Its been two years since I started running and the reason for starting and keeping going haven’t completely changed only morphed slightly. For those new to the blog you can read here about why.
So yesterday the sun shone, I needed a long run and I decided to do a loop taking in as many of the places Soaky and I used to explore as I could manage.
I headed for Witches Point first off
Easy enough going to start, I was running with a pack and water as I was intending to go over 10 miles at least. It was already hot early on though so off came the shirt. With the breeze on the cliffs it didnt really feel hot enough to burn though ….
From Ogmore I cut inland following the river.
It was midday now and getting hotter plus away from the coast the breeze had died away and I was working hard and sweating just to keep a reasonable pace. I was gonna have to ration water or find some.
Seeing all these places was a great way to remember Soak and I was proud I could run the lot. Its only been two years but I’ve come a long way in more way than one. I’m still as dumb as they come in some ways, I’m rather sunburned writing this …. We live and learn!
Not the Oxford v Cambridge type but today included a race against a boat along the coast. The run started normally as per usual. Down to the beach and along to Witches Point.
At Witches Point I stopped to turn to return home (around 3 and a half miles) and noticed a sailboat just coming around the point and headed with the wind in the direction homeards…..
I wonder if Im faster than a sailboat over 2 miles? Even better a boat that doesnt know its in a race. The course was set – me v boat to the headland in the photo below. I had some rocks to traverse but I reckoned I could do it
So as the boat drew level I was off. Boats actually go much quicker than they seem when you’re trying to keep level so for the 2 miles or so I was going pretty much flat out. I was pleasantly surprised that I could do the first mile over a lot of rocks at 7 minute pace but the boat was keeping level. The second mile was just wet sand and with some determination and complete disregard for my health I managed a 6 minute mile (probably the first and only in my life) to come in just ahead of the boat. Winner winner chicken dinner!
Next up a speedboat ….. kidding …. Last risk taken before the ultra …. probably
So the holidays started officially yesterday and so I ran despite the torrential rain. I mean it was stair-rod stuff, cats n dogs, pissing it down. You know the drill. So I only did the beach and back as by the time I got there I was like a drowned rat and didn’t fancy dying of hypothermia running along the exposed beach despite it being july – its still Wales!
Tide was in so a bit of gamboling (Just wanted to use the word) in the cool breeze through the Welsh countryside and up along the clifftops. Plus a quick visit to see the folks! 5 miles at a steady pace ramping up to 7.30 miles as I was ticking along on the roads to incorporate the parents house. Legs feeling rather good at the moment. Perhaps form is coming back at the right time!
Got a run in before the impending storms … that never really happened – shame I was looking forward to some thunder and lightning. It was humid though.
I appear to now only suffer from plantar fascitis when not running ….. once I’m running it seems fine but afterwards and in work it aches – go figure! I’ll live with that tradeoff to be honest … typical runners reaction I guess!
After a weekend at my friends place that involved little sleep, much Guinness and a hardcore punk festival I was tired by the time I got home from work yesterday and the chances seemed high I was sofa bound but it was a sunny day and I hadn’t run in what 3 or 4? And having read about my blogging buddies getting up and going for it I decided to do the same – thanks for the inspiration guys and gals.
It was definitely worth it, I flew! On rested legs it all felt so easy, down in the 8’s for much of it and it felt sustainable. 7 miles in just over an hour for a Witches Point run is good going for me. Perhaps I’ll be more ready for Cornwall than I thought.
Time to semi-retire my Inov8 xtalon 200’s I think. They can go in the back of the van for impromptu runs. I think probably the best recommendation for running shoes is that I bought exactly the same pair to replace them. I find them that comfortable (for a stripped down shoe) and wouldnt run in anything else if I know I’m doing technical stuff. The grip is utterly fantastic and I love that I can really feel the rocks under my feet. I feel confident in my foot placement so much more in the 200’s.
But after around 3-400 miles I can see materials starting to tear and I want to run Cornwall in them – or the same model at least so I’ve got a new pair to break in ready.
To be honest the new ones don’t even take any breaking in, I did 7 miles in them yesterday and felt perfect from the off.
Welcome to the world new shoes – I’m gonna wreck you!
A quick tempo run around the beach today, was feeling good and working hard seemed to make me feel better so I pushed a little and did 5 miles under 10 minute pace for the whole thing which by my calculations include 20 stile and gates and at least half a mile of tricky rock running. Im trying to recover some form as its only 5 weeks to cornwall and I havent fitted in a long run for ages due to a suddenly mental social life! Still you cant really justify missing someones wedding for a long run …. can you?
And the post title? I was pushing back up the wooded path homewards bound and passed an older guy in hiking gear, walking stick and broad brimmed hat, I puffed a good afternoon and went past. Next thing I know he’s alongside going hell for leather “to give you someone to race against” he shouted. I had to laugh, theres me working hard and this guy is flailing along madly next to me. Fair play he managed around 100 metres before falling back with the cry of “I’ll let you have this one” I gave him a cheery thumbs up and headed on bemused.