Taking it easy

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?

—Mary Oliver

That last line …. think about it

And of course we saw some stuff

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Incoming!
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Day of the driftwood
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I call this one “Dog looking into mist”
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This day was nuts there was so much huge drift coming in. Murph was instucted to fetch this one but failed
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All the way along, miles of it
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Sunsets in forests
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And greeeeeen

 

Bah Flu Wah

Every time I feel like im getting into a groove something like flu kicks in. This week has been mainly a writeoff, to be fair the flu didnt properly kick in until later in the week but last weekend saturdays run was around 10 miles and I felt amazing. Then on sunday everything was broke. Just felt bleuuurgh from the off. So you know what, I walked a lot of it, we did 6 miles or so but half run half walk and normally I cant get away from that “cheating” feeling when I walk but I figure its better to be out there doing something than nothing at all. I know Murph would prefer it!

So with 3 months to the first ultra and with a few fell races in between I feel like I cant get a solid training block started … and then i realise I havent really stopped and the fitness is there anyway so whats the worry.

Technically I shouldnt go out and run today but y’know…. techincally we’re all dead one day so im gonna seize this one

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Great subject – terrible photography skills
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Nights are drawing out
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We had a bit of snow – Murph loves it!
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Frosty morning at Nash Point
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Waterfalls of course
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Our forest in between the showers
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Sepia tinged doggo

So that was xmas

I’m not really a christmassy person. However I do find it a good reason to be outside and getting in some longer runs while I have the time off.  In the last week I’ve managed around 50 miles (not counting today – Im waiting on the tide) and have taken the days off as needed when I can feel that the legs need the rest.  If I was the type to do new years resolutions then ths years would be to try not to be injured half the time. Sometimes you cant do anything about it – Some times you can – I’ll at least try! I have plans for 2019 but everytime I announce plans something tends to get in the way so I’ll keep them to myself until they happen.

Until then I’m just going to enjoy being out with Murph and doing whatever miles I can.

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Murph loves the forests – I love them because he’s safe to hunt small furries (he never catches any)
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I think this was xmas day – they all blend into one. Just as I like it when the weather keeps people awy
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Sunnier runs and a poser
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Think we were out approaching dusk for this one – Running in the dark with a headtorch is something i’ve learned to love

No Time

And by no time I mean im not running with a watch at the moment. Its a concious decision rather than I forgot to wear it. I figure all it does really is encourage me to look at pace and distacne etc when that really doesnt matter as I come back from injury.  A watch can make you feel guilty about walking and right now I need to walk every now and again to rest the soreness. Its actually surprising what a few minutes of walking can achieve in relaxing the muscles again. If I look back I had reached the point where because I could run anything and everything I just did and at faster and faster pace – because I could and it felt good. Then i’d look at the watch and think wow 7 min miles – thats awesome – as my body slowly broke apart.

Sounds so sensible but the newfound commonsense (we’ve been here before I know) isnt quite there yet as I did 10 miles or so this morning through the rain and mist – but I loved being out again and actually running. I guess Murph did too …

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Happy dog in a wet forest
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Tongues out on the misty beach – Looks grim but I like it
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Oh hey dude you got any treats we’ve been runnig for an hour
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Before the mist

 

Still moving just slower

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

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Theres always the sun
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And sunsets
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Plus chasing hares in forests
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Theres the moon
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And a new collar so we dont get totally lost
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More moonlight
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Chilling at dusk
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Enjoying the reflections and reflecting
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Nowhere else I’d rather be
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Hole digging champ 2018
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One of the rarest sights in nature – Commander crab teaching crab cadets how to do a pincer movement

Preseli recon and newfound common sense!

I was down in West Wales yesterday and as you do figured I could add an hour or two to my journey to get to the Preselis and have a bit of a practice ready for the Ultra there in May.  I know most of the course and only intended on running the Beast Bach course which is around 11 miles and I was fairly sure I could navigate that.  By the time I got there around half two I noticed that the clouds were covering the peaks. Ah well let’s go up and see what happens.

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Clouds – bastards
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One of the nice things about the Preseli races is the variety of terrain, it isnt all fell. At the start (and end) there are some lovely forestry parts
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And you get to run through and old slate quarry
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Then a right bastard of a drag up and up and up the neverending drag bastard hill
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So I got to the top of the bastard drag where the Beast and beast Bach split and this was the view – around 20 yards visibility and everything pretty damn boggy.  Now I don’t care about freezing cold bog water, In fact i kinda like it in an odd way but the fog? I know the route – I don’t know it well enough to navigate sheep tracks in order to follow the route safely. I know from being up here on fine days the place is massive and I was likely to end up lost.  So for once common sense kicked in and I took a route that followed a fence and bridleway. At least I could easily retrace my steps and had a landmark.
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A few miles later I was glad I did – This is a completely different section of the fells … note similarity to first photo. I would have been totally lost up here. It all looks identical in the fog
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Following the fence was one thing – running through the streams and marsh was loads of fun though.  I really do love it when it’s a path less trodden
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Out of the fog and the panorama google made me looks kinda cool
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On the way back down I passed the beautiful wild ponies I’ve seen a number of times.  The thing about training here yesterday was there was no rush, no other people and it was more of an explore.  When I race here there’s no time to take photos or just chill out.  I honestly couldn’t tell you which I prefer.  I only covered 9 or 10 miles but it was a breeze compared to the 32 to come.

 

It aint always pleasant….

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.

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Was worth it to capture the only sunlight left in Wales (he exaggerated madly)

Up on the cliffs it was cold and wet and I still loved it. I said hi to all the sheep of course.

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Witches Point in the mizzle

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

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Path to haunted woods at dusk – Fortunately I know pretty much every inch of ground here

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!