To the barrow and back

It’s so easy to forget how lucky you are sometimes. We blow insignificant issues out of all proportion. I was thinking this as I ran the clifftops to the burial mound, one of my favorite places to sit and watch the channel as a break.  The fields atop the cliffs are as beautiful as the beach itself I just forget to appreciate them. I guess having lived around here all my life I take much of the scenery for granted – and I shouldn’t. So this post is for the unappreciated parts of runs, the fields and lanes that piece it all together.

Run-wise it was a quick 5 miles, everything felt pretty good and I noticed my pace on the flat has naturally fallen back into the 8-9 min per mile pace that feels quite comfortable.  Still blowing too hard on hills but who doesnt!? (rhetorical question)

 

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Coastal path between Monknash and Cwm Mawr
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Blue skies over the Vale – Looking inland towards Wick
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Sat pondering on the barrow mound looking out across the channel
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View back from Cwm Mawr to Monknash

 

Damn you tides

Why do you have to be all wrong this weekend. I can’t really grumble as if I can’t run on the beach I can still get a great run in along the cliffs. Only around 4 miles and it felt harder than usual for some reason but took it easy and just let the body work it out for itself.

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When the sun broke through over the Bristol Channel today it was beautiful
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Rays
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The ramblers appear to be attempting to build some sort of bridge through the mud. I mean really what’s the point!?

The birds!

Got back from West Wales on Sunday and the weather was beautiful and the tide was out …. So within half an hour of getting home I was back out on the trails.  An easy seven miles down to Witches point.

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Lots of fisherman – They must be biting or some such fishing jargon

There were unusual numbers of seagulls on Wick reef – Never seen this many together before.

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Those white dots – seagulls
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Millions of the bastards
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Which I enjoyed making flap about as I ran towards them
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This lot stood their ground – So I left them to it

Why grow up?

I ran to the beach today. I had my GPS watch on. I was thinking while I was running on the beach – Could I draw something on the beach with my GPS?

As I am 43 years old going on 12 I drew a giant penis – It starts where the lines bisect – The testicles are waaaay to small but I ran out of beach – not bad for a first effort though!

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I refuse to grow old gracefully!

Did 5 miles and really enjoyed it, hardly any foot pain anymore.

And I found a buoy!

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From Josies Pride – If you know a Josie who has lost her buoy then I know where it is and will retrieve it for a price!
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My canvas!

 

 

We’re gonna need a bigger boat Part II

What’s worse than finding a surfboard on the beach?

Finding half a surfboard.

Some of you may remember the day I found the shark

Today I found the trail of shark destruction!

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Exhibit 1 – Half a surfboard – I’m kinda sad that it doesn’t have a semi circular break with teethmarks. Do sharks wear dentures?
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Exhibit 2 – Single flipper – No foot inside – where is the foot? In the shark?
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Exhibit 3 – Boat clearly showing shark damage to hull – I’ve seen Jaws – I know my hull breaching shark attacks
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Exhibit 4 – I turned the boat over half expecting a mangled corpse but it was empty – Further proof that the shark is indeed man-eating!

As I have already captured the shark I am off to claim the reward. If by some chance it isn’t the same shark …. There may be a difference in the bite circumference between an inflatable shark and a Great White …  It’s still out there … lurking

Oh yeah I ran around four and a half miles and it was beautiful and I felt great and my imagination kept me company aaaaaalllll the way

We’re gonna need a bigger boat

Have been taking it easy since last weds as I did this.

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It’s still red but less swollen

But yesterday I thought let’s go – tide was out around 4 and the blazing sun buggered off (I prefer to be cool, sun is not really my friend)

So when did 6 miles become a “short” run for me. This has happened really without me noticing. It used to be 2-3 but now I don’t even consider stopping at the beach and always go further. It’s lucky as today it took me towards Witches Point. In a cave near the waterfall I spotted something bright red. I’m like a magpie when it comes to pretty colours and thusly distracted off I went to investigate.

The red? Well that was a boring traffic bollard thingy but what’s this I spy …..

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SHARK! Still inflated too. About 5 foot long and as if it had swum there.
What the hell do you do with a 5ft inflatable shark apart from photograph it. Well what you do is to spend ages learning how to deflate it and then run home carrying it in your beachcombing paws.  I have long since to ignore the stares of people on the beach (MY beach you tripper types) as I hurtle (cough cough) past holding my latest bit of booty.

So now I have a a deflated inflatable shark too. Not sure what I shall do with it but I will think of something I’m sure!

Sadly I didn’t have my proper camera as I can’t find my flipbelt but I took this dodgy photo for you scenery types

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Cloudy, moody and slightly out of focus

Start as you mean to go on

Summer has officially started – I am off work for 6 glorious weeks! Ok now I’ve rubbed that in I shall continue.  Got home from work and immediately into gear for a early afternoon longish run. As I intended on being out for longer and although the weather was …. weird it was still humid so I needed hydration.

Luckily I had already bought a hydration bladder and hose online and tested it out in my racepak. Fits like an Altra! (slightly roomy and weird at first but when you’re used to it you don’t notice)

I also went left again. Look at me getting all adventurous. In fact I was heading fro uncharted territory! Loosen the mainbrace and splice the cat we’re setting sail!

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First port of call – Sand – Lots of sand, enjoy it as it’s the last sand for miles in this direction!
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Rockfall! Looking pretty fresh. I now get to tag my post :p

For the first couple of miles or so it was plain sailing. The rocks were easy and plenty of sand, I knew that there were rocks lurking past Marcross so I was ready.

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It takes a lot more effort to run on this, all dainty foot placement (ish) and having to really concentrate on not tripping.
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Atlantic College sighted! Whereupon it was rocks 1 dainty footwork 0 as I sprawled in a heap. Luckily I got away with a few bruised toes which insisted on throbbing for the next few hours. Of course they were on my injured foot but another advantage of Altras is the wider toebox – At least they weren’t squeezed in.
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The slipway at Atlantic College is the furthest I’ve run left so I wasn’t entirely sure what to expect. What I found was tricky to run on without breakages. A chance to slow up and recover. Experience is teaching this old dog new tricks.
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Whats that? More tagging? Caves! Like they were put there for a strange community of semi-aquatic villagers (You never know around here)
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Now the beach changed to IBB’s or Individual Big Bastards (TM) which require exquisite skill to traverse at any pace. Despite not having this I managed to get across without a single limb snapped in twain.
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Cave – And it’s a big bugger. Like the village hall for the semi-aquatic locals.

At this point I’d modestly like to step forward for a bravery award. I went inside. Basically I’m petrified of being in caves and underground. My mother took me to Big Pit once and I was terrified (to be fair we didn’t know I have this issue until we were down there)

But it was worth it – Take a look at the ceiling!

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Nature is the greatest craftsman of all.  I was awestruck by its beauty … at least I would have been had I not been shitting myself at the thought of about 2 bajillion tonnes of rock above me. Intriguingly there are little birds that live in there which cheeped at my intrusion. I figured birds are infinitely more attuned to nature than me and as long as they were in there I was safe.
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You know what I did? Just for my loyal readers I went to the back and this was the view out. Either that or I just got crushed by 2 bajillion tonnes of rock and am walking into the light.
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On I went over the rocks past the awesome house that lives right in a small bay by the beach. I would love to live there but I bet its rough in winter!
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Final destination, Llantwit Beach – Note lifeguard hut – Note how far tide is out – Note tiny weeny dots that are people. If they are drowning he A doesn’t know this and B will take so long to get there the poor buggers are fishfood anyway

My route back was different in that I shifted myself a hundred yards inland and used the coastal path. I was actually glad to get off the rocks and so I could run with proper form and stuff – mainly uphill or so it felt

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I did find what I think is an old WWII pill box – tastefully repointed it seems
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The house I mentioned earlier? Oh it’s more like a mansion by the way. Look how close to the beach though! Bet it costs a few quid

I was starting to tire now, I think the legs had taken rather a hammering on the rocks earlier and I was into a CBH (Complete Bastard Headwind)(TM). My hydration pack was working fantastically though. the only drawback being the sloshing noise behind me (Like being chased by a particulary aquatic Dr Who bad guy) but after a while I was used to that too. No biggie.

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It’s always nice to see the beach you’ve just run over from above. Lends a kind of perspective.
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Marcross lighthouse. Looked like there was a wedding going on judging by the VW Beetle with flowers on outside. I ensured I blew a particulary long stream of snot out as I went past hoping to get in the photos.
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From the lighthouse it’s a not so bad 2 miles on a steady incline. That seemed to be about my limit today. I was tiring more and the foot was starting to hurt. All that was left was for me to put a spurt on for my adoring fans on the other side of the stream and head home.

Altogether it was 11 miles in two and a half hours which seems slow but over that terrain (I wonder what its “worth” on road and with cave stops ‘m very happy with it =)