Doing it our way

Over the years I think I’ve read about, listened to and absorbed a vast amount of information about running. How to do this, how to get better at that, 2500 simple tips to improve your stride length etc etc and if I’m honest the vast majority of it has been meaningless waffle. Running clickbait in the main. Of course there have been many useful articles and books but how many can be applied to my very amateur level of running?

I think I’ve belaboured this point before but training plans don’t work for me – I’m sure they do for others who like the structure and like to see the metrics of progress. Having to do this or that on a certain day may well increase performance but to my mind it decreases enjoyment. I’m only revisiting this because I thought about it while running earlier.

The thought process went something like this. I was reading a book regarding the central governor theory and how the brain judges percieved effort based on how far you still have to go and regulates effort so you get to the end with something in reserve. Whether it’s scientific fact or not isn’t the point here but it got me thinking as we tootled along the beach that three times this week I have set out for a run with Murph and had no idea how far we would go and how long we would be out. The only determining factor being the weather as I don’t run murph when it get’s too hot.

I was musing that therefore my brain has no idea whether I have another mile, 3, 5, 7 or 10 miles to go and also has no clue how much longer I will have to maintain the effort for. So does that mean my central governor is off or muted. Who knows? It’s certainly a way of thinking that appeals to the way I train. I simply go out to have fun with Murph and before we know it we are a dozen miles into another adventure, tired and happy.

In the name of unstructured training we have expanded our lack of planning to include direction … thus

The pebble of chance – Get to the beach, flip a pebble and it determines whether we go left or right – either way is fine by us.

Spring Sprung Sprong

Not sure what a sprong is but I like the sound of it. Well spring is here, been waiting for it for ages and now it feels a little anticlimatic due to viruses and lockdowns and the suchlike but nature stops for no-one.  Today I saw the first bee buzzing around and teh evidence is everywhere. Just take a look …

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The ferns have started to appear – I love the little alien dudes at this stage

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Leaves on a (deciduous) tree!

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Not really a sign of spring but a duck!

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Dawn walks to the beach are in order these days

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Spot the rainbow

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Never get tired of climbing up here

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Don’t remember this one – nor the shadow telling me I was running with a giraffe

 

 

Keep on truckin’

I guess when the world goes a bit mad you just gotta hop on for the ride. So I figured what with my parents (hi mum and dad) self isolating I should get posting if nothing else to keep them up to date and entertain …yeah ok so maybe not entertain so much. But photos are always nice right!

So still running – cos its something I can do out here and see and have no contact with anyone (not gonna lie isolation is something I like) plus the dog needs to be out anyway.  And with everything thats going on its good to be outside away from it all for a while. The good news – good news – whats that? Is that the body is actually holding up ok, things hurt but it all pales into insignificance right now anyway. Preseli obviously got cancelled so no ultra and fell races and thats the right decison.

So I shall continue to work away at my latest project which I shall unveil here – you are indeed the first to know – i wasnt going to ever mention it as it was just for me but it’ll give mum and dad something to follow. This year’s project is “2020 2000” which is in a nutshell my attempt to both run and walk Murph 2000 miles in the calender year. It’s a bit of fun and provides me a goal and doesn’t allow me to ever get lazy. I include both runs and walks because my body cant cope with a 2000 mile running year plus we also love the walks too. So far I’d say the milage is about 2/3 running to a 1/3 walking and im more than happy with that.

My sketchy records tell me to date We’ve done 424 miles which is good going considering the winter start, dark mornings and evenings and the awful weather. I shall keep you all updated periodically – I bet you’re on the edge of your seats eh? The only “rules” are that we have to do the walk or run together – no dog no count and it has to be at least half a mile to count.

Ok photos!

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Bit of a small fall in the chalk section of the cliffs – Above is where the path was

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Snowdrops!

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No matter whats going on in the world there will always be a sunrise – dont forget that

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Heading into the mists

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Nature making shapes – just as the sun always rises the tide will always turn

 

 

Perspective

I was out on the beach last week. It was cold, windy and raining. I had taken a fall and banged up my knee and elbow.  The way back was into the headwind and I was feeling like I hadn’t had enough calories for the run (which i admittedly hadn’t).  I was feeling kinda miserable and had the internal monologue of self pity going on at my suffering.

Then I thought this isntsuffering at all. What people are going through all over the world is suffering, losing, lives, loved ones, jobs, freedom. Thats suffering. My choice to run along a fucking beach in shit weather is hardly suffering on any scale and the only one who makes me do it anyway is me. And in that moment I realised I was being a complete self absorbed dickhead. I had the beauty of the beach, I had the company of my dog, I had health enough to run this and the freedom to do so. I am truly blessed and fortunate and its something I need to remember.

It’s made me realign a few things, go out and help people during this crisis, do what I can even in small ways, look after my parents, neighbours and community as much as I possibly can. Give something back for once, I can take what I need from nature on the run.

Time to step up and help others suffering because I’m fortunate enough to not be.  Take care out there people and if you can do something good then do it. Little things, little gestures might just go further than you think.

And now the photos!

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Blessed just to be here

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Poser posing posingly

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Sunsets

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Shiny days

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Jesus Christ its a hailstorm! Why are we out in a hailstorm you idiot/ (said the dog)

Zoomies

I wasnt intending to run much this weekend, y’know the old let things heal thing but it was just so glorious out what else could I do?  Those crisp mornings at dawn are irresistable and not just for me they seemed to entice Murph into a world consisting of zooming around like an idiot. I was happy for him to zoom while I plodded, 5 miles on saturday and 10 today and I feel fine. Sometimes all you need is zoomies (and a plod)

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Blurry zoom followed by charging leap – trick is to stand your ground and he will deviate at last second, if you move either side he will take you out without mercy

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Happy zoomies

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Still zooming

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Ok i’ve slowed down a bit but i could go mental at any second

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Hmmm day 2 of zoom? It’s still frosty

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When the stream floods we ound a new way of crossing – he does it so gracefully compared to me. No-one as fallen in … yet

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Getting ready to zoom – Fuel stop – 1 treat equals 10 minutes zoom

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Just trotting trying to look photogenic

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Prepare the zoomster!

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And go!

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The usual views

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Back inland and heading home through the lanes

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Chilling out on the afternoon cool-down walk (which unsurprisingly included zooming)

Perspective

I was planning to post again here a little more regularly  and then i didst because I never seem to find the time or inclination. maybe running doesn’t seem as important right now.  As long as I’m out with murph how quick we move doesn’t seem to matter so much.

And I think I’ve been right. Just reading up here and hearing others going through so much worse than the odd running injury puts things in perspective.  So yep we’ve been out putting in the miles ready for some big plans this year – assuming the body copes.  But at the end of the day what’s really important is just living life and enjoying it.

I got my fingers crossed for you Ceej!  Now enjoy some photos!

 

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We’ve been out at dusk

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Early morning struts

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Played in the foam with our little buddy

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Did out xmas day run and loved it!

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Enjoyed the weather

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Of course we posed

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Visited old haunts

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Checked out waterfalls

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Saw more sunrises

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And enjoyed more sunsets

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And always climbed up so we could look back … before moving on

Always a pleasure

We rocked out this morning at dawn as I was under the impression it was going to be a really hot day (it wasn’t really) and I wanted to get a good run in with murph before it got too hot for him. I don;t mind a bit of sufefring in the heat but i wouldn’t want to inflict it on him, its just not fair.  So off we went on an adventure which as I am lazy i will recount in photo form. It was a great run, we were out for around 3 hours and it’s time on feet in innterested in these days not distance – plus im not wearing a watch but im guessing 11 or 12 miles over cliffs, fields, roads and forests ….

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Dawn in the Grange – heading for the beach

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On the lead due to big cliffs and idiot dog

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Happy runner – technically going the wrong way

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We even did roads – well lanes – as you can see not used much

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A filter here a filter there

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Happy up on the common as the temperature starts to rise – we actually ended up in the hottest part of the day anyway but it was never oo bad and we know where water is

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As evidenced by Murph crossing the giant stepping stones

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More lanes – note designer grass growing through

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I always love the views from up here

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Yay! We are out and about!

Down week

I checked my mileage and it was 110 miles for the 2 weeks of xmas – oops no wonder things are a little achey so showing sense and in the spirit of trying to make it though 2019 without a major injury (touch wood etc) I took a week off running and just walked Murph instead. Admittedly we do around 6 miles a day at the lest but its not high impact and he has to have his walks or he goes mental

And we saw some stunning sunsets. Enjoy. We did.

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Might be one of my alltime favourites

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Murph failing to get in shot properly

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Twas rather relaxing down there

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Get ready the suns a setting

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There it goes

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Sand reflections

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Or maybe this one

Doubled up

Managed 7 miles on sat and 12 on sunday because it was just a pleasure to be out and about – well moreso on sunday as it wasnt pissing down like saturday. To be honest I dont really care about the weather its just a joy to see Murph zoom about and be happy. And im happy to be out knocking the legs around a bit, they certainly felt it for the last few days so back to just walking for the week I think. See i can be careful!

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You’re aware its cold and raining right?

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Hey look the waterfalls working again!

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I can derp! Wanna see me derp?

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Aha proper trailrunning!

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Now this is better weather – Look theres a sky!

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And sun!

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