Cold and wet = Gear testing

It was cold, windy and raining when I got home on Wednesday and I was actually happy about It! I got the chance to try out the rain jacket I had to buy for the kit requirements at the preseli beast five months ago. Seriously it’s wales and I haven’t needed once – I carried it at the roseland ultra too so I figured it had done 56 miles without being worn.

It’s a ronhill jacket (not sure of type) which is fully waterproof with taped seams to pass kit inspections and its actually great to wear, I thought it might get a bit hot but was just perfect, I was a little damp afterwards from sweat but not excessively so and it was so worth it to keep out the cold and wind which it did a brilliant job at.

I also wore full length running tights for the first time. They were actually an impulse purchase as we have a “designer outlet” near work which have some good running shops selling last years lines (I guess) and one of these is an Asics shop which does fantastic sales. I picked up the tights for £7 and have picked up loads of shirts for around a fiver and being asics (I like their clothing) its all great quality.

The tights at first felt a bit weird but by the ed of the run (around 7 miles) I was sold.  They kept the legs warm and did away with the annoying “drag and swish” of wider tracksuit bottoms (If youve ever run in them you know what I mean) plus they dont hold water like tracksuits.

So ok Ive now worn lycra shorts and full length tights …. Im guess im sold on this running thing. Luckily I gave up on careing what I looked like many moons ago!

Met some wet looking buddies too!

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New things!

Well the beach isnt new – though admittedly ephermeral but I have got some new stuff to show off!

Firstly in an attempt to cushion my feet a little more I’m trying out Hokas

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Challenger ATR2 or something

I want to see if the extra cushioning helps. I’ve run in them a few times now (and am wearing to work too) and yes the cushioning is pretty amazing. They do lack in grip and stability on technical rocky sections as I found out last night. Unlike my Xtalons theres no connection with what I’m running on and I didn’t have the confidence I usually do on the trickier bits.  Maybe that will come with time. However for longer runs where theres less trickery and more grass I think these could well be perfect.

Last night I did 7 miles after work down to Witches Point and back as I was feeling good, the sun shone and … I just wanted too. Bit longer than I planned but hey when the suns shining make hay! I don’t appear to be suffering any after effects today so fingers crossed either i’m on the mend or the Hokas are doing some good.

On the way back I bumped into old and new friends – The calf was curious but the mother not so. I took it easy through the herd, kept an eye on the buggers and got out alive (As one local very nearly didnt a few years ago)

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Running the bovine gauntlet

And finally the BEST new things I have…..

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From the wonderful ceejaykay

Some amazing homecrafted bracelets! My photo skills dont do justice to how awesome they are – one says Ultra Badass and the other says f**ckit do epic sh*t and I cant decide which i prefer so I wear both!  My friends at the pub think theyre great but especially the story behind them. Who knew blogging got ya friends and cool pressies!

So thanks ceejay you made my day!

 

 

 

 

Pebbling

I was out early on saturday morning to beat the heat of the day.  It meant that the tide wasnt quite right but I managed to get to the ladders just in time so I could come back along the clifftops.

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Met my buddies on the way
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The tide had just reached the pebbles so I got to walk along them in the shade for a while
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Pebbles and cliffs
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New buddies – Who wanted to come and see me and ran alongside for a field

A return to waterworld

After even more torrential rain yesterday and overnight it was time to don the flippers and get back out there to explore the new maritime environment and I for one welcome our new aquatic overlords.

Considering the road leading to the fields looked like this I was pretty sure I was gonna get soooo wet

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To the left is the stream ….
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Yep waterlogged fields ahoy

Thing is that once your feet and legs are wet and the initial shock is done and dusted you’re fine. In fact the water acts as an insulator once it’s up to body temperature. This is my theory and I’m sticking to it. So my advice to any budding trail runners is that you can’t avoid getting wet so don’t tiptoe around it just bang straight on in there at speed and embrace it!

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The waterfalls by the ruined mill were looking impressive today
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As were the ones running onto the beach itself

I was gonna make this a short run but was enjoying myself so much I went off to do some more water hunting

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But first I had to get past aggro cow and his “You looking at me?” expression
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And “Orangucow” Part Orangutan part cow
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A few miles on and the viws from the clifftops are great, especially when the sun breaks through. Thats one of the beaches I pebbleran yesterday
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Thar she blows!  This stream was more of a trickle yesterday – Now to slide down to it
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Clear as mud and quite strong but luckily jumpable
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Stream 2 is the source of the waterfall from yesterdays post
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And heres the top of it
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The sun was still giving me some beautiful views
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On a whim I detoured as it was still high tide and came across the old Watch House thingy in Derval Woods

The last 3 or 4 miles home were an uphill slog through completely waterlogged fields. I’m sure it’s building up strength in my legs but its a bloody killer at the time.

Even the cabbage field was a veritable stream, ankle deep freezing cabbage water anyone?

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They even smell cabbagey despite being tiny

I leave you with another photo of the cliffs in sunlight. Always remember that any run can be a bit of an adventure. Just let your mind go wild and the body will follow. Invent and imagine and nothings a chore.

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Do whatever fills the hole in your soul

Been laid low all week with man flu type snot based illness. It comes with the territroy of working in schools, multiple schools with multiple coughs and mobile snotbags.  Some of the kids are ASD and for some reason they  all want to hold my hands and/or touch my face and hair (I’m growing my hair at the moment and it fascinates them)  You can’t really prevent them but germs are gonna get through eventually no matter how many times you wash your hands.  Price you pay for a job you love doing I guess (Plus I love the kids no matter how infectious they are)

So it’s basically been work and sleep all week but today I just had to get out and run, still feeling pretty awful but needed something to clear the head and maybe blast some fresh air through the pipes! To the beach!

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Tide was in but I wasn’t feeling like going much further anyway
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Fuck me its the Matrix only with cows!

Strangely there were no seagulls today …. Incoming storm? However check these dudes out!  My parents broughtthem back from holiday. Cheers guys you get the best presents! Sod boring t-shirts I get gulls!

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I did 3 miles and had a hop around on the rocks to cheer myself up =)  Was good to just get back out and I feel batter for it now. Luckily it’s half term so a week off, hope I get better for the rest of it so I can get out and do some proper running.

Catch you again after I’ve done some more sleeping!

Happy accidents

You know that feeling when you plan a 5 or 6 mile run to shake the legs out a bit and it feels gooooood ….. and so you end up running 13?  That was today.  I was prepared though! After fridays disaster I had my pack with me with water, banana and my homemade energy biscuits.

The tide was in so I was happily tootling up and down the hills and along the cliffs. The sun was shining and I felt good so hey why not!

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You can see why I kep going and going!

I ended up going as far as the rivermouth at Ogmore and though I’ve run this route before today I definitely felt better throughout it. I had also squeezed a fresh lemon into my hydration bladder – electrolyte city!  (PS if you do this do NOT let the pips go in too – they block the bloody valve)

After a 5 minutes break to let my legs sieze up nicely I headed back and approaching Southerdown wondered if my friend Swampy was working in the Cups as it was Sunday lunchtime – He was!  So I stopped for more refreshment

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This may not have been the best idea 8 miles into the run

I’m happy to report that although cider is not a PED wolfing down a pint in 15 minutes then running again does mean a fair amount of sloshing in the stomach. Nothing too bad though and was nice to have a change on a run.

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There were surfers in the sea at Southerndown too – I think I need a zoom lens
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Sign of rain? Or just lazy cows. Check out the one on the right with the eye patches – mean bovine!

So after 8 miles last night and 13 today I’m off to rest the limbs in the pub with more cider which I won’t be runing home after (I’ll take the bike)

Happy weekend =)

Mooove along, nothing to see here

Am taking it easier this week with only shorter runs as I have a half marathon on sunday and would rather my foot not niggle me all the way through, just the second half would be good.

But I still saw some things….

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Inquisitive calf

I was wary here as these cows have already hospitalised one local man and attacked another – Protecting their calfs is natural but this lot do seem to have a mean streak.

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Look at the glare I’m getting off the one in front – Thats one mean cow
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First blackberry of the season – Which I promptly ate (I also collected some sloes) Time to start taking bags with me for fruit booty!