Welcome Murphy

Everyone say hello to the latest addition to the trailrunning community. I give you my new dog – Murphy!

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First day I walked him

Murphy is the reason I was down West Wales last week and why I’ve been doing a little less running – I’ve been driving a 3 hour round trip every day to walk and bond with him and finally I brought him home yesterday.  The scary thing is that completely by accident he looks like a Soaky copy – Purely unintentional I orignially inquired about a different dog which had been rehomed and they mentioned Murphy.

Hes had a bit of a rough start to life and is very nervous but already he’s starting to improve.  We’ve been to the beach already and he’s settling in nicely. Him and the cat basically ignore each other – I think Trouble just assumes Soak has been missing for a few years and now returned.  At the moment Murph is like a shadow but slept hapily in his crate last night and we’ve just had a short run at the beach as he is going to have little choice but be a training companion – And thankfully he seems to love to run, he gets a goofy grin on his face and just lopes alongside with no effort while I puff and pant.

So if you dont like dogs I’d stop reading the blog now cos it’s likely to include a lot of Murphy from here on in. Oh and Mawil – the rope is for him to chew on and play with 😉

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Day two and off lead already – Im being very cautious and no fields with livestock but he’s sticking like glue to be fair and at 6 in the morning he’s safe enough as there’s no-one about
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We have a few issues with stiles – Not sure he’s ever had to climb one before – He’s getting there though
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Beach dog!
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Getting up to speed
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Good look Murph
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I had a shower and thought i’d lost him already then I realised he was on the sofa in my middle room which has a black throw on it – His eyes gave him away after I’d searched every room for him

 

Karma

I believe in karma. Or essentially what goes around comes around. It works both ways, bad and good karma.  Learned the hard way and seen it happen thankfully to others who deserved it (Yes I have a mean streak a mile wide)

So yesterday I had to go out mid morning and decided to fit in a quick 4 mile or so run to the Barrow mound on the cliffs as the tide was in.  When I got there it was beautiful and sunny.

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Like this kinda sunny

So I headed back and passed coming the other way a group of kids doing their Duke of Edinburgh type stuff, all with their packs on etc  I met one group at a stile and the first two kids just ignored me stood there dripping with sweat and breathing hard and then a girl at the back said “wait everyone let the person through” (Im not sure that they knew what gender I was due to the long hair) and so I hopped over and thanked them and ran on.

A mile or so later I got to the beach and found one of them had dropped their sleeping mat.  So what do you do? I was in a rush as I had an appointment to keep, I had already run 3 or 4 miles hard pace and they were headed in the opposite direction and all uphill. You know what – the tipping point of making me grab it and run as hard as I could to catch them (they move fast these damn kids) over 2 miles or so at 6-7 minute uphill pace (good training hey) was that the girl had called out to let me through and they did.

So I caught them eventually utterly fucked and they were I think amazed that I had done that for one of them – all I could gasp was “Its a bastard sleeping out without a mat” and trotted off – thankfully downhill and home. Ok so I was a little late. So what – And thats karma.  Just the little things can come back to you. And maybe those kids saw a small  gesture from a stranger and might just try it themselves.

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Should have nicked it for myself it was a nice one too (Joking of course)

Quick update

Had a few things going on lately so only a few runs this week. At the moment it feels fine and the body can probably use the lessened milage.  Its only three weeks to the Preseli Ultrabeast and in a way I feel like I peaked in the last few weeks so it’s more a case of just keeping the sharpness there.  I don’t want an injury. Though I have noticed that despite not running for 3 days the fankles still hurt as normal. I guess they’re just damaged in general although the amount of time I spend on my feet at work doesnt probably help much.

So what did I do this week …

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I ran in some cool sea mists – Always love it when the weather does this even if the rest of the village doesn’t get to see any sun
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I found a rope – I found a rope than ran home with it. Why? Do I just like ropes? All will be revealed

Buttercup Abacus

Hill sprints yesterday at Cwm Nash.  I never quite know how many I’ve done so I used nature to help me count. Sprint up, jog down and pick a buttercup on the way, drop it in a pile at the bottom of the climb,  I think it’s 20 its kinda hard to tell. Whatever the exact it’s almost inconceivable that I can run around 20 of these, 2 or 3 used to kill me not so long ago. Plus I ran back home at pretty much full beans. Feeling good. Please body hold out a month like this :p

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Carefully laid on Trumps toupee
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There are worse places to train!

Preseli recon and newfound common sense!

I was down in West Wales yesterday and as you do figured I could add an hour or two to my journey to get to the Preselis and have a bit of a practice ready for the Ultra there in May.  I know most of the course and only intended on running the Beast Bach course which is around 11 miles and I was fairly sure I could navigate that.  By the time I got there around half two I noticed that the clouds were covering the peaks. Ah well let’s go up and see what happens.

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Clouds – bastards
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One of the nice things about the Preseli races is the variety of terrain, it isnt all fell. At the start (and end) there are some lovely forestry parts
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And you get to run through and old slate quarry
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Then a right bastard of a drag up and up and up the neverending drag bastard hill
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So I got to the top of the bastard drag where the Beast and beast Bach split and this was the view – around 20 yards visibility and everything pretty damn boggy.  Now I don’t care about freezing cold bog water, In fact i kinda like it in an odd way but the fog? I know the route – I don’t know it well enough to navigate sheep tracks in order to follow the route safely. I know from being up here on fine days the place is massive and I was likely to end up lost.  So for once common sense kicked in and I took a route that followed a fence and bridleway. At least I could easily retrace my steps and had a landmark.
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A few miles later I was glad I did – This is a completely different section of the fells … note similarity to first photo. I would have been totally lost up here. It all looks identical in the fog
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Following the fence was one thing – running through the streams and marsh was loads of fun though.  I really do love it when it’s a path less trodden
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Out of the fog and the panorama google made me looks kinda cool
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On the way back down I passed the beautiful wild ponies I’ve seen a number of times.  The thing about training here yesterday was there was no rush, no other people and it was more of an explore.  When I race here there’s no time to take photos or just chill out.  I honestly couldn’t tell you which I prefer.  I only covered 9 or 10 miles but it was a breeze compared to the 32 to come.

 

It’s natural right?

Kids do it naturally as do animals so why do adult humans prfer to walk? Just one of those “while im out running thoughts” I had while another 9 miles flew past yesterday in the sun (and then the clouds came in but hey)

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Check out this little dude, can only have been a few days old and giving it full beans!