Bits and Pieces

So how do you do this taper thing anyway? I’m doing more milage now I have Murphy but its mainly walking at the moment.  Though we did run to the beach and back earlier we’re covering at least 5 miles a day just in walks – he’s loving it, I’m loving it. Whats not to love.  He’s getting better at recall too and really settling in.

He’s a bit of an early riser – As in as soon as the birds start he’s awake and that means so am I so we were at the beach by 6 this morning.  However this has its advantages – We get first dibs on beach salvage and also going twice a day means I can shift more plastics off the beach.

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So the week I get a dog I find a brand new dog toy washed up … weird
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having a whale of a time  geddit?  Really he’s thinking why are you waving a plastic whale toy at me
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Just hapy to be out and free
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Podenco cross
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Happy

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Mean and moody

Gratuitous dog post

I would have done this anyway but as SRG requested it you get more Murphy photos (In case you missed it I have a new dog called Murphy)  He is settling in better than I could have possibly hoped.  He and Trouble get on fine – well they pretty much ignore each other which is awesome.  He’s pretty well behaved (though may possibly be a sock destroyer) and is already starting to learn recall.  I’m already walking him off the lead (he sticks like glue) as long as theres no livestock or cliffs around and he loves the beach – which is also lucky as he’s going to spend a lot of time there.

The Preseli Ultrabeast is only 16 days away so I might as well start my taper early and stick to walking him and the odd jog with him.  The fankle is a bit tender and I have a niggle in my groin (both probably as a result of the breakneck pace on saturday) so I’ll just rest them and chill with Murph.  He’s going to be an ace training partner, when I run he doesn’t really break into a run just ups his walking trot a bit.  I think he’s got plenty more miles in those legs than I have.

And so with no further ado the photos

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With his best buddy Tilly
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Yeah he likes the rocks too
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Weird ass shape on him sometimes – Podenco cross or something (Hes from Portugal)
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Playing together
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Still weirdass
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Posing for photos
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First time in the sea
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Not too sure of the water and cant actually swim (he fell in a rockpool so I know this)
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Tired out and sofa chilling
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Posing in the rain

 

Welcome Murphy

Everyone say hello to the latest addition to the trailrunning community. I give you my new dog – Murphy!

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First day I walked him

Murphy is the reason I was down West Wales last week and why I’ve been doing a little less running – I’ve been driving a 3 hour round trip every day to walk and bond with him and finally I brought him home yesterday.  The scary thing is that completely by accident he looks like a Soaky copy – Purely unintentional I orignially inquired about a different dog which had been rehomed and they mentioned Murphy.

Hes had a bit of a rough start to life and is very nervous but already he’s starting to improve.  We’ve been to the beach already and he’s settling in nicely. Him and the cat basically ignore each other – I think Trouble just assumes Soak has been missing for a few years and now returned.  At the moment Murph is like a shadow but slept hapily in his crate last night and we’ve just had a short run at the beach as he is going to have little choice but be a training companion – And thankfully he seems to love to run, he gets a goofy grin on his face and just lopes alongside with no effort while I puff and pant.

So if you dont like dogs I’d stop reading the blog now cos it’s likely to include a lot of Murphy from here on in. Oh and Mawil – the rope is for him to chew on and play with 😉

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Day two and off lead already – Im being very cautious and no fields with livestock but he’s sticking like glue to be fair and at 6 in the morning he’s safe enough as there’s no-one about
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We have a few issues with stiles – Not sure he’s ever had to climb one before – He’s getting there though
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Beach dog!
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Getting up to speed
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Good look Murph
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I had a shower and thought i’d lost him already then I realised he was on the sofa in my middle room which has a black throw on it – His eyes gave him away after I’d searched every room for him

 

No fear, no heights just miles

Ok going back in time …. these two runs were the friday and saturday before the Fan Brycheiniog hike.  Around 10 miles each time and incorporating a nice little loop I’ve found which tacks on as many miles and hills as I like.  Along with the hike thats over 30 miles in 3 days so today is most definitely a rest day.

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This is the close to home training hill of Witches Point – Currently at 3 repeats

Google finally synched all my photos to the cloud so I don’t have to manually drag them here like the last post so have some more fan brycheiniog hike photos

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Yeah we go up there!
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Pretty steep
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This was after I stopped having panic attacks and could go nearer the edge again
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Just stunning
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The path is the line running diagonally
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Snow at the peak!
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Tea break in the saddle
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Gore-tex dog
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Fell running time

Brecon wander

Went up the Brecon beacons yesterday.  Out into the bits people don’t tend to go and just hiked around a bit with the dog.  It was pretty cold, then hot, then windy then not. Hey im a poet! We didn’t follow the paths mainly as there weren’t any. Its quite liberating and definitely fun to just go where you please. This did mean we spent a few hours or so falling in bogs, marshes and swamps (we havnt worked out which is which yet) but wet feet is a given these days.  Plus Tilly the dog loved every minute of it even if she couldnt see over the grass much of the time I guess.

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Pro tip – Park the car by a big obvious mountain like this one so you dont lose it
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Technically we should have been over there but I cannot tell a lie – my directions are shit
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Standing stone doing what it does best
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Waterfall – slightly on the wonk
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Frozen “waterfall” / trickle
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Is that the mountain by the car? Oh …
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Look I CAN take photos – Tilly in her snazzy coat
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Ok we put the dog with short legs on the rock for a photo shoot, she didnt leap there – tiny legs and all that. Though she did exceptionally well seeing as its not really short dog terrain
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Reservoir points to car (backup in case of loss of mountain)
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“Over there is bog…. over there is marsh ….. over there is swamp” ( I fell in most of them)

Frozen dog stops play

Couple of days ago I went up to the Brecon Beacons with a friend and her mums dog to find some snow.  We appear to be missing out on the fun down here in the South but I guess one of the beauties of living in Wales is that there are always mountains a few hours away at most.

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Short dog and deep snow issues

Tilly aka ratdog did actually do quite well and had a whale of a time in the snow. But after a while it was clear she was getting pretty cold ….

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So this is me doing an impression of a South American paramilitary holding a frozen dog hostage

So after thawing her out we heaed home where I realised I was technically in my running gear anyway and so it would have been amiss to not get down the beach too so go to knock out seven miles as well.

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How much warmer does this look?  (It wasn’t though)

Tour De Soak

Its been two years since I started running and the reason for starting and keeping going haven’t completely changed only morphed slightly. For those new to the blog you can read here about why.

So yesterday the sun shone, I needed a long run and I decided to do a loop taking in as many of the places Soaky and I used to explore as I could manage.

I headed for Witches Point first off

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Note the blue clear skies – More of that later

Easy enough going to start, I was running with a pack and water as I was intending to go over 10 miles at least.  It was already hot early on though so off came the shirt. With the breeze on the cliffs it didnt really feel hot enough to burn though ….

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Ogmore by Sea – As Soak got older she couldnt make it to Monknash beach due to the stiles and hills so I used to drive her here so she could have a play.

From Ogmore I cut inland following the river.

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Ogmore river plus floodplains.  We used to come here as it was easy to park and let her play in the dunes on the otehr side.

It was midday now and getting hotter plus away from the coast the breeze had died away and I was working hard and sweating just to keep a reasonable pace. I was gonna have to ration water or find some.

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Path up to St Brides common – I was now being slowly roasted alive.
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Golf course – sans any water. However I did have some miserable old gits shout and wave their clubs at me as I cut through – Sod you its common land.
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I cut through the common and past the quarry and across the road to the Castel Upon Alun side.
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Through the bracken. We used to walk a lot up here because she loved chasing rabbits – Never caught one but she liked trying.
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Down to the ford – I judged I had enough water to not have to fill up here as I didnt fancy stomach problems as well as heatstroke.  Another favourite Soaky spot where she would splash about.
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Had to come home via roads …. No real choice as my next destination was Wick.  For some reason Soak loved it up here too, not sure why but was spent a lot of time on these back lanes just wandering about together.
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15 hot tiring miles later I fell into my friends pub for a pint of Gwynt Y Ddraig cider. Well if you run out of water ….. You got to toast your old dog with something!

Seeing all these places was a great way to remember Soak and I was proud I could run the lot.  Its only been two years but I’ve come a long way in more way than one.  I’m still as dumb as they come in some ways, I’m rather sunburned writing this …. We live and learn!