Lies, damn lies and statistics

So I was pondering yesterday while running. I was pondering progress and how you measure it. I have a tonne of statistics since I started wearing a heart monitor at the start of the year but they mean pretty much nothing to me.  I know Ive been progrssing as I feel better on runs, I fatigue less quickly, I can keep up a higher pace for longer and recover faster. All these things are instinct … I just _know_

But my statistics from my watch and HR? I dont see how you can judge improvement from numbers when there are so many external factors. For a start I run on different routes and terrains every single run, its very rare I will follow the exact same path twice. I do different distances, I run at different paces depending on what I stop and photograph or explore.

I can understand how road runners with a single route can judge metrics as they can remove the variables meaning its just their form that determines their time. For me time is relatively meaningless apart from hours on feet.  I thought, perhaps I could just do exactly the same offroad route everynow and again and look at those stats … But thats not why I run, I run to be free and this is choice limiting.

So I guess I’ll look at the fancy stats each run, ponder and think “ahh fuck it I felt good and thats what counts”  Cos to me thats what does.

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Wind! I forgot to add wind to my variable list and it was bloody windy yesterday!
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Possible sprout field … I will keep you posted as they may be cabbages

Blowing away the cobwebs

Well I awoke with a bit of a hangover, a legacy of celebrating the Welsh win against Scotland yesterday (Though the performance wasn’t great I fully admit). So I slothed around a bit until the tide went out and decided to go for a trot to make me feel better inside and out.  And around 10 miles and just under 2 hours later I got back.  Seems like I can run fine with a hangover, in fact it actually got rid of it, I feel fantastic while I write this. Plus on a bright sunny day I got fresh air at the top of cliffs like this.

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Also happily no knee pain today, I wore the Adidas Kanadia which I try to avoid doing in wet and muddy conditions because they’re not in any way, shape or form waterproof. I’m guessing that if it turns out they’re better for my knee then I’ll be sticking with them full time, watery feet or not.

So in a weeks time I will have completed my first trail half or will have perished in the attempt and today was a good confidence boost. Plus I decided to put in some hills for the practice. In particular this bugger which i’m proud to say I made it up in one go!

 

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Cwm Mawr hill training

 

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Looks even steeper from the bottom.

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Onwards

Another run to and around the beach after work. I feel like i’m posting the same thing every day – and in a way I guess I am but this is also a log for me of what I’ve done and when. Runkeeper keeps the stats but it can’t tell me how I felt, what I saw, what inspired me that day. So i’ll keep on keeping on with the same reports!

A 4.5 run and it felt good – todays route

I’ve noticed how much easier its becoming to do what I now consider “short” distances, when once 4 miles was a killer and something to be proud of it’s now “something I can do” not that i’m not proud everytime I get off my ass and run it’s just nice to feel there’s still progress going on.

I was also happy to remember to take carrots for the horses today! They certainly enjoyed them as much as I enjoyed feeding them!

Also I found the natural freshwater spring on the beach a friend had mentioned. And it is indeed fresh water bubbling up from the sand and tasted wonderful. Must be all that filtration down through these cliffs! I do love my beach, it never fails to surprise.

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Huge horse, tiny carrot
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Freshwater spring bubbling up through the sand
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Bubbling!
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Cliff filtration system