Of wavecut platforms and glute battering

Saturday morning was cold but bright and so I decided it was time to tackle a longer run again. I chose to head left towards Llantwit via Atlantic College along the cliffs so I got to see the sandbank.

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Nash Sands
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Past the lighthouse

At Atlantic College I kept up on the cliffs through the playing fields. Not sure why they are named after King George but they are …

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I turned at Llantwit and headed back along the beach, I don’t normally do this as theres precious little sand and around 4 miles of non-stop wavecut platforms but I fancied something different and for those 4 miles my legs got a great workout due to the constant stepping up and down on the rocks.

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The series of caves just past Llantwit
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Caves closer up
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4 miles of nonstop rocks does screw with your legs eventually

I did find some rocks with numbers painted on – I’m guessing someones doing an experiment in tidal movement – And now I have to come back to check out the results myself

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After that it was plain sailing as I worked my way back around towards Witches Point creating a 14 mile loop.  Considering the terrain I was happy to get it done in under 3 hours though my glutes took a bit of a battering.

Some days it’s just great to spend time outside to clear the mind.

How low can you go?

As far as the tide here is concerned it’s this low …

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A very low spring tide at Nash Point. Normally the darker reef on the shoreline is never exposed.

Which is awesome when you get to run on it all morning. It was a fun training type run of around 10 miles at an average pace of under 11 mins a mile which I’m really happy with considering it was cliffs and beach. I can definitely feel progression happening. I can comfortably keep up a quicker pace for longer now and the wheels don’t seem to fall off as quickly. In fact I positively raced home from the beach.

As the tide was so low I explored Witches Point at Southerndown for a while as I could get to bits normally cut off.

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Caves in the cliffs.
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Wait what?  Looks like someone has been practicing their underwater climbing technique
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The erosion of the seabed here makes for some amazing rock formations
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More rocks
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Loved this one

 

 

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 =)