Having been banned from tarmac I have to make a bit more effort to go out for exercise as running from home invariably starts with road running. Swimming (breaststroke is SOOOOO boring, but has been prescribed) and cycling (static bike is bearable if I can get the one right in front of the gym TV) have featured frequently for the last week or so thanks to my new gym membership (special offer 6 weeks for £49). Outdoors I have been a bit careful what I get up to.

During the first fine, frosty weekend of the year Sarah and I went orienteering near Buttermere. We crunched through icy puddles along the side of Crummock Water and up into Mosedale.

Sarah enjoys the sun in Mosedale

The sun in the dale kept us nice and warm whilst on the move, but this did not last.

Looking back eastwards

The water that drains into Black Beck and Scale Beck filled the bog at the bottom of the vale and each step took us through the crusty frost into icy cold ankle deep water – lovely!

Freezing feet!

Haertened by still being able to walk after this outing I decided to try the inaugural Crosby Commoner (a new fell race of a little over 10 kms) this weekend and, in spite of dark clouds and the usual damp conditions, persuaded Sarah to partake as well. There was a decent turnout of what we estimated to be about 60.

During the week I had treated myself to new fell shoes because I was a bit tired of sliding around in the mud in trail shoes.

New shoes: the " before" photo

Sadly we were not accompanied by any supporters or coat-holders so there are NO photos (I’m sure there will be official ones on the web somewhere). The course wasn’t too hilly but one could tell it was the start of the year and I could definitely tell that I have had to cut back on training lately. It was also quite hard work because about 90% of the route involved fighting a strong headwind – rather trying to say the least. Still, I staggered round and, much to my joy, I did not totally seize up afterwards. Back at Sarah’s I was able to get out of the car unassisted and am not walking like John Wayne 🙂

Happily, although this was the first time I had worn my new shoes, they were perfect and no hint of a blister or hot spot developed: 10/10

New shoes: the "after" photo