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

 

 

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

 

 

 

Whats in a name

Well if they’re going to name a storm after you then it would be rude not to go and run in it.  I do love running when theres a breeze but when its a full on gale it aint so easy …. for half the run at least.  At least we’ve avoided the rain so far, wind fine and rain fine just not together please. Just ticking along at the moment as the mind turns to the first ultra in may. As usual theres paranoia over every niggle but they all go away (he says fingers crossed) eventually. And it’s always better to be out than not. If not for my sake for this ones ….

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Took a rest while Murph dug holes for the sea to fall in … the sea won
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There was even sun … photos just dont capture the wind right
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Looking good
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Dino footprint?
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Posing

Half Term training

Well you cant fault the weather – Well unless its due to climate change in which case in the long run I’d prefer snow but I guess thats another story. It does mean that every morning we get out for a beautiful walk first thing for 4 or 5 miles and then get some training done in the afternoon.  I have some weird tight pain in my glutes still – I mean its being going on for ages – but in fact running actually helps it. its when i sit for any lengthg of time it gets angsty – so hey ho if running fixes it then im down for that!

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Morning starts for a blurry dog
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Always beautiful and beautifully empty
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Exit squirrel stage left
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Afternoon passing through Llantwit beach
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Dawn tides
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Argghhhghhhhhhhh

Down week

I checked my mileage and it was 110 miles for the 2 weeks of xmas – oops no wonder things are a little achey so showing sense and in the spirit of trying to make it though 2019 without a major injury (touch wood etc) I took a week off running and just walked Murph instead. Admittedly we do around 6 miles a day at the lest but its not high impact and he has to have his walks or he goes mental

And we saw some stunning sunsets. Enjoy. We did.

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Might be one of my alltime favourites
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Murph failing to get in shot properly
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Twas rather relaxing down there
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Get ready the suns a setting
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There it goes
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Sand reflections
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Or maybe this one

So that was xmas

I’m not really a christmassy person. However I do find it a good reason to be outside and getting in some longer runs while I have the time off.  In the last week I’ve managed around 50 miles (not counting today – Im waiting on the tide) and have taken the days off as needed when I can feel that the legs need the rest.  If I was the type to do new years resolutions then ths years would be to try not to be injured half the time. Sometimes you cant do anything about it – Some times you can – I’ll at least try! I have plans for 2019 but everytime I announce plans something tends to get in the way so I’ll keep them to myself until they happen.

Until then I’m just going to enjoy being out with Murph and doing whatever miles I can.

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Murph loves the forests – I love them because he’s safe to hunt small furries (he never catches any)
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I think this was xmas day – they all blend into one. Just as I like it when the weather keeps people awy
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Sunnier runs and a poser
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Think we were out approaching dusk for this one – Running in the dark with a headtorch is something i’ve learned to love