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.
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 ….
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.
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
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
The rest of the run was spectacular as the sun came out to give me some nice shots
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.
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
Glad I did as it turned out kinda nice down there. Knocking out miles for fun at the moment and everything holding together.
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.
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
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
Then a slip slidey route home incorporating death defying downhill skiing techniques on the mud paths of the cwms
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
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.
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
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.
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.
Yes indeed it is time for me to unveil this years beachcombed xmas tree! This years required 10 miles of running and searching and 3 miles of carrying back on my shoulder (its a bit bigger than last years hence it being rammed against my ceiling which also mae for tricky navigating under trees and over stiles on way back) The sun was sort of out though so made for a pleasant morning and I was happy with my discovery.
Being cold, wet and tired is an acquired taste it seems. No point in avoiding water on days like this after overnight monsoons. Just get ready to splash! The feet do freeze at first but then the water in the shoes warms up a bit and adds to the warmth – I tell myself this anyway it makes the whole thing seem a little saner
The title does make sense I promise. On saturday a friend and I were meant to go beachcombing for an xmas tree. However due to my lack of insight into how late the sun rises (as I rarely see dawn) I kinda messed up the timings so we called it off at 6.30 and I stayed in bed until it was light and I could run (silver linings eh) Can you spot the mistake below? Sunrise at 8.08, tide at 8.08 over 6 metres – no beach to comb …. oops
Only around 9 miles but along the cliffs as I want to get at least some hill work done for next year. I fed carrots to the horses and got to look at high tide folly from the cliffs
In other news sorry If I’ve been a bit slack on updates and following all your blogs and stuff. Mums been in hospital for a few weeks now (very kind of her to do it in my off-season though!) and it’s been a bit hectic. She looks to be on the mend now so as I know you’ll read this sending love mum!