Happy Mothers Day!

I shall wantonly use my blog to say a big happy mothers day to my mum (of course) cos she’s the best!  I wouldnt be where I am and who I am if it wasn’t for her.  She is also one of teh few people Murph actually likes and is honoured to be able to get him to sit (even if it does a require a treat)

Speaking of Murph I of course couldnt not post some photos. Things have been fairly quiet on the running front, just taking it easy and praying everything fixes up in time for Preseli … My usual theory prevails. Im either in the process of getting injured, recovering from injury or wondering if ive recovred from injury yet. Goes with the territory I guess. We have been however doing 3 or 4 miles of walking before work and the same after each day so thats time on feet and so im not that worried about any race specific training ..yet

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Some new friends
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It all got mysterious and misty the other night – However my usual photography skills totally failed to capture it
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Murph being pursued by Tilly
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A better one of the little buddies
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Look what I brought you ….
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Dawn has been cool this week
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Love this one. I shall call it dog at dawn

 

Whats in a name

Well if they’re going to name a storm after you then it would be rude not to go and run in it.  I do love running when theres a breeze but when its a full on gale it aint so easy …. for half the run at least.  At least we’ve avoided the rain so far, wind fine and rain fine just not together please. Just ticking along at the moment as the mind turns to the first ultra in may. As usual theres paranoia over every niggle but they all go away (he says fingers crossed) eventually. And it’s always better to be out than not. If not for my sake for this ones ….

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Took a rest while Murph dug holes for the sea to fall in … the sea won
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There was even sun … photos just dont capture the wind right
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Looking good
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Dino footprint?
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Posing

Half Term training

Well you cant fault the weather – Well unless its due to climate change in which case in the long run I’d prefer snow but I guess thats another story. It does mean that every morning we get out for a beautiful walk first thing for 4 or 5 miles and then get some training done in the afternoon.  I have some weird tight pain in my glutes still – I mean its being going on for ages – but in fact running actually helps it. its when i sit for any lengthg of time it gets angsty – so hey ho if running fixes it then im down for that!

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Morning starts for a blurry dog
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Always beautiful and beautifully empty
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Exit squirrel stage left
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Afternoon passing through Llantwit beach
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Dawn tides
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Argghhhghhhhhhhh

Does running make you as happy as this …

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Thats one happy doggo.  We’re both happy to be out and running, so much so it seems I never update the blog. And I say that every single time I post now!

Something else I say every year at this time and I’m always too early is – Doesnt it feel like spring!  I just got back from a beautiful run and whether its february or not it felt like spring!

So what have we been up to? Plenty of runs and plenty of rest days so the niggles dont become injuries. Plus a hiking trip to the Brecon Beacons with friends.

Trust me people winter is officially over – its spring!  (Bet we get more snow)

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Sometimes we run. Sometimes we stand still
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Oh hai – got any treats?
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So if you’re gonna climb a tree ….. so am I. Now what?
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oh right I got to help you down!
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Adventure buddies waiting on treats

Bah Flu Wah

Every time I feel like im getting into a groove something like flu kicks in. This week has been mainly a writeoff, to be fair the flu didnt properly kick in until later in the week but last weekend saturdays run was around 10 miles and I felt amazing. Then on sunday everything was broke. Just felt bleuuurgh from the off. So you know what, I walked a lot of it, we did 6 miles or so but half run half walk and normally I cant get away from that “cheating” feeling when I walk but I figure its better to be out there doing something than nothing at all. I know Murph would prefer it!

So with 3 months to the first ultra and with a few fell races in between I feel like I cant get a solid training block started … and then i realise I havent really stopped and the fitness is there anyway so whats the worry.

Technically I shouldnt go out and run today but y’know…. techincally we’re all dead one day so im gonna seize this one

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Great subject – terrible photography skills
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Nights are drawing out
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We had a bit of snow – Murph loves it!
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Frosty morning at Nash Point
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Waterfalls of course
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Our forest in between the showers
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Sepia tinged doggo

Just find the joy

We’re still out there. And we’re just enjoying being out and training. By training I just mean running when we feel like it – which for Murph would be every day if he could but for his old man it means when I know the body can take it. No matter because we can always walk anyway!

It really is such a joy to be out with a dog again, I think I’d forgotten how much pleasure you can get just by making an animal so happy. Gotta admit Soaks is probably up there watching and thinking Thank God he never made me run like that, she was definitely a walking dog. But Murphy was born to run (to be fair its his genetics) and watching him bounce around and be a general lunatic with a huge grin on his face is a simple way of making any hurt I’m feeling disappear.  It’s so easy to melt a mile away in his company.

We’ve seen some pretty cool sunsets recently too

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Giant dog!
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This is actually early morning not dusk
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First snowdrops!
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Looking handsome
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Last nights clouds – Looking a bit ominous with snow forecast
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Training partners

What goes up

 

Something different for this year as I’ve joined the WFRA (Welsh Rell Running Assocaiation) and decided to run some fell races this year. Not just the long ones I’ve already done such as Preseli but the short ones too. To see what it’s like as much as anything. i’ve never run a race less than 11 miles so I have no idea how to pace myself in races such as the one I did yesterday up in the Brecon Beacons near Llangorse. It was 3 miles and pretty much straight up and down – around 1000ft of climbing and descent.

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Up and down this one – Mynydd Llangorse

As seems to be the case with races when you turn up everyone looks extremely fit and serious and in the majority of cases younger. Everyones got the kit and does stretching and stuff and looks like they know what theyre doing so instead I went and bought a coffee and sat with Murph (Everyone needs a co-pilot for map reading) in the van until the start time.

Lining up I considered my options (never plan too early it brings on self doubts) and as the start was literally stright uphill through fields at some crazy angle I decided the best plan was to go full gas until the wheels came off. I figured that 3 miles is a short run for me and it would be worth going nuts to see what happened. So off we went and to my surprise I found myself able to hang with the lead group as they charged off at some suicidal pace straight up. After a while it levelled out into a flatter climb and I found I could hang on there too.  Then came a bastard of the main climb as per the image above and I dropped back a bit as eventually the wheels started to come off and although the legs felt really good I simply couldnt get enough oxygen in to keep up full speed. This is what comes of long long training with little speedwork I guess.

Up at the top it was foggy, windy and mercifully not as steep, we hit the trig point (kudos to the marshall up there!) and started the steep and in places slippery descent.  By now I was running alone and was guessing the best lines to take (fell running allows you to pick a route in many sections) but made it down as fast as I could without blowing out my ankles. I did miss one turn slightly which cost me 20 seconds or so and 2 places but finally the line was in sight and its a joyous (yeah right) bound through the line.

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Me bounding joyously through the line – Thats as joyous as I get

I didnt really have a clue what time I’d done or where I’d placed, there were the serious looking runners milling around the finish so more coffee, went to watch the presentations and then off out with Murph to give him some time.

And here’s the mad bit – when I saw the results later on their website – I was 17th in a time of 28′ 06′ – Which I’m utterly astounded by.  I had no idea how to run the race and out of 70 odd runners came in the top 20.

So what did I learn about short races – go full gas and redline it until the wheels fall off and then pray that no-one catches you on the descent.  I really enjoyed it as a change to the longer stuff, less time to think and more time to really hurt – for a shorter time.  Mynydd Ddu who organised it did a superb job and it was a great event to kick off the year, I’ll see what happenes next – Might even do some speedwork in training …. or not