Lessons learned

Last few weeks have been a holding pattern – for much of the world I think. I was musing on the run the other day – last week was my birthday and that morning I planned to get up early and do a long run. I didn’t have much of a plan, it was more a case of throw some food and water in a pack and head out with Murph to enjoy the day before anyone else was awake.  As it turned out we did 17 miles and were out for 4 hours plus – which I was happy with, much of the route was beach and much of it was rocky so progress was slow but we loved every minute. Even when with an hour to go the heavens opened and the chill cut in.

I digress – I was musing about the lockdown and how I felt about it. I have friends who are frustrated, depressed and can’t wait until its over – Which is understandable. So I was trying to work out why I feel so relaxed about it all, of course I can get out with the dog that helps but I genuinely am content to sit and wait and sit and wait and sit and wait. You can’t rush this thing, you can’t fight it, you might as well punch fog. No point in being angry it just needs riding out.

And then I figured perhaps I cope because it’s similar in a way to ultrarunning. You grind through it, you chop it down to step by step, you don’t look at the ending, you can’t look at the ending because it’s so far away and that distance is overwhelming. So perhaps ultrarunning has taught me patience and how to deal with living in the moment and taking one step at a time. The goal will come, we will get through this, you can’t rush it, the finish line comes when it comes. You might as well do what you can to enjoy the ride. In last years 50 miler there were moments I wished for the end, 10 miles out I was praying for the line to come, it couldn’t come fast enough. I look back and I see the mistake I made. I concentrated on the end not the journey. It’s inconceviable to me now I did that, I would give anything to be out there right now 40 miles into a race but out in the mountains and in pain. To try to enjoy that last 10 miles instead of wishing them to end.

No those last 10 miles weren’t pretty but they could have been if I’d chosen to embrace them not hate them.  It might be a poor anology with people dying out there and losing jobs but times pass and we get one shot, embrace it all, even the shit bits.

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Be Happy!
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Dawn at the start of a long run on your birthday  … does it get any better
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On the way home and hunting wabbits
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We found new rockfalls
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And we spent around 8 miles running up and down this stuff – blew my quads out
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There were pretty forests too with bluebells
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And even crowds cheering us on
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No dog is an island
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For mum and dad – these are this years blooms on Trepit Road seeing as you cant get out there at the mo!

Keep on truckin’

I guess when the world goes a bit mad you just gotta hop on for the ride. So I figured what with my parents (hi mum and dad) self isolating I should get posting if nothing else to keep them up to date and entertain …yeah ok so maybe not entertain so much. But photos are always nice right!

So still running – cos its something I can do out here and see and have no contact with anyone (not gonna lie isolation is something I like) plus the dog needs to be out anyway.  And with everything thats going on its good to be outside away from it all for a while. The good news – good news – whats that? Is that the body is actually holding up ok, things hurt but it all pales into insignificance right now anyway. Preseli obviously got cancelled so no ultra and fell races and thats the right decison.

So I shall continue to work away at my latest project which I shall unveil here – you are indeed the first to know – i wasnt going to ever mention it as it was just for me but it’ll give mum and dad something to follow. This year’s project is “2020 2000” which is in a nutshell my attempt to both run and walk Murph 2000 miles in the calender year. It’s a bit of fun and provides me a goal and doesn’t allow me to ever get lazy. I include both runs and walks because my body cant cope with a 2000 mile running year plus we also love the walks too. So far I’d say the milage is about 2/3 running to a 1/3 walking and im more than happy with that.

My sketchy records tell me to date We’ve done 424 miles which is good going considering the winter start, dark mornings and evenings and the awful weather. I shall keep you all updated periodically – I bet you’re on the edge of your seats eh? The only “rules” are that we have to do the walk or run together – no dog no count and it has to be at least half a mile to count.

Ok photos!

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Bit of a small fall in the chalk section of the cliffs – Above is where the path was
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Snowdrops!
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No matter whats going on in the world there will always be a sunrise – dont forget that
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Heading into the mists
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Nature making shapes – just as the sun always rises the tide will always turn

 

 

Perspective

I was out on the beach last week. It was cold, windy and raining. I had taken a fall and banged up my knee and elbow.  The way back was into the headwind and I was feeling like I hadn’t had enough calories for the run (which i admittedly hadn’t).  I was feeling kinda miserable and had the internal monologue of self pity going on at my suffering.

Then I thought this isntsuffering at all. What people are going through all over the world is suffering, losing, lives, loved ones, jobs, freedom. Thats suffering. My choice to run along a fucking beach in shit weather is hardly suffering on any scale and the only one who makes me do it anyway is me. And in that moment I realised I was being a complete self absorbed dickhead. I had the beauty of the beach, I had the company of my dog, I had health enough to run this and the freedom to do so. I am truly blessed and fortunate and its something I need to remember.

It’s made me realign a few things, go out and help people during this crisis, do what I can even in small ways, look after my parents, neighbours and community as much as I possibly can. Give something back for once, I can take what I need from nature on the run.

Time to step up and help others suffering because I’m fortunate enough to not be.  Take care out there people and if you can do something good then do it. Little things, little gestures might just go further than you think.

And now the photos!

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Blessed just to be here
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Poser posing posingly
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Sunsets
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Shiny days
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Jesus Christ its a hailstorm! Why are we out in a hailstorm you idiot/ (said the dog)

Zoomies

I wasnt intending to run much this weekend, y’know the old let things heal thing but it was just so glorious out what else could I do?  Those crisp mornings at dawn are irresistable and not just for me they seemed to entice Murph into a world consisting of zooming around like an idiot. I was happy for him to zoom while I plodded, 5 miles on saturday and 10 today and I feel fine. Sometimes all you need is zoomies (and a plod)

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Blurry zoom followed by charging leap – trick is to stand your ground and he will deviate at last second, if you move either side he will take you out without mercy
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Happy zoomies
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Still zooming
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Ok i’ve slowed down a bit but i could go mental at any second
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Hmmm day 2 of zoom? It’s still frosty
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When the stream floods we ound a new way of crossing – he does it so gracefully compared to me. No-one as fallen in … yet
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Getting ready to zoom – Fuel stop – 1 treat equals 10 minutes zoom
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Just trotting trying to look photogenic
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Prepare the zoomster!
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And go!
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The usual views
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Back inland and heading home through the lanes
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Chilling out on the afternoon cool-down walk (which unsurprisingly included zooming)

Perspective

I was planning to post again here a little more regularly  and then i didst because I never seem to find the time or inclination. maybe running doesn’t seem as important right now.  As long as I’m out with murph how quick we move doesn’t seem to matter so much.

And I think I’ve been right. Just reading up here and hearing others going through so much worse than the odd running injury puts things in perspective.  So yep we’ve been out putting in the miles ready for some big plans this year – assuming the body copes.  But at the end of the day what’s really important is just living life and enjoying it.

I got my fingers crossed for you Ceej!  Now enjoy some photos!

 

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We’ve been out at dusk
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Early morning struts
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Played in the foam with our little buddy
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Did out xmas day run and loved it!
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Enjoyed the weather
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Of course we posed
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Visited old haunts
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Checked out waterfalls
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Saw more sunrises
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And enjoyed more sunsets
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And always climbed up so we could look back … before moving on

Catching up and chilling out

I’ve been running just not writing about it. In fact i’m back to 4 or 5 days a week although the legs go from great to bleurgh pretty quickly. I suspect I still haven’t fully recovered from last months ultra. But it really is awesome to be back out just enjoying it. In order to maximise joy and not worry about miles and times etc Ive also stopped wearing a watch. Its odd at first but then quite liberating. No more seeing what pace i’m doing means no more worrying about what pace i’m doing. The run ends when the run ends. This is just a chance to be out with murph simply enjoying the whole process.

It does feel odd not to have a goal or target, the 50 miler loomed so large for such a long time I forgot what it was like to just do what i felt like. So at the moment all i do is what i feel like – and we’ll see what that takes me. I suepct back up more hills but that can wait.

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Last week we swung by Tillys house and picked her up for a run, for a small dog she’s got a big heart and we all did 10 miles together
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Run friends
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A whale of a time was had
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Chase!
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We get to run in the forest again right?
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Early mornings
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Rainy afternoons
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Poser
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I also dropped off the money I raised to Fiona at Lizzies Barn Dog Sanctuary – £1210!

 

Starting Over

So its less than two weeks since the Eddum 50 miler and I think I got away kind of lightly.  I had a few aches and pains but they faded pretty fast and within a week I could jog gently again. Today I was able to knock out a happy 8 miles in the sun and cool breeze, We took it easy – I always need to make sure Murph doesn’t overheat and although we went up over Witches Point i didnt run all of it. The legs still feel a little dead on the uphills.

 

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Whats it like being back in training Murph?
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Pretty damn sweet dad!

I have that “so what next” feeling at the moment. I swore that before the race I would just be happy running the beach again. The preperation (or lack of) for the race, the injury worries, the sponsorship stress all added up and I’ll be honest I didn’t enjoy the build-up to it. I was happy once the gun went and we were off but the rest was stress.

But I do like having a purpose to my running as well. I already know what I’ll do though because it will be fell running. I enjoyed the one short race I did back in january but after than injury and prep for ultrarunning took over. So maybe just stick to the shorter hills for a while. For a while…..

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Haven’t seen this view in a few months
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Murph surveying inland from the top of Witches Point
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Wandering through the crops