Splendid Isolation

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

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Dawn at the beach is always special
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Sunrise in the fields (awful photo technically but i like it)
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Little fluffy (pink) clouds – for you SRG
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Sunlight through the woods
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Splendid isolation in full swing
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Eerie evenings
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Then fun in the sun
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Stroll with friends
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If you’re digging a hole then i’m digging a hole
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Blue skies
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Random cat in a pot in neighbours garden
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poser

Monsoon

Decided to get out for a run last Sunday despite the torrential rain. I wanted a long run but wasn’t going to happen in these conditions.  To be fair the seven miles I did were made harder by slogging through fields turned into streams. More resistance training. I look back and laugh now but at the time up to my calves in freezing cold water I certainly wasn’t laughing then

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The first inkling I might get wetter than usual
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Definitely been raining
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Errr ok so this is one Ive never seen before here
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Starfish are like buses – You don’t see one forever and then 2 come along in a week 
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Of course the regular waterfall was showing off 
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Fields of joy!

 

A bit of water never hurt anyone

Being cold, wet and tired is an acquired taste it seems.  No point in avoiding water on days like this after overnight monsoons. Just get ready to splash! The feet do freeze at first but then the water in the shoes warms up a bit and adds to the warmth – I tell myself this anyway it makes the whole thing seem a little saner

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Field/pond number one
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Gentle stream leaing to beach
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There was no stream here yesterday – getting down to it was fun too – mainly half skiing down the slope with so much mud on the soles braking becomes a luxury
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Pooh sticks! Which one won you reckon?
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Errr neither as it turns out they both got stuck in eddies and disappeared
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Who builds a stile in a stream?
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Oh so that the path right?  I as quite relieved as the “dead sheep” was actually a buildup of foam

Fields and cliffs and fields … and a road

Tide was in so a bit of gamboling (Just wanted to use the word) in the cool breeze through the Welsh countryside and up along the clifftops. Plus a quick visit to see the folks!  5 miles at a steady pace ramping up to 7.30 miles as I was ticking along on the roads to incorporate the parents house. Legs feeling rather good at the moment. Perhaps form is coming back at the right time!

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Blue skies and fluffy clouds =)
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View of the Bristol Channel from the cliffs
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More fields – This ones going a bit nuts with wildflowers – I shall keep an eye on it!

To the barrow and back

It’s so easy to forget how lucky you are sometimes. We blow insignificant issues out of all proportion. I was thinking this as I ran the clifftops to the burial mound, one of my favorite places to sit and watch the channel as a break.  The fields atop the cliffs are as beautiful as the beach itself I just forget to appreciate them. I guess having lived around here all my life I take much of the scenery for granted – and I shouldn’t. So this post is for the unappreciated parts of runs, the fields and lanes that piece it all together.

Run-wise it was a quick 5 miles, everything felt pretty good and I noticed my pace on the flat has naturally fallen back into the 8-9 min per mile pace that feels quite comfortable.  Still blowing too hard on hills but who doesnt!? (rhetorical question)

 

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Coastal path between Monknash and Cwm Mawr
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Blue skies over the Vale – Looking inland towards Wick
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Sat pondering on the barrow mound looking out across the channel
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View back from Cwm Mawr to Monknash

 

Couple weeks of limbo with no poles

Five miles at the beach yesterday just to keep the legs ticking over. I’m taking it easy this week and the same next week just to give the body time to rest before Preseli. Seems like the sensible thing to do. After so many months of training there’s little to be gained and much to be lost by pushing until something snaps now.

I must admit its the frustrating past of taking part in races, as you know I prefer to just run to feel and mood but a race means having to do things differently. It would be easy to say “well don’t race” but having a date and a distance does at least provide some sort of structure to what i’m doing even if it’s only loose. Plus of course I want to see where I’m at mentally and physically as things toughen up.

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Sky is blue wherever you are or whatever you do
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Grass is always green

I came, I ran, I saw, I went home

You cant fight a feeling and todays feeling was to ignore my holding pattern and run hard becuase my body told me it wanted to. I hit maximum flow(tm) almost immediately and as the weather was fine and the tide out I just let nature take its course. All of a sudden I’m running 7 minute miles on the sand without really noticing! After a while I eased off as I deep down I knew not to take too many chances but good to shake out the legs.

I saw some stuff too!

I saw a helicopter that did a lot of hovering

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Perhaps they just do a lot of hovering practice

I saw people climbing at witches point

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One fell off but sadly they had safety ropes

I saw the beach from the top of the ladders

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For perspective the climbers are doing the safe routes at Witches which is the point at the top of the photo

I saw an even higher tunnel of rape seed oil

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Pollen tunnel of doom

I saw what appear to be tulips growing wild (ok maybe big crocus I dunno)

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All in all I ran some, I saw some and I came home happy. All you can do sometimes