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!
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!
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.
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
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.
More importantly than sightseeing we took Iolo the dog to the pub
As far as the tide here is concerned it’s this low …
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.
So what causes the difference between one run and another. This was seven miles and effortless. On days like this the thought of the 24 mile fell race in a few months doesn’t worry me in the slightest. On other days I feel like I’ll never make it. If only it was possible to bottle the feeling on a run like this. I think flow is the term. I need to remember the days like this when I get self doubts.
It was a day full of our favourite weather too – Mizzle! Which turned to drizzle and then back to mizzle.
Saturday morning and a new training cycle begins (yes I’m still calling it that as it sounds like I know what I’m doing) so a wait for the tides and off out again for a 10 miler along the coast. I’ve worked out (It’s only taken me 20 years of visiting this beach) that I can get out to run the whole thing if the tide is lower than 6 metres give or take.
It was a misty and cold which meant I had the beach to myself whch is the way I like it. Everything seemed to be ticking over nicely as far as the running went and I had great fun on the rocks pounding my legs. I know that doing this leads to fatigue around mile 7 or so. It’s got me to wondering when fatigue would kick in if I didn’t run on the rocks at all. But that would mean …. roads. Nahhhh i’ll keep wondering.
I notcied that at the point between Nash and Wick beaches that there are numerous quartz veins amongst the rocks. I’ve never really paid much notice before but noticed today how cool they are.
Many of the rocks split along these veins.
Sometimes it appears in very random patterns
After investigating the quartz and guano it was up and over Witches Point and around Southerndown
Right on cue the legs started hurting around mile 7 so I switched into my run all day pace which means dropping the pace and expend less energy covering the rocks, picking lower lines and not leaping around like a fool.
I planned around 10 miles and it was spot on. Let the cycle run on!
Misty,rainy morning run to the beach as much to just stretch the legs as anything else as I knew the tide was on its way in. Had a good play around the immediate area though, some hill repeats during which I found this new face
Then a hop down to the beach to get some swifter rock running in to satisfy the need to bounce around a bit.
Then off looking for a christmas tree – at the beach ofc. It now seems to be a tradition (if a 2 year thing can be a tradition) to find my tree at the beach. I wasn’t blogging last christmas so I don’t think last years tree made it here, I’ll have to see if I can find a photo.
So a week off running and it wasn’t too bad, I must admit it was tricky to not go out when the sun shone on the way home but I stuck to it for a whole week. And today I got to try out my new shoes (I had to hide them this week in case my will broke)
First impressions – very comfy, at first they felt a little snug but they are so soft – like a baby deers furry ass – that they soon felt like they were already worn in.
The reason I got these was for better grip as the weather turns and I’m going to be spending much of the next six months sliding around in mud. I also wanted something for wet rocks on the beach, It’s not like I ask a lot or anything.
It’s been raining all week and so I was sure to find mud
So overall I’m more than pleased with the Xtalon 200 – They are definitely going to become my technical shoe of choice and I expect to give them a right hammering this winter. The grip is fantastci on mud and rock and they provide an immense feeling of confidence and stability. My only worry is the drainage but with some care there shouldnt be too much water getting in – basically it has to go in over the top anyway.
Oh and I have new shoes but this dude has a new coat – With chickens on! How cool is that (I was kinda jealous)