I had a plan. It was a good plan. I tried to execute the plan. I failed. Maybe.
The plan was to run overnight on the solstice weekend between dusk and dawn, so from 9.34 PM to 4.57AM. I would do it mainly on the beach as the tides were right for most of it.
So I packed a drop bag and set off with Murph last night at 9.34 on the dot. We left the bag hidden on the beach as dusk set in and off we went. It was fun, it was different but something was off. I didn’t feel like the running was right, once it was totally dark it was harder than I thought to keep going over the rocks with a headtorch only – and to do it safely I was slow – which was fine by me. but something was off. Just a feeling. We covered 14 miles or so with a few rest breaks at the bag. but something was off. The ankle played up worse than normal and I think the battering it took on the rocks, the stumbles and incorrent foot placements had blown it. It was no excuse I’ve run through much worse pain than that.
After I while I realised that I wasn’t going to do the full seven and a half hours and once I came to terms with that then the pressure – albeit pressure only I had placed on myself – lifted and for the last few miles and the trip home through the fields and woods I was refreshed. I took the time to think about the whole experience and realised that in failure I had learned a lot more. Once we were off the beach I could turn my headlamp off and just move without having to cooncentrate fully on every step. I no longer had to worry about Murph (in his led collar) as the fields hold comparitively few dangers compared to the beach. I realised that much of my stress on the beach was worrying about him in the dark, I couldnt see what he was doing or exactly where he was. It struck me that in the total darkness I couldnt see him enjoying himself – Thats why i love to walk and run him – And in the dark I couldnt.
It was a good plan and it failed not because I failed but because it was a plan I came to realise didn’t matter. The failure would have been to not try in the first place. We got home around half two, I could I suppose have stuck it out for two and a half more hours in the fields but I would have done that just to make up numbers. It didn’t matter anymore. We woke at 7 and walked to the beach – and I could see him loving it, having fun and because I could see that it made all the difference.
I may have failed at one thing but I suceeded at a lot more last night.
Im still about, I just cant run much, or at least I could but I know its not going to do me much good in the longer run. The arse still hurts .. glutes are, legs whatever. I know when its not right and there are days I can hardly feel it, Its healing just taking its damn time. I did run/walk on saturday or rather walk/run and it was good to get going again but I cant really drive off it so Id rather wait until Im confident in it.
Perhaps its taking its time to heal as I’m walking on it so much. Murph needs long walks and Im happy to oblige so I’ve donned a headtorch and he has a flashy new collar with LEDs and we’re not letting the darkness beat us. I’m reckoning we’re doing around 40 miles of walking a week still which I guess is keeping me at some sort of level of fitness. Its frustrating but there you gp – that it seems is running half the time. Either injured or in the process of injuring myself. Still if youre gonna have a layoff this is the time of year to do it. I feel bad that I dont keep up with wordpress and you lot while Im injured … I turn off from running altogether, its easier when I dont think about it so sorry about that!
So the bit you all come here for instead of me whinging about injury – The photos – in no particular order
Once again I haven’t blogged in weeks. It’s not like I have nothing to blog about I just never seem to sit down to do it these days. Doesn’t help being back in work after the summer off, having a cold, a mental dog etc etc All excuses of course. Luckily I always have time to get out with Murph. usually two big walks or runs a day, usually to the beach. I calculated last week I was up in the 60 mile range of walk/run so it’s no wonder my feet and ankles are feeling pretty battered. Theres not much I can do about it though.
Take rest everyone screams in the running world when you feel injuries and those niggles. Rest it! Rest it! I can’t, not out of stubborness and stupidity (Been there seen it done it) but because I have aforesaid mental dog who needs the exercise. So I really have no option but to hope things hold together! Im sure they will, I stretch and roll my feet (Got a great foot massage roller thingy that looks a bit like a sex toy)
So splendid isolation? Its that time of the year again which I love, I love Autumn not just for the season itself but because the beach empties and I have it pretty much to myself again until spring. Being a rescue Murph has some difficulties with people and as his confidence has grown his defence mechanism has switched from running away from people to barking at them. I know he’s fine and wont hurt people hes just saying “stay the fuck away from me” but hes quite large and scary if you dont know him so I almost (almost) feel sorry for people when he charges up to them baring his teeth and barking. He is responding better to commands though and I can usually haul him off before kids cry.
So here are the latest batch of photos. A random mix of walks, runs and ….. well just see
Look away now if you hate feet – Some people do, some people don’t. Most don’t lets face it.
I have a few blisters and sore patches I usually tape up and ignore but the tide was in today and I felt like doing some hill sprints. So I decided to do them barefoot, I figured it’s hill sprints – the impact is low.
It was actually quite fun and surprisingly easy to drive off the forefoot but it was absolutely bloody freezing on the soles on the way down. I have to say I really enjoyed the change, I mean I wouldn’t fancy the impact at any pace but for a steep hill like this it felt like floating up. In fact although I stopped counting my GPS tells me I did around 20 and to be honest I didn’t blow up or get the jelly legs. I was sad when it started to get dark and my frozen feet drove me to go home.
Running with someone else has given me a bit of a jolt in that since …. I’m not actually sure when …. I’ve been running in a bit of a comfort zone. It’s been a case of mileage being king, more miles the better and thats it. Time on feet is important but I’ve realised I’ve been doing most of my training in a relatively easy zone, how often am I really training “hard” I’ve slipped into the habit of slow hills and nice easy runs. If I was recovering thats fine but all the time?
So a little speedwork here and there, some of the old fartlek type things have come into play plus hill sprints. Speedwork I quite like, hill sprints I do not. But I think all these things easy, fast and fuck hills need to come together if I want to make the improvements to run well for the rest of the year. Oh and listening to my body (before it breaks down not after)
The weather improved (not for long admittedly) but the tide was still in so I spent half an hour or so running hill sprints in the cwm. I was pleasantly surprised at not going anerobic immediately. Best thing about these particular sprints is the view/reward at the top
When you’re out enjoying a run and it’s getting dark and you kind of forgot your headtorch (again) and you don’t want to turn around because it’s so beautiful what do you do? Common sense says turn around before you lose the light. My sense said stay out as long as you can, keep going and trust your local knowledge and senses to get you back.
It actually worked and I didn’t fall off a cliff or into a river or anything and it meant I got to enjoy a beautiful sunset
Been an odd couple of weeks, haven’t got out as much as usual due to things going on but I don’t mind as it’s fine to rest up a bit before training starts again over xmas.
I did actually manage to roll myself out of bed early one day last week (not sure which I think I blanked the experience from my mind) but I forgot my phone so no photos and it was under 3 miles so doesn’t really count anyway.
However I did get out for a dusk run on friday and everything felt pretty good, managed 7 miles before the cold and dark kicked in fully.
But I always love it nonetheless. After a day of fairly nice weatehr by the time I got home from work it was getting dark and raining, sometimes hard rain sometimes just mizzle. The temptation was to stay in and pretend to stretch or something but sometimes you just got to get out of the door.
Up on the cliffs it was cold and wet and I still loved it. I said hi to all the sheep of course.
I did the 4 or 5 mile trip around to the barrows at Wick beach and headed back. Once again negotiating the haunted woods ™ by headtorch
So yeah its always worth getting out even if the weather says no the lesg say yeh!
And finally a big hello and hug for my mum who’s not been so well lately but hopefully on the road to recovery!