Training can be trying, especially when it involves steep hills tackled at speed again and again and again. I’m halfway through my personalised programme, prepared for me by Women’s Running to get me on tip-top form for the Gower Half marathon, and I need a bit of inspiration.
Calverley cutting has lost its attraction, I’m now on intimate stumbling terms with the steeper-than-steep drop from the village to the canal and to be quite honest I’d be very happy to never see it again. Seriously, I’ve huffed and puffed up there until my lungs have nearly burst out of my chest, wondering how 90 seconds can be so very very long. Fair dos, the training works, I get further up each session, I know I do, I count the stones and tree roots.
So for a change, and as I wanted to see the Poppies Wave at the Yorkshire Sculpture Park, and because they do decent coffee there, we headed over there. I love the YSP, we had our impromptu wedding reception there with a picnic in the grounds. I always feel very arty when I go there, inspired to to creative things, so I dressed the part, choosing my brightest running gear with the idea that I could be a running art installation, or something like that. Noel donned his usual black, shook his head in what looked like pity and set off ahead of me, I think he was pretending we weren’t together. No-one really noticed us, all eyes were on the poppies, and the queue to see the poppies.
The Poppies Wave, part of the installation set in the Tower of London last year, now cascades from the bridge at the upper lake, it’s an impressive site, all the more poignant to see the poppies emerging from the mud, as they did on the battlefields 100 years ago.
I might have dressed artily, but my hill training is no picture, so we chose a slope in the country park, away from the crowds. and gave it our best, the new watch chugging out data as if there was no tomorrow, as times I felt as if I would have no tomorrow. But the watch never lies and there were the ups and downs of my little heartbeat as I pushed onwards, upwards and downwards.
It was a massively enjoyable way to train, and the coffee and cake afterwards were very welcome. I’m now on the look-out for more arty hill training, though may tone down the running gear.