A return to waterworld

After even more torrential rain yesterday and overnight it was time to don the flippers and get back out there to explore the new maritime environment and I for one welcome our new aquatic overlords.

Considering the road leading to the fields looked like this I was pretty sure I was gonna get soooo wet

DSC02267.JPG
To the left is the stream ….
DSC02275.JPG
Yep waterlogged fields ahoy

Thing is that once your feet and legs are wet and the initial shock is done and dusted you’re fine. In fact the water acts as an insulator once it’s up to body temperature. This is my theory and I’m sticking to it. So my advice to any budding trail runners is that you can’t avoid getting wet so don’t tiptoe around it just bang straight on in there at speed and embrace it!

DSC02276.JPG
The waterfalls by the ruined mill were looking impressive today
DSC02280.JPG
As were the ones running onto the beach itself

I was gonna make this a short run but was enjoying myself so much I went off to do some more water hunting

DSC02284.JPG
But first I had to get past aggro cow and his “You looking at me?” expression
DSC02286.JPG
And “Orangucow” Part Orangutan part cow
dsc02290
A few miles on and the viws from the clifftops are great, especially when the sun breaks through. Thats one of the beaches I pebbleran yesterday
DSC02292.JPG
Thar she blows!  This stream was more of a trickle yesterday – Now to slide down to it
dsc02294
Clear as mud and quite strong but luckily jumpable
DSC02295.JPG
Stream 2 is the source of the waterfall from yesterdays post
DSC02305.JPG
And heres the top of it
DSC02309.JPG
The sun was still giving me some beautiful views
DSC02310.JPG
On a whim I detoured as it was still high tide and came across the old Watch House thingy in Derval Woods

The last 3 or 4 miles home were an uphill slog through completely waterlogged fields. I’m sure it’s building up strength in my legs but its a bloody killer at the time.

Even the cabbage field was a veritable stream, ankle deep freezing cabbage water anyone?

DSC02316.JPG
They even smell cabbagey despite being tiny

I leave you with another photo of the cliffs in sunlight. Always remember that any run can be a bit of an adventure. Just let your mind go wild and the body will follow. Invent and imagine and nothings a chore.

DSC02315.JPG

Splish splash and uphill dash – A photofest

When I woke this morning theweather was still evil. This week in Wales we’ve had thunder and lightning, hail, tornadoes (yes really) wind and rain ….lots of rain. I was resigned to scratching any hope of a run and then the sun peeped out! A chance.  A quick look at Will it rain today?  told me I had a window of opportunity. Off I went!

It had indeed been raining

dsc02237
Wet feet from the word go! No chance of hopping from rock to rock today
dsc02238
At the beach there were waterfalls in places I’d never seen before – Quite spectacular!

The tide was still quite high as I couldnt pick and choose my time so really I should have gone along the cliffs but I so wanted the beach so I chose a bit of a tricky option along the pebbles.

In fact around 2 miles of pebbles

DSC02243.JPG
Stretch one – These are a bastard to run on, it takes so much effort and concentration to get anywhere. Gives the legs a workout though and I bet there are many unused muscles in my feet and ankles saying WTF?

It did mean I found some cool fossils

dsc02244
Ammonite
dsc02246
I’m not even sure this is a fossil – It may be a fossilised fern but unsure
DSC02252.JPG
Possible fern number 2

Then onto stretch 2 of pebbles and rocks

DSC02250.JPG
I’m heading for the far point (Witches Point) at Southerdown – Pebbles, pebbles everywhere as far as the eye can see!
dsc02256
The waterfall between Wick and Witches was really going for it today
dsc02255
Got a nice photo of the rock stack, rckon this might be the winter it goes

My legs were really feeling the pebbles by the turn around point at Witches so I decided to really screw them up and run the cliff route back including running every hill – of which there are lots of steep ones.  I figured I might not get out much this week so might as well murder the legs today!

dsc02260
Running from beach level to up here is a killer
dsc02263
These were hurty and go on for aaages – Whoever did them hates runners as theres a different number of paces between each

I did 7 miles in 90 minutes which I’m very pleased with because the terrain wasn’t exactly conducive to a quick pace.  Even the fields were tough as they’re waterlogged.  I was also pleased with my overall flow today, even when I was working hard it felt under control and recovery from each climb was quick.

This one’s for the soul

Screw the body which didn’t really want to go anywhere and was happy to sloth around. My mind let the two fight it out a while and then the soul won and said I wanna see the beach.

So seven very tiring miles later I was feeling awesome just as I got home … go figure!

I think the photos explain why the soul usually wins

DSC02228.JPG
Perfect running weather
DSC02230.JPG
Sun for the soul
DSC02233.JPG
All seemed a bit atmospheric today
DSC02234.JPG
Capturing the scene was an artist painting away happily to herself

Just a run

No hangover this Sunday due mainly to everyone being depressed by the Welsh rugby game and going early and my apparent determination to run so calling it quits was easy.

So off I went into the blue skies and sunshine for a quiet 5 miles or so along the cliffs – Damn you tide dont you know its the weekend!?  About half a mile in I realised i’d forgotten my camera =(  Ahh well

Two things struck me about this run. Firstly for the first 2 or 3 miles I feel like it’s hard work and I can’t get into a rhythm and then it suddenly just clicks. Now I’m treating anything under 6 miles as “short” this isn’t too bad but it does mean that every single run I’m questioning myself about how I feel for a good while and I’d much rather be enjoying myself.

Secondly I ran in my old Adidas Kanadias and the difference felt huge after running in the Inov8 Xtalons (As I was going to visit my parents on the way back I knew there would be a mile or so of road which doesnt suit the talons)  The Xtalons give sooooo much more grip on the trail. They are without a doubt my go to technical shoe now.  They give a much more comfortable ride too. The Kanadias are fine but I wouldn’t want to do anything more than a short run in them these days.

As I had no camera there are no photos but with everyone talking about cold snaps and the approach of winter I give you some photos from 2010

13012010926.jpg
Soaky loved the snow> Here she is outside the pub I ran 
07012010908.jpg
One of her favourite games was chasing snowballs hence the snow nose
10012010909.jpg
Our attempt at a snowman ….

 

 

Sometimes you don’t need words

10 beautiful miles along the cliffs in bright sunshine. No pain in foot tho chest still lurgied. Can’t complain about what running gives you …. except crap photographs …. I suck at photographs. These are the best of a blurry bunch.

DSC02188.JPG
Monknash to Marcross
dsc02195
Marcross Lighthouse in the distance
dsc02206
Marcross lighthouse up close
DSC02209.JPG
View from Atlantic College to Llantwit
DSC02211.JPG
Unfotunately the roads are paved with leaves not gold

 

 

 

Roaming in the gloaming

Haven’t been out for 4 days! Between lurgi recovery and working late (ok relatively late for me) plus the evil of the clocks going back (I’m a firm believer in BST all year round, I’ve had an hour of daylight stolen from me and I’m sticking to that) it’s just been one of those weeks. So I was happy indeed to get home and out in the fading light.  In fact it seems like no time at all since I was doing the same last year.

In the spirit of ephemeralisimo it’s interesting to see how the different light conditions change the feeling of the land. Everything seems softer, almost more gentle.  I only did around 4 miles and as I havent been out for so long the legs were great, I even did a few sprints when the feeling just took me. Run in the moment I say. The chest isn’t great but I’m still battling lurgi. Everyone in my schools seems to be infected and it’s a hanger on. I imagine running as blasting out the crap (I won’t describe the blasting of lurgi from nose while running (unless you really want me too))

DSC02176.JPG
Dusk at the beach
DSC02184.JPG
Dusk in the fields