Started well, benched in the middle, hamstrung at the end.
The title just about sums up 2016 for the galloping granny from Ecclesall.
Was it Richard Askwith, ‘Feet in the Clouds,’ who warned us to go and lie down if we were daft enough to consider running in the fells? Well I’m daft enough. Running over Helvellyn, skipping over Derwent Edge, panting up Lose Hill is my idea of fun. I love it.
This was going to be Dot’s comeback year. 2015 was blighted by a torn shoulder tendon, 2014 blighted by treatment for breast cancer so I expected 2016 would give all the promise of a fresh start.
Unconditional training support from Stu Hale at Accelerate and fabulous fell and trail shoes and kit from Scott gave me the incentive to work hard, train smart and enjoy the trails and fells around my beloved Peak District.
It all started so well. Hope Winter Fell Race in February in lovely dry, cold, sunny conditions was a dream.
6.6 miles, 1298’ of climb, the reverse of the summer race in 69 minutes rewarded me with first V60.
A personal best at Wolf’s Pit a month later, 5.75 miles, 1289’ of climb in 57.19 minutes to come in as first in age suggested my preparation and planning was paying off.
But there was a little niggly pain in my left knee. I rested, iced, elevated and continued strength and conditioning work hoping it would ease.
The second Sheffield Half marathon with the fabulous climb from the city to Ringinglow and the long descent back to the Peace Gardens confirmed that the sore knee wasn’t going to repair itself.
Although I ran a creditable 7.55 minute mile pace to finish in 1:45:04 chip time and 2nd in age, The knee pain was a continuous companion.
I really wanted to run the Northern Masters Fell Running Championships in Bolton in May so I continued to work towards that goal. Another lovely warm and sunny day dawned. The climb was steady and the race, at 5.81 miles was just short of my usual races. I completed as third woman ,1st in age and Northern Masters Gold Medalist in 51.56 minutes.
I should have raced the Scott Snowdon Half marathon in July and optimistically entered and booked my accommodation, but couldn’t ignore the awful pain.
An MRI scan confirmed torn medial and lateral cartilage and I was advised to stop running. After such a promising start to the year it was a stunning blow.
It’s December now. The year is almost over. I haven’t run since August, though I’ve enjoyed rediscovering the pleasures of the Peak District on my bike. Let’s look on the bright side. I am cancer free and my shoulder tendon and knee are repaired. Jez Brown, knee surgeon has had access to parts of my leg I’ve never seen and I’m recovering with the promise that 2017 will be the year of the Galloping Granny from Ecclesall.
Dot’s 2016 run and race results at a glance.
Time: 167 hours.
Distance: 794 miles
Elevation gain: 74,957’
Distance: 2,001 miles.
Dot Kesterton, #TeamAccelerate-Scott supported athlete. #NoShortcuts #RunningMadeEasy
9th December 2016.