Looking at the long game

Short midweek run this week of 5 miles up the cliffs as the tide was in.  Only the one run in the week – unheard of!  The ankle is still niggling me so I figured more rest would help it plus I’m doing a little more work on flexibility and recovery including taking first steps at yoga! Yes indeed yoga. My suppleness could be best described as like an old oak tree, the trunk and major branches dont flex at all but I can move my twigs.

Where the hell do you start with yoga?  I started by asking the best in the business – Ceejay! Who very very kindly sent me huuuuuuge emails with instructions, videos, advice and encouragement for which I’m extremely grateful. Also brought it home how much support and help I get from the readers of this blog. Something I certainly didnt anticipate when I started it. So huge thanks to Ceejay and to all of you, the smallest messgae always means a lot and raises motivation =)

So if you are interested in yoga hop over to her blog and take a read.

So I’ve done it twice now and its harder than I thought, the 20 minute starting video I followed was manageable as long as I paused it long enough to work out how the hell to bend over there while keeping this bit straight over here.  So I did what I could and one day I will flex more and will be able to follow properly and better.

As for the long game – Well UTMB released their qualifying rules this week and as per usual I kinda jumped the gun, OCC now requires 6 points in 2 races this year onwards and not 4 – So the races I have planned this year get me 4 and to get the 6 I will need to do a 4 pointer or higher.  Thats out of the question this year – its planned, 3 ultras I really want to do, Preseli, Scafell and Sweden plus various other plans. And 4 pointers are basically 50 miler minimum. So I guess thats for next year. It’s a long game and I’m more than happy to be patient and wait a further year. I’m not pushing and breaking myself to rush a 50 or qualifying, it happens when it happens.

Theres the motivation – hey look how round my face used to be!

Errr thursday?

All these days run into one amorphous mess so I think this was thursday or friday, does it really matter? It was a run and judging by the photos and where I was it was around the 11 mile mark. So in running order …..

Start off with the carrot delivery
Rainfall means the waterfall has ramped up its efforts
Good day for it
From Nash Point which leads tme to believe it was at least 11 miles if I did the photo above too

Frozen dog stops play

Couple of days ago I went up to the Brecon Beacons with a friend and her mums dog to find some snow.  We appear to be missing out on the fun down here in the South but I guess one of the beauties of living in Wales is that there are always mountains a few hours away at most.





Short dog and deep snow issues

Tilly aka ratdog did actually do quite well and had a whale of a time in the snow. But after a while it was clear she was getting pretty cold ….

So this is me doing an impression of a South American paramilitary holding a frozen dog hostage

So after thawing her out we heaed home where I realised I was technically in my running gear anyway and so it would have been amiss to not get down the beach too so go to knock out seven miles as well.

How much warmer does this look?  (It wasn’t though)

Xmas eve

As im two days behind this was on xmas eve, another run with the tide in so along the cliffs through the mud.  It’s getting very slidy out there and I can now say in slippery mud the Inov8 Xtalons beat the Dynafit and La Sportiva for pure grip. I wont run another ultra (unless its all slippery mud) in them but theyre prefect for days like this.

Outbound cliffs – Thats Witches Point at the end

By the time I’d run around and up and over Witches I noticed the tide had dropped a metre of so giving me an opportunity to return as far as the ladders via the beach

See?  Thats enough gap to run

Glad I did as it turned out kinda nice down there.  Knocking out miles for fun at the moment and everything holding together.








More fog and hills and sheep and stuff

Start as you mean to go on and as soon as I was finished with work for the next two weeks I was out to get some miles in. I knew I’d done the run as my watch told me I had but I couldn’t really see much of it.

Thats the sea there on the right and ahead you can’t see the cliffs

I like running in fog to be honest, even if there are other people about I don’t have to see them, I’m not antisocial honest. Plus its true that as with running at night it’s less percieved effort, you just run to the immediate surroundings and don’t worry about distances to things. Hard ot explain but it really is easier to maintain pace when you can’t see.

I climbed up witches point past a new fallen tree obstacle


Realised I was not alone up there. But then again I don’t mind my little buddies and they don’t seem to mind me anymore


Then a slip slidey route home incorporating death defying downhill skiing techniques on the mud paths of the cwms


And a good decision to forget the paths on the way up and climb stright up the grass.

Now all I need to do is to remember to post and not get behind as it’s going to be a busy running two weeks

Sundays for speedwork

Sort of … it was meant to be a recovery run after saturdays 14 miles but the legs felt really good and the tide was out and I felt like running quickly … so I did. Sod common sense I wanted to run for the joy of running and if that meant fast then fast it was!

Met some new friends

20171203_130304 - Copy

And went out of my way to warn these people that walking right under the cliffs at this time of year is suicide – You can hear the rockfalls all the time.  I had to laugh as the older lady (who wasnt under the cliffs) replied with “well yes but he is a geologist” …. Like ok well at least he will know what kind of rock staved his head in then I guess.  To be fair I was more worried about the dog with them, splattered people I could cope with but not a dog. With a cheery cry of “Natural selection will out!” I sped on my way

20171203_123246 - Copy

Tides in

So up the cliffs I go – And its cold and windy and of course its great just to be out.  Although I’m not covering half the milage at the moment I’m enjoying it even more when I’m out. This was seven miles to Witches and back (yet again) and I enjoyed every second of being cold and muddy.  Not much else to report at the moment.  Nights have drawn in and other stuff comes up so it’s kind of nice to let running take a back seat.  It’s always noisy in the back seat mind you. Like a child asking Are we there yet? It’s instead saying Can we run now? Can we run now?

No child – You will run when times are right.

I’m slowly getting the hang of this balance thing

Dear Lord what did I do to this one? 
Conventional cliff photo