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!

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?

Taking it easy

Half term came and went and finished with a 13 mile training run as I knew the tides were gonna be suck this week back in work and had already decided to take a rest week – no running at all!  Walking Murph a lot of course rain or shine so its never total rest and the aches and pains dont seem to change whether I run or not. In fact I probably feel better when I do run.  Theres so much information about training plans out there, do this many miles, do x amount of speedwork, do this do that but I really am feeling the “fuck it do what you love and it’ll come together” works better for me and to be honest that usually translates into 50 mile weeks anyway which is plenty.

I stumbled across a poem this week also – I dont usually do poetry but this one spoke to me especially the second half.

The Summer Day

Who made the world?
Who made the swan, and the black bear?
Who made the grasshopper?
This grasshopper, I mean-
the one who has flung herself out of the grass,
the one who is eating sugar out of my hand,
who is moving her jaws back and forth instead of up and down-
who is gazing around with her enormous and complicated eyes.
Now she lifts her pale forearms and thoroughly washes her face.
Now she snaps her wings open, and floats away.
I don't know exactly what a prayer is.
I do know how to pay attention, how to fall down
into the grass, how to kneel down in the grass,
how to be idle and blessed, how to stroll through the fields,
which is what I have been doing all day.
Tell me, what else should I have done?
Doesn't everything die at last, and too soon?
Tell me, what is it you plan to do
with your one wild and precious life?

—Mary Oliver

That last line …. think about it

And of course we saw some stuff

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Incoming!
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Day of the driftwood
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I call this one “Dog looking into mist”
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This day was nuts there was so much huge drift coming in. Murph was instucted to fetch this one but failed
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All the way along, miles of it
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Sunsets in forests
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And greeeeeen

 

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

Bah Flu Wah

Every time I feel like im getting into a groove something like flu kicks in. This week has been mainly a writeoff, to be fair the flu didnt properly kick in until later in the week but last weekend saturdays run was around 10 miles and I felt amazing. Then on sunday everything was broke. Just felt bleuuurgh from the off. So you know what, I walked a lot of it, we did 6 miles or so but half run half walk and normally I cant get away from that “cheating” feeling when I walk but I figure its better to be out there doing something than nothing at all. I know Murph would prefer it!

So with 3 months to the first ultra and with a few fell races in between I feel like I cant get a solid training block started … and then i realise I havent really stopped and the fitness is there anyway so whats the worry.

Technically I shouldnt go out and run today but y’know…. techincally we’re all dead one day so im gonna seize this one

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Great subject – terrible photography skills
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Nights are drawing out
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We had a bit of snow – Murph loves it!
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Frosty morning at Nash Point
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Waterfalls of course
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Our forest in between the showers
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Sepia tinged doggo

What goes up

 

Something different for this year as I’ve joined the WFRA (Welsh Rell Running Assocaiation) and decided to run some fell races this year. Not just the long ones I’ve already done such as Preseli but the short ones too. To see what it’s like as much as anything. i’ve never run a race less than 11 miles so I have no idea how to pace myself in races such as the one I did yesterday up in the Brecon Beacons near Llangorse. It was 3 miles and pretty much straight up and down – around 1000ft of climbing and descent.

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Up and down this one – Mynydd Llangorse

As seems to be the case with races when you turn up everyone looks extremely fit and serious and in the majority of cases younger. Everyones got the kit and does stretching and stuff and looks like they know what theyre doing so instead I went and bought a coffee and sat with Murph (Everyone needs a co-pilot for map reading) in the van until the start time.

Lining up I considered my options (never plan too early it brings on self doubts) and as the start was literally stright uphill through fields at some crazy angle I decided the best plan was to go full gas until the wheels came off. I figured that 3 miles is a short run for me and it would be worth going nuts to see what happened. So off we went and to my surprise I found myself able to hang with the lead group as they charged off at some suicidal pace straight up. After a while it levelled out into a flatter climb and I found I could hang on there too.  Then came a bastard of the main climb as per the image above and I dropped back a bit as eventually the wheels started to come off and although the legs felt really good I simply couldnt get enough oxygen in to keep up full speed. This is what comes of long long training with little speedwork I guess.

Up at the top it was foggy, windy and mercifully not as steep, we hit the trig point (kudos to the marshall up there!) and started the steep and in places slippery descent.  By now I was running alone and was guessing the best lines to take (fell running allows you to pick a route in many sections) but made it down as fast as I could without blowing out my ankles. I did miss one turn slightly which cost me 20 seconds or so and 2 places but finally the line was in sight and its a joyous (yeah right) bound through the line.

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Me bounding joyously through the line – Thats as joyous as I get

I didnt really have a clue what time I’d done or where I’d placed, there were the serious looking runners milling around the finish so more coffee, went to watch the presentations and then off out with Murph to give him some time.

And here’s the mad bit – when I saw the results later on their website – I was 17th in a time of 28′ 06′ – Which I’m utterly astounded by.  I had no idea how to run the race and out of 70 odd runners came in the top 20.

So what did I learn about short races – go full gas and redline it until the wheels fall off and then pray that no-one catches you on the descent.  I really enjoyed it as a change to the longer stuff, less time to think and more time to really hurt – for a shorter time.  Mynydd Ddu who organised it did a superb job and it was a great event to kick off the year, I’ll see what happenes next – Might even do some speedwork in training …. or not

 

Down week

I checked my mileage and it was 110 miles for the 2 weeks of xmas – oops no wonder things are a little achey so showing sense and in the spirit of trying to make it though 2019 without a major injury (touch wood etc) I took a week off running and just walked Murph instead. Admittedly we do around 6 miles a day at the lest but its not high impact and he has to have his walks or he goes mental

And we saw some stunning sunsets. Enjoy. We did.

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Might be one of my alltime favourites
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Murph failing to get in shot properly
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Twas rather relaxing down there
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Get ready the suns a setting
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There it goes
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Sand reflections
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Or maybe this one