West Wales – Wet, Windy and Wonderful

Spent the weekend down in West Wales with a couple of friends and their dog which of course meant I got to do some running at last. The idea was to do a few miles of the coastal path in glorious sunshine and take in the views. This being Wales of course it was blowing a gale and raining on me from the outset. I was not to be deterred though!

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The beach at Newgale. Not accurately represented here is the howling gale

I was actually really enjoying myself despite the wind, cold and rain and was happily putting out enough effort to prevent hypothermia. The only times I got cold was when I stopped to take photos for you my dear readers. The sacrifices I make!

 

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Newgale is tiny, thats about it – The river cuts between the pebbles to make its own channel which is pretty cool. Well it would be if the sheer amount of pebbles wasn’t forcing the closure of the road

I had forgotten to bring my energy foods with me and so my friend had given me some marshmallows and chocolate but as I didn’t want them to melt in my pocket we shoved them in the only bag we had available – an (unused) dog poo bag.  A bags a bag but I decided to eat while crossing the bridge in the photo – So there I am in front of the cafe shovelling marshmallows straight from a dog poo bag into my mouth. Always make a good first impression when visiting a new place.

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The views were great despite the weather
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And the path was fun, technical and steep
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I returned via the beach and missed the point where I could rejoin the path home so I kept going to see how far the beach went
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Found some really pretty rocks while scrambling along

Then I came to a dead end, the only way was to go back the way I came or so some scrambling up a scree slope. I am not one to be deterred by a challenge so off I went

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Up here – This was actually loads of fun until I got to the top of the scree and realised there was a 20 foot vertical bank up to the path covered in gorse and brambles. Having already cut and scratched myself to bits I decided to let sense rear its ugly head and retreated back down. Only added about 4 miles to my run …..
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View from halfway up a scree slope

I eventually got back after about 3 hours, tired, cold and wet but happy. The quad is still not entirely happy but then i cant really blame it after a dozen miles and a climb up and down a bloody scree slope.

In the afternoon we popped into St Davids – The Smallest city in Britain.

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St Davids Cathedral

More importantly than sightseeing we took Iolo the dog to the pub

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Stare into my eyes and give me your Guinness

Splish splash and uphill dash – A photofest

When I woke this morning theweather was still evil. This week in Wales we’ve had thunder and lightning, hail, tornadoes (yes really) wind and rain ….lots of rain. I was resigned to scratching any hope of a run and then the sun peeped out! A chance.  A quick look at Will it rain today?  told me I had a window of opportunity. Off I went!

It had indeed been raining

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Wet feet from the word go! No chance of hopping from rock to rock today
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At the beach there were waterfalls in places I’d never seen before – Quite spectacular!

The tide was still quite high as I couldnt pick and choose my time so really I should have gone along the cliffs but I so wanted the beach so I chose a bit of a tricky option along the pebbles.

In fact around 2 miles of pebbles

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Stretch one – These are a bastard to run on, it takes so much effort and concentration to get anywhere. Gives the legs a workout though and I bet there are many unused muscles in my feet and ankles saying WTF?

It did mean I found some cool fossils

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Ammonite
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I’m not even sure this is a fossil – It may be a fossilised fern but unsure
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Possible fern number 2

Then onto stretch 2 of pebbles and rocks

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I’m heading for the far point (Witches Point) at Southerdown – Pebbles, pebbles everywhere as far as the eye can see!
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The waterfall between Wick and Witches was really going for it today
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Got a nice photo of the rock stack, rckon this might be the winter it goes

My legs were really feeling the pebbles by the turn around point at Witches so I decided to really screw them up and run the cliff route back including running every hill – of which there are lots of steep ones.  I figured I might not get out much this week so might as well murder the legs today!

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Running from beach level to up here is a killer
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These were hurty and go on for aaages – Whoever did them hates runners as theres a different number of paces between each

I did 7 miles in 90 minutes which I’m very pleased with because the terrain wasn’t exactly conducive to a quick pace.  Even the fields were tough as they’re waterlogged.  I was also pleased with my overall flow today, even when I was working hard it felt under control and recovery from each climb was quick.