Today marked the start of an actual training cycle. Its 20 weeks until the Preseli Beast so plenty of time to build up to 24 miles of fell running. Today was a “short long run” in that its 10 miles which I don’t have any issues doing really but I want to build back to longer distances slowly to try to avoid damaging the foot and knee to the point where I have to lay off completely again. Should tie in nicely to the half in February. See – I’ve been doing some thinking!
Luckily the weather was fine apart from a stiff wind. I did a half beach and half cliff run so I got the best of both worlds including some steep climbing. Was happy to see that I hadn’t put the HR over 170 (169 is damn close though) and it seemed to spend more time in the working hard but not maximum catergory. And overall it was 136, I can live with that considering the route was hard.
So off I went again to gather more running data from my new watch and hr monitor. Well ok thats not why I went I just wanted to be out in the sun at the beach but a little data gathering cant hurt too. It all looks very much like the first day only I managed to spike my heart at 180 something this time. Its the rocks I tells ya!
Went out yesterday as the tide was low and the sun shining, didn’t make any plans other than enjoying myself. For those new to the blog I don’t subscribe to training plans, I’m an organic runner – In other words I’m too lazy to make a training plan and would be too ill disciplined to stick to it if I did. Running for me is about having fun and adventures outside.
So off I jolly well went in best Famous Five tradition. Only there was just one of me….
First thing I noticed was a battle between extreme rainfall swollen stream versus tides. I’ve never seen all these steps and mini waterfalls before as they are always covered in rocks and pebbles but you can see how the stream has actually cleared a path. Freshwater 1 – Salt water 0
I headed off towards Witches Point
I got to play on all my favourite rocks as usual and felt pretty good once the usual two or so miles of awww crap its not happening ….. oh I feel awesome
Got to Witches Point, turned into a headwind and went back past the stream still battling the tide and kept going to Nash Point at the other end of this stretch.
I was feeling great, I had hit what I now refer to as cruising pace. Not even troubling my breathing in the slightest. The legs were starting to feel it but mainly due to the terrain, the constant buffeting of rocks and jumping up and down 2 or 3 feet at a time wears them down eventually. One day I’ll run somewhere flat on a road and will glide serenely – yeah right.
I turned at Nash Point and was feeling good still so as the saying goes I made hay while the sun shone. Back over the rocks to Witches Point for a second time.
I turned at Witches and made my final journey home with legs aching but a happy heart. Spending 3 hours or so and 13 miles in nature makes for a good saturday morning.
Yesterday I had planned another longish run of around 10 miles, I questioned why I was doing it – Or rather a friend questioned why I was doing it which in turn made me wonder. There’s always the small improvements each time I run which have led to a 20 mile run last week.
My next event won’t be until May next year though, I’m looking to move up from the Presceli Beast half to full race which will be tough as it’s part fellrunning. So what am I training for now? Perhaps I should be letting everything rest before a fresh assault in the new year? Perhaps I should just be enjoying running full stop? In fact I am so to hammer this point home to myself Sundays run wasn’t focused on anything but running all over the beach and enjoying the technical terrain.
And what better shoes than the Inov8 Xtalons for this, I’m amazed by how grippy these things are, the rubber cleats hang on to rocks like the Boston Strangler to a neck. Someone asked me for a closeup of the soles the other day and I forgot so here you go.
They also grip superbly on slippery mud too, the only drawback being that they can clog up if the mud mixes with grass and sheep shit which does bind up and cling to the soles like thus.
Overall though I’m absolutely loving these shoes and even better the foot is healing well now, I actually covered 8 miles on the beach just running about like a loon with no pain despite the rocks.
The run was of course beautiful, less beautiful I suspect was that it was so warm I had my top off :p Hey it’s Enjoy Yourself Sunday so I can do what I like!
So yeah, lifes short so find your rainbows wherever you can!