Badgers, bees and beheadings

Now before you get too excited I actually only saw one of these on my run today.  However I did get four and a half miles done in the dunes at Merthyr Mawr. We also had mizzle – which wasn’t as bad as it sounds as it was kind of cooling. I was taking the pace slow and today that felt a bit more natural. However this may be because running through soft and damp sand is much harder than i’d anticipated right now. I’m not sure how long it takes to recover from injury and get the fitness back but while the rest of my body was going wheeeeeeeeee! the legs were going fuuuuuuuuuck!

SAM_0059
Soft sand uphill is the leg killer

So badgers ……. If you’ve followed this post a little while you may remember my last visit to Merthy Mawr and the killer badgers

Which admittedly don’t exist but …. tracks!

SAM_0048.JPG
Badger or dog …. you decide!

Bees! Ok lose the plural

Bee!

SAM_0051.JPG
Big, buzzing bugger

Beheadings ….. Ok so you need a little imagination on this one. While running I came across this …

SAM_0067.JPG
Chopping block

Which reminded me of those blocks you see in medeavil films for chopping heads off etc and then I noticed the arrangement of logs creating a small semi circle facing the block.

SAM_0069.JPG
Log seating for the executions!

Ok so I admit I have a vivid imagination but it’s still kinda intriguing. They must have been placed here for a reason and the ground is worn in the area.

I moved on (as I was now scared of both badgers and axe murderers)

SAM_0062.JPG
View of the Bristol Channel from the top of the dunes – The chopping block is down there somewhere.
SAM_0061.JPG
Looking across to Ogmore by Sea

I was delighted to find the tide was out and so I managed a circuit of the very sandy beach here. And when i say sandy I mean soft and sandy!

SAM_0070.JPG
Altras make great footprints!
SAM_0072.JPG
Note the wide toebox :p

All in all a great run to ease back into it all. there was a small bit of niggle from the foot which is why I kept it short, slow and sensible (Not like me I know)

Finally Happy Birthday and Fathers Day to my dad who I think will read this at some point! In fact I’d like to say a huge thanks to both of my parents who have always backed me 100% in whatever I’ve done … even when they haven’t been sure its the right thing.

Cheers all! Happy sunday

I ….. Am ….. Back!

Last night in bed I had an idea (yeah I know sad isn’t it, saturday night and the only thing I’m getting in bed is ideas about running) about where I could test out my foot – Merthyr Mawr!  A few miles drive away is a big nature reserve type area chock full of trails and most importantly on dunes!

SAM_2622
Lovely, dry and most importantly soft sand!

Off I set, a little tentative and just waiting for the foot pain to start up. I was especially nervous as I knew that too much pain and I was definitely out of next weekends half marathon (which I’m well aware I still might be depending on how today and tomorrow go)

It was great to be out running again and the niggley pain ceased as I took the pace slow and kept to the sand as much as possible.

SAM_2625.JPG
Most of the paths were like this
SAM_2629.JPG
I can see the sea!

After a while the terrain changed a little and became a little more scrublike and the sand wasn’t so deep but the foot kept of feeling fine and I was really starting to get back into the swing of things – as in my breathing was hurting more than the foot! Ah it’s good to be back :p

SAM_2633.JPG
At the beach between Ogmore and Porthcawl – Thats Porthcawl in the distance. 

I was also glad to be out in this area as I could treat it as a recce as Merthy Mawr is the key to crossing the river at Ogmore so when I’m fully fit again I can turn my 15’s into 20’s

And then it happened! No not a foot injury – Only one creature leaves prints like this….

SAM_2631.JPG

Badger! And juding by the size of the paw it was a big bugger – I was scared, out here alone. As everyone knows a badger swarm can take a lone runner down in seconds and strip them to the bone in minutes and here I was in badger country and unarmed (badgers hate spatulas – always carry one in badger country)  All I could do was push on and hope they weren’t tracking me …and then …

SAM_2640.JPG

Badger shit! (foot for scale) definitely a big badger! Run! Run like the wind!

I was on the homeward stretch now and as I neared my car realised I’d been running for an hour! I reckon it was around 4 miles (I forgot my watch) which is slow going but I was happy keeping a low intensity and the sand was tough going on the legs. This is definitely progress =)

By chance I also bumped into an old friend out walking his dog so all fears of badger attack forgotten we spent a while chucking sticks into the river for her (the dog not the friend)

SAM_2645.JPG
Dog!

And I got to go on the worlds bounciest bridge – seriously if you run on this it bounces so much you simply can’t keep step

SAM_2641.JPG
My friend Al helping me make the bridge bounce.

So all in all a great morning, I’m writing this while rolling and stretching my foot and I’ll admit theres a little discomfort but not as much as I feared.

I hope all your sundays rock too =)

(PS Disclaimer I may have made some parts of this post up, everyone knows badgers are attracted to spatulas, always carry an eggwhisk to deter them (and thats horse not badger shit))