Goals and intellectual scavenging

Warning! This post is about internal musings not a run! No photos (Well I might sneak one or two in)

Last week I read this post on the excellent ultrarunning blog by James Stewart which got me thinking about not just how I run but why.  As the winner of the Rocky Raccoon 100 in Texas last month I think its definitely worth a read from someone who’s “done it” and a great jumping off point if you want to get started but have doubts.

I checked with James and he was happy for me to basically scavenge his post in order to present my thoughts – well I said reference but i’m using it as a template. Theft is the highest form of flattery or something.

James uses 4 tips to set his goals.  When reading these it made me wonder why I’m running. I kinda know but its not something thats straight in my head. My eventual goal is one that i hope to complete this year – an ultra. The one I have planned is a 32 miler along the Cornish coastal path in August

Which means I will have gone from unfit non-runner who literally couldnt run a tenth of a mile without dying to running an ultra in two years. Thats my goal.

OK I have a goal after all – I just didnt really realise I had arranegd this part without knowing.

  1. James says “Firstly, I determine why it is important enough to be a personal goal.”  Well I have this cracked too. I’m not doing it for bragging rights or as an end it really kind of boils down to a promise I made to a small dying dog two years ago ….
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Soakys favourite thing ever – Destroying wood – Sticks, branches, logs, firewood – anything would get chewed to destruction.

After 16 years I knew losing her would be a huge wrench so I promised her I wouldnt mope about and would do something to get outside and keep my head clear. I still dont know why I picked running but it seemed a good way of continuing to visit the beach where we spent so many happy hours chewing wood.

As I improved fitness-wise the goal of an ultra just slowly worked its way into my head as the miles ticked by – You gotta have something to think about!

2. So next up James says ““Soon” and “One day” and “I’ll need to do that” and allthatshittypassivelanguage needs to be eradicated from your vocabulary.”

You gotta pick a date – Well I have that! I actually signed up when injured in a moment of cabin fever induced madness last year but this years date is perfect!

3. James says “Then, I tell people about it”  Ok so this one is a little trickier.  Most of my friends feign an interest in what I’m doing but don’t really comprehend it. I’m fine with that, it’s my journey not thers anyway and I like having it.  My parents are incredibly cool about it, they read the blog and enjoy my progress and I know they are rooting for me in whatever I do.  So the other peeople who get the sharing are you guys – I find writing the blog does two things – It helps me log my training records and photos so there are always reference points. It also gets me communicating with other like minded people. I have 128 followers now – who knew!  And some of you I feel I know really well just through the blog.  Your support is incredible, I get advice and a sense of community which is important as I am most definitely an anti-social runner out on the trails!

4. James – “In the words of MC Hammer (and many much better rappers) I then break it down.”  break things down into smaller manageable chunks.   This I’ve already done naturally without even knowing it.  I’ve seen myself go from nothing, 1 mile, 2, 3 etc  I remember when 8 was a huge deal, 13, 15 and now 20.  I know I can keep adding and pushing a little bit til I get there.  I have one big race in a few weeks – The Preseli Beast which is 24 miles of fell running which is going to be a huge test as its going to be a lot of steeeeeeeep climbing over a distance Ive not covered yet. I’ll give it my best and remember its just a bitesize step – Just a huge chewy painful bite.

Just as they say pick your fights carefully then pick your goals carefully – but pick them. Get off yo ass and pick them!

As I said at the start of this post (and well done if you waded this far) many thanks to James for his motivational post which got me putting all this into words. And again congrats on the Rocky Racoon win – I guess youre an elite now!

Oh and one more photo!

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Doggles!

 

 

Just a quick jaunt

Only because I like the word jaunt.  Just a quick visit to the beach as the body wasnt really feeling like pushing today but the mind wanted fresh air for an hour. Rememebr kids listen to your mum and your body – They know best!

I spent some time fiddling with wordpress too, I was full on my free plan so it seemed like the ideal time to do an upgrade to the next plan for more space and now the world can find me at https://bluegreengoldgrey.com/

Which makes no difference to you lot I know … You’re already here

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Short run – Same old scenery 😉

 

 

How green was my waterfall

Took 7 more miles and a sunny day to finally catch up with my posts! Only to Witches Point and back but totally worth it if only to realise my body is so happy at the shorter distances its building confidence for the longer ones.

I of course saw some stuff ™

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Spring weather means algae! (and waterfalls) Look – I have discovered purest green!
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I found quicksand – Not necessary to throw myself flat as it was contnet to stop at my ankles – There are shifting patches of this all over the beach, running into one is a bitch as it suddenly stops you and pulls all your legs muscles at once.
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Of course there were beautiful views
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And a little boat braving the sea between the shore and Nash sands, I wayched in hope for a while but it didnt sink

 

Sundays long run

Still a few days behind but this was sunday where I managed 18 miles or so along the coastal paths. The day before I had managed to sunburn the bottom of my legs while basking in the sun while marshalling the track so I slapped on a bit of suncream and headed out as earlty as it gets for me – 7.45! It was beautiful and chilly at that time.

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Misty climb to the top of the cliffs. The seagulls were up early to greet me.
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I had it planned so after 4 miles I turned at the slipway in Atlantic College, the first 8 miles were designed as a warmup.

Once I was back at Monknash and warmed up the sun was rising fast and it was already getting hot, I never work well in heat so this was a good test of how far I’ve come.

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At the bottom of one of the Cwms I found the bluebells were in full bloom
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Kept going up to Witches Point. From here I was headed to Ogmore by Sea. I forgot that I would be hitting it as all the people visiting the beach would…. As you know I’m no fan of company while running so I found it easy to forget the heat and miles and concentrated on hating people instead for a while. I believe its called coping tactics.

Considering it was another long run although it didn’t feel any easier the terrain was harder with more climbing and descending and the heat didn’t help so I was happy to finish 18 miles in under four hours and kept plugging away.

On the way back I had to force my way through these ….

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Head high plants full of pollen!

They were like this a few weeks ago

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Same field on March 20th – Damn nature you scary!

I think this was friday

Due to a hectic weekend I havent had chance to post so I’m a few runs behind.

But here are my botanical quiz answers!

1 Daisies
2 Dandelions
3 Celandine (thanks mum for knowing this)
4 Hawthorn
5 Primrose
6 Bluebell
And the beer was Hereford Pale Ale!

So I think Mawil did best only missing number 3 and the beer while Benjamin and Sergei need to brush up on their daisies!

And special mention to neveradullbling for getting thepale ale part right!

Together you cracked it!

So this was friday, quick 5 miler after work in the sun! Best preperation for 2 weeks off

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Simply stunning views
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Was a pleasure to be out
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And the fields were a perfect yellow under a blue sky

Botanical Brainstorm

So again and again I will bang on about spring as its my favourite season and it’s here!

Only a short run because …

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Tides in!

So instead I ran off into the woods and fields to set up a quiz for you all. Some easy, some not so easy to suit all ages!

So can you name the botany?

Easy to start

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Number 1?
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Number 2?
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Number 3?
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Number 4?
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Number 5?
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Number 6?

Tiebreaker!

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What beer is the snowman drinking? (old photo I just found from my pub running days)

More Speedwork under blue skies

Back to my weekday runs, feels so good not to have to rush home in the cold and dark. I’m sure that each run gets microscopically easier. It’s almost impossible to gauge progress but I think the secret like many things in life is to stick at it until something gives … its either survival or ignomious collapse in the sand

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The gulls just watch me these days and dont even bother flapping away unless I get much closer. We have learned to co-exist, I give them room and they dont fly about shit on me.
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Liked the way this one turned out