherman’s Approach
This week we passed some more anglers, but this lot were a lot more casual – none of your thousand pound kit here. Umbrellas and cans of lager were the order of the day. This would solve the issue of hydration, but might be a bit gassy.

Despite it being after midday (I know, this won’t help my situation) a lot of the ducks and swans had opted out of the sunshine and were settled and asleep with their heads under their wings. This idea appeals to me a lot, but defeats the purpose of going out for a run.

It was a day of family strolls and many of the little people were being pushed along with blankets draped over the front of their pushchairs. Again this appeals to me, but I can’t see Ginge warming to the idea of pushing me down the towpath and running with a blanket over my head is likely to end in tears. Or a bloody great splash.

Boys in boats
We ran past two amazing sights of boys in boats. I say boats, the first ones were in an actual boat. But it was a leaky boat. And they were paddling with a plank. The second ones had a proper oar, but had crafted their vessel out of a piece of chipboard and two milk crates. This doesn’t solve any of my running issues, but made me grin hugely and took my mind off feeling rubbish.

Dressing appropriately
I was wearing 3/4 length tights and a t-shirt. This is the minimum I can wear without either burning to a crisp or running the gauntlet of decency laws. As I was sweltering along, we were passed by two people who can only be described as weirdos. The first was a lady running along in a sequined Burnley FC t-shirt and full make up. When I say full make up, I mean full make up in a “Before” on Snog, Marry, Avoid (I saw a bit channel hopping once…) – thick foundation, big eyes, blusher, sparkly lippy and probably a million other products I’ve never heard of – it made my face feel heavy just looking at her. The second person who passed us was a young man in shorts and a hoody. I have no idea what was going through his head as he got dressed “Oh, it’s a lovely day, sun’s shining, what shall I wear? I know, fleece”. He was going a lot faster than us, so clearly it worked for him.  I don’t think make-up and layers will help me, but I have toyed with the idea of some shorts (Long shorts. Long, long shorts. Maybe down to my calf…) and bought a hat that makes me look even more ridiculous than normal (every time I think I can’t look more daft, I find something that can).

I have been banned from eating jelly babies as I seem to flag more after I’ve eaten one. I’ve had a think about this, and I suspect that it’s salt that I need, rather than sugar. Yes, I’m getting tired but I think that’s part of my heat issues rather than simply running out of energy. This week I started to flag at seven miles and that distance isn’t usually a problem for me. Thanks to the magic of Twitter, @robjcameron (who ran this year’s London Marathon and knows about stuff)  responded to my pitiful response to @people_run’s request for sun running tips and gave me some hints involving pretzels and isotonic drinks. I have always thought that my mileage was too embarrassingly pitiful to warrant such things (the drinks, not pretzels, I love pretzels), but maybe the time has come for me to investigate them. (EDIT: PeopleRun – Hot Stuff! Top Tips for Running In Warm Weather)

So there we have it – hat, magic drinks and pretzels, as well not going out too late in the day if it can be avoided. If anyone has any more suggestions, they would be more than welcome.

Canal Adventure #8 – Burnley to Oswaldtwistle

If nothing else, the last two weeks’ canal runs have taught me one thing – I won’t be signing up for the Marathon de Sables any time soon. I love the sun, it makes me happier when it’s out and it does a cracking job, but it really doesn’t like me. I burn to a crisp in an instant (come summer, it would be easier if I could just be dipped in a big vat of factor 30 to save a lot of time) and I’m a bit susceptible to heat exhaustion. Especially when I run.

Big Brother is watching you

Anyhow, today was another train adventure. We started at Church & Oswaldtwistle station, where the (hopefully) automatic tannoy system warned us that violence and vandalism wouldn’t be tolerated. Twenty minutes later, we were welcomed to Burnley by two policemen at Central station (and there were two more lurking further up the canal), so we’re not sure if we were looking particularly suspicious today.

The starting point - Bridge 131

Off we went, stopping at 0.66 miles to take this photo and to have an emergency delete of some photos from my camera.

A tribute to local industry

Then we hit the Burnley Embankment, which is one of the Seven Wonders of the Waterways and carries the Leeds-Liverpool for nearly a mile 60 feet above the rooftops of Burnley.

Level with the floodlights of Turf Moor

The next bit of excitement was the Gannow Tunnel – 500 metres of tunnel that demonstrates the canal builders approach that if we can’t go over it, we’ll have to go through it. Unfortunately the tunnel runs under a massive intersection of roads and Junction 10 of the M65. The result of this was a certain amount of bewildered wandering as we tried to get back down to the canal.

Welcome to the Gannow Tunnel

The North-East entrance

Fear of falling in prevented me from having a peek...

....at this view

A hint that we weren't blundering around too blindly

T'other end

The canal builders were clever chaps, but they couldn’t tunnel through all of the obstacles in their way, resulting in the next stretch that is best described as soul destroying.

Wiggly. Bloody wiggly.

It’s a bit like queuing for a ride at Alton Towers, you can see the end but, even though it only looks a matter of a few yards, there’s a mile between you and your destination.

As the crow flies, because the crow has more sense than to follow the canal

Tiredness kicked in at mile 7. I had a brief second wind at mile 8 and by mile 9, I was feeling slightly nauseous and had gone deaf in my left ear (a bit like getting water in it). This is particularly annoying because (a) for me, it’s a precursor to fainting or throwing up and (b) because every breath that you wheeze begins to echo and is impossible to ignore. However, with hindsight and Google, the sad, sad tale of the Moorfield Colliery Disaster puts the discomfort of running in the warm into perspective.

We've come a long way in a century

A third wind took me through to mile 10 and this is where things grew increasingly sweary (and shivery). When I measured the route, it came out between 10 and 11 miles, and I focussed far more intently on the former to the point that I completely ignored the latter. Luckily, we had an excuse to stop and get excited by this:

The official halfway point between Leeds and Liverpool

Halfway is 63 and five-eighths miles since you ask. We’re not at the halfway mark ourselves, nearer to a third, but I’m not running back for another photo.


Finally, I can say honestly that I’ve never been so pleased to see a bridge as when Bridge 111D came into view. After the run, we drove home and Ginge bought me a Calippo which tasted of magic and happiness, but wasn’t quite enough to prevent me falling asleep for an hour.

Miles run = 11.3
Canal miles completed = 11.3
Total canal miles = 43.7/127*
Bridges = 131 to 111D

Canal adventure #7 – Parbold to Burscough Bridge

After a couple of weekends with no towpaths, we got back on track with the canal miles and decided to resume our westward journey. We started from Bridge 34 (the starting point for Canal Adventure #4) and did an out and back to Bridge 28, four miles away. One of the things that I’ve looked forward to about this project is seeing the weather and seasons change as we go. It was a lovely day for Adventure 4, the sun was shining and the sky was blue, but comparing the photos (with a month between them), April brought a deeper blue and a brighter sun.

Bridge 34 - March

Bridge 34 - April

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In which I stumble around in the dark and review stuff

I’m an idiot. The mornings have been getting lighter since Janathon and yet I wait until after the clocks have changed before I decided choose to haul myself out of bed at 6 o’clock.

Having forgotten my Guiding motto (Be Prepared), I was desperate not to wake Ginge as I clattered around trying to locate suitable running kit. I emerged wearing appropriate clothes (all the necessary body parts were supported and covered) but looked like I’d been dragged through a hedge backwards. Styled, I was not. 15 minutes of faffing later and I was off. Continue reading