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.

Clouds – bastards
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
And you get to run through and old slate quarry
Then a right bastard of a drag up and up and up the neverending drag bastard hill
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.
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
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
Out of the fog and the panorama google made me looks kinda cool
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)

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

No fear, no heights just miles

Ok going back in time …. these two runs were the friday and saturday before the Fan Brycheiniog hike.  Around 10 miles each time and incorporating a nice little loop I’ve found which tacks on as many miles and hills as I like.  Along with the hike thats over 30 miles in 3 days so today is most definitely a rest day.

This is the close to home training hill of Witches Point – Currently at 3 repeats

Google finally synched all my photos to the cloud so I don’t have to manually drag them here like the last post so have some more fan brycheiniog hike photos

Yeah we go up there!
Pretty steep
This was after I stopped having panic attacks and could go nearer the edge again
Just stunning
The path is the line running diagonally
Snow at the peak!
Tea break in the saddle
Gore-tex dog
Fell running time

How do you deal with fear?

This post is out of place as it comes after other runs but its the only important one right now.

I went up Fan Brycheiniog today with Claire and Tilly today and I really struggled with vertigo to the point that I was walking well inside the path to stay off the ridge.  I don’t understand it it. It’s like not being able to see straight, everything shifts weirdly. To be fair some of this was helped when Claire put Tilly on the lead because I was sort of freaking out about internally about losing the the dog over the edge. I knew it wasnt going to happen but in my head right then it could.

I can do this, its a struggle at heights, I spin out, the ground feels like its moving and I dont understand it as I can run the cliffs at home happily. I need to get used to it. I think if id been alone and running I could have dealt with it better. Running you just deal with it, you deal with the pain and just go on, there isnt the thinking time.

I can do this. I’ll keep saying I can do this. It was embarrassing today that I had to admit i was in trouble. It was to Claires credit that she never once mentioned it afterwards and im guessing didn’t push me on that path but let me choose other routes. I guess thats what friends are for eh. Tilly was just happy being out. I dunno I loved every moment of being out. We did 10 miles, we bitched and moaned and happily (yeah right) squelched our way through miles of bog. But I cant escape the fact Im scared of heights and Im not quite sure how to fix it.

Thats the ridge walked
Tilly rocking the cairn
Tilly at the peak