Walshes 2008 South Lakes
I had a notion to wear my old Walshes out to the Pentlands today to see how they compared with the Mudclaws I'm so used to now. The last time I can definitely remember wearing them was in the south lakes at Nic Davies' birthday weekend.
I was sore as I set off uphill today as we went for a short run yesterday which turned into a speed session. My right hip is bugging me and I don't really know what's setting it off. It happened a month ago and then got a lot better - and then the marathon didn't seem to make it any worse but last night it was back to being sore to the touch and I couldn't lie on it in bed. So - I think some of the excitement of last weekend and a busy week has worn off and so today I was full of aches and pains. So it wasn't really a fair test for the Walshes.
They are definitely nice and light and neat. We ran past a herd of walkers with sticks on the Drove Rd who seemed like their average age was 70 - so that was very cheering and made us feel like we were just young things. There was a lot of mud - probably a combination of all the recent rain and all the feet of the Skyliners churning the ground up. As we had an audience we continued to run all the way up to the top of West Kip. The wind was pretty much in our faces so it was a relief to top out and start down the other side. Peter was raving on about the skies and taking photos but I was watching my feet closely as usual and monitoring my dicky hip on the right hand side and a wobbly knee on the left. I also found out why I'd moved on from wearing these particular Walshes as the grips on the bottom were pretty worn and I did a couple of dramatic one footed slides.
The Pentlands were looking splendid in a misty, muted autumnal kind of way. There was a purple haze over Black Hill which forced my to try to sing like Jimi Hendrix as we were now on a good downhill and I had the breath. Unfortunately I don't know any of the words apart from "Purple Haze, Nah nah nah, Nahnanah nahnahah" and then the guitar solo "wang wang wang, wang wang wang". I sensed by now some distancing behaviours from Peter. (He'd run off into the distance.) My Walshes were a slipping and a sliding and I wished I had my Inov8s on.
Down the side of Black Hill seemed more bouldery than the last time I was there and was also very wet and boggy. I kicked a stone and only very narrowly avoided doing a face plant on a bed of boulders. After that I started to realise that my legs were just plain knackered. A sad slow little trot along the hard road confirmed my thoughts that things had changed for the better since Walshes were de rigeur. There's something very nostalgic about them though. They have a pared down 50s look to them. A reminder of simpler days. I might put them through the washing machine and incorporate them into the rest of my life.
When I started to write this blog I thought I might try and write it from the Walshes point of view. Something like (with a Northern English accent of course), "We've been stuck in 't dusty bloody hall for 3 years and never seen owt and then suddenly there we are out in 't blinding light of day. No bloody Citroen ax anymore we noted. No, now they've got a Berlingo! Bloody twats. And I can tell you the missus hasn't got any lighter in the last 3 years! Crushed we were! And she hasn't got any faster either! We were designed for light-limbed young lads who ran out in 't fell herding sheep all day not great hairy bloody slow twats!"
I sympathised with some of their views but in the end they were just too abusive.
Mileage up to 45 miles for the week. I'd like to hold at around 40 but I guess I better be guided by my niggles and aches. I'm hoping I might feel fresher tomorrow and we might go and do something longer in the hills. Next things are xc on Saturday, Run of the Mill Hill race on Sunday, a trail handicap race through in the west the following weekend and then the GlenOgle 33 miler the weekend after that.