Doing it our way

Over the years I think I’ve read about, listened to and absorbed a vast amount of information about running. How to do this, how to get better at that, 2500 simple tips to improve your stride length etc etc and if I’m honest the vast majority of it has been meaningless waffle. Running clickbait in the main. Of course there have been many useful articles and books but how many can be applied to my very amateur level of running?

I think I’ve belaboured this point before but training plans don’t work for me – I’m sure they do for others who like the structure and like to see the metrics of progress. Having to do this or that on a certain day may well increase performance but to my mind it decreases enjoyment. I’m only revisiting this because I thought about it while running earlier.

The thought process went something like this. I was reading a book regarding the central governor theory and how the brain judges percieved effort based on how far you still have to go and regulates effort so you get to the end with something in reserve. Whether it’s scientific fact or not isn’t the point here but it got me thinking as we tootled along the beach that three times this week I have set out for a run with Murph and had no idea how far we would go and how long we would be out. The only determining factor being the weather as I don’t run murph when it get’s too hot.

I was musing that therefore my brain has no idea whether I have another mile, 3, 5, 7 or 10 miles to go and also has no clue how much longer I will have to maintain the effort for. So does that mean my central governor is off or muted. Who knows? It’s certainly a way of thinking that appeals to the way I train. I simply go out to have fun with Murph and before we know it we are a dozen miles into another adventure, tired and happy.

In the name of unstructured training we have expanded our lack of planning to include direction … thus

The pebble of chance – Get to the beach, flip a pebble and it determines whether we go left or right – either way is fine by us.

Today we proudly present …

murphometer500

The murphometer!  As mentioned in a previous post our goal this year is to walk and run 2000 miles. Progress has been steady and as you can see from the power of high-tec wizardry we have cracked the 500 miles mark!  After a 200 mile march – due in no small part to working from home and spring bringing lighter mornings and evenings we got there a few days ago.

Stay tuned for very infrequent updates when I actually remember to update!

Apart from that – obviously still running and walking while of course maintaining social distancing (It’s not hard to do while living out here to be fair)

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Be glad of the fence – this is actually top of the cliffs and theres a 200 foot drop a few feet to the left

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Dawn runs at the beach

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Dawn skies in the fields – and the rapeseed is suddenly shooting up and starting to flower – bring on the spring allergies!

 

 

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

Always a pleasure

We rocked out this morning at dawn as I was under the impression it was going to be a really hot day (it wasn’t really) and I wanted to get a good run in with murph before it got too hot for him. I don;t mind a bit of sufefring in the heat but i wouldn’t want to inflict it on him, its just not fair.  So off we went on an adventure which as I am lazy i will recount in photo form. It was a great run, we were out for around 3 hours and it’s time on feet in innterested in these days not distance – plus im not wearing a watch but im guessing 11 or 12 miles over cliffs, fields, roads and forests ….

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Dawn in the Grange – heading for the beach

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On the lead due to big cliffs and idiot dog

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Happy runner – technically going the wrong way

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We even did roads – well lanes – as you can see not used much

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A filter here a filter there

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Happy up on the common as the temperature starts to rise – we actually ended up in the hottest part of the day anyway but it was never oo bad and we know where water is

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As evidenced by Murph crossing the giant stepping stones

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More lanes – note designer grass growing through

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I always love the views from up here

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Yay! We are out and about!

Starting Over

So its less than two weeks since the Eddum 50 miler and I think I got away kind of lightly.  I had a few aches and pains but they faded pretty fast and within a week I could jog gently again. Today I was able to knock out a happy 8 miles in the sun and cool breeze, We took it easy – I always need to make sure Murph doesn’t overheat and although we went up over Witches Point i didnt run all of it. The legs still feel a little dead on the uphills.

 

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Whats it like being back in training Murph?

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Pretty damn sweet dad!

I have that “so what next” feeling at the moment. I swore that before the race I would just be happy running the beach again. The preperation (or lack of) for the race, the injury worries, the sponsorship stress all added up and I’ll be honest I didn’t enjoy the build-up to it. I was happy once the gun went and we were off but the rest was stress.

But I do like having a purpose to my running as well. I already know what I’ll do though because it will be fell running. I enjoyed the one short race I did back in january but after than injury and prep for ultrarunning took over. So maybe just stick to the shorter hills for a while. For a while…..

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Haven’t seen this view in a few months

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Murph surveying inland from the top of Witches Point

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Wandering through the crops

 

 

 

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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Where we at?

So lets face it im a terrible blogger nowadays. I never seem to have the time – or is it inclination because I do have the time really its not like my life is 100mph. But I digress. The running is going well, things still hurt and ache but my new strategy (strategy number 108 Ive tried I believe) is to not worry about it, niggles will go away and they arent going to stop me getting out.

In fact I looked at my movescount stats page for the first time in ages and was surprised to see 140 miles since I came back from injury less than a month ago and 44 in the last week. I didnt mean to let the mileage stack up again quite so fast but hey ho if im out and enjoying it i find it very hard to stop and seeing murph loving it too makes it even harder. So I’ll don my kamikaze pants and just pray the body holds together for 2019.

Onto the photos – unsurprisingly all of beaches. I really do need to go further afield (Though to be fair A I like beaches and B one of them is of a different beach which we visited over new year)

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In reverse order – Ish – This was today – Murph keeps lookout while I hunt for fossils

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Sunrise  at Marcross

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Genius photography skills – get that sun blur thingy!

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Surveying from Witches Point

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Enough winter sun for a rainbow!

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Double sun

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Purty dog is purty

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Striking a pose at Newquay beach in Mid Wales

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Exploring the coastal path between Aberaeron and Newquay

 

 

So that was xmas

I’m not really a christmassy person. However I do find it a good reason to be outside and getting in some longer runs while I have the time off.  In the last week I’ve managed around 50 miles (not counting today – Im waiting on the tide) and have taken the days off as needed when I can feel that the legs need the rest.  If I was the type to do new years resolutions then ths years would be to try not to be injured half the time. Sometimes you cant do anything about it – Some times you can – I’ll at least try! I have plans for 2019 but everytime I announce plans something tends to get in the way so I’ll keep them to myself until they happen.

Until then I’m just going to enjoy being out with Murph and doing whatever miles I can.

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Murph loves the forests – I love them because he’s safe to hunt small furries (he never catches any)

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I think this was xmas day – they all blend into one. Just as I like it when the weather keeps people awy

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Sunnier runs and a poser

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Think we were out approaching dusk for this one – Running in the dark with a headtorch is something i’ve learned to love

No Time

And by no time I mean im not running with a watch at the moment. Its a concious decision rather than I forgot to wear it. I figure all it does really is encourage me to look at pace and distacne etc when that really doesnt matter as I come back from injury.  A watch can make you feel guilty about walking and right now I need to walk every now and again to rest the soreness. Its actually surprising what a few minutes of walking can achieve in relaxing the muscles again. If I look back I had reached the point where because I could run anything and everything I just did and at faster and faster pace – because I could and it felt good. Then i’d look at the watch and think wow 7 min miles – thats awesome – as my body slowly broke apart.

Sounds so sensible but the newfound commonsense (we’ve been here before I know) isnt quite there yet as I did 10 miles or so this morning through the rain and mist – but I loved being out again and actually running. I guess Murph did too …

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Happy dog in a wet forest

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Tongues out on the misty beach – Looks grim but I like it

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Oh hey dude you got any treats we’ve been runnig for an hour

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Before the mist

 

Still out there

Once again I realise im running far far more than im blogging.  In fact I’m back to running a fair deal again, its a 50 mile week again without counting the dog walks too. But the important thing isnt the mileage its the time spent outside with Murph. I was considering funning a fell race yesterday and was about to then realised that I would prefer to go for a long run with Murph rather than leave him home and race.  And it was the right decision.  It was better to be in a forest with him than up a mountain without him.  Priorities change I guess although I am pondering the future too – I mean where does all this training go?  To be honest it’ll probably be next year before I run any races and that will probably be Preseli up first but then what?  The thought of a 50 miler intrigues me as its the next logical step but I know how blown out I am on 32. Who knows!  Less introspection more photos they cry!

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Gotta love the clods

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And the sunsets

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Happy dog is happy

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This …. is progress.  Thats a field full of sheep – thats one dog with strong hunting instincts behaving perfectly. training is paying off

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Give me a treat I have just run several miles

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A dog in a forest is better than no dog up a mountain