On Sunday we trotted out for a few miles of running, I wasn’t intending too much as it was midday and on fine weekends the coast gets busy and we don’t like busy. But as we sped down the lane after a quick parents visit it just felt too soon to head for home. It was just too nice out and the legs were feeling like they had many more miles in them so we set off towards the clifftops. In the distance I could already see people walking the coastal path but hey ho in for a penny and so we turned right instead of left which led us along the cliffs away from home so we could drop down at Witches Point to do the full stretch of the beach where hopefully there would be less people.
Along the cliffs we passed a number of walkers and you know what? Murph coped. He wasn’t happy about them but he coped. He didn’t growl, bark or pull too hard to get past them.He just put his thousand yard stare on and bravely (for him) just got past them without a fuss. On the beach I let him off the lead and he stayed right with me, we ran within 50 metres of people and he plain ignored them and stuck to my heels. I didn’t even need to put him on the lead until we hit the singletrack path off the beach and even then he behaved impeccably. Pulling slightly as if under tension but controlling his fear.
For those that don’t know Murph was a mess when i got him. Scared of his own shadow, he had obviously been mistreated and no way could he have got past all these people like this back then. He used to panic and run in the opposite direction to people. Eventually he found his voice and learned to bark at them to stay away but he has always been so scared it’s been heartbreaking sometimes.
But on Sunday I was so proud of him, I could tell at times he wasn’t happy about being close to strangers (once he knows you he is fine) but he soldiered on, gritted his dog teeth and kept going. I told him so in the last field on the way home, he got a 10/10 mark from me on Sunday – never happened before.
It’s taken over three years and maybe we have reached peak Murph rehabilitation but even if it is then it warms my heart to know I’ve made a difference to his life, replacing fear with love.
No 2434 isn’t a date in the future when life on earth ceases to be – though I might as well make it a bold prediction as I won’t be around.
2434 is the final number of miles Murph and I walked and ran this year. 2000 was the target so we beat that by quite some way. I’m actually impressed I managed to keep a log every single day for a year. When I think about how much I enjoy being out with him, even when its cold or raining thats a lot of distance and time to be happy.
We averaged 6.65 miles a day, I can take a wile stab in the dark and say our average speed was 3 and a half miles and hour (averaged out between walking, running and idle ambling) which makes around 700 hours outside with my dog – no wonder I enjoyed 2020 more than most. That’s 30 whole days of pleasure. A month – We spent a whole month of our year wandering through the fields and beaches. Happy dog, happy owner.
I’ve thought about it and I wont be logging the miles this year, my curiousity is sated and despite everything above numbers are pretty meaningless when you can’t measure happiness. We have other projects to be getting on with anyway.
When I think of all the sunrises and sunsets we’ve seen it does make me feel truly blessed
A week after the solstice night run goit cut short the ankle felt good enough to run again and it made me realise how much more I enjoy running without a watch, free and able to see Murph having a whale of a time. It was one of those, I’ll see how it feels runs – and then it feels good and 8 miles later we both have a huge smile. the only thing missing was mini cheddars!
Yes yes its been a month since I wrote anything. It’s because we all live in this huge vacuum right now and let’s face it writing about running isn;’t that important …. or is it? There should be more time to write now than ever. We are certainly out and about enough. But there still doesn’t seem to be enough time for everything. The amount of time you have to do things is relative to what you actually do – ie There’s not enough time to do eveything so just do the bits you like. I’m rambling now.
The thing is I like writing these – I’m enjoying it now, stretching the old cerebral muscles a bit too never hurt anyone. So why don’t I? Hmmm
Anyway Murph and I have been out and about ignoring the lockdown in a safe manner – we are stealth. Now the evenings have drawn out we take our duty to wander in the fields unseen very seriously. This has led to a surge in the progress of the Murphometer – I bet you all forgot about that didn’t ya. So with 5 months down we have reached 941 miles – the target of 2000 by the end of the year is looking most reachable – yay for corvid I couldn’t have done it without you! (this is of course tongue in cheek – I do not condone pandemically inclined viruses)
Running has tailed off while I fix a few injuries – in reverse to everyone else I prefer downtime in the summer when it’s not fair to run a dog in the heat. As you can tell from the murphometer though we’re still walking several miles a day though and I’ve started on some weights, flexibility and core strength work plus even a foray back into yoga. Whether all this lasts past lockdown who knows but we can try.
So what did we get up to then …. bring on the photos
We rocked out this morning at dawn as I was under the impression it was going to be a really hot day (it wasn’t really) and I wanted to get a good run in with murph before it got too hot for him. I don;t mind a bit of sufefring in the heat but i wouldn’t want to inflict it on him, its just not fair. So off we went on an adventure which as I am lazy i will recount in photo form. It was a great run, we were out for around 3 hours and it’s time on feet in innterested in these days not distance – plus im not wearing a watch but im guessing 11 or 12 miles over cliffs, fields, roads and forests ….
Moving on slowly in fact. A couple of runs this week which is progress and to be honest running and walking don’t seem to harm the leg at all, it’s sitting and especially driving thats still the issue. I can feel it improving though and I’m sure the exercise is doing it good rather than harm so as long as I keep the intensity low things should be good … right?
So around 4 miles on monday and 6 on thursday and a few days rest now. The temptation of course id to go back at it full on nuts again like I always do but i’m trying to show restraint I really am!
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
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
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
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!