Sundays run & stuff to remember

I followed up saturdays long run with another 7 miles on saunday to recover slowly. After a short period of ow shit that hurts everything loosened nicely and even better it’s now monday and I’ve been pretty much serious pain free all day including the left foot.  I can feel the twinges though so a day off today.

Between the two days there are a few things I ned to remember – You can switch off here this is for my own benefit so I remember.

I got my fuelling working better on the saturday.  I took bananas and the homemade honey bars and started eating after an hour and then every 3 miles or so which seems to sit well with me. I can get calories in without feeling nauseous without problems but I do wonder about how much I can carry for ultras, bananas are surprisingly heavy for the calories they provide. Might need to test a few other smaller, lighter and more calorie dense options. I mean I like the honey bars but after 30 miles I’m not so sure if they’ll digest easily.

I also ran with one bottle of plain water and one with some electrolyte supplements. Seemed to work well and although I prefer plain water I know I sweat so much I need to replace some salts and minerals. At least I felt fine after 15 and no harm done so i can keep testing this.

I wore the Inov8 ultra 290 which are GTX which I’m finding might be ideal for ultras thanks to a bit more cushioning, I lose some grip and feel on technical terrain but how much of that will I need compared to not screwing over my feet.  I noticed tightning of the laces around 8 miles on and thats my feet starting the swell so remembering to loosen the laces for once helped.  I dont need GTX for the ultras this summer as I dont want hot feet with no way of removing sweat so might have to invest in a non GTX pair.

So if you stuck around through that little lot you get some photos!

I was running out of sand and needed to get to Witches so between waves it was fartlek time along this stretch
I never look up – theres some cool stuff up there!
Hauled this heavy bastard back – Now its here I’m not quite sure what to do with it but I’m sure I’ll think of something. Sometimes I just see driftwood and think “want”

Recovery run of a different kind

After a weekend at my friends place that involved little sleep, much Guinness and a hardcore punk festival I was tired by the time I got home from work yesterday and the chances seemed high I was sofa bound but it was a sunny day and I hadn’t run in what 3 or 4?  And having read about my blogging buddies getting up and going for it I decided to do the same – thanks for the inspiration guys and gals.

It was definitely worth it, I flew! On rested legs it all felt so easy, down in the 8’s for much of it and it felt sustainable. 7 miles in just over an hour for a Witches Point run is good going for me. Perhaps I’ll be more ready for Cornwall than I thought.

Low tide on the “reef” – Slower progress but more fun
Happy accidents – I managed to take this photo of my feet while changing music and liked it

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.

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.

We did seaweed and rocks
We did more rocks and revelled in the grip
We did sand in lovely patterns
We did forest trails

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



Just a run

No hangover this Sunday due mainly to everyone being depressed by the Welsh rugby game and going early and my apparent determination to run so calling it quits was easy.

So off I went into the blue skies and sunshine for a quiet 5 miles or so along the cliffs – Damn you tide dont you know its the weekend!?  About half a mile in I realised i’d forgotten my camera =(  Ahh well

Two things struck me about this run. Firstly for the first 2 or 3 miles I feel like it’s hard work and I can’t get into a rhythm and then it suddenly just clicks. Now I’m treating anything under 6 miles as “short” this isn’t too bad but it does mean that every single run I’m questioning myself about how I feel for a good while and I’d much rather be enjoying myself.

Secondly I ran in my old Adidas Kanadias and the difference felt huge after running in the Inov8 Xtalons (As I was going to visit my parents on the way back I knew there would be a mile or so of road which doesnt suit the talons)  The Xtalons give sooooo much more grip on the trail. They are without a doubt my go to technical shoe now.  They give a much more comfortable ride too. The Kanadias are fine but I wouldn’t want to do anything more than a short run in them these days.

As I had no camera there are no photos but with everyone talking about cold snaps and the approach of winter I give you some photos from 2010

Soaky loved the snow> Here she is outside the pub I ran 
One of her favourite games was chasing snowballs hence the snow nose
Our attempt at a snowman ….



Find your rainbows wherever you can

Yesterday I had planned another longish run of around 10 miles, I questioned why I was doing it – Or rather a friend questioned why I was doing it which in turn made me wonder. There’s always the small improvements each time I run which have led to a 20 mile run last week.

My next event won’t be until May next year though, I’m looking to move up from the Presceli Beast half to full race which will be tough as it’s part fellrunning.  So what am I training for now? Perhaps I should be letting everything rest before a fresh assault in the new year?  Perhaps I should just be enjoying running full stop?  In fact I am so to hammer this point home to myself Sundays run wasn’t focused on anything but running all over the beach and enjoying the technical terrain.

And what better shoes than the Inov8 Xtalons for this, I’m amazed by how grippy these things are, the rubber cleats hang on to rocks like the Boston Strangler to a neck. Someone asked me for a closeup of the soles the other day and I forgot so here you go.

They also grip superbly on slippery mud too, the only drawback being that they can clog up if the mud mixes with grass and sheep shit which does bind up and cling to the soles like thus.

Pit stop required to remove 4 pounds of wet mud from feet

Overall though I’m absolutely loving these shoes and even better the foot is healing well now, I actually covered 8 miles on the beach just running about like a loon with no pain despite the rocks.

Check out the wiggles!

The run was of course beautiful, less beautiful I suspect was that it was so warm I had my top off :p  Hey it’s Enjoy Yourself Sunday so I can do what I like!

Tide going out revealing the playground
Waterfall powered rainbows!

So yeah, lifes short so find your rainbows wherever you can!

I’m back with shoe report!

So a week off running and it wasn’t too bad, I must admit it was tricky to not go out when the sun shone on the way home but I stuck to it for a whole week. And today I got to try out my new shoes (I had to hide them this week in case my will broke)

Inov8 X-Talon 200

First impressions – very comfy, at first they felt a little snug but they are so soft – like a baby deers furry ass – that they soon felt like they were already worn in.

The reason I got these was for better grip as the weather turns and I’m going to be spending much of the next six months sliding around in mud. I also wanted something for wet rocks on the beach, It’s not like I ask a lot or anything.

It’s been raining all week and so I was sure to find mud

Mud glorious mud – Sheep track in fact – And the shoes handled it superbly. The bigger lugs certainly grip this kind of stuff. No loss of traction.
Next test – Wet slippery rocky path with fallen wet leaves.  There were a few hairy moments here but then there always are in the wet. I did feel more confident in the Inov8s compared to say the Altras especially on downhills.
Sand test – Well lets be fair even i cant fall over on sand but and I was delighted to discover they kick up cool little spurts of sand behind you. I spent the next mile runing while looking over my shoulder.
They really come into their own on technical rocky terrain, they feel very nimble and precise and covering these rocks was loads of fun. Plenty of spring in them for bounds and leap and they grip superbly even on angled rocks  and slopes.
Water – I was very surprised by how water resistant they were, nothing got in at the beach but this made me a little concerned, I wasnt expecting them to be waterproof and alas if water does get in (to be fair I was sloshing around in a stream) it doesnt drain out very well.

So overall I’m more than pleased with the Xtalon 200 – They are definitely going to become my technical shoe of choice and I expect to give them a right hammering this winter. The grip is fantastci on mud and rock and they provide an immense feeling of confidence and stability. My only worry is the drainage but with some care there shouldnt be too much water getting in – basically it has to go in over the top anyway.

Oh and I have new shoes but this dude has a new coat – With chickens on! How cool is that (I was kinda jealous)

Uber cool horsie