What is failure?

I had a plan. It was a good plan. I tried to execute the plan. I failed. Maybe.

The plan was to run overnight on the solstice weekend between dusk and dawn, so from 9.34 PM to 4.57AM. I would do it mainly on the beach as the tides were right for most of it.

So I packed a drop bag and set off with Murph last night at 9.34 on the dot. We left the bag hidden on the beach as dusk set in and off we went. It was fun, it was different but something was off. I didn’t feel like the running was right, once it was totally dark it was harder than I thought to keep going over the rocks with a headtorch only – and to do it safely I was slow – which was fine by me. but something was off. Just a feeling. We covered 14 miles or so with a few rest breaks at the bag. but something was off. The ankle played up worse than normal and I think the battering it took on the rocks, the stumbles and incorrent foot placements had blown it. It was no excuse I’ve run through much worse pain than that.

After I while I realised that I wasn’t going to do the full seven and a half hours and once I came to terms with that then the pressure – albeit pressure only I had placed on myself – lifted and for the last few miles and the trip home through the fields and woods I was refreshed. I took the time to think about the whole experience and realised that in failure I had learned a lot more. Once we were off the beach I could turn my headlamp off and just move without having to cooncentrate fully on every step. I no longer had to worry about Murph (in his led collar) as the fields hold comparitively few dangers compared to the beach. I realised that much of my stress on the beach was worrying about him in the dark, I couldnt see what he was doing or exactly where he was. It struck me that in the total darkness I couldnt see him enjoying himself – Thats why i love to walk and run him – And in the dark I couldnt.

It was a good plan and it failed not because I failed but because it was a plan I came to realise didn’t matter. The failure would have been to not try in the first place. We got home around half two, I could I suppose have stuck it out for two and a half more hours in the fields but I would have done that just to make up numbers. It didn’t matter anymore. We woke at 7 and walked to the beach – and I could see him loving it, having fun and because I could see that it made all the difference.

I may have failed at one thing but I suceeded at a lot more last night.

Dusk at the path to the beach
Its the sandy bit … before the rocks
The lighthouse at Nash hoves into view – Look up – fall over
Worlds worst photo of a lighthouse
Met this little dude when i nearly put my hand on im climbing a rock
The best bit of the whole night – sharing a huge packet of cheese biscuits with Murph
What the hell are we doing said the green eyed goblin
No excuses but hours of running over these with just a headlamp drains your mind (and rolls the ankles)
No stopping – heading home on the last leg – when i say it was dark — its dark out there

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

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

Day and night

Summer holidays are here and off to a flyer.  A run at the beachin the morning before the heat really kicked in.  Then at sunset we went bioluminescent plankton spotting (sadly none was to be seen) but had a fun night hike with the dogs and their luminous collars.  They loved it of course.  The moon was so bright that we didn’t even need head torches on the rocks.  The creepy woods though was a different matter.  I’ll let the photos do the talking

 

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Yeah I can see you

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Sunset run

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Waiting for the sun to set and the moon to rise

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Strollin

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Posin

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Leaping with a buddy

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Moonlight at Witches Point

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Moonlight and glow collars

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Oh yeah Claire brought her fire poi – I had a go, I didn’t set fire to myself – this is a result!

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Closeup – You want to see sheer happiness?  That my friends is sheer happiness

Red (pink) sky at night

I really do love dusk runs!

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I may even try to fiddle with camera settings – I just get these by luck but I do also know they aren’t entirely representative of what I see.  Knocked out another seven miles after work today.  The body really is feeling good at the moment!

Plus I have something to work for – The Preseli beast has announced for May 12th next year and Im delighted that the Ultrabeast is returning so I get to have a crack at it. 18 months ago I did the 11 miler and I was at my limits.  Last May I did the 24 miler and I was at my limits.  I’d like to do the hat-trick and in six months time attempt the 32 miler. I just know that course is brutal with more elevation than the RAT in Cornwall which I only just survived.  I love the Beast events so much I will definitely run one of them. Time will tell …. I ain’t rushing anything

Then again with sensible training and hopefully no injuries I can go into this one in much better form!

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Sunset and a night run

Thought I’d change things up today, as I continully miss dawn due to bed related incidents (Ie sleeping) I decided to go running at sunset.  Never thought I’d be choosing to do this on a saturday night!

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After the sunset I ran back to the other end of the beach so I could run the rocks in the dark with a headtorch – Soooooooo much fun!  Bit tricky to take photos of it though.

However I did take a video – sadly I had the camera the wrong way up so you have to tilt your head :p  Then again i was concentrating on not killing myself so I think I did ok

Hey cool – WordPress auto inserts youtube vids, who knew!

I actually did 8 miles, around half of those in the dark (and back up the spooky path) and I had a blast!  I’ll definitely be back out for more.