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 …

20181201_095553
Happy dog in a wet forest
20181201_093733
Tongues out on the misty beach – Looks grim but I like it
20181201_093720
Oh hey dude you got any treats we’ve been runnig for an hour
20181201_091847
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

20181101_090739
Theres always the sun
20181106_072251
And sunsets
20181111_124756
Plus chasing hares in forests
20181112_170819
Theres the moon
20181112_172329
And a new collar so we dont get totally lost
20181113_170107
More moonlight
20181114_162658
Chilling at dusk
20181114_163728
Enjoying the reflections and reflecting
20181114_163918
Nowhere else I’d rather be
20181114_164127
Hole digging champ 2018
20181117_092231
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.

20180410_143458.jpg
Clouds – bastards
20180410_143128
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
20180410_145100
And you get to run through and old slate quarry
20180410_150528
Then a right bastard of a drag up and up and up the neverending drag bastard hill
20180410_151241
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.
20180410_151450
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
20180410_153344
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
20180410_155302-PANO
Out of the fog and the panorama google made me looks kinda cool
20180410_160126
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.

20171115_161548.jpg
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.

20171115_163128
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

20171115_164729
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!

Rainy day greens

So the holidays started officially yesterday and so I ran despite the torrential rain. I mean it was stair-rod stuff, cats n dogs, pissing it down. You know the drill. So I only did the beach and back as by the time I got there I was like a drowned rat and didn’t fancy dying of hypothermia running along the exposed beach despite it being july – its still Wales!

20170721_131713
Wait whats that in the distance braving the storm
20170721_131717
#spottedthehelicopter – A chinook in fact. Just noticed you can see the rain falling in the photos
20170721_132353
The path to the beach becomes a river but everythings so so so green!

Old to New

Time to semi-retire my Inov8 xtalon 200’s I think. They can go in the back of the van for impromptu runs.  I think probably the best recommendation for running shoes is that I bought exactly the same pair to replace them. I find them that comfortable (for a stripped down shoe) and wouldnt run in anything else if I know I’m doing technical stuff. The grip is utterly fantastic and I love that I can really feel the rocks under my feet. I feel confident in my foot placement so much more in the 200’s.

But after around 3-400 miles I can see materials starting to tear and I want to run Cornwall in them – or the same model at least so I’ve got a new pair to break in ready.

20170712_161056
This is what hundreds of miles of battering on all sorts of terrain does to a shoe. Im mystified as to how they appear to have shrunk but both old and new shoes fit me perfectly well (they are both size 11) Its a testament i think to the quality of Inov8 shoes that they have lasted this long and to be honest there are miles left in them.

To be honest the new ones don’t even take any breaking in, I did 7 miles in them yesterday and felt perfect from the off.

20170712_164506
We did seaweed and rocks
20170712_165623
We did more rocks and revelled in the grip
20170712_170507
We did sand in lovely patterns
20170712_171620
We did forest trails

Welcome to the world new shoes – I’m gonna wreck you!