All roads lead home

And so the clock ticks and the seasons turn, in this case thankfully from spring to winter and so we all adjust to a new way of living, for a while at least. But some things never change and that no matter where you’ve been, no matter how far or near the roads always lead home.  It doesn’t matter if you can’t do the distance you did, or be outside as long as you were you can always return home … and then do it over again … and again.

I know what im trying to say but am struggling to put the feeling into words. This photo though unspectacular struck a chord with me, it’s one of the many I take then forget about but this one stuck with me.

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This is the road home for us after we’ve been out training in the fields instead of the beach. It’s also the end of our route home after we’ve been up to see my parents in the next village. For me this is a journey from one home to another. I’ve never lived more than a mile from my parents (barring university) and where I was born and grew up, be it where I am now or when I ran the pub.  Some people find it strange that I’ve never lived anywhere else, I think some see it as almost sad. I find great comfort in it and the realisation for me is that simply I’ve never needed to be anywhere else. I love where I live, I’m exceedingly grateful to live here and the current climate is truly making me appreciate how lucky I am. I’m lucky that I have roads that lead to two homes.

I’m lucky that I consider the whole area my home, be it the fields, beach or woods. I know every inch locally like the back of my hand, I explored everywhere as a kid and I still can now through running and walking with a dog. Blessed is truly the word.

In these difficult times when people are told to stay home I have come to realise that for me that means everywhere. All these photos are taken within a mile and a quarter of home. Truly lucky and grateful.

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The crops are growing. Soon they’ll be above his head – enjoy the view while you can dude
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Met these guys on the way back from the beach – they came to say hi
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This is the face of a dog thinking – why are you playing with the horses not me
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The primroses are in full bloom
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Dawn and high tide
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Goes to show with enough love and patience you can do anything – no lead required anymore
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Sun sets – sun rises and so we go

 

Old places and friends

Went away to Newport in West Wales for a few days to stay with friends who had a cottage there. of course it pissed it down for the two days – apart from early Sunday morning whereupon Murph grabbed the chance to go run up Carningli which forms part of the Preseli beast route.  It was great to run up there without having already covered 13 or so miles but even on fresh legs its a killer.

It was also good to appreciate the area, when you’re racing you miss so much and so being able to take the time to stop and look was great.  We bounced off along the beast route and then cut back to follow the track back to Newport.  It’s odd how although I’ve only run this stretch twice in races it feels comfortable and familiar. I cant wait to get back out there in May to give the ultra another go. I’ve been toying with the idea of running the 24 mile version with Murph who would cope fine with the physical side but I don’t think would cope so well with other runners and bystanders.  We shall see May is still a fair way off.

 

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So we’re going up there right?
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Investigating rocks – This is the shallow gradient
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View of a murky Newport from halfway up
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View from the summit inland towards the rest of the preselis – The Beast route goes back along those hills in the distance. I never really thought about how far it looked until today
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Wild ponies!

Bit of walk bit o run

Things are starting to look up – Ran/walked 7 miles down the beach on saturday with no apparent repercussions and then went for a walk up the Brecon beacons on sunday with no ill effects either.  I’ll continue to ease back gently though just in case.

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Wild ponies – Murph has to go on lead around them. I dont think he could bring one down but Im not letting the sod try
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The view from the head of the Cwm
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More of the way we came
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We went up there – til it got too steep and came back down. 
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Waterfalls
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Murph and Tilly playing
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Not sure what was going on here …..
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Love this photo – running free makes him so happy

Errr thursday?

All these days run into one amorphous mess so I think this was thursday or friday, does it really matter? It was a run and judging by the photos and where I was it was around the 11 mile mark. So in running order …..

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Start off with the carrot delivery
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Rainfall means the waterfall has ramped up its efforts
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Good day for it
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From Nash Point which leads tme to believe it was at least 11 miles if I did the photo above too

Xmas day – bickering horses and surfing seagulls

Ran the cliffs again xmas morning and it was a beautiful one and all for just me!

First I delivered some xmas carrots to the guys – They look so happy together here but note the flattened ears on the left?  They had just squabbled over the carrots so I withdrew all carrot priveliges until they played nicely

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I had nothing for the seagulls but they were amusing themselves by surfing. There were hundreds catching the waves and I swear they were doing it for fun only taking off if a wave actually broke on them

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You can barely see them but the white dots are sufing seagulls – made my xmas morning watching them

The rest of the run was spectacular as the sun came out to give me some nice shots

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Sundays for speedwork

Sort of … it was meant to be a recovery run after saturdays 14 miles but the legs felt really good and the tide was out and I felt like running quickly … so I did. Sod common sense I wanted to run for the joy of running and if that meant fast then fast it was!

Met some new friends

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And went out of my way to warn these people that walking right under the cliffs at this time of year is suicide – You can hear the rockfalls all the time.  I had to laugh as the older lady (who wasnt under the cliffs) replied with “well yes but he is a geologist” …. Like ok well at least he will know what kind of rock staved his head in then I guess.  To be fair I was more worried about the dog with them, splattered people I could cope with but not a dog. With a cheery cry of “Natural selection will out!” I sped on my way

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Cold and wet = Gear testing

It was cold, windy and raining when I got home on Wednesday and I was actually happy about It! I got the chance to try out the rain jacket I had to buy for the kit requirements at the preseli beast five months ago. Seriously it’s wales and I haven’t needed once – I carried it at the roseland ultra too so I figured it had done 56 miles without being worn.

It’s a ronhill jacket (not sure of type) which is fully waterproof with taped seams to pass kit inspections and its actually great to wear, I thought it might get a bit hot but was just perfect, I was a little damp afterwards from sweat but not excessively so and it was so worth it to keep out the cold and wind which it did a brilliant job at.

I also wore full length running tights for the first time. They were actually an impulse purchase as we have a “designer outlet” near work which have some good running shops selling last years lines (I guess) and one of these is an Asics shop which does fantastic sales. I picked up the tights for £7 and have picked up loads of shirts for around a fiver and being asics (I like their clothing) its all great quality.

The tights at first felt a bit weird but by the ed of the run (around 7 miles) I was sold.  They kept the legs warm and did away with the annoying “drag and swish” of wider tracksuit bottoms (If youve ever run in them you know what I mean) plus they dont hold water like tracksuits.

So ok Ive now worn lycra shorts and full length tights …. Im guess im sold on this running thing. Luckily I gave up on careing what I looked like many moons ago!

Met some wet looking buddies too!

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