Old places and friends

Went away to Newport in West Wales for a few days to stay with friends who had a cottage there. of course it pissed it down for the two days – apart from early Sunday morning whereupon Murph grabbed the chance to go run up Carningli which forms part of the Preseli beast route.  It was great to run up there without having already covered 13 or so miles but even on fresh legs its a killer.

It was also good to appreciate the area, when you’re racing you miss so much and so being able to take the time to stop and look was great.  We bounced off along the beast route and then cut back to follow the track back to Newport.  It’s odd how although I’ve only run this stretch twice in races it feels comfortable and familiar. I cant wait to get back out there in May to give the ultra another go. I’ve been toying with the idea of running the 24 mile version with Murph who would cope fine with the physical side but I don’t think would cope so well with other runners and bystanders.  We shall see May is still a fair way off.

 

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So we’re going up there right?
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Investigating rocks – This is the shallow gradient
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View of a murky Newport from halfway up
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View from the summit inland towards the rest of the preselis – The Beast route goes back along those hills in the distance. I never really thought about how far it looked until today
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Wild ponies!

Still out there

Once again I realise im running far far more than im blogging.  In fact I’m back to running a fair deal again, its a 50 mile week again without counting the dog walks too. But the important thing isnt the mileage its the time spent outside with Murph. I was considering funning a fell race yesterday and was about to then realised that I would prefer to go for a long run with Murph rather than leave him home and race.  And it was the right decision.  It was better to be in a forest with him than up a mountain without him.  Priorities change I guess although I am pondering the future too – I mean where does all this training go?  To be honest it’ll probably be next year before I run any races and that will probably be Preseli up first but then what?  The thought of a 50 miler intrigues me as its the next logical step but I know how blown out I am on 32. Who knows!  Less introspection more photos they cry!

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Gotta love the clods
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And the sunsets
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Happy dog is happy
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This …. is progress.  Thats a field full of sheep – thats one dog with strong hunting instincts behaving perfectly. training is paying off
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Give me a treat I have just run several miles
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A dog in a forest is better than no dog up a mountain

 

Milestones? He doesnt even care

Well I know one thing – Murph can run a half marathon because he did yesterday.  We were just enjoying being out and as we had waited for the tide and it was midday I took a running pack with food and water.  And when you’re out and having fun just ticking over you just keep going.

So we did the run to Witches and then up and over the top, back to the beach and then a full length run back to Atlantic College which meant that was around 9 in total so by the time we hit up the cliff path for a strecth (variation for Murph as we’d been on rocks for a while) and then the beach back to monknash and home. Making it 13 and a half.  He wasnt even tired, I was hurting in various places though holding up better than I thought I would on my first “longer” run again.

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The lads were out in force today, they like to follow us for a while. No harm in them just curious
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Past the ligthouse on the rocky stretch
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Found the painted rocks – Cant remember how they used to be arrange so no idea if they’ve moved, half of them are missing though
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Murph approaching Atlantic College
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Sandbank in the distance from the cliffs at marcross
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Now I figured perhaps he would be getting tired – nope thats him sprinting off ahead while I play catch-up.  It’s a new kind of training im developing in which you have to maintain a suicidal pace just to keep up with your rapidly disappearing dog
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Thats 13 miles Murph – Half marathon complete.  Note position of lead – Thats as I’m virtually on my hand and knees from catching up to him before he reached the road.

Logging happiness not miles

It feels good to be back running it just feels different for some reason. Probably because im not doing it purely to run anymore but just running because I can and because Murph loves it too. Miles dont seem important.  We took a different route as apparently after you treat them with advocate they have to stay dry for 48 hours – sounds like bollocks to me but still we just ran an inland loop of around 5 miles.

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We saw some geese
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And we just ran to the horizon. He loves it, just loves running. Its a pure joy to be out with him. I cant keep up, he’d run forever if he could.  Truth is so do I so we’ll see where that leads

I didn’t mean to honest

Ran for the first time in 3 weeks on Saturday, I didn’t actually mean to but Murphy freaks when there are people around (only 3 fishermen to be fair at 7 in the morning) and so it was easier to manouvre him at pace as he’s happier at a run.  And so once we started we didn’t stop so an unexpected 6 miles to Witches and back with very little niggling from ankle. I’m no fan of the heat so keeping the mileage low is easy at the moment!

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Catching the early morning rays
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Happy doggo at Witches Point
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beautiful morning with tide right out for us
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More bale jumping
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Sunday evening stroll with Tilly

Always learning

You cant teach an old dog new tricks?  I dont believe in that or I wouldnt be running ultras right now and you can certainly teach a young dog lots of tricks.  What I am learning is that I don’t really need to batter my body to pieces in order to keep at a good level of fitness, my running milage is lower but the quality is higher and I am guessing my overall milage if you include walking has risen thanks to Murph.

I could be running more but it seems less important than just spending time on my feet  and making Murph happy, dont get me wrong he loves running too but sometimes its just nice to chill and enjoy watching him play especially when its hot.  I can judge how im feeling and turn up and down the intesity but Murph doesnt have that option, he’s flat out no matter how hot it is and its the responsible thing to do not to push him. Its a nice balance im finding at the moment. Plus I’m suffering less pain in the ankle and toe and figure it cant be a bad thing to let things heal a little, it was a long hard training block up to Preseli and although its hard to switch off from that mentally its the right thing to do.

So I havent run all week but have been to the beach a dozen times and only this morning we ran and it was a nice change and was nice to run pain free, only 3 miles but enough

As for young dogs learning new tricks – This week we nailed sit!

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Sit!
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See those teeth – do not stick your hand in his mouth even if its only playing – Im learning 😉
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Happy running
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Posing again

Lifes good

Murph and I ran another 6 miles yesterday – He loves it, puts me to shame, when im flagging and he gambols off into the distance its a good feeling though as I know he’s not even really putting any effort into it and clearly enjoys the whole thing. Today we just walked 4 as the ankle still plays up a bit. Its good to be able to do either as I feel. So yeah … lifes good!

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Taking a break
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Checking out the way ahead
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New rockfall – right where I warned the “geologist” to get from under the cliffs a few months ago. Would take a bit of digging to get him out from under there
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Chilling in the fields