Well I know one thing – Murph can run a half marathon because he did yesterday. We were just enjoying being out and as we had waited for the tide and it was midday I took a running pack with food and water. And when you’re out and having fun just ticking over you just keep going.
So we did the run to Witches and then up and over the top, back to the beach and then a full length run back to Atlantic College which meant that was around 9 in total so by the time we hit up the cliff path for a strecth (variation for Murph as we’d been on rocks for a while) and then the beach back to monknash and home. Making it 13 and a half. He wasnt even tired, I was hurting in various places though holding up better than I thought I would on my first “longer” run again.
Saturday morning was cold but bright and so I decided it was time to tackle a longer run again. I chose to head left towards Llantwit via Atlantic College along the cliffs so I got to see the sandbank.
At Atlantic College I kept up on the cliffs through the playing fields. Not sure why they are named after King George but they are …
I turned at Llantwit and headed back along the beach, I don’t normally do this as theres precious little sand and around 4 miles of non-stop wavecut platforms but I fancied something different and for those 4 miles my legs got a great workout due to the constant stepping up and down on the rocks.
I did find some rocks with numbers painted on – I’m guessing someones doing an experiment in tidal movement – And now I have to come back to check out the results myself
After that it was plain sailing as I worked my way back around towards Witches Point creating a 14 mile loop. Considering the terrain I was happy to get it done in under 3 hours though my glutes took a bit of a battering.
Some days it’s just great to spend time outside to clear the mind.
Well sunday was long run day and with spring unleashing its full range of blue skies and sun upon us I was looking forward to getting out and making all my bits hurt…. which I certainly achieved … more of that later.
But starting out I decided to head east not west for a change, I havent actually been more than 5 miles this way along the coast and have always stopped at Llantwit beach and returned so I planned to do a few more miles to see whats out there and then return.
The tide was high so it was all going to be a cliff run which is a pleasure all to its own when the weathers so good. The only drawback being the number of people walking the path later in the day. People aren’t so bad really but I just prefer to be alone while running.
So I was out by 9 – on a sunday!
I was happily cruising along at 8-9 minute miles and felt like it was very little effort, it was getting warmer but I had my pack on with a litre and half of water so I wasn’t too worried. I also had a range of food going from my homemade energy biscuits to boiled eggs and a new weapon – Minstrels. for those of you not acquainted with there they are small chocolates with a crunchy outside shell. Their selling point way back in the day was that “they melt in your mouth not in your hand” and I figured that this was ideal for long distance running in heat – And it worked! No melty chocolate at all. Pro tip!
These things happen on long runs so I was soon off again!
So 10 miles out and feeling pretty good. I followed the same path on the return and it wasn’t until around 17 or 18 miles that the pain really started. Everything seemed to have a whinge and a moan but I guess we’re all in the pain game to some extent so despite seriously tired legs I pushed it home completing the full 20 miles.
24 miles over mountains in 5 weeks time is kinda scary but I can always walk the final uphill (it really is a beast) so right now I seem to have hit some sort of form at the right time. Now to avoid injury and keep things ticking for a while.
This morning it was long run time so I ran a circular route along the cliffs as far as St Donats then the beach back to Witches Point and then back along the cliffs home which works out at around 13 miles but the terrain is tricky for a fair bit of it. As I write this my legs are definitely feeling it!
So a painful run in some aspects but wouldn’t have missed it for the world!
10 beautiful miles along the cliffs in bright sunshine. No pain in foot tho chest still lurgied. Can’t complain about what running gives you …. except crap photographs …. I suck at photographs. These are the best of a blurry bunch.
Summer has officially started – I am off work for 6 glorious weeks! Ok now I’ve rubbed that in I shall continue. Got home from work and immediately into gear for a early afternoon longish run. As I intended on being out for longer and although the weather was …. weird it was still humid so I needed hydration.
Luckily I had already bought a hydration bladder and hose online and tested it out in my racepak. Fits like an Altra! (slightly roomy and weird at first but when you’re used to it you don’t notice)
I also went left again. Look at me getting all adventurous. In fact I was heading fro uncharted territory! Loosen the mainbrace and splice the cat we’re setting sail!
For the first couple of miles or so it was plain sailing. The rocks were easy and plenty of sand, I knew that there were rocks lurking past Marcross so I was ready.
At this point I’d modestly like to step forward for a bravery award. I went inside. Basically I’m petrified of being in caves and underground. My mother took me to Big Pit once and I was terrified (to be fair we didn’t know I have this issue until we were down there)
But it was worth it – Take a look at the ceiling!
My route back was different in that I shifted myself a hundred yards inland and used the coastal path. I was actually glad to get off the rocks and so I could run with proper form and stuff – mainly uphill or so it felt
I was starting to tire now, I think the legs had taken rather a hammering on the rocks earlier and I was into a CBH (Complete Bastard Headwind)(TM). My hydration pack was working fantastically though. the only drawback being the sloshing noise behind me (Like being chased by a particulary aquatic Dr Who bad guy) but after a while I was used to that too. No biggie.
Altogether it was 11 miles in two and a half hours which seems slow but over that terrain (I wonder what its “worth” on road and with cave stops ‘m very happy with it =)
Saturday runs – I just love them. I was lying in bed last night and was actually excited about getting up and getting out there. Like a kid at xmas! The sun was shining and it was a beautiful morning to head out so I packed my rucksack and off I trotted. I decided to switch it up a little and at the beach headed left towards Marcross along the cliffs.
It was a pure joy to be outside, I removed the headphones and just enjoyed the sights, sounds and smells of the great outdoors. My legs felt good and I felt good. At Marcross I stuck to the cliff path and went past the lighthouse (this is not the lighthouse – well it’s like a mini lighthouse – I duon’t actually know what it is)
Then I went past the foghorns
Then the lighthouse proper!
And onwads along the cliff path, down through the woods at Atlantic College until I reached slipway number one.
I turned here and retraced my steps back towards Monknash but this time on the beach – I say beach but it’s rocks from here to back past Marcross. I noticed a few runners approaching from the other way and heading for the cliff path. Despite being on the rocks I managed to keep pace with them to Marcross – I’m not that competitive but sometimes it’s good to take your mind off the miles with a little game eh?
I kept going along the beach and back towards Monknash, I could have turned for home up the Cwm but decided to keep going as I felt fine. Onwards with the sun occasionally popping out to warm me which was appreciated due to a biting headwind. By the time I reached Witches Point at Southerndown the rock hopping had taken some of the juice from my legs. Luckily I had remembered to hydrate and fuel at the right times (despite my Garmin going mental and stopping without me noticing) and I climbed up and onto the cliffs above Dunraven bay.
I turned here and headed back but this time along the cliffs until I reached Traeth Mawr. Normally i would keep going along the cliffs and then turn for home up the usual trail but today I headed inland across the fields and then a lane as I wanted to pop in to see my parents on the way home. They live in Wick and in fact live at the highest point in the Vale of Glamorgan (Not that its exactly a mountainous county to be fair) so the run there was all uphill from the coast which really made the legs ache. I was twinging in my ass (I think the technical term is glutes) but I made it back and when I pieced together my Garmin runs I had covered around twelve and a half miles which over all that terrain I’m very happy with!