Brecon wander

Went up the Brecon beacons yesterday.  Out into the bits people don’t tend to go and just hiked around a bit with the dog.  It was pretty cold, then hot, then windy then not. Hey im a poet! We didn’t follow the paths mainly as there weren’t any. Its quite liberating and definitely fun to just go where you please. This did mean we spent a few hours or so falling in bogs, marshes and swamps (we havnt worked out which is which yet) but wet feet is a given these days.  Plus Tilly the dog loved every minute of it even if she couldnt see over the grass much of the time I guess.

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Pro tip – Park the car by a big obvious mountain like this one so you dont lose it
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Technically we should have been over there but I cannot tell a lie – my directions are shit
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Standing stone doing what it does best
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Waterfall – slightly on the wonk
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Frozen “waterfall” / trickle
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Is that the mountain by the car? Oh …
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Look I CAN take photos – Tilly in her snazzy coat
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Ok we put the dog with short legs on the rock for a photo shoot, she didnt leap there – tiny legs and all that. Though she did exceptionally well seeing as its not really short dog terrain
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Reservoir points to car (backup in case of loss of mountain)
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“Over there is bog…. over there is marsh ….. over there is swamp” ( I fell in most of them)

Shoe question

Anyone know anything about biomechanics?

I discovered my beloved La Sportiva mutants have broken – A tear in the left shoe on the front left side. Fair enough I cant complain at all – By my vague reckoning these shoes have done around 400 miles and taken an absolute battering plus spend a lot of time immersed in salt water.  In fact they’ve done well to make it this far!

I checked – My Inov8s – both pairs had split in exactly the same place – as had my dynafit SL.

Errrr so is this coincidence or is there something in my biomechanics/gait  that is causing it? Can I remove my left little toe? Doesnt do much anyway right?

 

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Same place every time.

Going longer with a wonky leg and sunshine

The plan continues – run longer, take a day or two off to rest ankle then run longer.  Each time the ankle takes longer to hurt more, it was fine til around 12 this time.  Everything feels stronger. Might be the yoga (yep I’m still doing it although the breathing side of it mystifies me. I wanna breathe when I need oxygen dammit I cant wait for my arms to be over there ——>  ) might be the general stretching, might be the work on the bike (and parents exercise bike – cheers for that even though I broke it immediately) might be the wobble board. Might be a lot of things but I’m feeling more optimistic about things holding together.

While checking out my ankles – yeah we all do it I’m sure. I’ve noticed that my right leg is considerably bigger than my left, I did spot it a while back but its definitely more pronounced, Im gonna look like a leggy version of popeye at this rate. I guess its from the right leg doing all the hard work – all the pushing up onto rocks and taking the impact when dropping off them. In fact any time I need to drive up anything the right leg does all the work as I protect the left foot and ankle. Cant be helped so Ill just look weird in shorts I guess!

Anyway enough waffling about my wonky body, bring on the photos!

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Rainbow! See it this time dad?
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It was pretty damn amazing down there – hence a 4hr training session
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Can you blame me for staying out as long as I could?
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Molehills on a hill!  Highest moles in the Vale
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Sun starts dropping and time to go home

Always better in the sun

Did 11 on sunday and got back into running with a pack. Its not particulary necessary but the extra water and bananas are nice and I’d better get used to it as Preseli is signed up for (32 ultrabeast) and thats about 10 weeks.

Went along the beach and as the tide was dropping went out past Southerndown on rocks rather than cliffs. The terrain there is a little tricker.

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Seriously cool erosion going on here
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Twas a nice day and over here I cant see people!
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A smidgen of rainbow
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Broken ankles ahoy!
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Best thing for sore ankle?  Freezing cold streams – Also handy for cleaning shoes. These are my current favourites – La Sportiva Mutants – These things do everything!

Looking at the long game

Short midweek run this week of 5 miles up the cliffs as the tide was in.  Only the one run in the week – unheard of!  The ankle is still niggling me so I figured more rest would help it plus I’m doing a little more work on flexibility and recovery including taking first steps at yoga! Yes indeed yoga. My suppleness could be best described as like an old oak tree, the trunk and major branches dont flex at all but I can move my twigs.

Where the hell do you start with yoga?  I started by asking the best in the business – Ceejay! Who very very kindly sent me huuuuuuge emails with instructions, videos, advice and encouragement for which I’m extremely grateful. Also brought it home how much support and help I get from the readers of this blog. Something I certainly didnt anticipate when I started it. So huge thanks to Ceejay and to all of you, the smallest messgae always means a lot and raises motivation =)

So if you are interested in yoga hop over to her blog and take a read.

So I’ve done it twice now and its harder than I thought, the 20 minute starting video I followed was manageable as long as I paused it long enough to work out how the hell to bend over there while keeping this bit straight over here.  So I did what I could and one day I will flex more and will be able to follow properly and better.

As for the long game – Well UTMB released their qualifying rules this week and as per usual I kinda jumped the gun, OCC now requires 6 points in 2 races this year onwards and not 4 – So the races I have planned this year get me 4 and to get the 6 I will need to do a 4 pointer or higher.  Thats out of the question this year – its planned, 3 ultras I really want to do, Preseli, Scafell and Sweden plus various other plans. And 4 pointers are basically 50 miler minimum. So I guess thats for next year. It’s a long game and I’m more than happy to be patient and wait a further year. I’m not pushing and breaking myself to rush a 50 or qualifying, it happens when it happens.

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Theres the motivation – hey look how round my face used to be!

Bit o running, bit o news

Ran the usual on sunday, twas cold and hell windy and I even chased a childs rugby ball which was off down the beach on a mission of its own. The father congratulated me on my excellent ball pickup skills as I swooped, still got the old magic. I lie I never had any magic at rugby I was a prop and in about 15 years I think I touched the ball 3 times and 2 of those were accidental.

Anyway news – I’m off racing in Sweden in August!  Decided to get a few UTMB qualifying points abroad and seeing as I’m off for 6 weeks in the summer holidays why the hell not?

Ultravasan 45

So I figure as long as I can complete Scafell Pike in July and Ultravasan in August thats my 4 points accrued to enter the lottery for UTMB OCC plus I get weekends and weeks away!

Til then I’ll keep pounding away at the beach

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