A week afetr running the ultrabeast in Preseli I went back with Claire and the dogs to walk in the hills. To be honest I dont think i’d get bored of that place. Was strange in a way to walk the paths I’d run the week before and a damn sight easier. We actually ended up doing the Beast Bach 11 mile route with a bit tacked on so we could reach a rocky outcrop so a 12 mile walk in the hills on a sunny day – cant fault it. The dogs had a whale of a time plus (and this was intended) we didnt have to endure a single second of anything royal wedding related – Win Win!
I also realised yesterday Im doubly blessed – I loved running the ultra (Yes once again a week later I’m no longer saying never again and I’ve forgotten all the pain) and I loved walking up there with the dogs. I can do either happily and not miss the other. Thats lucky
Today I felt like running again, the legs have been a bit wrecked this week – monday was horrendous/hilarious depending on whether you were me or watching me. But today although they are still a little tired I could feel the spring is back and I can drive again rather than shuffle. Murph loves running – well he trots at a gentle pace, I think he’ll make a pretty good training partner.
Wednesday was literally to the beach and back on a grey day – even the beach looked meh. Not gonna lie I dont know why I didnt take a rest day when I had chance, I think the head was saying for christs sake run after work.
Thursday was better, the sun came out a bit and although the tide was in I did some more hill repeats barefoot, I’m really enjoying that and it feels so much easier to climb that way. Plus I get to see this at the top every time…
Theere were surfers about too to keep me company. I can cope with company when theres zero chance it can talk to me
Went up the Brecon beacons yesterday. Out into the bits people don’t tend to go and just hiked around a bit with the dog. It was pretty cold, then hot, then windy then not. Hey im a poet! We didn’t follow the paths mainly as there weren’t any. Its quite liberating and definitely fun to just go where you please. This did mean we spent a few hours or so falling in bogs, marshes and swamps (we havnt worked out which is which yet) but wet feet is a given these days. Plus Tilly the dog loved every minute of it even if she couldnt see over the grass much of the time I guess.
Start as you mean to go on and as soon as I was finished with work for the next two weeks I was out to get some miles in. I knew I’d done the run as my watch told me I had but I couldn’t really see much of it.
I like running in fog to be honest, even if there are other people about I don’t have to see them, I’m not antisocial honest. Plus its true that as with running at night it’s less percieved effort, you just run to the immediate surroundings and don’t worry about distances to things. Hard ot explain but it really is easier to maintain pace when you can’t see.
I climbed up witches point past a new fallen tree obstacle
Realised I was not alone up there. But then again I don’t mind my little buddies and they don’t seem to mind me anymore
Then a slip slidey route home incorporating death defying downhill skiing techniques on the mud paths of the cwms
And a good decision to forget the paths on the way up and climb stright up the grass.
Now all I need to do is to remember to post and not get behind as it’s going to be a busy running two weeks
4 miles along the beach followed by some more hill work (4 not 6 this time as I’d already done a longer run) so plenty of leg wobbling! The wind was giving it a good blow and made for some interesting training, wet sand and a headwind equal muscle tiredness.
On tuesday I rolled down to the beach and the tide was in so I decided to do some hill work either side of the Cwm. I actually managed 3 repeats of 2 hills which doesnt sound much but they are hell steep, by the end I was spent and the legs were distinctly wobbly so I skittered like bambi on acid all the way home. It’ll all be worth it next time I’m on a hilly course – thats what im telling myself anyway.
On the beginning of the right hand side climb wasps have colonised around 15 feet of the pathway, building nests with small entrances – It makes it a mad dash through so you dont get waspsaulted. Little buggers! Never seen them do this here before.
The views from the top of the cliffs when you get there are always worth it, just takes a while before it all comes back into focus to appreciate it.
After even more torrential rain yesterday and overnight it was time to don the flippers and get back out there to explore the new maritime environment and I for one welcome our new aquatic overlords.
Considering the road leading to the fields looked like this I was pretty sure I was gonna get soooo wet
Thing is that once your feet and legs are wet and the initial shock is done and dusted you’re fine. In fact the water acts as an insulator once it’s up to body temperature. This is my theory and I’m sticking to it. So my advice to any budding trail runners is that you can’t avoid getting wet so don’t tiptoe around it just bang straight on in there at speed and embrace it!
I was gonna make this a short run but was enjoying myself so much I went off to do some more water hunting
The last 3 or 4 miles home were an uphill slog through completely waterlogged fields. I’m sure it’s building up strength in my legs but its a bloody killer at the time.
Even the cabbage field was a veritable stream, ankle deep freezing cabbage water anyone?
I leave you with another photo of the cliffs in sunlight. Always remember that any run can be a bit of an adventure. Just let your mind go wild and the body will follow. Invent and imagine and nothings a chore.
First day back in work and I promised myself a run. If I promised myself anything in the past it would have been a pint or a takeaway – no more lol
Anyway off I went and it was beautiful at the beach but sadly the tide was on its way in so I sped around the rocks for a while and took some photos.
I was thinking this week about sunday and the start of the half marathon which – even though I hung around at the back still made me start off faster than I usually would alone and why when I pride myself in doing things my way (for better or worse I admit) I would change my pace just because others were doing different.
Although it was only a few minutes a mile faster than i would normally have run I definitely felt it throughout the morning. So today as I mentioned the tide was in so I decided to do hill sprints for a while … until I could no longer do hill sprints and basically deliberately set out to blow myself up. I think I read or heard it somewhere about once you’ve gone too far into the red there’s no recovery. Not even if you rest for a long while it just doesn’t come back that easy. So today I donned my best lab coat and took one for science.
I sprinted this hill repeatedly.
Until I could run no more. Jelly legs – check. Heaving chest and desire to heave in general – check. Then I took a rest until everything felt back under control and normal. And ran home. And wow was I buggered. Even after the rest I was instantly back in trouble without doing anything more than a gentle jog.
I know you will all say – Ummm we knew this anyway so what did you do that for?
Well I knew it too, I’d heard it enough but now I will REMEMBER it. I’m going to call it Runners Pandoras Box. Burying yourself = opening the box and once its open youre screwed because you cant shove it all back in.
PS I’m also a trained idiot. DO NOT try this at home
Sadly for you lot day 2 wasn’t as exciting as day 1 – mainly because I’d already run up Snowdon itself – see post here
However I got up bright and early (I was also touched to get an email from Sergei checking I was still alive as I hadn’t posted in a while – We have a great community going here and this nice touch brought that home to me – thanks SRG) and the legs needed a quick run to get moving so I did a bit of local exploring before going back for some food. Then drove up the Llanberis pass looking for likely spots to run. The best thing about this area is that there are so many trails you can follow – spoilt for choice! I pulled up at a junction of three valleys and decided to just run a path and see where it led.
I would thoroughly recommend coming to Snowdonia to run. There are just so many places you can go. I hardly saw another soul for the whole of the second day and the views like the ones above were fantastic. There are a lot of walkers on the more popular routes so if you feel more comfortable in numbers around it’s ideal. If you just want to get out on your own and challenge yourself – it’s ideal – win/win! I did pack a whistle, foil blanket, phone, food and water too – I wouldn’t recommend running light up here on your own. There were a few rescues made by helicopter while I was up here and this happened on the other side of the mountain I was on
I saw the smoke but wasn’t aware of the situation, I see random smoke all the time in the countryside and assumed there was controlled burning going on. At least they all got out ok =)
I had a great few days, I could have happily spent another day running but I knew I couldn’t really do much more hard milage without risking injury. The foot was hurting and my toe wasn’t happy at being rebroke on Snowdon. My quads were trashed from the descents and my calves extremely tight from the climbs. At least I’ve learned to listen to my body and it was saying enough for now. I’ll be back!