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

 

 

Sense & Perseverence

Well today I should be running the Preseli Ultrabeast as I did last year. Sadly I won’t be. The last few months have been a race in themselves in an attempt to rehab the left leg. It’s been a process thats been tortuous with good days and bad days, I honestly believed I could run it up until the middle of this week. I did a 7 mile test run on tuesday and it felt ok. And thats the kicker it didn’t feel good it felt ok and I knew I was favouring the right leg instead. It felt a bit like running on a glass leg – I was expecting it to break at any point.

So really then on wednesday when it was aching badly I knew deep down it was over for this year. I was going to give it a go but I knew deep down that it was going to cause much more damage, 7 miles is not 32 and not 32 over extreme terrain. Not going to lie I’m gutted. I love the Preseli races and look forward to it so much every year. I told a friend a while ago it’s like my late christmas day seeing as I dont like the real one much. And now I sit here writing this instead of running out on the hills all day.  Sometimes I feel like saying to hell with it I dont need to run anyway, I have Murph I can walk with him and its as good, it would remove all the disappointment and frustration of not running and racing.

But you know what, that’s feeling sorry for myself, thats giving up, thats taking the easy route and this whole thing was never about taking the easy route. It’s been a long journey and I need to remember there are lows as well as the highs. Otherwise the highs would be meaningless.

So I’m going to finish off this post with some photos of the walks we’ve done recently. I’m going to walk back out the door and start again. I’m not giving up, this was always the long haul.

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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 moving just slower

Im still about, I just cant run much, or at least I could but I know its not going to do me much good in the longer run.  The arse still hurts .. glutes are, legs whatever.  I know when its not right and there are days I can hardly feel it, Its healing just taking its damn time.  I did run/walk on saturday or rather walk/run and it was good to get going again but I cant really drive off it so Id rather wait until Im confident in it.

Perhaps its taking its time to heal as I’m walking on it so much. Murph needs long walks and Im happy to oblige so I’ve donned a headtorch and he has a flashy new collar with LEDs and we’re not letting the darkness beat us.  I’m reckoning we’re doing around 40 miles of walking a week still which I guess is keeping me at some sort of level of fitness. Its frustrating but there you gp – that it seems is running half the time. Either injured or in the process of injuring myself. Still if youre gonna have a layoff this is the time of year to do it.  I feel bad that I dont keep up with wordpress and you lot while Im injured … I turn off from running altogether, its easier when I dont think about it so sorry about that!

So the bit you all come here for instead of me whinging about injury – The photos – in no particular order

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Theres always the sun
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And sunsets
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Plus chasing hares in forests
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Theres the moon
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And a new collar so we dont get totally lost
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More moonlight
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Chilling at dusk
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Enjoying the reflections and reflecting
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Nowhere else I’d rather be
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Hole digging champ 2018
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One of the rarest sights in nature – Commander crab teaching crab cadets how to do a pincer movement

We’re gonna need a bigger boat

Have been taking it easy since last weds as I did this.

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It’s still red but less swollen

But yesterday I thought let’s go – tide was out around 4 and the blazing sun buggered off (I prefer to be cool, sun is not really my friend)

So when did 6 miles become a “short” run for me. This has happened really without me noticing. It used to be 2-3 but now I don’t even consider stopping at the beach and always go further. It’s lucky as today it took me towards Witches Point. In a cave near the waterfall I spotted something bright red. I’m like a magpie when it comes to pretty colours and thusly distracted off I went to investigate.

The red? Well that was a boring traffic bollard thingy but what’s this I spy …..

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SHARK! Still inflated too. About 5 foot long and as if it had swum there.
What the hell do you do with a 5ft inflatable shark apart from photograph it. Well what you do is to spend ages learning how to deflate it and then run home carrying it in your beachcombing paws.  I have long since to ignore the stares of people on the beach (MY beach you tripper types) as I hurtle (cough cough) past holding my latest bit of booty.

So now I have a a deflated inflatable shark too. Not sure what I shall do with it but I will think of something I’m sure!

Sadly I didn’t have my proper camera as I can’t find my flipbelt but I took this dodgy photo for you scenery types

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Cloudy, moody and slightly out of focus

Running and Realism

Last night I was off to the beach, covered six miles and was out for over an hour and it felt great … up to a point.  My foot was aching a bit. Probably been overdoing it a little since the injury I thought …. This morning it’s more swollen and painful to walk on.

Hmmmm so this is where the realism comes in I guess. Hard to admit but i think I may have jumped the gun signing up for the ultra in Cornwall in now only 5 weeks. Being realistic instead of blindly optimistic my spidey senses tell me I can’t train hard enough without screwing my foot again and I really don’t want months off running again.

I can defer the race til next year and I’m starting to think its the only sensible option. Which does indeed make me feel a bit of a fool for getting all excited about it and then postponing it almost immediately.  It’s not in my nature to give up and this feels a bit like giving up.

I’ve read back through my blog and this stood out – I wrote it just as the injury was healing “ I’ve spent some time considering things while off injured and have come to realise I can’t hammer my body at this age (which does makes me sound old) when it’s not really used to it. If I want to run at all I need to run smarter, lower impact and run slower.

Guess I may need to be smarter ….

Anyway yesterday was a lovely run in the sun! Apologies for the poor quality but i forgot my camera.

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Rocks! This is as far as I got as the tide was coming in and my new found sensible nature decided I didn’t want to get trapped
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Heading back – Still enough sand to run on!
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But wait – I’m hot and need cooling down – Run in the waves!
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Testing the drainage qualities of Altras – They drain really well but do let a bit of sand in too
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Just a beautiful view 

Land and sea and foam

Despite or maybe because of the rain I really felt like a run after work today. The foot feels ok after a day on my feet (I often walk a few miles during the day and am pretty much on my feet all day) just a bit achey and I was beginning to wonder if I was being a little over-protective of it.

So surely a quick jaunt to the beach was in order! The good news was that it stood up to it well, admittedly on the way back there was a slight dull ache but I guess thats to be expected, what I wasn’t suffering was the OMG someones hacked my foot off at the ankle pain I was experiencing before – This therefore is progress.

I took it really slowly, for example a 12 minute mile to start instead of the 9 or 10 I used to do. I also took the time to warmup and briskly walked the first quarter mile on the road to get the body going. I managed to keep the pace low – It felt really weird and I couldn’t tell whether my hamstrings were hurting from resisting the urge to go at my normal pace or if they just aren’t used to running again. I’m also reading about chi running at the moment and have started to incorporate a little of it into my form – No-one can ever accuse me of not being open-minded (He said, cherishing his mish-mash of the ideas which he likes best) more of that in later posts after a bit more research though.

Oh yeah and the title of the post ….

Its a not so clever use of an old drinking song I’m sure you all know.

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Land
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Sea
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Foam

I’m just hoping the foam isn’t linked to pollution. Will do some investigating into it though.

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My adoring fans were glad to see me back in action too!