Lifes good

Murph and I ran another 6 miles yesterday – He loves it, puts me to shame, when im flagging and he gambols off into the distance its a good feeling though as I know he’s not even really putting any effort into it and clearly enjoys the whole thing. Today we just walked 4 as the ankle still plays up a bit. Its good to be able to do either as I feel. So yeah … lifes good!

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Taking a break
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Checking out the way ahead
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New rockfall – right where I warned the “geologist” to get from under the cliffs a few months ago. Would take a bit of digging to get him out from under there
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Chilling in the fields

First steps

Last weekend I planned to camp near St Davids in West Wales with Murph, we packed the van and headed off. Things didnt go quite according to plan … First off I went to set the tent up and no tent poles – god knows where they are but they weren’t in the tent bag.  It was also clear that Murph wasnt very happy with the campsite, he’s very nervous anyway and new situations plus people meant I could tell he wasnt going to enjoy the whole thing as I had hoped.  So what do you do when life gives you lemons – go for a run!

We did around 9 or 10 miles (I’m not wearing a watch at the moment as the plan following the ultra is to just enjoy it again) along the coastal path and it was Murphs first “proper” run and he did fantastically.  I kept him on lead all the way as I dont know the area well enough but it wasnt a problem. He’s pretty good at judging pace (though he clearly doesnt notice hills like I do and doesnt slacken off) so I would imagine we knock along at 8 to 9 min/mile pace which he seems to enjoy best.  I even had his lead tied around my waist (its one of the fancy ones with a clip on the handle to accomodate this) and that works too.  The only problems we had were on technical sections where he tends to choose the best line (Ie the one I’ve also picked) a split second before me.

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Limbering up at the beach
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Its a beautiful path
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Even better when the sun comes out
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Some rocks and stuff
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tongue out = water stop
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Might even be the same rocks … who knows?
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Looking handsome

Returning

Returning to Preseli, returning to running.

A week afetr running the ultrabeast in Preseli I went back with Claire and the dogs to walk in the hills.  To be honest I dont think i’d get bored of that place. Was strange in a way to walk the paths I’d run the week before and a damn sight easier.  We actually ended up doing the Beast Bach 11 mile route with a bit tacked on so we could reach a rocky outcrop so a 12 mile walk in the hills on a sunny day – cant fault it.  The dogs had a whale of a time plus (and this was intended) we didnt have to endure a single second of anything royal wedding related – Win Win!

I also realised yesterday Im doubly blessed – I loved running the ultra (Yes once again a week later I’m no longer saying never again and I’ve forgotten all the pain) and I loved walking up there with the dogs.  I can do either happily and not miss the other. Thats lucky

Today I felt like running again, the legs have been a bit wrecked this week – monday was horrendous/hilarious depending on whether you were me or watching me.  But today although they are still a little tired I could feel the spring is back and I can drive again rather than shuffle. Murph loves running – well he trots at a gentle pace, I think he’ll make a pretty good training partner.

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Tilly loves water – Murph aint so sure
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See?  Thats the water rat fetching a stick and my rat being a wuss and only putting his paws in
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Reckon he’s happy – soft sod will let her do anything to him
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If dogs could talk – So you ran over that over there mountain right?  Idiot ….
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Awesome photo nose cut-off skills
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Till posing on a cairn as per
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Alert
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back of the van is now a dog chill out zone – Fully padded out with pillows, dog beds and sleeping bags – They slept the whole way home
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Handsome beasts … well one of us

 

Only me

2 weeks out from the first ultra of the year, 6 months of solid training and I go and (probably) break my toe on a baby gate I installed to keep Murph from troubles food ….

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Spot the fucked one – Icing it in the Bristol channel at 6 this morning – now THAT is cold. Plus I have weird feet – No wonder im always injured
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Where are you?  Murph likes to jump this stile first then pops his head back over to check im coming
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At the beach earlier a big lab just appeared from nowhere (my neighbour was also walking her dogs as it turned out)  My first reaction was oh god here we go dogfight. But instant friendship and this is them leaping all over each other and playing.  I have to remember Murph is not Soak who would have probably attacked first and asked questions later.
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Similarity to Soak is uncanny though
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See what I mean?

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