Sunday, 15 January 2012

A Cautionary Tale

A cold, clear blue-sky day  here yesterday. I decided to go for a run over Pen Hill.

When I parked up, the thermometer read -2. At least it wouldn't be boggy on the top. I set off across the hard, icy fields and soon reached the edge of the moor at the Eastern top of the hill. I'd set off 15 minutes before sunset and as I ran across the plateau the last light of the sun shone across the moorland grass and heather, lending it a bronze tint. I found my way to the trig point then ran for some way along the cliff top which runs along the northern edge of the hill. The view over Wensleydale from here is quite something - especially when enjoyed in the light-headed, almost ecstatic state running can engender.

A mile or so later I realised I had to stop for a pee. I took off my gloves and held them under my chin. I had come to a stop in a glorious place overlooking the hills of Coverdale which, in the cold, clear air looked particularly bleak and magnificent. I spent a moment admiring the view.

I set off again. I'd only been running for a minute or two when I realised my hands were getting cold. My gloves! Of course, I'd been holding them under my chin. I must have dropped them somewhere in the heather.

I retraced my steps. I finally found them, still wet and steaming, where I'd stopped to admire the view. Be warned: it's impossible to admire a view and hold your gloves under your chin at the same time.

I took these photos of Pen Hill on a warmer day a while ago:



Pen Hill: Southern Edge

Cotton Grass: Pen Hill Plateau

Pen Hill: cairn overlooking Coverdale

36 comments:

George said...

Great views, Dominic. Glad that all ended well!

AquaMarina said...

phew!......nice build up of tension Dominic!!
I was on the edge of my seat thinking something really nasty was about to befall you.
Glad you found the gloves. It sounds like you had a great time in the great outdoors!

Jessica Maybury said...

my god what a fabulous beautiful amazing place! I'm so jealous! Get me out of Dublin please, at least even back to the west of Ireland...I need the wild.

Jessica Maybury said...

I'm sorry about the gloves though.

The Weaver of Grass said...

The moral of this story is to keep your gloves on when you pee.

Kat Mortensen said...

"Wet and steaming", eh? You need those finger-less mitts with the little cap you can flip on and off. Problem solved.

Gwil W said...

Dominic, thanks for sharing that useful running tip.

Dominic Rivron said...

Thanks for these comments, everyone.

George: Yes, it did. It was too cold not to wear gloves - and it wasn't far to the car, fortunately. As for the views, yes' they're great. You would have seen Pen Hill from the Coast to Coast, but would have had no reason to know which it was.

AquaMarina: It would have been nasty if I'd been a long way from the car. Nastier -but rarely sillier- things can happen in the great outdoors, of course, but had I had a long way to go I'd have had to put the pee-soaked gloves back on!

Jessica: I've always wanted to climb Macgillycuddy's Reeks. Hopefully I'll get round to it one day.

WG: I'll try that next time.

KM: Thanks for the suggestion. I used to have a pair, but lost them. Perhaps I should get some more.

kate said...

wet and steaming....you didn't wee on them did you!

Dominic Rivron said...

GwilW: My pleasure.

kate: Yes! I ran back to the car gingerly holding them between thumb and forefinger. Why, I'm not sure. I heard somewhere that urine is sterile.

tony said...

The Perils Of Going Digital?

Rachel Fox said...

Eugh. Though I have a runner friend who has a much worse story about being caught short and an electric fence...
x

Gwil W said...

Dominic, I'm pleased that you are getting fit for the approaching season. I see there's a trail race at Coed y Brenin and also one in the Clwydian Hills (both marathons). Nearer you there's always the 3 Peaks of Yorkshire of course. Then there's the long distance Dragon's Back in Wales - be worth spectating.

I've already got some events pencilled in but as always subject to change. Not much happens here, apart from the odd cross country, before May.

2013 should be my next good year. I move up into the next category.

patteran said...

I think I'd probably have left the gloves for nature to reclaim! Lovely pics.

Dominic Rivron said...

Thanks for these comments.

tony: Indeed.

RF: Sounds nasty.

GwilW: Thanks for the info. However, I'm still gingerly building up my mileage and may not get up to that sort of distance this year - aiming at probably no more than 12 or so max. I'll see how it goes.

patteran: What?! Oh dear. I must be getting tight in my old age...

GOAT said...

Nice tale and pictures, Dominic. One of the real hassles with winter excursions: all those bloody layers. I hate it when you suddenly need to go NOW and there are several layers to manoeuvre through. In my case there's usually a camera in hand as well.

The Solitary Walker said...

Keeping those gloves on would have been an even worse and wetter disaster, Pat. I speak from personal experience.

Gwil W said...

Very sensible not to overdo it Dominic. I recall your injury during Snowdon Marathon training.

Plenty of good races around. For example there's a 7 mile trail race (11km) at Ilkley Harriers on 4th June might be something to aim for. Charity in Uganda. (pre-entry).

Worth joining the FRA for the fixtures calendar alone!

Jenny Woolf said...

Wonderful pictures and I enjoyed your description of the run. I think women don't have the same problems when it comes to peeing, but glad you found your gloves before it got dark! :)

Rachel Fenton said...

Fantastic wee story! And cracking views.

Dominic Rivron said...

Thanks for these comments!

GOAT: Yes, all those layers. At least, camping in winter you can leave most of them on most of the time.

SW: Yes. At least we're into walking, not boxing.

GwilW: Yes, the FRA. Thanks for that reminder! I might rejoin.

JW: Yes -it was twilight by then. Fortunately the car was not far away.

RF: You know, I read your comment and thought "odd - but I'm sure she came from England not Scotland". I can be very slow on the uptake.

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