Half term came and went and finished with a 13 mile training run as I knew the tides were gonna be suck this week back in work and had already decided to take a rest week – no running at all! Walking Murph a lot of course rain or shine so its never total rest and the aches and pains dont seem to change whether I run or not. In fact I probably feel better when I do run. Theres so much information about training plans out there, do this many miles, do x amount of speedwork, do this do that but I really am feeling the “fuck it do what you love and it’ll come together” works better for me and to be honest that usually translates into 50 mile weeks anyway which is plenty.
I stumbled across a poem this week also – I dont usually do poetry but this one spoke to me especially the second half.
The Summer Day
Who made the world?
Who made the swan, and the black bear?
Who made the grasshopper?
This grasshopper, I mean-
the one who has flung herself out of the grass,
the one who is eating sugar out of my hand,
who is moving her jaws back and forth instead of up and down-
who is gazing around with her enormous and complicated eyes.
Now she lifts her pale forearms and thoroughly washes her face.
Now she snaps her wings open, and floats away.
I don't know exactly what a prayer is.
I do know how to pay attention, how to fall down
into the grass, how to kneel down in the grass,
how to be idle and blessed, how to stroll through the fields,
which is what I have been doing all day.
Tell me, what else should I have done?
Doesn't everything die at last, and too soon?
Tell me, what is it you plan to do
with your one wild and precious life?
I followed up saturdays long run with another 7 miles on saunday to recover slowly. After a short period of ow shit that hurts everything loosened nicely and even better it’s now monday and I’ve been pretty much serious pain free all day including the left foot. I can feel the twinges though so a day off today.
Between the two days there are a few things I ned to remember – You can switch off here this is for my own benefit so I remember.
I got my fuelling working better on the saturday. I took bananas and the homemade honey bars and started eating after an hour and then every 3 miles or so which seems to sit well with me. I can get calories in without feeling nauseous without problems but I do wonder about how much I can carry for ultras, bananas are surprisingly heavy for the calories they provide. Might need to test a few other smaller, lighter and more calorie dense options. I mean I like the honey bars but after 30 miles I’m not so sure if they’ll digest easily.
I also ran with one bottle of plain water and one with some electrolyte supplements. Seemed to work well and although I prefer plain water I know I sweat so much I need to replace some salts and minerals. At least I felt fine after 15 and no harm done so i can keep testing this.
I wore the Inov8 ultra 290 which are GTX which I’m finding might be ideal for ultras thanks to a bit more cushioning, I lose some grip and feel on technical terrain but how much of that will I need compared to not screwing over my feet. I noticed tightning of the laces around 8 miles on and thats my feet starting the swell so remembering to loosen the laces for once helped. I dont need GTX for the ultras this summer as I dont want hot feet with no way of removing sweat so might have to invest in a non GTX pair.
So if you stuck around through that little lot you get some photos!
Yes indeed it is time for me to unveil this years beachcombed xmas tree! This years required 10 miles of running and searching and 3 miles of carrying back on my shoulder (its a bit bigger than last years hence it being rammed against my ceiling which also mae for tricky navigating under trees and over stiles on way back) The sun was sort of out though so made for a pleasant morning and I was happy with my discovery.
Today marked the start of an actual training cycle. Its 20 weeks until the Preseli Beast so plenty of time to build up to 24 miles of fell running. Today was a “short long run” in that its 10 miles which I don’t have any issues doing really but I want to build back to longer distances slowly to try to avoid damaging the foot and knee to the point where I have to lay off completely again. Should tie in nicely to the half in February. See – I’ve been doing some thinking!
Luckily the weather was fine apart from a stiff wind. I did a half beach and half cliff run so I got the best of both worlds including some steep climbing. Was happy to see that I hadn’t put the HR over 170 (169 is damn close though) and it seemed to spend more time in the working hard but not maximum catergory. And overall it was 136, I can live with that considering the route was hard.
Misty,rainy morning run to the beach as much to just stretch the legs as anything else as I knew the tide was on its way in. Had a good play around the immediate area though, some hill repeats during which I found this new face
Then a hop down to the beach to get some swifter rock running in to satisfy the need to bounce around a bit.
Then off looking for a christmas tree – at the beach ofc. It now seems to be a tradition (if a 2 year thing can be a tradition) to find my tree at the beach. I wasn’t blogging last christmas so I don’t think last years tree made it here, I’ll have to see if I can find a photo.
I have a friend who refers to days when nothing happen much as beige. I was about to describe todays run as beige when I thought woah there no run is ever beige. Something is always different, something is usually learned. I think beacuse I only did a quick trip to the beach which I’ve done dozens of times it felt nothing out of the ordinary. The tide was in so no beach adventure.
So what gave this run colour?
So kids remember – Look outside the beige and you’ll always be pleasantly surprised.
So I got home early due to it chucking it down with rain. Perfect excuse to lounge around on the sofa and rest the foot and take it generally easy. So what do I do? Go for a run!
Running in the rain (when it’s not cold and windy too) is great, especially at this time of year. You can almost hear the vegetation growing and everythings so … so …. green!
The foot hurt but not too bad, I think I’m trying to protect it too much from impact and curling it so tried to relax and just enjoy the green!
Got to the beach and it was grey, mizzle and all.
The tide was just about far enough out to have a quick run on the rocks again which was great to be able to do even if it twinged a bit.
Then on the way back I saw it!
The tides had been kind, so much driftwood, so few arms and working legs I did scout out a few nice pieces which I may come back for but I’ll leave that up to chance. What the sea giveth the sea taketh away.
The run back was much more tiring than I thought it would be. The break has done my fitness no good but I’m sure if I take it slow and steady i’ll get there.
SPeaking of slow and steady
Ok so it includes my quarter mile warmup and a few breaks to ogle driftwood and then failing to stop my watch but i’m happy just to be moving again!
To be honest I know I’ll never catch normal but just throwing it out there as a thought. Why do I say this? I don’t seem to do normal things, or think normal things … But I guess normal is different for everyone. In this case I mean the vast majority of people I know or meet in work who do the same things day in day out, they bitch and moan about work, their kids, other peoples kids, their other halves, how expensive things are, what happened in some TV programme ad neauseum and it leaves me cold.
I’ve never been married, never had kids, never done this “normal” life thing, I tend to do things on a whim – Like leaving my super secure council desk job to run a pub. This summer I have the six weeks off as I work in schools now but I’m not planning a 2 week holiday on a beach somewhere or planning to grout my bathroom, I’m planning where I can go to do some scenic running on my own. Is that normal?
Anyway all that came from my run home today. I was knackered and thinking “Why am I doing this again?” Of course it didn’t help that I was carrying a huge driftwood branch back from the beach (yes more beachcombing). It didn’t help that a leisurely trot to the beach had turned into me beasting myself up steep steep hills six times in close succession for no good reason other than “I wanted to see if I could”
Then again I would imagine the vast majority of the population would think anyone reading this blog and thinking “Hey that could be me” is not normal.
Haven’t been out for a few days as I promised myself I would take a rest day or two when my body told me to. It’s quite amazing I listened to myself, I don’t normally. So off I trotted on a windfree evening for a quick spin of the legs. Sadly the tide was in so I couldn’t run along the beach … Or could I?
Indeed it was kind of runnable as in kind of not runnable too. And that is probably the worst sentence I have ever written … ever. I got around halfway with no major issues (I did know the tide was going out not coming in, I’m not that much of an idiot) but then the only option was swim or run on the bigger rocks.
While trying to not break an ankle I was also on the lookout for any interesting flotsam, jetsam or driftwood in the vincinity when this caught my eye.
Only problem being I was now around two miles from home in the middle of the rocky part of the beach with the entire route home being uphill. Was I going to lug this piece of wood that distance? Dear reader of course I was. I ran most of the way back with this awkward, top heavy and just plain heavy (I think it’s a bit waterlogged) piece of wood but you know what? It hurt more than a much longer run but I got a great sense of satisfaction from managing to get it back.
Now it will probably sit in the hallway for six months while I procrastinate.
Just a quick run to the beach and back. Weather is pretty vile so it was into a stiff wind on the way down. Legs felt a little tight from yesterday but soon found a nice rhythm to tap out and enjoyed.
Tide was high and the waves were crashing in on the rocks, unfortunately my photography skills once again let me down so this is the best of a bad bunch (if this is the best you can only imagine the others)
Got home and put up a shelf, found this piece of drift wood a while back and have been meaning to put it up for ages and finally ordered the hidden brackets I needed. It’s just going to hold some of my running kit in an attempt to stop it’s neverending encroachment into every room.
Also realised that everytime I post a Runkeeper route no-one can see it unless they are a Runkeeper user. So introducing a new initiative …. Pace and time looks shameful but take into account there was a major break at the beach for photos and driftwood hunting. I really need to find the autopause function on my Garmin.