Perspective

I was out on the beach last week. It was cold, windy and raining. I had taken a fall and banged up my knee and elbow.  The way back was into the headwind and I was feeling like I hadn’t had enough calories for the run (which i admittedly hadn’t).  I was feeling kinda miserable and had the internal monologue of self pity going on at my suffering.

Then I thought this isntsuffering at all. What people are going through all over the world is suffering, losing, lives, loved ones, jobs, freedom. Thats suffering. My choice to run along a fucking beach in shit weather is hardly suffering on any scale and the only one who makes me do it anyway is me. And in that moment I realised I was being a complete self absorbed dickhead. I had the beauty of the beach, I had the company of my dog, I had health enough to run this and the freedom to do so. I am truly blessed and fortunate and its something I need to remember.

It’s made me realign a few things, go out and help people during this crisis, do what I can even in small ways, look after my parents, neighbours and community as much as I possibly can. Give something back for once, I can take what I need from nature on the run.

Time to step up and help others suffering because I’m fortunate enough to not be.  Take care out there people and if you can do something good then do it. Little things, little gestures might just go further than you think.

And now the photos!

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Blessed just to be here
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Poser posing posingly
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Sunsets
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Shiny days
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Jesus Christ its a hailstorm! Why are we out in a hailstorm you idiot/ (said the dog)

A little bit of this …

A little bit of that.  Where does the time go? I swear it was only a week since I last posted and its more like 2 or 3.  In between we’ve been covering some miles – walking and running. I was being so careful this time to not rush back and just continue the injury cycle – and then i go and roll my ankle in a field anyway.  But one of the joys of owning a dog is that you don’t get to really rest up – you always get to do active recovery. So whatever the weather or how the body feels I make sure Murph gets his exercise. Injuries are frustrating but I’ve learned a lot about coping with them. Mainly by signing up for more races.  Well i couldn’t not sign up ofr the Preseli Ultrabeast – I had to reluctantly pass on it last year as I was just a little too injured with the 50 miler I had planned but this year I’m aiming to start a race uninjured (some hope)

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Morning struts and a camouflaged dog
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Like two ships passing in the … err afternoon
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Just glad to be out – When i look back at the photos I cant even remember the day or whether we were running or walking.
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The path back from the beach at dusk
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These are our favourite fields – In winter they are muddy and kinda meh but we’ve made our own path around teh edges so we can keep going – In spring and summer they are the best place ever for zoomies
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We headed off into the wilds – well it was a few miles from home but we know places where no-one else goes and we can get some hill training done without interruptions
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Plus our secret riverbank is somewhere to get some play done
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X marks the dog – I aint moving my butt until you promise to take me with you – wherever it is
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Sunsets at the beach
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Sunset sans dog

Zoomies

I wasnt intending to run much this weekend, y’know the old let things heal thing but it was just so glorious out what else could I do?  Those crisp mornings at dawn are irresistable and not just for me they seemed to entice Murph into a world consisting of zooming around like an idiot. I was happy for him to zoom while I plodded, 5 miles on saturday and 10 today and I feel fine. Sometimes all you need is zoomies (and a plod)

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Blurry zoom followed by charging leap – trick is to stand your ground and he will deviate at last second, if you move either side he will take you out without mercy
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Happy zoomies
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Still zooming
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Ok i’ve slowed down a bit but i could go mental at any second
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Hmmm day 2 of zoom? It’s still frosty
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When the stream floods we ound a new way of crossing – he does it so gracefully compared to me. No-one as fallen in … yet
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Getting ready to zoom – Fuel stop – 1 treat equals 10 minutes zoom
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Just trotting trying to look photogenic
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Prepare the zoomster!
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And go!
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The usual views
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Back inland and heading home through the lanes
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Chilling out on the afternoon cool-down walk (which unsurprisingly included zooming)

Perspective

I was planning to post again here a little more regularly  and then i didst because I never seem to find the time or inclination. maybe running doesn’t seem as important right now.  As long as I’m out with murph how quick we move doesn’t seem to matter so much.

And I think I’ve been right. Just reading up here and hearing others going through so much worse than the odd running injury puts things in perspective.  So yep we’ve been out putting in the miles ready for some big plans this year – assuming the body copes.  But at the end of the day what’s really important is just living life and enjoying it.

I got my fingers crossed for you Ceej!  Now enjoy some photos!

 

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We’ve been out at dusk
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Early morning struts
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Played in the foam with our little buddy
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Did out xmas day run and loved it!
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Enjoyed the weather
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Of course we posed
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Visited old haunts
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Checked out waterfalls
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Saw more sunrises
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And enjoyed more sunsets
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And always climbed up so we could look back … before moving on

Catching up and chilling out

I’ve been running just not writing about it. In fact i’m back to 4 or 5 days a week although the legs go from great to bleurgh pretty quickly. I suspect I still haven’t fully recovered from last months ultra. But it really is awesome to be back out just enjoying it. In order to maximise joy and not worry about miles and times etc Ive also stopped wearing a watch. Its odd at first but then quite liberating. No more seeing what pace i’m doing means no more worrying about what pace i’m doing. The run ends when the run ends. This is just a chance to be out with murph simply enjoying the whole process.

It does feel odd not to have a goal or target, the 50 miler loomed so large for such a long time I forgot what it was like to just do what i felt like. So at the moment all i do is what i feel like – and we’ll see what that takes me. I suepct back up more hills but that can wait.

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Last week we swung by Tillys house and picked her up for a run, for a small dog she’s got a big heart and we all did 10 miles together
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Run friends
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A whale of a time was had
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Chase!
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We get to run in the forest again right?
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Early mornings
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Rainy afternoons
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Poser
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I also dropped off the money I raised to Fiona at Lizzies Barn Dog Sanctuary – £1210!

 

So here’s the news

Trainings picking up very slowly but very surely which is a good thing because on the 3rd August I’m running my first 50 miler! Been planning it a while and it’s one of the reasons I didnt start the Preseli Ultra last month. The injury has been a knockback on the trianing front but I’ve still been walking Murph 30 odd miles a week and now back to running.

The raace is around the Epynt Way in Mid Wales and as I say is 50 miels with around 8000 feet of elevation gain and loss.  Its a big challenge for me but one to look forward to. There will be plenty of walking the ups no doubt! Link to race details is here https://www.pegasusultrarunning.com/the-eddum/

Plus here is the good bit there is extra motivation – I’m doing it to raise money for charity – specifically the dog sanctuary I got Murph from. Its a really special place that homes dogs no-one else will take, sometimes for life – they call these “the forgotten ones” which breaks my heart.  They rehome dogs like Murph that people generally don’t want because they are emotionally scarred – Murph is still very scared of people (but improving slowly with lots of love).  They always need funds as it’s privately run and recently they’ve suffered terrible flooding so need money to repair and strengthen flood defences.

I’ve waited til now to start fundraising due to the injuries but it’s about time to get out there and start raising some cash!  So if any of you lot out there would like to donate theres a new page at https://www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/helplizziesbarn

Any donation is appreciated, much of my fundraising will be done in the local village and in all my schools that i work in but with the kindness of everyone off and online I hope to raise £500.  It’ll actually be odd not running purely for myself, Im expecting to feel some sort of extra pressure to finish but I’m also expecting it to act as an extra spur to get to that finish line no matter how long it takes. If I have to walk it I will. Luckily I have a friend coming to crew me and she will also be bringing Murph and his little pal Tilly so I’m sure seeing them at aid stations will be a great boost.

So for now I’ll leave you with some pictures of the reason i’m doing this… If it wasnt for lizzies Barn this little monster wouldn’t have a life like this

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Moving on

Moving on slowly in fact.  A couple of runs this week which is progress and to be honest running and walking don’t seem to harm the leg at all, it’s sitting and especially driving thats still the issue. I can feel it improving though and I’m sure the exercise is doing it good rather than harm so as long as I keep the intensity low things should be good … right?

So around 4 miles on monday and 6 on thursday and a few days rest now.  The temptation of course id to go back at it full on nuts again like I always do but i’m trying to show restraint I really am!

Lets see if it lasts

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Despite my camera phone basically dying it still works ok when the subjects this good
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Dawn walks
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Wind tunnel or yawn?
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Anemone
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Field zoomies
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What you looking at?

All in the mind?

Last saturday was the first “proper” run for a while, it was still a test run in essence although the leg has been feeling better lately. oddly enough the saturday morning when i should have been running in preseli the leg seemed to be better and has improved from that day onwards. Which makes me wonder – Its quite the coincidence that once I’d resigned myself to not being able to run the race and had informed the organiser that the leg started to really improve. The mind and the body are so closely intwined was the bodys constant reproduction of pain a warning to the mind that no it wasn’t ready to run that race and once the decision was made then it simply stopped generating so much pain as it no longer needed it’s self defence mechanism.

Who knows. All i know is that I can feel it improving little at a time and on saturday I ran seven miles to Witches and back without the “its gonna go” feeling of the previous weeks test run. Don’t get me wrong it ached but not in a “you’re screwing this worse way”
Then that afternoon I walked with some friends to the next village for another 7 miles and yesterday it was a little sore but not much – and what do you expect when you cover 14 miles the day before no matter the speed.

 

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Sands a shifting – Usually this is just a crevice full of bare rock but today it was full of sand
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Just a strolling – We did a bit more walking than usual to keep from straining the leg too much
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When i got to Witches Point there was a huge temptation to go running up it as I normally would do – But today I actually managed to resist temptation and just turned for home – But I took a photo to remind myself I’ll be back

 

 

Happy Mothers Day!

I shall wantonly use my blog to say a big happy mothers day to my mum (of course) cos she’s the best!  I wouldnt be where I am and who I am if it wasn’t for her.  She is also one of teh few people Murph actually likes and is honoured to be able to get him to sit (even if it does a require a treat)

Speaking of Murph I of course couldnt not post some photos. Things have been fairly quiet on the running front, just taking it easy and praying everything fixes up in time for Preseli … My usual theory prevails. Im either in the process of getting injured, recovering from injury or wondering if ive recovred from injury yet. Goes with the territory I guess. We have been however doing 3 or 4 miles of walking before work and the same after each day so thats time on feet and so im not that worried about any race specific training ..yet

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Some new friends
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It all got mysterious and misty the other night – However my usual photography skills totally failed to capture it
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Murph being pursued by Tilly
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A better one of the little buddies
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Look what I brought you ….
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Dawn has been cool this week
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Love this one. I shall call it dog at dawn

 

Whats in a name

Well if they’re going to name a storm after you then it would be rude not to go and run in it.  I do love running when theres a breeze but when its a full on gale it aint so easy …. for half the run at least.  At least we’ve avoided the rain so far, wind fine and rain fine just not together please. Just ticking along at the moment as the mind turns to the first ultra in may. As usual theres paranoia over every niggle but they all go away (he says fingers crossed) eventually. And it’s always better to be out than not. If not for my sake for this ones ….

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Took a rest while Murph dug holes for the sea to fall in … the sea won
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There was even sun … photos just dont capture the wind right
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Looking good
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Dino footprint?
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Posing