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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Does running make you as happy as this …

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Thats one happy doggo.  We’re both happy to be out and running, so much so it seems I never update the blog. And I say that every single time I post now!

Something else I say every year at this time and I’m always too early is – Doesnt it feel like spring!  I just got back from a beautiful run and whether its february or not it felt like spring!

So what have we been up to? Plenty of runs and plenty of rest days so the niggles dont become injuries. Plus a hiking trip to the Brecon Beacons with friends.

Trust me people winter is officially over – its spring!  (Bet we get more snow)

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Sometimes we run. Sometimes we stand still
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Oh hai – got any treats?
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So if you’re gonna climb a tree ….. so am I. Now what?
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oh right I got to help you down!
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Adventure buddies waiting on treats

More

Only 12 and a half miles and 2 and a half hours but felt longer. I guess it’s the terrain plus I did some exploring!

Found me some wild bamboo off the beaten track… certainly did not expect that!
The usual …
A road! I wondered what was on the other side of the gatehouse at Derval Woods … well I knew it was a road I just wanted to see it. It was kinda dull
Mean ass looking bull!
New forest to explore
And a fallen tree. Nothing earth shattering but a bit of a change of scenery never hurt

One for Soak

13 miles yesterday down to Ogmore and back. When the sun shines and I’m going this way I always think of Soak. I think I’ve mentioned before that when I’m cold, tired and hurting on a run I always imagine that sunshine is brought courtsey of Soaks as a gift. I had sunshine yesterday.

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As ever I stopped where we used to play fetch the pebble for endless hours

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Sometimes it’s just running and sometimes it’s something else.

 

A bit of water never hurt anyone

Being cold, wet and tired is an acquired taste it seems.  No point in avoiding water on days like this after overnight monsoons. Just get ready to splash! The feet do freeze at first but then the water in the shoes warms up a bit and adds to the warmth – I tell myself this anyway it makes the whole thing seem a little saner

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Field/pond number one
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Gentle stream leaing to beach
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There was no stream here yesterday – getting down to it was fun too – mainly half skiing down the slope with so much mud on the soles braking becomes a luxury
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Pooh sticks! Which one won you reckon?
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Errr neither as it turns out they both got stuck in eddies and disappeared
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Who builds a stile in a stream?
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Oh so that the path right?  I as quite relieved as the “dead sheep” was actually a buildup of foam

Of wavecut platforms and glute battering

Saturday morning was cold but bright and so I decided it was time to tackle a longer run again. I chose to head left towards Llantwit via Atlantic College along the cliffs so I got to see the sandbank.

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Nash Sands
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Past the lighthouse

At Atlantic College I kept up on the cliffs through the playing fields. Not sure why they are named after King George but they are …

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I turned at Llantwit and headed back along the beach, I don’t normally do this as theres precious little sand and around 4 miles of non-stop wavecut platforms but I fancied something different and for those 4 miles my legs got a great workout due to the constant stepping up and down on the rocks.

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The series of caves just past Llantwit
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Caves closer up
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4 miles of nonstop rocks does screw with your legs eventually

I did find some rocks with numbers painted on – I’m guessing someones doing an experiment in tidal movement – And now I have to come back to check out the results myself

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After that it was plain sailing as I worked my way back around towards Witches Point creating a 14 mile loop.  Considering the terrain I was happy to get it done in under 3 hours though my glutes took a bit of a battering.

Some days it’s just great to spend time outside to clear the mind.

Long runs and ultra competitive fishing evidence

Sunday was time for a long run, haven’t done anything more than 10 miles for a few weeks and I’m very aware I now have less than 6 weeks to the Preseli Beast 24 mile fell race….

A lovely spring morning though so I strapped on my pack with a litre of water, homemade energy bars and headed out.  It was a complete pleasure to get out and run and I felt great for the majority of it. I planned 13 miles to the rivermouth in Ogmore and back and ended up doing 15.  The slow introduction of speedwork seems to be working as it feels like I can run further at the lower speeds now.

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You can see why I was enjoying being out
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Looking back from Witches on the way to Ogmore
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Gorse in bloom over Southerdown
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Looking back from the deeps at Ogmore – destination far headland.  When I look at photos like this and think I can happily run these distances it never fails to amaze me
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On the way back at Southerdown beach there was a dachshund convention. At least 20 dogs all going mental. I found this little dude in his bee/ladybird costume
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Oh yeah the ultra competitive fishing reference, I did some scrambling at Witches Point as the tide was so low and up on the ledges I found this painted on. Apparently Mike Rowley cheats!  Well who knew. Im guessing its a fishing thing, who the hell else comes up here! I’m not even sure how you cheat at fishing unless its bringing fish with you and claiming you caught them… or by using dynamite. Its a funny old world as they say