2 weeks out from the first ultra of the year, 6 months of solid training and I go and (probably) break my toe on a baby gate I installed to keep Murph from troubles food ….
Everyone say hello to the latest addition to the trailrunning community. I give you my new dog – Murphy!
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 😉
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 …
I was torn on sunday about whether to run until I saw the weather and then figured my fankles (new word covering my feet and ankles) would survive one more push. The last few runs I’ve been trialing a thin ankle support and it seems to be making a difference. Plus I wanted to get used to running on tired legs and so another longish run was the order of the day.
A further 12 miles with as much climbing as I could get in (going all the way up Witches Point as hard as I could go after 7 or 8 miles surprised me)
I also had some sad news on saturday night – Master Robert had died. He was a lovely old guy who lived in the big house at the Cwm and owned the Bruce Estate. He loved the beach and area as much as I do and was always picking up litter. Guess I’m the only one left doing that now.
So in the last 4 days I covered 37 miles of pretty hard going terrain. The fankle, although aching a little is holding up. I’m just utterly knackered. Few days off I think
Wednesday was literally to the beach and back on a grey day – even the beach looked meh. Not gonna lie I dont know why I didnt take a rest day when I had chance, I think the head was saying for christs sake run after work.
Thursday was better, the sun came out a bit and although the tide was in I did some more hill repeats barefoot, I’m really enjoying that and it feels so much easier to climb that way. Plus I get to see this at the top every time…
Theere were surfers about too to keep me company. I can cope with company when theres zero chance it can talk to me
Look away now if you hate feet – Some people do, some people don’t. Most don’t lets face it.
I have a few blisters and sore patches I usually tape up and ignore but the tide was in today and I felt like doing some hill sprints. So I decided to do them barefoot, I figured it’s hill sprints – the impact is low.
It was actually quite fun and surprisingly easy to drive off the forefoot but it was absolutely bloody freezing on the soles on the way down. I have to say I really enjoyed the change, I mean I wouldn’t fancy the impact at any pace but for a steep hill like this it felt like floating up. In fact although I stopped counting my GPS tells me I did around 20 and to be honest I didn’t blow up or get the jelly legs. I was sad when it started to get dark and my frozen feet drove me to go home.
I followed up saturdays long run with another 7 miles on saunday to recover slowly. After a short period of ow shit that hurts everything loosened nicely and even better it’s now monday and I’ve been pretty much serious pain free all day including the left foot. I can feel the twinges though so a day off today.
Between the two days there are a few things I ned to remember – You can switch off here this is for my own benefit so I remember.
I got my fuelling working better on the saturday. I took bananas and the homemade honey bars and started eating after an hour and then every 3 miles or so which seems to sit well with me. I can get calories in without feeling nauseous without problems but I do wonder about how much I can carry for ultras, bananas are surprisingly heavy for the calories they provide. Might need to test a few other smaller, lighter and more calorie dense options. I mean I like the honey bars but after 30 miles I’m not so sure if they’ll digest easily.
I also ran with one bottle of plain water and one with some electrolyte supplements. Seemed to work well and although I prefer plain water I know I sweat so much I need to replace some salts and minerals. At least I felt fine after 15 and no harm done so i can keep testing this.
I wore the Inov8 ultra 290 which are GTX which I’m finding might be ideal for ultras thanks to a bit more cushioning, I lose some grip and feel on technical terrain but how much of that will I need compared to not screwing over my feet. I noticed tightning of the laces around 8 miles on and thats my feet starting the swell so remembering to loosen the laces for once helped. I dont need GTX for the ultras this summer as I dont want hot feet with no way of removing sweat so might have to invest in a non GTX pair.
So if you stuck around through that little lot you get some photos!