I shared this blog with someone the other day and realised I haven’t posted in six months. Which kinda makes me sad as it used to be daily. I havent lost my love of running. I think I’ve just transitioned into a different phase of it. At the end of the day how many times can you write about the same runs over and over. And I’ve progressed from worrying about progression to just running by feel. Just as I can tell the time on the run without a watch I can feel my effort and distance.
Six months – a whole summer has passed and summer for us tends to be our off-season, I don’t like to run Murph when the mercury rises, he tends to overheat fast despite being Portuguese. Drawback of a black dog perhaps. So runs gravitate towards early mornings.
But now as the countryside cools we are back at it again and it does feel good to move more and quickly. I have raced once since Covid, back in August when the Preseli Beast Bach (small beast) was rearranged. It was a shame there was no Beast (24 miles) or Ultrabeast (32 miles) this year but I can totally understand why and it was good to be invited to the Beast Bach and no way was I turning that down – I love that part of the country.
As it’s only an 11 mile race (though the elevation is tough) I decided beforehand that I would just go all out and leave nothing in reserve. Which I did. And I was happy with the effort and results. I wanted under 2 hours and I got 1.54 and I was comfortably in the top half of the field and top 50. Can’t ask for much more than that really.
Mostly I was happy with the effort I put in, it was a staggered start and you don’t know if the runner you are chasing started before or after you, all you can do is your best and I felt I couldn’t have given much more. Especially as I chose to race without a watch too – risky if you have set yourself a time goal. But I figured knowing the time wasn’t going to make me go faster if I was at full effort anyway and so it proved. I’m not sure I would want to run without a watch on ultras just for the sake of timing food and cutoffs but we shall see, it’s something I’d like to try.
Apart from Preseli it’s just been a case of Murph and I starting to rack up the miles on a consistent basis again. He’s loving it as much as I do. It’s something I cherish now as I know it won’t last forever so every run is special in some way.
Update – not sure I can update something I didn’t actually post but i’m updating anyway. Looks like the Preseli Ultrabeast is back in May – six months is a long time but something to train and focus on. I love that race and will be good to stretch my legs for the full 32 mile version again. It’s so beautiful up there.
Enough talk more photos – can also catch him at https://www.instagram.com/murph_the_traildog/