A New Year Draws Ever Closer. ¬†How Do You Plan To Make 2016 Awesome? #GetOutside

It’s been quite an eye opening year.  Ideas that have been bouncing around have been given credence and there’s a new curiosity that’s now driving me forwards.  

There’s so many ideas floating about that it’s hard to find focus but that’s why I tend to be out and about so much.  It’s a great way to refocus on what’s actually important to you, so I think I’ve managed to get my ideas sorted, just need to get a bit of research done before New Year’s eve and workout a few kinks.  

There’s no questions about my reasons, I simply what to be a better person and closer to what I’m capable of as a human machine.  I also want to explore the idea of having less and doing more.  Let’s see what the limits of a normal human is ūüôā

So, how do you plan on making 2016 more amazing than 2015?

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Why Do You Run? An Existentialist Angst Response @Trailrunningmag @Runnersworlsuk @OrdnanceSurvey #GetOutside & #Run

I apologise in advance for the existentialist angst in this post….

I run because it is fun! ¬†I run because I get to see cool places, lots of cool places and I get to see them in a shorter space of time. ¬†I run, so I can sit on top of big things, looking all contemplative when in reality I’m tired from running up the hill. ¬†;P

 

Have a great Christmas!

Pacing Tour de Helvellyn Ultra – #GetOutside @Nav4Adventure @OrdnanceSurvey

The forecast was for a warm day with good visibility and that’s what everyone got. ¬†Along with this unexpected winter weather package was the copious amounts of rain and gales that would peak at around 40mph. ¬†Still, when you enter an Ultra, in the Lakes district, in winter, you kind of expect the worse and dress appropriately. ¬†The combination of wind and rain meant that if you moved too slowly you got cold as the wind evaporated the rain on your skin. ¬†It also meant that in the out bound sections of the course, you would be running into the wind, making progress a little soul destroying in parts. ¬†Still, people got registered, got their kit ready, had some breakfast and took the firs steps out of Askham hall and out to complete the 38 mile loop around Helvellyn.

Before the race, the hall was filling up with people and a great atmosphere. ¬†There was a feeling of urgency, nervousness and keen anticipation in the air, but the Nav4adventure guys and gals added a real sense of friendliness and fun to it. ¬†Out of the few races I’ve taken part in, this was by far the most friendly atmosphere.

The plan was to pace a friend, Lucy, around the course and to start with stick to an ¬†hour pace. ¬†The thing with setting a pace is that you can end up feeling like you are chasing your own tale around during the race, so I said I would be in charge of the pacing, wouldn’t mention anything about the actual pace, and having played in the Lakes, new that it was going to be a tough course. ¬†A bit of faffing later, we dibbed out dibbers and were off. ¬†the navigation at the start of the race was fairly easy but the head on gales made progress a little tricky. ¬†The pace was just about right for an 8 hour finish, but it was kind of obvious that we would be hard pushed to get round that quickly. ¬†To keep warm, I’d run ahead and then turn back or wait in a sheltered spot while Lucy caught up, and before we knew it, CP1 was ahead, dubbers were dubbed again, numbers were shouted out and we were off towards the first major climb.

This climb was truly epic!  The rain fall had created a rocky stream that meandered up the hillside and since I had sandals on, it seemed the only way up should be up the stream.  It was great fun bouncing on the rocks and weaving my way up the hill and Lucy had picked up her pace too, so we were just about on track for 8 hours.  Then the long descent to CP2 started!  It was absolutely tremendous to run along.  Rocky and technical, with a few landslides of mud that quickly put you in your place.  We reached checkpoint to between 2 and 3 hours in, behind schedule, but it was early on and pace can always be picked up.  It was still raining but at least we were sheltered from the wind in the Patterdale valley.  I was a bit amazed at the amount of flooding and when you realised that actually, the river that is around 5 feet below the bridge, was flowing happily above the bridge not so long ago.  The roads, paths and fields had the tell tale patches of silt that marked the passing of the river.  A slight pause for navigation and we started the ascent up to CP3 and after a zig zagging climb we arrived.  Lucy was tired and you could see it in the way she moved.  8 hours was ditched and it was a case of get Lucy round to the finish before the cut off at the penultimate checkpoint.  The rain had just about stopped too, which meant we could dry off.

At CP3 after some laughing and a little bit of patting around, we set off again through some truly amazing terrain, past tarns and streams and along rocky footpaths, up and then over a saddle to CP4. ¬†Here we had a choice… ¬†we could take the road, or follow the footpath to the next checkpoint and it was time for a little mental break, so we headed down to the road, I slipped on to my arse in comedic fashion and a steady pace was set to CP5. ¬†Up to this point I’d only had a bottle of tailwind, so I grabbed some cheese, heckled Lucy to make her get out of the checkpoint faster and we followed the footpath that skirts the base of the Helvellyn range. ¬†This was close to apocalyptic in parts! ¬†The bridges had all washed away and crossing the streams that had developed serious delusions of grander and were closer to rivers added to the challenge. ¬†Landslide after landslide was crossed and then we were met by Tom, who advised us of the missing footbridge ahead and our potential path choice. ¬†We decided to contour up and around to the footpath leading to Grizedale Tarn, and had yet another raging torrent to cross. ¬†Lucy was waning, and need a little helping hand across the stream. ¬†In the end, I crossed over, wedged myself in the stream using some of the rocks under the water and gave her a helping hand as she jumped a few feet across the water. ¬†The thing that was great to see was that she was tired and in pain but despite the odd moan, groan and swearing, she kept putting one foot in front of the other. ¬†I made sure she was ok and gave her tips on how to manage her progress and after a while she worked out how to move so she had the minimal amount of pain. ¬†Then we met Santa!! Finally she smiled a genuine smile, and her pace picked up. ¬†I didn’t say anything to her but she was close to not making to cut off at that point, struggling to lift her legs as we made out way up the climb to Grizedale Tarn.

Santa must have handed her some kind of rocket fuel though!! ¬†she picked up her pace, shortened her steps, picked up her cadence and started to use her shoulders more as she trudged up the hill. ¬†The view at Geizedale tarn was awesome, with the valley that leads to Patterdale ahead of us. ¬†We picked the shorter, but more boggy, route and headed to the descent to Patterdale. ¬†Downhills tend to hurt when your tired, but to have ITB pain and have to tab on long downhills only add to the pain. ¬†“If it hurts to walk, run.” ¬†I repeated to her and she picked up her pace again. ¬†We were making good progress and from being close to the cut off point and having to dib and run at the Penultimate checkpoint, she potentially had a 30-40 min break ahead of her, but only if she could maintain her new pace and not give in to her brain.

This is were I lied!! ¬†“We’ve got 35 minutes before we are timed out. ¬†I’m happy to be timed out, but you need to make the call. ¬†We move faster and we’ll be there in about 20 minutes or you give up now.” ¬†Not my exact words but it was something along those lines. ¬†She did tell me to run off as we were heading down from Grizedale, but I’d said I would stick with her and get her to the end, and that was what was going to happen. ¬†Eventually, we made it to the road section, bumped into Kirsty and Clare (fellow Derbyshire based ultra runners) and I managed to get Lucy a couple of pain killers. ¬†She reached the checkpoint with around 40 minutes to spare, grabbed a tea, ate some food (I went a bit mad for the crisps and tomatoes!) and we set off again, up the last major climb of the route with only 10 miles left. ¬†It was silly to assume any running would take place, so it was a steady walk all the way. ¬†I made a slight navigation and missed the right turning that would lead us back down to the last checkpoint, but I got my head switched back on and we doubled back for a 100yrds to pick up the right path again.

We were the last people at the last checkpoint and got joined by the sweeper. ¬†Lucy managed to pick up her pace and all was going swimmingly on a section of the course that causes lots of people to go astray. ¬†I made mistake number two and followed a group of other runners as soon as I saw their head torches. ¬†Here’s a tip… ¬† Use your compass and dont follow others, especially when you know that the navigation at that point is tricky and easy to get wrong. ¬†I missed a right turn towards the gate back onto the track leading to Askham, but luckily I know how to use a map so we followed a wall that would eventually lead us to the gate we needed and it was comforting to see that the right navigation decision had been made after the mistake as we popped around a corner to see the head torch of the sweeper. ¬†It was somewhat biblical!

I ran off as soon as we joined the sweeper with the plan of locating beer then running back to hand it to Lucy for her Herculean efforts. ¬†Here’s where I ended up remembering that I can’t navigate streets, even with a map! ¬†I ran passed the beer and finish twice, Lucy and the others got to the end before me and people started to get worried about my whereabouts. ¬†I planned on dibbing the finish line after Lucy. ¬†It was the only right thing to do since she put in far more effort than I did, battling with herself, overcoming what people call ‘the dark place’ and changing her body into a perpetual motion machine regardless of the terrain, mental or physical fatigue. ¬†I ended up finishing last and around 7 minutes behind her, didn’t find the beer but it was great to see her finish. ¬†The route and race aren’t going anywhere and next year, I’ll have a crack at it solo.

It’s one hell of a route, the Nav4 crew are unbelievable and made the whole race (despite what most are calling horrendous conditions) a joy to run. ¬†If you’re looking for a tough challenge, would prefer to do it with the safety of a well oiled support crew and you want to see some spectacular examples of Lake District views then you should sign up the Tour de Helvellyn next year.

Why Do You Run? The Relevance Of The Question Whether you #GetOutside or #StayInside

I’ve revisited this¬†repeatedly and realised something…

I’ve either been asking the wrong question or the question isn’t relevant anymore. ¬†When I do run, I get to a point where there’s an urge to just keep running and moving over the terrain as efficiently as I can, letting that effortless sensation wash over me. ¬†The point is, I’m interested in moving efficiently as apposed to quickly. ¬†Even in races I enter,¬†I’m not concerned with how fast I finish, but more concerned with how comfortable I am when I finish.

I’m obsessed with training myself in being able to move over different terrain, passing obstacles with the minimal effort and without the loss of momentum. ¬†Styles, gates, fences, boulders and even fallen trees become part of a giant playground that I can crawl, jump, vault and bounce along. ¬†It’s as though those moments as a child when you challenge yourself to not step on a crack in the pavement, or to cross a stream using the scattered rocks that stick out have returned. ¬†Let the body do what it was designed to do because it feels good. ¬†Training has shifted in favour of working on my mechanics and metabolism, then applying it in a challenge, race or even a new sport.

But the question ends up creeping in again…

 

Why do you run?

The truth of it is that I run so that I can expand my playground, and I can enjoy more of my chosen playground of fells, mountains and trails without less limitations that are caused by a lack of fitness and inability to move.

So…

What’s your reason for running?

Thoughts On Planning The Winter Sandalled #BobGrahamRound – #CumbriaFloodAppeal

Justgiving.com/aleks-kashefi in aid of #CumbriaFloodAppeal

This is a collection of thoughts more than a ‘how to’ guide.

A winter outdoor challenge tends to have a set of problems associated with it, and the higher the ground you will be moving ¬†on the greater the level of risk. ¬†It’s really important that the excitement and anticipation that comes from setting a challenge doesn’t cloud judgement or get in the way of preparing properly.

A Bob Graham round is a challenge in itself, but to undertake it in mid winter, and considering the damage that flooding has done to certain sections of the route, it’s a whole different level of what I fondly called ‘stupidity’. ¬†It is¬†possibly one of the toughest challenges in the UK. ¬†You have to contend with the cold, strong winds, icy conditions, snow (potentially deep snow), visibility issues and you will have to¬†navigate the route, or you jeopardise completing the round.

People will find the fact that I’ll be running in sandals on the route another element that makes it super difficult and for some, the sandals will cause them to completely overlook that other aspects that need to be in place, like physical fitness and the right mentality. ¬†For me, the sandals is normal. ¬†I’ve spent far too many miles, whether wet and muddy, icy and snowy or pleasant and dry, running in either sandals or bare feet to consider doing the round in any other way. ¬†The issue of doing it in sandals will come down to keeping my feet warm with 3 simple steps:

  1. ¬†Making sure that I’m constantly moving. ¬†If you stop, your core temperature drops enough for your body to kick start the response of stopping blood flow to your extremities. ¬†If I have support at the end of each leg, I’m likely to stops for a very brief moment if I stop at all.
  2. Keep your torso, legs, hands and head as warm as possible. ¬†That’s why I have such nice woolly hats. ¬†They are often too warm, but I’d rather have a warm head and avoid cold feet than the other way round.
  3. Protect your feet from snow! ¬†Sound simple, snow has an incredible ability to rob your feet or any other body part of heat. ¬†Running through puddles doesn’t even come close to the running on the same day and happening to run across snow. ¬†Water in puddles that aren’t frozen or the water beneath layers of ice is often around 4oC which does actually feel warm in comparison to snow or ice. ¬†Just to make sure this isn’t a problem I has some interesting ‘ninja’ socks called the Tabu by Luna sandals. ¬†I don’t normally wear them for training runs, regardless of the weather, but I will put them on when travelling across a snowy set of Lake District fells.

The hardest part of the challenge will be to move ¬†fast enough in the snowy, wintery conditions that I’m expecting to face. ¬†The round itself is not going anywhere, but it would be nice to be able to complete the challenge and get it ticked off. ¬†With support during and in between the legs, I can see it being possible, but whether it is done in under 24 hours or not is going to largely depend on the level of my fitness, my ability to manoeuvre over wintery mountain terrain and the weather conditions on the day. ¬†Although I take calculated risks and have learnt to problem solve when things do go wrong, I’m not prepared to put others at risk during the BGR attempt. ¬†If need be, I’ll delay the winter round and wait patiently for a good window of opportunity, using the time to train.

So what am I doing in preparation, other than making sure that I have ways of overcoming the problems of cold feet? ¬†Training and preparing for that persistence in forward motion even when severely sleep deprived, making sure I’m familiar with the route, making sure there is support around the route and making sure that I have planned my nutrition and hydration (and make sure that it’s were I want it when I want it), and most importantly have my escape plans in place. ¬†If you get yourself into a dangerous situation, it is only as dangerous as you make it by not being prepared. ¬†Sometime accidents do happen, but it’s how you are prepared to deal with them that makes the different between an accident and a disaster. ¬†There’s 5 weeks left before the first attempt date is set. ¬†Here’s hoping for a bit of luck in terms of the weather and conditions on the day, but lots can happen in 5 weeks.

If the attempt does have to be called off, I’ll just have to head over to the Grand Day Out in Cumbria Event and get involved in anther way ūüôā

#GetOutside, #PushYourLimits & Become More Than Before

I’ve written something about the mentality the allows someone to push on when others would stop and spent long tired hours contemplating how it is that we can keep moving when really, by the popular consensus we should have quit, stopped and returned.

Earlier in the year I wrote a post about a moment of realisation that seemed to changed my whole approach and outlook to getting myself outside my comfort zone. ¬†The below is a small section of it, and probably the most important sections…

“Yet, at some point I made the conscious decision to go in. ¬†It is easier to be in a dark place and stare up at the light than it is to stand out of reach of the dark and wander what demons lurk within.

Gradually, this dark place began to fill with light.  Where once there were undefined shapes of forbidding, there now stands figures of encouraging challenge.  The way out is easy to find, no longer a distant star, but more a beaming beacon.  The euphoria of reaching a stop point was simply the realisation that it is possible to sink lower than you imagined and then rise out.  I am no longer ashamed or fearful of this dark place. 

It is easier to crawl out of the pit of despair than it is to avoid falling in.”

Here’s something I’ve recently clocked on to, without being nebulous…

I tweeted that I was likely to fail in my next challenge (a winter BGR in sandals), but since its for a good cause I’d take it on. ¬†It’s been something I’ve wanted to try for the last 2 years and after supporting a friend on the route in summer, I’ve become slightly obsessed with it, or more accurately fallen in love with the stupidity of the UK rounds.

For those that don’t know, the UK rounds involve long distances, lots of peaks and the main national parks of the UK. ¬†All of them have ridiculous amounts of ascent, are ultra distances, involved as many peaks as you can grab and require lots of navigation and outdoor skills. ¬†This is all before you consider the fitness needed and the mentality that goes hand in hand with these challenges. ¬†There are¬†3 big rounds in the UK¬†that I’m fascinated by, mostly because of the mental aspect. ¬†How does a person cope mentally with such a challenge?

This is where the tweet reply from Ricky comes in….

Untitled.jpg

At some point along the way, I seem to have embraced the philosophy that I was so interested in when I was at the end of my university degree, and even more interested in when I went back to college to try my hand at photography.

It’s a simple concept.

When faced with adversity you should embrace failure before you even begin. ¬†But this seems to completely counter what we are told about positive mental attitude. ¬†Think about it happening, see yourself being successful and you will be. ¬†The thing is, it’s an oddly peaceful mental state to get into. ¬†As soon as you acknowledge the failure and embrace it, a sense of indifference seems to roll over you. ¬†You aren’t worried about failing. ¬†It’s almost as though the failure doesn’t exist. ¬†The same happens with the thoughts of success. ¬†They seem to disintegrate as you develop the same sense of indifference to the idea of finishing successfully.

What is there left if your indifferent to it all?  Well, its an odd sense of nothingness, where you simply act as is needed.   You develop a strange sense of purpose that drives you forwards, regardless of pain, tiredness or injury.  Most importantly, you act as you need to act, freed from the usual constraints that inform or shape our decisions when involved in challenges.

I am a fan of the phrase “endeavour to cultivate stupidity” because for me it embodies this attitude to challenges. ¬†I will be starting a whole new part of my little adventure, and it will be interesting to see what happens, but for now, I’m going to focus on getting in the right frame of mind to complete probably the hardest physical challenge of my life…

The Bob Graham round, and I will do it to raise awareness of the fundraising that the Cumbrian Foundation are doing. So, if you wish to help you can get involved in one of the following ways:

 

An Obsession With The Bob Graham Round – #CumbriaFloodAppeal #GetOutside

Donate or share please ūüôā –> Justgiving.com/aleks-kashefi

There been a couple of summers that I’ve wanted to get my self around the Bob Graham Round route. ¬†The closest I’ve got is supporting a friend on her attempt to get the round complete in under 24 hours. ¬†Needless to say that it was an amazing experience and utterly inspirational to be involved. ¬†Seeing the camaraderie and the focus on Clare’s well being and her progress from the people supporting her, and also the positivity of everyone was incredible¬†(read more here).

So, why haven’t I done it already?

First time, I took on a charity school trip, taking 25 school students who all raised ¬£2000, to a school in Ghana to improve the conditions at the school and give them clean water. ¬†We needed some extra funds so I decided to cultivate a little stupidity! ¬†I sold raffle tickets at ¬£1 each and for every ticket sold I planned to complete one hill rep. ¬†A 0.1 mile loop with 18′ of ascent. ¬†On its own, it sounds easy, but I ended up doing 652 laps, one after the other, all in one day.

During this act of sheer stupidity, I ended up thinking about running from Land’s End to John O’Groats in the summer of 2015. ¬†Compared to the disorientating experience of running round in circles, struggling to manage hydration and nutrition, it seems like heaven. ¬†Thats why I ran the route in summer and since it made sense to simplify the equipment as much as I could, I ran it barefoot.

But the thing is, the want to complete the BGR was still there. ¬†It was like a splinter that you just don’t seem to be able to get out, or an itch you can’t scratch. ¬†It’s this constant mental itch that made me think about doing the round, solo and with no support. ¬†I’m not interested in the prestige of doing something this challenging, so I was planning on not telling anyone other than my emergency backup. ¬†That way, failure didn’t matter as it was private, there was no need to get anyone else involved and it could be my own private little test, answering the simple question of was I capable of completing it with my current level of fitness?

Then the horrendous weather smashed into Cumbria!! ¬†I found out about an event called Grand Day Out in Cumbria and the fund raising being done by the Cumbrian Foundation to help those that need the help and fix the problems cause by the extreme weather. ¬†This is why I shouldn’t make decision whilst running or after running!! ¬†I get over excited…

I suddenly decided that I would announce the BGR attempt and use it to raise funds for the Cumbrian Foundation. ¬†So, being as I don’t run or explore in anything other than my Luna sandals, and the fact I’m planning on doing the same round in the summer months barefoot,¬†it makes perfect sense to do a winter round in my Lunas, with my Luna Tabu socks as an extra bit of protection against the potential cold.

There’s two questions that come to my mind with this challenge just 5 weeks away…

Am I fit enough to be able to move at the pace needed to complete the round in 24 hours? ¬†There’s no way of finding this out without doing the round.

Do I have the right mentality to take this thing on?  The answer to that is yes.  The hill rep challenge, running LeJog and knowledge of my family history have all given me a mentality that seems to be suited to these challenges.

To get more prepared, I’m going to be taking part in the Tour de Helvellyn race on the 19th of December, and hiking the entire BGR route over 3 days starting on the 27th of December. ¬†Hiking it unsupported¬†is going to be a completely different challenge to running the route. ¬†I’ll be accompanied by a new found friend,¬†people will know the route and when we should be at different locations and the kit we will carry will be on the excessive side, but it will be great training and more about learning the route and having fun than pushing my limits.

So, on the 16th of January 2016, wearing my sandals, a trusty bobble hat, carrying some Tailwind nutrition and other essential kit I will touch the door of Moot Hall in Keswick and I’ll take the first steps towards answering the question about my fitness.

If you feel you can help out or wish to donate, here is the Justgiving page or donate directly to the CumbrianFoudnation.org

Alternatively, go along to the Grand Day Out in Cumbria event or just go visit Cumbria. ¬†It’s a beautiful part of the world and deserved a little attention and love.

Small Adventures Inspire As Much As Big Ones

 

running pics-10-2

It feels like I’m rediscovering those lost joys that I have access to. Moving feels great, standing to admire where you reach is even better. Appreciate your surroundings, the breath that fills your lungs and the beating of your heart.

WORDS OF WARNING!!
This post contains images of a naked runner.  He is fully naked and in his nakedaty (the act of being unnecessarily naked) he completely detracts attention from his barefeet 

It’s not often someone allows you to get involved in their celebrations of a personal achievement or milestone, and its probably even less likely to involve freezing temperatures, blowing gales and a distinct lack of any footwear or clothes!

Still, this seems to have been Peter’s idea of marking his 1000th mile of the year.  A naked run, at night, across the moorland on top of a section of the Peak District known as Shinning Tor.  The route is fairly challenging and covers 2 miles with all of it up hill as you meander along a boggy footpath and slabbed areas, completely open to the elements and having no where for you to shelter from the wind or rain.  Last night, the rain came and went quickly, but the freezing winds didn’t.  They were strong enough to push you off balance on occasions and cold enough to burn your face as they hit you.  Still, Peter was going to get this run done.

He looked nervous and his body language showed a mixture of the nervousness and I think a slight bit of excitement!  He was about to do something that would push himself beyond his normal limits.  Not just the lack of clothes in the cold, but running in barefeet on technical trails.  I have to say I was concerned about the effect of the cold on his feet and its ability to completely drain the body of heat.  Along with Joe (a fellow runner who had joined us as support) we got out the car, Peter undressed in the back of his car and then as quickly as he could he started his run.

My job was to take pictures of him running, so holding a small lightweight tripod, with camera attached, in one hand and a small manual flash in the other, I ran off ahead.  Constantly checking back to see how Pete was moving, setting up the camera, waiting for him to get into shot and using the separate flash to make sure he actually registered in the photo added an odd sense of excitement to the evening.  The other aspect of excitement was to be involved with such an insane idea in the first place.  I’ve ran barefoot in the winter, but fully clothed and know what it can do to your feet if you aren’t careful.  The other part was to make sure Pete was ok.

Hypothermia has a way of sneaking up on a person who’s running.  You run and your body heats up, you lose body heat from sweat and if it rains, the evaporation of the moisture robs you of even more body heat.  Constantly watching how Pete was moving, talking to him and checking that his speech hasn’t changed and asking him how his hands and feet felt was the other part of the deal.  I had to make sure he didn’t become hypothermic, and if he did deal with it as quickly as possible.  Both of us (Joe and I) ran along, gave Pete the encouragement you would give someone racing, watching him move along at a great pace considering the conditions and seeing the joy he felt on reaching the trig point at the top of Shinning Tor was amazing.  He had done something, which although short in distance, took a certain level of self control and self belief to achieve.  His prancing around the trig could be excused at this point, but the fact that his body temperature would begin to drop fairly quickly was worrying.  He posed for a couple of pics, ran behind a wall and out of the wind, and Joe helped him get dressed.

running pics-8-2

I love the frantic nature of this.  He’d completed his challenge, based the 1000 mile mark and was now posing and admiring the view.

He was fully dressed and had been for a few minutes, but he was starting to get hypothermic.  His coordination seemed off and his speech was slightly slower than normal.  I made him put on my waterproof on tip of everything, forcing the hood over his head.  Then we began to move at a slow steady pace, and I’m glad the extra layer fit him and we spotted the fact that he was starting to become hyperthermic early.  Within a few minutes of running back to the car, his normal movement had returned and he was chatting along normally.

Now, I can’t in anyway describe how Peter felt after his little 2 miles of insanity, but I had a certain sense of pride and awe at what he’d achieved.  It takes a fair bit to really put your self out of your comfort zone and avoid those creature comforts that we are told are essential.  At the same time, our bodies and minds are capable of so much more when we give them the opportunity, when we let them out of the box we place around them as a security blanket against harm.  It seems with each random mini adventure, training run and discussion I’m getting back to the sheer joy of being alive that I felt during summer.  For his part in that, I’d like to thank Pete and also Joe for his help on the night, and getting Pete dressed so quickly.

SO, here’s a couple of serious points…..

Firstly, if you’re going to go outside and push yourself, make sure you have a safety net or several escape routes.  The second part is make sure you have as much knowledge of the outdoor and the problems you’ll face as you can, and if you don’t…  Take someone along who will do.

And on that note, here’s a bit of info on hypothermia that’s really useful to read, especially since we are heading into winter.

Hypothermia Info

If you scroll down, you can see the pictures of the evening but be warned…..   He was naked!

 

http://everythingoutdoors.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2013/12/FRA-Hypothermia-Guide-V2.pdf

http://everythingoutdoors.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2013/12/FRA-Hypothermia-Guide-V2.pdf

A New Door Opens! @OrdnanceSurvey #getoutside

Firstly, a huge thanks to anyone who was kind enough to nominate me as an Ordnance Survey #GetOutside champion. ¬†I didn’t expect anyone to really put in a nomination, and my self nomination wasn’t the best.

Still, I’m now officially a #GetOutside champion for Ordnance Survey and absolutely blown away by the opportunities this could open up!

It’s given new drive and focus to what I want to achieve, ideas for adventures, how to get others involved are flowing and I’ve started to get more organised about raising my adventure game.

Here’s to a new¬†and productive partnership.

Now stop reading this and #getoutside! ūüėČ