Back to the trails!

After a few days break – work and weather enforced it was great to get back out running. Managed to fit in an hours run on the beach after work. Felt good today and pushed it a bit harder on the way back for an even split which isn’t bad considering its always uphill on the way home!

Todays route

I was glad to feel good today as yesterday I bumped into a teacher in work who I didn’t know runs and after telling her about what I was up to she told me about this trail half marathon virtually on my doorstep!  The hoka half at Margam Park

I’ve already got an event planned for that date in Avon and that was to be my first but thats only (I say only, I wouldn’t have said that few months ago) 12k not a half marathon  and having considered it for a day I’ve signed up for the half and will drop out of the 12k. I wasn’t planning to run a half until later in the year when I felt I would have the confidence to do it but having run the distance twice in the last few weeks over probably harder terrain than the event its something that I really want to do. I’m not worried about times but I am worried about finishing of course. But I believe that with just under a month to go I can do this! Time to put what i’ve been learning into practice. And i’m excited already!

Other things of note today – it appears that horses don’t suffer from vertigo judging by this lot happily grazing a few feet from a cliff edge with a couple of hundred foot drop right next to them! After taking the photo (poor quality im afraid, the camera hates long distance and ducky gloom it seems) I literally couldn’t watch them as I ran past. I’ve seen sheep doing this before and that was bad enough but the thought of a plummeting horse kept my heart in my mouth. I’m a complete animal lover and this scared me half to death. I’m sure it doesn’t concern them though and I’m glad I was on the beach not on the cliffs as it would break my heart if I was to startle one off the edge.

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Death defying stunt horses on Nash cliffs

Also of note were the first molehills. A sure sign of spring approaching as the earth has warmed up enough for our subterranean friends to start stirring. I can’t wait for spring. Winter running has taught me a lot and I’ve enjoyed running through the changing seasons but a little warmth would go down a treat around now

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First molehills of Spring!

 

Running guerilla in the mist

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Misty morning at Traeth Mawr

Quick post for what was suppiosed to be a quick run. Just under 7 miles but the beach was kinda fun this morning so I ran and explored so a slow time but who cares!  Felt good again today so all in all it’s been a good weekend, hasn’t felt like a strain at all and just the boost I needed after what was a quiet week running wise.

Wore a pair of Adidas Vigor trainers for the first time. Felt great and plenty of bounce and traction on rocks. Not so great in the slippery mud but I didn’t expect them to be. I’ve realised that for next winter I’m going to need inov8 mudtalons or something seriously luggy.

Spent a good 10 minutes just watching rocks tumble down a recent slide

Witness an incredibly tedious video of the odd rock falling! Joking aside it was a reminder to me that although I treat the beach as a fantastic training and recreational area it’s also a very dangerous playground.

 

 

 

Fantastic!

The sun was out as was the tide and off to the beach I went. I felt brilliant today, in my head and body. I loved running the fields,  I loved running the woods, the rocks, the sand, the cliffs. I did it all, I did it with a smile and I did it without feeling tired at any point. It was slow but it was to be savoured. Ok i’ll stop gushing!  I ran to Cwm Nash then across to Witches Point, up the cliff path and back along the clifftops all the way to Marcross then back down to the beach and back to Cwm Nash and then the mile back home through the woods and fields.

I must admit I love my pack, I really don’t notice it and it’s great to have water and fuels with me. When I felt too hot I could easily stash my jacket, on top of the cliffs where the wind was cold I simply popped it back on again. I took it quite slowly today, my toe was recovered and wore the Adidas Kanadia which are the easiest on my feet. I also stopped multiple times to take photos for a project i’m working on. So all in all a nice relaxed run of around 10 miles and felt like I could have done more. But why overdo today when there’s always tomorrow!

Todays route

 

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Sun rising over the Plough and Harrow in Monknash
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3 fields in – Best way of crossing the icy stream is plough straight through it at speed!
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Sun over the cliffs at Cwm Nash
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Mist rising from the sands – Those seagulls are soon going to shift!
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Sun on sand
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Beaufitful Welsh beaches – Looking from Witches Point at Southerndown to Cwm Nash
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The old beach “hut” at Cwm Nash. This was built on the cliffs for a lady of The Bruce Estate to watch the sea
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Looking from Cwm Nash to Marcross
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Nash Sands – High today – A sandbar out in the Bristol Channel that is visible at low tides. Has doomed plenty of shipping in its time, hence the lighthouse at Marcross
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Nash Sands – The swell was right today for waves and you could have surfed the sandbar

 

 

 

 

Saturday mornings

I love waking up with the sun shining and looking forward to a run (even with a baddy toe)

And I think to myself – It’s not just a long way I’ve come physically. I’m in a much better place mentally without even noticing the gradual improvement.

Today is a good day

And in the spirit of being alive I give you

“Nothing’s ever gonna happen ’round here
If we don’t make it happen
Sleep away the day if you want to
But i got something that i gotta do”

Indeed I do – today indeed feels a good day =)

 

 

 

Well that could have gone better …

Got home from work on a dank and drizzly day but wanted to get out, I was late home yesterday and missed a good evening run. Is it only me that feels guilty if I don’t run. Even if I tell myself the rest will do me good too I just feel uneasy, like all my work is going to drain away … which is silly but thats my mind for ya!

So I figured a quick run to the beach and back, first half mile or so was fine and then just as I finished the fields and started on the path to the beach I suddenly felt awful. Less than a mile and I felt wasted – no energy, my vision was blurring slightly and felt light-headed. It felt like I was out of fuel but i’d travelled less than a mile! Plus I smashed my toes into a rock as I couldn’t focus on the path properly, at least that will act as a reminder!

All I can think of is that I didn’t eat enough today, I was busy in work all day and on my feet rushing around. I did eat fruit at various points during the day and had a smoothie (Yes I bought a blender thingy!)  but never felt hungry at all.  I did on the way back from the beach though which is why I’m guessing my body just needed food of some sort. I’ve equated the feeling before with a lack of sugar, I thought fruit would give me that!

Which all goes to show how little I really know about nutrition which makes me feel kind of stupid. Crashes like that shouldn’t happen, I should always carry something I can use for fuel, I keep making mistakes, I’ll keep learning I guess! I know I should eat breakfast but I really don’t feel hungry in the morning, i’ve tried and it almost makes me feel sick to try to swallow food first thing.

But enough of the moaning! Up and at ’em, one bad run does not mean a thing in the grander scheme.  In good news my achilles has been fine today!  I have started using a foam roller to see if it helps and I might be jumping the gun (just a little!) but any day with no pain is a good one.  As for the knee – a slight twinge but not too much. I’m wondering if the knee is in fact a by-product of the mud i’ve been sliding through. I noticed today that I turn my feet out slighly in slippery mud, rather like a cross country skier in order to maintain balance and provide traction. It could well be having a bearing on my knee, I shall watch for that.

Only the one photo today -This handsome chap whom I met before crash! (PS Running through muddy hoofprints as a pain in the ass but worth it to meet and greet these guys)

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Tuesday niggles and dusk run

After a few days rest I was back early enough for a quick run to the beach after work. No wind, crisp and cold so perfect. Except the legs haven’t been perfect. I’ve had a slightly achey right knee for a while. I think it’s from sprawling over some roots a few months ago and banging it and it occasionally gives me grief but tonight it was a dull ache the whole time. It was fine for 13 on sat but not 3 and a half today. I’m wondering if its simply because I had to go on my hands and knees to fix a computer today and aggravated it.

My secondry niggle is one i’ve feared the ruturn of – Achilles tendonitus. I suffered from it years ago when I ran a pub and was on my feet 18 hours a day and it was agony. Eventually it went after physio. I had wondered about it while running but nothing so far – until yesterday in work I sat down and my left achilles suddenly and from nowhere gave me a jolt I happily havent felt in years.  Then last night in bed I was getting lesser aches from it.  This makes me sad. However I was determined to run today – I wanted to get out but I also wanted to test my achilles – and it didnt murmer for the whole run.

I may be over-reacting – I’ll be honest i’m enjoying running so much and it’s helping me both physically and mentally so much i’m scared of now losing it to injuries. I guess it’s just a case of keep an eye on things and keep on rolling!

Todays run was again beautiful – I love running at dusk, watching my breath steam into the air and feeling the day draining away.

I played around with some filters on my phone

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Moon rising over Cwm Nash

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Fossils!

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What a difference a week makes

Proud to say I ran another 13 miles today, from home to Monknash beach to Ogmore by Sea and back. It’s a mixed route, maybe a quarter beach and the rest is coastal path with lots of undulations and hills. The route (runkeeper says just less than 13 which is odd as it got the data from my Garmin watch which said over 13)

Sun setting around mile 11 and feeling good =)

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The difference from last week? I didn’t crash near the end, in fact I felt pretty damn good for most of it. I had a wobble around 8 or 9 miles – I noticed this last week too. But I think the big difference today was that I was prepared. After last weeks wall slam I bought one of these Inov8 Race Pak 4

I wanted to ensure that if i’m running for longer I need to stay hydrated, carry nutrition with me and also extra gear in case I get too cold and wet again. This seemed a good way to do it. There’s only so much you can get in a flipbelt afterall!

I was a little concerned about running with a pack but I have to admit this was brilliant, its only 4L capacity but it seems more than that and I honestly didn’t even notice I was carrying it after a short while. It stayed snug and didn’t bounce around which was a concern. So a thumbs up for this idea!

As well as physically helping out by carrying my bottle and gels etc I found it gave me confidence too. I didn’t feel so isolated miles from home or people as I had supplies and clothing with me so even if the worst came to the worst I could always walk back in (relative) comfort. So a nice psychological crutch too.

I felt so good on the way back I kept up the same pace for the last few miles that I would on a 4 or 5 mile jaunt.  I decided to start fuelling around an hour in and take it from there with gels or chews if I started to flag but ensuring not to overdo them. As I said earlier I felt a bit ropey around 8 miles in but whacked some sugars into me and felt ok again after a while.

The run itself was beautiful today.

Southerndown beach

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Sunset and little fluffy clouds (for cloud lovers out there!)

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I’ll never get tired of running this beach – Witches Point at Southerndown looking to Cwm Nash in background

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The deeps at Ogmore by Sea

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The hill at Witches Point – Yep I run up that by choice (about 4 miles in)

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New cliffslide at Witches (good subject bad photo)

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Alone and loving it

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