To be fair i’m amazed after a looooong weekend I got out at all today but fancied a qick trot – Which turned into 9 and a half miles and two and a quarter hours.
At the beach I went right …. view below. Cloudy but warm enough to run without a shirt which is always nice.
I got divebombed by the seagulls again – I thought I had gone far enough out to avoid them but I think rather than defending their turf this is just a game to them now.
Got to the end of that section of the beach and felt fantastic – So I kept going, up over witches point and down to Southerdown beach.
I crossed the beach and found some quite cool rocks which were fun and challenging to run on.
And of course at the furthest point from home it started to rain and the wind picked up – A headwind of course. You know what though? Any day trailrunning is good no matter the weather so despite being wet and cold I wasn’t miserable. Especially as next up I met Mr Darcy!
Covered the remaining 3 miles back home in record time and now it’s feet up recovery time!
First run with only days rest in between yesterday but the sun was shining with a lovely breeze and the tide was out. I was a little concerned but it all worked out fine (was that a spoiler?)
I was determined to keep it slow and keep the heartrate below 140(ish) which isn’t as hard as it sounds if you’re not wearing a heart monitor as you can cheat a little – I think I might actually have to invest in a watch soon with one though. Any recommendations?
The hardest part at the moment is remembering that I’m keeping it slow. It’s easy on the sand and paths as I don’t have much else to think about but as soon as I hit technical sections I seem to revert back to how I used to run them – hard and taking too many risks – To be fair sometimes it’s actually necessary to take some of these at a higher pace. Doesn’t make sense? I’ll try to explain (which probably won’t make sense)
The rocks in the photo above aren’t a great example as they are more like a pavement anyway but if you imagine a long stretch like this but with fewer rocks and more gaps – ok got that? Then at a slower pace you are limited to where you can land. You need rocks within a smaller area and when you come to a gap it halts you as you cant leap them so easily. At a quicker pace your potential landing area is larger and you can cross bigger gaps making for a smoother and less disjointed run. Did I manage to explain? Anyway I think I can cover rocks while keeping the heartrate reasonably low and can let it fall way back on sand.
SRG has been an invaluable source of information on slow running (It’s so much easier when someone does all the reading for you then condenses it so if you’re interested in it and for faaaar more insight from someone who actually knows what they’re talking about check her blog out) and in a recent post talked about flow. I kind of understand what she means. Slowing the pace down (and by slow I find thats 10.30-11 min per mile on the sand and 11-13 on technical sections (lets not talk about climbs, I need to learn to walk more)) I can feel that the running is not straining me at all, it’s easy to breathe and everything above the hips feels like it could go all day. Thats not the case for my legs at the moment which are the bit of me protesting. I think after basically 3 months out it’s going to take a while to get the conditioning back to where it was. Which is fine by me, I’m learning to take it all much more slowly.
Arghhhh wall of text – sorry guys
I have finally found a flaw in the Altras – When it comes to sections with rock “steps” as in the photo above, sometimes you can’t leap the whole step and so I tend to look for a ledge half way up the step and hit that to propel myself up. Some of these ledges will be quite narrow and the width of the Altras caused me a problem yesterday. I landed on a ledge with the outer half of my foot (And i wondered how I got a foot injury) and pushed off but as the Altras are so wide there wasn’t enough of my foot on the ledge to push properly leading to me slipping down some lovely barnacles and taking the skin off my leg. Something else to remember!
Arrghhhh too much text again
All in all I managed six and a half miles at around 13 minute pace. The foot felt good (though ached last night) and it felt great to be back out running the whole stetch of the beach down to witches point. I knew the conditions were perfect for a photo op of the beach so I did the climb up Witches (lets not talk about heartrate at this bit, I may have failed) as I knew just where I could get a good photo.
So for anyone who has waded through this you get a bonus jellyfish!
As you know I spend the vast majority of my runs on the coast or getting to and from the coast through fields and paths. As I felt my foot has improved enough and because it was low tide I felt like giving the Altras a proper test over all my favourite terrains. It turned out to be a five mile run which is the longest I’ve done since my injury so I’m really happy with that (excluding the 11 mile fell race I accidentally did)
Overall I’ve been incredibly impressed by the Altra. It was a risk spending so much on a shoe I hadn’t even tried (sadly it’s hard to find stockists in the UK – Even the internet shops have limited range too) but having heard what the makes had to say and through some research I’m glad I convinced myself to take the punt. The show feels extremely comfortable and grips superbly. I think I haven’t done enough miles to really get used to them but I can safely say I’m going to enjoy learning to.
I can’t wait to do some longer runs to really test their comfort and durability. I’ll be sure to let you know.
And if you stuck it out and read this far then you get a bonus cuttlefish!
So I got home early due to it chucking it down with rain. Perfect excuse to lounge around on the sofa and rest the foot and take it generally easy. So what do I do? Go for a run!
Running in the rain (when it’s not cold and windy too) is great, especially at this time of year. You can almost hear the vegetation growing and everythings so … so …. green!
The foot hurt but not too bad, I think I’m trying to protect it too much from impact and curling it so tried to relax and just enjoy the green!
Got to the beach and it was grey, mizzle and all.
The tide was just about far enough out to have a quick run on the rocks again which was great to be able to do even if it twinged a bit.
Then on the way back I saw it!
The tides had been kind, so much driftwood, so few arms and working legs I did scout out a few nice pieces which I may come back for but I’ll leave that up to chance. What the sea giveth the sea taketh away.
The run back was much more tiring than I thought it would be. The break has done my fitness no good but I’m sure if I take it slow and steady i’ll get there.
SPeaking of slow and steady
Ok so it includes my quarter mile warmup and a few breaks to ogle driftwood and then failing to stop my watch but i’m happy just to be moving again!
Noticed today that I had no niggles at all during the day and so of course that gave me the green light to run …. as if I needed an excuse. The knee did start vaguely complaining after 3 or 4 miles but then I did give it a bit of hammering on the rocks at the beach.
It always amazes me that I can run along rocks such as these and leap from one to another without falling or stopping. My brain can clearly process the information fast enough to just allow my legs to adjust in time but there’s no way i can do it consciously. In fact if I think about it while doing it I will slow and miss a step. There’s a word for this which I did stumble across a while back and now I can’t find it again! I used to watch Soaky on the beach doing the same thing but controlling four legs with ease. We are all the most incredible beings when you stop to think about it – Just don’t think about it while you’re doing it maybe
So just a gentle run today – around 4 and a half miles. Figured I’d get it in as tomorrow night is Wales vs France (I need to take it easy as I fancy a longer run on saturday)
Got home with plenty of time to run. Haven’t been out for a few days and felt fantastic , I think I shall take a few days off prior to the half if this is how I feel. Had so much energy, got to the beach and the tide wasn’t as high as I expected so managed a little sand running but couldn’t resist the lure of a bit of rock hopping. Technically it was a stupid thing to do as at speed it’s risking a broken ankle at worst and a sprain at best but I just couldn’t help myself. It was just one of those days, so a good half an hour spent bouncing around the beach for the joy of it plus some driftwood hunting. All in all a great way to finish off wednesdays daylight =)