A little bit o summer

Like one day of summer a week is all we’re rationed to – I guess I should be tapering anyway so this makes it easier to cope with 😉

So last longer styley run before Cornwalls ultra, 11 miles just to get out and feel a bit of confidence. To Llantwit beach and back along the cliffs. Nice and easy pace with plenty of water and food to practice remembering to eat and drink ….

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Blue skies and green fields
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The slipway at Atlantic College
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Atlantic College walls
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I dunno – Its a purple flower!
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Tides in at Tresilian

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

Sundays long run

Still a few days behind but this was sunday where I managed 18 miles or so along the coastal paths. The day before I had managed to sunburn the bottom of my legs while basking in the sun while marshalling the track so I slapped on a bit of suncream and headed out as earlty as it gets for me – 7.45! It was beautiful and chilly at that time.

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Misty climb to the top of the cliffs. The seagulls were up early to greet me.
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I had it planned so after 4 miles I turned at the slipway in Atlantic College, the first 8 miles were designed as a warmup.

Once I was back at Monknash and warmed up the sun was rising fast and it was already getting hot, I never work well in heat so this was a good test of how far I’ve come.

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At the bottom of one of the Cwms I found the bluebells were in full bloom
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Kept going up to Witches Point. From here I was headed to Ogmore by Sea. I forgot that I would be hitting it as all the people visiting the beach would…. As you know I’m no fan of company while running so I found it easy to forget the heat and miles and concentrated on hating people instead for a while. I believe its called coping tactics.

Considering it was another long run although it didn’t feel any easier the terrain was harder with more climbing and descending and the heat didn’t help so I was happy to finish 18 miles in under four hours and kept plugging away.

On the way back I had to force my way through these ….

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Head high plants full of pollen!

They were like this a few weeks ago

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Same field on March 20th – Damn nature you scary!

Botanical Brainstorm

So again and again I will bang on about spring as its my favourite season and it’s here!

Only a short run because …

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Tides in!

So instead I ran off into the woods and fields to set up a quiz for you all. Some easy, some not so easy to suit all ages!

So can you name the botany?

Easy to start

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Number 1?
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Number 2?
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Number 3?
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Number 4?
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Number 5?
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Number 6?

Tiebreaker!

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What beer is the snowman drinking? (old photo I just found from my pub running days)

Long runs and ultra competitive fishing evidence

Sunday was time for a long run, haven’t done anything more than 10 miles for a few weeks and I’m very aware I now have less than 6 weeks to the Preseli Beast 24 mile fell race….

A lovely spring morning though so I strapped on my pack with a litre of water, homemade energy bars and headed out.  It was a complete pleasure to get out and run and I felt great for the majority of it. I planned 13 miles to the rivermouth in Ogmore and back and ended up doing 15.  The slow introduction of speedwork seems to be working as it feels like I can run further at the lower speeds now.

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You can see why I was enjoying being out
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Looking back from Witches on the way to Ogmore
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Gorse in bloom over Southerdown
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Looking back from the deeps at Ogmore – destination far headland.  When I look at photos like this and think I can happily run these distances it never fails to amaze me
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On the way back at Southerdown beach there was a dachshund convention. At least 20 dogs all going mental. I found this little dude in his bee/ladybird costume
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Oh yeah the ultra competitive fishing reference, I did some scrambling at Witches Point as the tide was so low and up on the ledges I found this painted on. Apparently Mike Rowley cheats!  Well who knew. Im guessing its a fishing thing, who the hell else comes up here! I’m not even sure how you cheat at fishing unless its bringing fish with you and claiming you caught them… or by using dynamite. Its a funny old world as they say

It can’t all be rainbows and unicorns

Yesterday was my planned long run. I say planned as it didnt quite go as I expected.  The tide was in so I headed out along the cliffs and could tell in the first few miles that something was off.  Just wasnt feeling it at all.I figured it might be just the first mile blues and kept plodding on. It didnt help my mood that the sun which had shone so brightly as I got ready disappeared the moment I stepped out of the door.

By 4 miles in I felt pretty crap and I had major stomach issues so I decided to cut it short and slowly head back. Its surprising how one bad run can leave you doubting your ability again. I’m writing this before hopping back on the saddle for a few miles with a pop in to see my parents planned …. if I make it :p

Of course I know really I was just having a bad morning and I was clearly a bit ill but running is weird in the way it constantly challenges your confidence.  You can have all the stats and metrics in the world telling you that you’re improving, you’re doing fine, it’s all working but up against a nagging feeling of doom they stand no chance.  I shall let you know how todays “recovery” jaunt go. Sometimes you gotta go chase the unicorns.

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Gloomy conditions … but still beautiful
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Daffodils – Spring has sprung
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Oh look I get to run into the wind all the way back along there feeling like shit – I love running sometimes!