Long runs and ultra competitive fishing evidence

Sunday was time for a long run, haven’t done anything more than 10 miles for a few weeks and I’m very aware I now have less than 6 weeks to the Preseli Beast 24 mile fell race….

A lovely spring morning though so I strapped on my pack with a litre of water, homemade energy bars and headed out.  It was a complete pleasure to get out and run and I felt great for the majority of it. I planned 13 miles to the rivermouth in Ogmore and back and ended up doing 15.  The slow introduction of speedwork seems to be working as it feels like I can run further at the lower speeds now.

You can see why I was enjoying being out
Looking back from Witches on the way to Ogmore
Gorse in bloom over Southerdown
Looking back from the deeps at Ogmore – destination far headland.  When I look at photos like this and think I can happily run these distances it never fails to amaze me
On the way back at Southerdown beach there was a dachshund convention. At least 20 dogs all going mental. I found this little dude in his bee/ladybird costume
Oh yeah the ultra competitive fishing reference, I did some scrambling at Witches Point as the tide was so low and up on the ledges I found this painted on. Apparently Mike Rowley cheats!  Well who knew. Im guessing its a fishing thing, who the hell else comes up here! I’m not even sure how you cheat at fishing unless its bringing fish with you and claiming you caught them… or by using dynamite. Its a funny old world as they say

Spring has sprung so keep young!

I just enjoy saying and thinking it. After a seemingly endless winter its here … I swear it this time!

Sunset over the Bristol Channel

A quick 5 miler but done at a quicker pace – Nobody shout at me I’m doing this properly and keeping an eye on impact stress – its all about quick and light feet not overstriding and causing a braking effect. This is as technical I get but I do understand the theory now to put it in practice.  So the 5 miles was done at 9 minute mile pace which quite frankly amazed me as it was a cliff run so included both elevation and wind!

Spring evidence – These dudes were new to the world and just enjoying playing together in the sun. Important metaphor here people – As lambs get older they stop playing and just stand around and eat all day, they lose the joy in the world youth brings. I swear its just a mental thing though …. keep your mind young and never stop playing ….maybe more of this later ….. (warning teaser)

Ducks and sheep and eggs

Sometimes I wonder if this is a bad running blog or a bad photography blog.  I think I’ll continue to mix the two beacuse there wasn’t much to write home about runningwise, knocked out 5 miles easily enough with some speedwork but saw some stuff of interest though. So basically if I dont have much to say about one thing i can switch to the other. I’d like to call it cunning but it is of course accidental.

Spot the ducks! Easier than spot the squirrel was.
Springtime at the beach is a sight to behold.
I love blue skies
Danger sheep!
Devils Purse – Or more boringly an egg sac for dogfish


I can see improvements but thats all

So I was looking forward to running after work yesterday, the sun had been out all day and it was likely to be a good tide to run. Until I got nearer home … Wick and the surrounds have their own microclimate and by the time I arrived home visibility was pretty dire.

This is the sun attempting to shine through the mist
The good news was that I covered 7 miles and felt fantastic all the way even after a full day on my feet running around like the proverbial blue arsed fly.

This was the view on the sand …. It was odd running and being able to see nothing but the small circle immediately surrounding me.

It got even worse further along. It’s lucky I know the coast by heart and naviagted the full seven miles with no issues at all

How low can you go?

As far as the tide here is concerned it’s this low …

A very low spring tide at Nash Point. Normally the darker reef on the shoreline is never exposed.

Which is awesome when you get to run on it all morning. It was a fun training type run of around 10 miles at an average pace of under 11 mins a mile which I’m really happy with considering it was cliffs and beach. I can definitely feel progression happening. I can comfortably keep up a quicker pace for longer now and the wheels don’t seem to fall off as quickly. In fact I positively raced home from the beach.

As the tide was so low I explored Witches Point at Southerndown for a while as I could get to bits normally cut off.

Caves in the cliffs.
Wait what?  Looks like someone has been practicing their underwater climbing technique
The erosion of the seabed here makes for some amazing rock formations
More rocks
Loved this one



Snot Rocket!

So I did indeed come down with a cold. It’s an everpresent danger of working in multiple primary schools with hundreds of snot ridden, coughing little monsters.  This explains my lethargy last weekend I think. So for 3 days I laid off pretty much everything but work. I figured I might as well go in and cough all over the little bastards as revenge.

Then yesterday I felt an improvement plus it was springlike and sunny when i got home from work. I know I’ve already declared the start of spring around 15 times already this year but ladies and gentlemen I swear THIS IS IT.  It was warm enough to go out in shorts and tshirt for a cliff run!

Off I ran and everything felt great including whatever bit of me creates snot as it was determined to join in the party! The legs were awesome after 3 days rest (reminder – rest is good) and I carved out 5 miles along technical track and cliffs (Ok I finished with a bit of road because I wanted to pop into see my parents who (Yes mum you gave me your cold not vica versa))  at 10 min mile pace which is unheard of for me considering the number of stiles and walls I cross.

View from the cliffs
Path back towards the coast

Thats spring weather for ya

Started tonights run in bright sunshine

But wait .. what is this ominarse looking cloud
Hey look at the bottom of the ominarse cloud, its got little rain showers out at sea
Hey look its getting closer!

At this point the light went super weird and the rain started piling down. Which wasn’t too bad as it was kind of warm anyway. The beach looked really cool but it was impossible to caputure the feeling on a camera but I tried

Best I could do!
Since I’ve grown my hair out again this is the view I get when it rains and the hair sticks to my face. Note the visibility enhancing parting.

As I was running back the sun came out so I knew it was ….. rainbow time!


4 weeks of weather all rolled into 4 miles

To think I almost didn’t

Got home from work and it was cold, blowing hard and looked like rain. I was sooooooo close to staying in the warm and having soem food, maybe do some stretching, take it easy. But I knew deep down I wanted to go out and would love it once I did. It’s the first step. So off I went into the wind for a quick 4 mile run.

The bridge building continues apace, now they’re chucking rocks in because its better to break an ankle on an unsteady rock than get your precious shoes and clothes muddy…. sigh

Anyway there was just about enough sand to run the mile stretch before the tide swept me away

Note narrow strip of sand – GO!

I found I can now cruise even into the wind at around 9 min miles on the sand. On the way back I was doing 8 no problems.  I’m only doing short stints like that as I don’t want to blow up anything in my legs so don’t worry I’m being careful and listening to my body!

Some cool clouds for SRG
The view back from the fields on the way home

Ecosystems within Ecosystems

Or natural selection – part 2

Shook out the legs today after a few days following the half. Been out on the bike but wanted the foot to recover a bit. So off to the beach for the last day of my summer holiday – back to school tomorrow. I hope the kids are nice :p

Was a bit gloomy and grey starting off. If only I could get up at sunrise to get photos like SRG does.

Still beautiful though

As the tide was well out I came across this rock which seemed to me to contain it’s own little ecosystem and world.

A whole world on a rock

On my return journey I stopped where the cliffs get lower to have a quick hunt for fossils. Teh formations here are beautiful – They remind me of sedimentary tetris.

Layer on layer on layer etc
Thats a whole lot of layers

Then I started wondering about the greenery a bit further up – Mother don’t read this bit 😉

So off I went, I’m not entirely dull, I wouldn’t climb the cliffs in the photo above but there’s a section where you’re not underneath rock and the gradient allows you up with just a bit of scrambling.  I also don’t like heights and so it’s time to kick that fear in the bollocks – So up I went (come on natural selection poke me in the eye)

The rocks on the right are climbable and stable enough.

I figured that if vegetation can grow and thrive up here then it’s all stable right? Plus it will bind everything together. Right? I found a whole new ecosystem up there that you can’t see from the beach.

Green ivy stuff
Vegetation everywhere
Plus these things which kind of looked like a cabbage like stalk thing (as you can tell I’m no botanist)

It was great to explore up there a bit and the different view of the coast was cool.

A different persepective

After I tired of my botanical investigations (it was also cold) I clambered down carefully and rejoined my run.

I spotted this ….


I mean how? How the hell does a TV get onto the beach – in fact at least 3 miles from the nearest road over rocky terrain and not be smashed. Do TVs float?

My theory is that we have had a lot of trippers this year who come camping and miss their home comforts – But where do they plug it in? 

Anyway I watched Homes under the Hammer and ran home.

You couldn’t make it up