Last few weeks have been a holding pattern – for much of the world I think. I was musing on the run the other day – last week was my birthday and that morning I planned to get up early and do a long run. I didn’t have much of a plan, it was more a case of throw some food and water in a pack and head out with Murph to enjoy the day before anyone else was awake. As it turned out we did 17 miles and were out for 4 hours plus – which I was happy with, much of the route was beach and much of it was rocky so progress was slow but we loved every minute. Even when with an hour to go the heavens opened and the chill cut in.
I digress – I was musing about the lockdown and how I felt about it. I have friends who are frustrated, depressed and can’t wait until its over – Which is understandable. So I was trying to work out why I feel so relaxed about it all, of course I can get out with the dog that helps but I genuinely am content to sit and wait and sit and wait and sit and wait. You can’t rush this thing, you can’t fight it, you might as well punch fog. No point in being angry it just needs riding out.
And then I figured perhaps I cope because it’s similar in a way to ultrarunning. You grind through it, you chop it down to step by step, you don’t look at the ending, you can’t look at the ending because it’s so far away and that distance is overwhelming. So perhaps ultrarunning has taught me patience and how to deal with living in the moment and taking one step at a time. The goal will come, we will get through this, you can’t rush it, the finish line comes when it comes. You might as well do what you can to enjoy the ride. In last years 50 miler there were moments I wished for the end, 10 miles out I was praying for the line to come, it couldn’t come fast enough. I look back and I see the mistake I made. I concentrated on the end not the journey. It’s inconceviable to me now I did that, I would give anything to be out there right now 40 miles into a race but out in the mountains and in pain. To try to enjoy that last 10 miles instead of wishing them to end.
No those last 10 miles weren’t pretty but they could have been if I’d chosen to embrace them not hate them. It might be a poor anology with people dying out there and losing jobs but times pass and we get one shot, embrace it all, even the shit bits.
Monday to friday and a run every day and nothings hurting too bad and so feeling pretty good about things. Nothing special or spectacular but a 30 odd mile week right now feels good again. Plus I like it when its cooler, everyones now moaning about rain …. you cant win. Well I can, rain = less people and beach to myself and Murph.
Kids do it naturally as do animals so why do adult humans prfer to walk? Just one of those “while im out running thoughts” I had while another 9 miles flew past yesterday in the sun (and then the clouds came in but hey)
Is it possible to feel too good? Some days I just want to fly and I know if I fly I can break. It’s at the point now where 8 or 9 miles after work (Gotta love BST) feel compltely fine and natural and keep my head in such a good place. I can go faster but I know I dont actually need to go faster. It’s just a matter of having to put the brakes on and it’s hard to drop pace, I naturally keep dropping pace to around 8 to 8.30 minute miles which over that terrain is ridiculous and unsustainable for my body but it just feels so good to fly.
Now the nights are closing in I get to run at dusk which I do love (even if the haunted woods still give me the heebie jeebies in the dark) but with a headtorch (Remind me to get batteries) its a lot of fun and a nice change to see nature in different ways and states.
On my way to the beach though I noticed a bit of nature in trouble (do farm animals count as nature?) After a while you learn to tell when an animal isn’t just grazing and this one was definitely stuck in a fence – Like this one is obvious! Sheep are kinda stupid.
Well I could have left it for the farmer to sort as I know he does rounds on a quad checking the stock – But what if he missed this dude? To the rescue!
Pulling a sheep backwards out of a fence when it has its head rammed through a small square of wire is tougher than it sounds! Especially as the sheep is scared and pulling forward back into the fence. lets face it with me behind it pulling one way and it pulling the other from a distance I could have been arrested for indecency. Finally I got it free and off it ran as fast as it could without a word of thanks! It also managed to get stuck in the coldest, muddiest stream ever …
So off I continued to the beach and lo and behold what awaits me but more nature …
I had heard these were being washed up in West Wales and was hoping to find one – The little bugger was only around 8 inches long but a jellyfish is a jellyfish – size is immaterial!
This one I didn’t touch – I presume the small ones sting too
Oh yeah and I did some running – sometimes thats almost secondary!
Last weekend (I know I know) I went for a run during storm Brian – You cant not run in a storm! Especially not at the beach. It was hell windy and the tide was in so I got to to the clifftops in a gale … no dont worry I satyed way away from the edge
The wind and high tides made the sea pretty cool – Everything was so wild and blown out if it wasnt so cold and windy I could have watched it for ages.
I did come across some rather photogenic sheep apparently completely oblivious to the conditions ….
Then when I got home I had to move a load of stuff from the landing pre decorating which meant moving all my running shoes … not sure I have enough …
You ever have one of those runs where everything feels like its clicking? It was hot yesterday so I doubted I would really enjoy the run but a cooling breeze on the clifftops plus a pair of legs that were really up for it led to a tempo run for much of it. I’m still being careful not to push too hard but when it feels right then go for it!