Catch me while you can

The sun shone yesterday and I just knew I had to be out in it for a short run. Plus the problem with an injury which only appears after a few miles of running – literally no discomfort at any other time – is that you don’t know if its gone.  So off I went to the beach.  The news is that the quad still hurts a little but I can feel the rest is improving it. To make sure I wasn’t going to screw things up again I took it super easy. The odd thing is that I find it hard to stick to super easy as when I stop thinkning about it my body naturally ups the pace, had to keep reminding myself to apply the brakes.

I think to be fair the time off running (Im counting 4 runs in 3 weeks as off running) is helping me recharge mentally after Preseli, on those days I’ve not been reading or thinking much about it deliberately so if you’ve wondered why I’ve been quiet and not invading your blogs (you know who you are) its purely some time out from the whole thing to recharge perspective. I’m getting to the point now though when I really want to be back fit and training again so as soon as the quad says go – Im gone!

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Was missing this place though
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Just peaceful

Recovery run?

Not actually sure it’s a recovery run of its 4 days later but it still hurt like a recovery run. I only did 4 miles as everything was still a bit sore but I wanted to try these out – my reward for the training and completion of Preseli

La Sportiva Mutants

Check the tread out on these bad boys!
Can’t judge them until I’ve worn them more and yesterday everything hurt anyway which isn’t a fair test :p 

Was good to be back at the beach though on the relative flat! 

Common Sense?

I have decided to take a week (at least) off running. Which won’t be at all easy as I love it but I think after the summer the body is telling me it needs to recuperate a bit and the sensible thing to do would be to listen. The last year or so has probably been a bit of a shock to it after all :p

I have to admit that although its far better the foot isn’t fully healed and although I can run on it I’d rather not being running through avoidable pain. My right knee has begun its dull twinge again and in the last week I’ve felt tweaks in the left hamstring and right quad. Not much but all added up I’m guessing the right thing to do is take a short break.

Plus the tides are all wrong and the forecast is grim for the next week so if there ever was a time it’s now. Wish me luck I’m gonna hate it =(

I can look back on a summer of adventure, fun and improvements though. I ran up Pen-Y-Fan and Snowdon, the highest mountains in Mid and North Wales. I ran the Welsh Coastal path plus an inland half marathon in West Wales. Ive covered 225 miles in less than 3 months which is a lot for me.

My favourite photo from the summer

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Not the most exciting, scenic or interesting of my Snowdon run but I took this when I turned a corner and saw the path and distance ahead and wondered whether to run to the summit that day or leave it til the next. I’m glad to say I ignored the voice saying “take it easy” and went for it. Thats why the photo is special to me.

Todays Haiku

Beware the fallen leaves you ride over
They may or may not
Be a dead rat instead

Gave the legs a refresher ride this morning, a few miles on road and then decided to take the offroad route back along the cliffs. I think it’s my new mantra. When given an option always take the harder route.

Sadly as it was impromptu I had no camera with me but luckily I had a bad of jelly beans provided by my mother (thats what mums are for) which I ate not because I particulary needed the fuel but because I like jelly beans.

So in lieu of cliff photos google provided me with an unexpected panorama of yesterdays run around Pen Y Fan

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Running and Realism

Last night I was off to the beach, covered six miles and was out for over an hour and it felt great … up to a point.  My foot was aching a bit. Probably been overdoing it a little since the injury I thought …. This morning it’s more swollen and painful to walk on.

Hmmmm so this is where the realism comes in I guess. Hard to admit but i think I may have jumped the gun signing up for the ultra in Cornwall in now only 5 weeks. Being realistic instead of blindly optimistic my spidey senses tell me I can’t train hard enough without screwing my foot again and I really don’t want months off running again.

I can defer the race til next year and I’m starting to think its the only sensible option. Which does indeed make me feel a bit of a fool for getting all excited about it and then postponing it almost immediately.  It’s not in my nature to give up and this feels a bit like giving up.

I’ve read back through my blog and this stood out – I wrote it just as the injury was healing “ I’ve spent some time considering things while off injured and have come to realise I can’t hammer my body at this age (which does makes me sound old) when it’s not really used to it. If I want to run at all I need to run smarter, lower impact and run slower.

Guess I may need to be smarter ….

Anyway yesterday was a lovely run in the sun! Apologies for the poor quality but i forgot my camera.

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Rocks! This is as far as I got as the tide was coming in and my new found sensible nature decided I didn’t want to get trapped
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Heading back – Still enough sand to run on!
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But wait – I’m hot and need cooling down – Run in the waves!
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Testing the drainage qualities of Altras – They drain really well but do let a bit of sand in too
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Just a beautiful view 

I ….. Am ….. Back!

Last night in bed I had an idea (yeah I know sad isn’t it, saturday night and the only thing I’m getting in bed is ideas about running) about where I could test out my foot – Merthyr Mawr!  A few miles drive away is a big nature reserve type area chock full of trails and most importantly on dunes!

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Lovely, dry and most importantly soft sand!

Off I set, a little tentative and just waiting for the foot pain to start up. I was especially nervous as I knew that too much pain and I was definitely out of next weekends half marathon (which I’m well aware I still might be depending on how today and tomorrow go)

It was great to be out running again and the niggley pain ceased as I took the pace slow and kept to the sand as much as possible.

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Most of the paths were like this
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I can see the sea!

After a while the terrain changed a little and became a little more scrublike and the sand wasn’t so deep but the foot kept of feeling fine and I was really starting to get back into the swing of things – as in my breathing was hurting more than the foot! Ah it’s good to be back :p

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At the beach between Ogmore and Porthcawl – Thats Porthcawl in the distance. 

I was also glad to be out in this area as I could treat it as a recce as Merthy Mawr is the key to crossing the river at Ogmore so when I’m fully fit again I can turn my 15’s into 20’s

And then it happened! No not a foot injury – Only one creature leaves prints like this….

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Badger! And juding by the size of the paw it was a big bugger – I was scared, out here alone. As everyone knows a badger swarm can take a lone runner down in seconds and strip them to the bone in minutes and here I was in badger country and unarmed (badgers hate spatulas – always carry one in badger country)  All I could do was push on and hope they weren’t tracking me …and then …

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Badger shit! (foot for scale) definitely a big badger! Run! Run like the wind!

I was on the homeward stretch now and as I neared my car realised I’d been running for an hour! I reckon it was around 4 miles (I forgot my watch) which is slow going but I was happy keeping a low intensity and the sand was tough going on the legs. This is definitely progress =)

By chance I also bumped into an old friend out walking his dog so all fears of badger attack forgotten we spent a while chucking sticks into the river for her (the dog not the friend)

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Dog!

And I got to go on the worlds bounciest bridge – seriously if you run on this it bounces so much you simply can’t keep step

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My friend Al helping me make the bridge bounce.

So all in all a great morning, I’m writing this while rolling and stretching my foot and I’ll admit theres a little discomfort but not as much as I feared.

I hope all your sundays rock too =)

(PS Disclaimer I may have made some parts of this post up, everyone knows badgers are attracted to spatulas, always carry an eggwhisk to deter them (and thats horse not badger shit))

 

 

Rest day

After yesterdays exertions I decided on a rest day. I was actually amazed when I woke up that I wasn’t aching but I think it’s just starting to kick in. The thing is, I do actually want to run. This is a relevation in itself to me. Before I would have looked for any excuse but not any more it seems. But I think its best to let the body recover a bit, especially after I crashed yesterday. Will spend the time looking further into nutrition, it’s something i’ve not really thought about before until I read a post from slowrunnergirl.wordpress.com

I do eat healthy foods, at least much more than I used to. usually fruit for lunch (I skip breakfast which is probably not good) and then something made from veg and pasta or a veg curry later on. I might be missing out on proteins and other nutrition gubbins so time to have good read up.

So without a run I did some DIY with some wood I beachcombed. Carrying wood back from a run is a pain but it’s worth it.

Mounted a piece of driftwood that caught my eye

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And made some handy running coat and shoe hangers from cut down pieces of wood

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