Sunday was time for a long run, haven’t done anything more than 10 miles for a few weeks and I’m very aware I now have less than 6 weeks to the Preseli Beast 24 mile fell race….
A lovely spring morning though so I strapped on my pack with a litre of water, homemade energy bars and headed out. It was a complete pleasure to get out and run and I felt great for the majority of it. I planned 13 miles to the rivermouth in Ogmore and back and ended up doing 15. The slow introduction of speedwork seems to be working as it feels like I can run further at the lower speeds now.
I just enjoy saying and thinking it. After a seemingly endless winter its here … I swear it this time!
A quick 5 miler but done at a quicker pace – Nobody shout at me I’m doing this properly and keeping an eye on impact stress – its all about quick and light feet not overstriding and causing a braking effect. This is as technical I get but I do understand the theory now to put it in practice. So the 5 miles was done at 9 minute mile pace which quite frankly amazed me as it was a cliff run so included both elevation and wind!
After work yesterday the sun shone so I set out for a quick seven miler to Witches and back. I’d noticed a tent actually on the pebbles a few times but hadn’t been close enough to get a photo of it. I figured someone was enjoying a bit of wild camping. Yesterday I met the owner of the tent and what a lovely guy he is.
Sometimes I wonder if this is a bad running blog or a bad photography blog. I think I’ll continue to mix the two beacuse there wasn’t much to write home about runningwise, knocked out 5 miles easily enough with some speedwork but saw some stuff of interest though. So basically if I dont have much to say about one thing i can switch to the other. I’d like to call it cunning but it is of course accidental.
So I was pondering yesterday while running. I was pondering progress and how you measure it. I have a tonne of statistics since I started wearing a heart monitor at the start of the year but they mean pretty much nothing to me. I know Ive been progrssing as I feel better on runs, I fatigue less quickly, I can keep up a higher pace for longer and recover faster. All these things are instinct … I just _know_
But my statistics from my watch and HR? I dont see how you can judge improvement from numbers when there are so many external factors. For a start I run on different routes and terrains every single run, its very rare I will follow the exact same path twice. I do different distances, I run at different paces depending on what I stop and photograph or explore.
I can understand how road runners with a single route can judge metrics as they can remove the variables meaning its just their form that determines their time. For me time is relatively meaningless apart from hours on feet. I thought, perhaps I could just do exactly the same offroad route everynow and again and look at those stats … But thats not why I run, I run to be free and this is choice limiting.
So I guess I’ll look at the fancy stats each run, ponder and think “ahh fuck it I felt good and thats what counts” Cos to me thats what does.
I know some of you out there – Yes you CeejayKay – Seem to love mist. I gotta admit it has a charm all of its own and every now and again its kinda nice to run in for a change …. but this is getting ridiculous!
So 7 miles and it felt pretty easy so I as doing some speedwork on the sand. I feel like its time to shift emphasis slightly from the base building plod to subtly improving. Slowly and steadily of course, Im so so so wary of my bodys limits these days
So I was looking forward to running after work yesterday, the sun had been out all day and it was likely to be a good tide to run. Until I got nearer home … Wick and the surrounds have their own microclimate and by the time I arrived home visibility was pretty dire.
The good news was that I covered 7 miles and felt fantastic all the way even after a full day on my feet running around like the proverbial blue arsed fly.
As far as the tide here is concerned it’s this low …
Which is awesome when you get to run on it all morning. It was a fun training type run of around 10 miles at an average pace of under 11 mins a mile which I’m really happy with considering it was cliffs and beach. I can definitely feel progression happening. I can comfortably keep up a quicker pace for longer now and the wheels don’t seem to fall off as quickly. In fact I positively raced home from the beach.
As the tide was so low I explored Witches Point at Southerndown for a while as I could get to bits normally cut off.
So I did indeed come down with a cold. It’s an everpresent danger of working in multiple primary schools with hundreds of snot ridden, coughing little monsters. This explains my lethargy last weekend I think. So for 3 days I laid off pretty much everything but work. I figured I might as well go in and cough all over the little bastards as revenge.
Then yesterday I felt an improvement plus it was springlike and sunny when i got home from work. I know I’ve already declared the start of spring around 15 times already this year but ladies and gentlemen I swear THIS IS IT. It was warm enough to go out in shorts and tshirt for a cliff run!
Off I ran and everything felt great including whatever bit of me creates snot as it was determined to join in the party! The legs were awesome after 3 days rest (reminder – rest is good) and I carved out 5 miles along technical track and cliffs (Ok I finished with a bit of road because I wanted to pop into see my parents who (Yes mum you gave me your cold not vica versa)) at 10 min mile pace which is unheard of for me considering the number of stiles and walls I cross.