Frozen dog stops play

Couple of days ago I went up to the Brecon Beacons with a friend and her mums dog to find some snow.  We appear to be missing out on the fun down here in the South but I guess one of the beauties of living in Wales is that there are always mountains a few hours away at most.

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Short dog and deep snow issues

Tilly aka ratdog did actually do quite well and had a whale of a time in the snow. But after a while it was clear she was getting pretty cold ….

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So this is me doing an impression of a South American paramilitary holding a frozen dog hostage

So after thawing her out we heaed home where I realised I was technically in my running gear anyway and so it would have been amiss to not get down the beach too so go to knock out seven miles as well.

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How much warmer does this look?  (It wasn’t though)

Xmas day – bickering horses and surfing seagulls

Ran the cliffs again xmas morning and it was a beautiful one and all for just me!

First I delivered some xmas carrots to the guys – They look so happy together here but note the flattened ears on the left?  They had just squabbled over the carrots so I withdrew all carrot priveliges until they played nicely

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I had nothing for the seagulls but they were amusing themselves by surfing. There were hundreds catching the waves and I swear they were doing it for fun only taking off if a wave actually broke on them

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You can barely see them but the white dots are sufing seagulls – made my xmas morning watching them

The rest of the run was spectacular as the sun came out to give me some nice shots

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Xmas eve

As im two days behind this was on xmas eve, another run with the tide in so along the cliffs through the mud.  It’s getting very slidy out there and I can now say in slippery mud the Inov8 Xtalons beat the Dynafit and La Sportiva for pure grip. I wont run another ultra (unless its all slippery mud) in them but theyre prefect for days like this.

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Outbound cliffs – Thats Witches Point at the end

By the time I’d run around and up and over Witches I noticed the tide had dropped a metre of so giving me an opportunity to return as far as the ladders via the beach

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See?  Thats enough gap to run

Glad I did as it turned out kinda nice down there.  Knocking out miles for fun at the moment and everything holding together.

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Thick and fast

Saturdays run was on the beach and cliffs, it was misty again and I actually only took 3 photos – 2 of which I present even though they aren’t spectacular

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Misty beach
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On the cliffs it the conditions were kinda miserable but the sun did poke through – Many many  miles away

More fog and hills and sheep and stuff

Start as you mean to go on and as soon as I was finished with work for the next two weeks I was out to get some miles in. I knew I’d done the run as my watch told me I had but I couldn’t really see much of it.

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Thats the sea there on the right and ahead you can’t see the cliffs

I like running in fog to be honest, even if there are other people about I don’t have to see them, I’m not antisocial honest. Plus its true that as with running at night it’s less percieved effort, you just run to the immediate surroundings and don’t worry about distances to things. Hard ot explain but it really is easier to maintain pace when you can’t see.

I climbed up witches point past a new fallen tree obstacle

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Realised I was not alone up there. But then again I don’t mind my little buddies and they don’t seem to mind me anymore

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Then a slip slidey route home incorporating death defying downhill skiing techniques on the mud paths of the cwms

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And a good decision to forget the paths on the way up and climb stright up the grass.

Now all I need to do is to remember to post and not get behind as it’s going to be a busy running two weeks

Only an hour

But a quick run after work can be memorable when the conditions are right … wrong depending on your perspective. It was mizzling and gloomy but I felt like getting out so I grabbed the headtorch and shot off to the beach.

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Its down there somewhere I can hear it
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Ok so now we get white goods delivered to the beach – This is gonna take some shifting if the tide doesnt
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And nets – big nets, perhaps they are to catch fridges in
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Off into the mist. 

I was enjoying being out and didn’t feel like turning back as it got darker figuring I know it well enough that a headtorch would be fine. Of course it started raining a bit harder at that point but thats fine.

I got to the ladders and commenced my climb while it was light enough

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Note superb capture of rain driving horizontally by now

So up the ladder (I was very careful mum I promise I even used my hands and everything) and scrambled up to the clifftops and decided to use my headtorch for the descent back at the other end and discovered the battery was dead …

Apparently the torch feature on android phones is not an app and being cold & wet up a steep slope you have to descend is not the place to have to discover how to locate it. Eventually I worked it out and managed to run home without further incident – well apart from nearly running into a horses arse which its fair to say gave us both minor heart attacks.

See what you can get done in an hour? Lots!

My way or the high way …

I’ll do both.  The best thing about christmas is the 2 week break coming up which means I can get out and begin to train properly for next year.  When I say train I mean enjoy myself outside and by properly I mean pretend I know what i’m doing. Thoughts are turning towards what I want to achieve next year. Well to be fair they turned a while ago and my plans are coming together. What I will need more of in 18 is altitude. Time to get up in them that hills and get used to ascents (and descents – damn you quads we WILL get along)

Why the high life? Well this is the plan. In May its the Preseli Beast again, so having done the 11 miler 2 years ago and the 24 last year I’ll give the hat-trick a go and try the 32 mile ultrabeast.  So 4 months or so to get ready for that.

Then I’ve actually already signed up for another race in July – bear with me here it’s all part of the bigger plan.  So I get 2 months between Preseli and the Scafell Pike marathon which looks horrendously fun and painful.

And this is where it gets a little more complicated – The Scafell race provides 2 qualifying points for UTMB – the OCC race not the 100 miler!

So assuming I finish Scafell I need another 2 points to go into the draw for 2019. So I’m looking at a “holiday” in the summer to run abroad and snaffle a few more points.  The beauty of this plan to me is that I’m holding distances at around 30 miles but upping the climbing as running longer flat ultras doesn’t really appeal at the moment.

At the moment I’m looking at this … Pitzal Glacier

So no I’ve probably not thought it through but I’m gonna try for it anyway, why not?

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I ran another 10 miles on sunday – 10 is to be the new short

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