Wednesday, 11 May 2011

11th may 2011

      Evening all!

          Quite chuffed today, got the top 10 English peaks in within a year when we peaked Skiddaw, the 4th biggest mountain in England, this afternoon. Above, sitting on the beacon with bassenthwaite lake in the background, only a couple of weeks ago I posted a photo from the north of bassenthwaite looking up at this peak and wondered if we could get up here at all with the weather the way it was.
At 3063 feet, (my arm was 4 feet up) it's one of the 5 peaks above 3000 feet.

         I was a bit wary, doing a good 20 miles yesterday I thought I might be a bit tired, but I felt okay this morning so off we went. I was up at 3am for work, a rig support ship sailing which is good fun because they have 7 engines dotted around the ship for manoeuvring around rigs (and windmills) so driving them is a little like a space ship with retro rockets, blast one way to move it, then the other to stop it etc. It was clear and we were off by 7.30, days work done, so checked all the different internet weather forecasts, eventually found one we liked, sun and high cloud (the others were not good.) and jumped in the car.
       We were going to go the Blencathra route, that has sharp edge which is a proper climb, hand over hand with 300 feet drops either side, but it was blowing a gale, not good conditions, it smarts a little getting blown off a mountain, so just the easy "fell walk" style of the normal route, taking three other peaks on the way.

           So, a tough 8 mile round trip, we stayed about 20 minutes at the peak for tea and butties, in 3 hours. Good Parish training, the uneven tracks work out the ankles and calves, the 45 degree climb for the first 1800 feet really worked out the legs, and the trip back down worked on the downhill muscles, anyone whose done the Parish will know downhill can be as punishing as uphill at times. One thing I do know, a good two or three hour jaunt up a big hill like this can make my leg muscles ache like a long walk can't do anymore, it's guaranteed good stamina and climbing muscle building workout, as well as brilliant cardio. And the fresh air is plentiful. It was blowing a bit up there today though, but as for difficulty rating, steady climb rather than dangerous or thrilling. I was feeling good for myself at the top sipping tea when it was spoilt a little by three men who came up to the peak on mountain bikes, for once actually doing what they are named for!
Over 3000 feet up? Now that IS showing off...

          I've another job at 05.30 in the morning, should be finished by eight, but I'll have to see what state my legs are in before I decide what to do training wise, maybe a swim, maybe a rest day in front of the telly, cash in the attic, bargain hunt, countdown...
        One thing to remember if you are taking the opportunity to do a little every day, stretching, proper re-hydration, and protein. I'm taking a protein and rehydration shake on completion of training and one before bed.
        And also recommended by the boffins is an ice cold bath which contracts the muscles, aids recovery from muscle damage and reduces swelling. not that I do that... do you think I'm mad? A nice hot bath with nice smellies in is much better for the soul.

Keswick and Derwent Water below, Scafell over my left shoulder. Despite Keswick Pencil Museum having the second largest pencil in the world, it wasn't big enough to be visible from up here.

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