Always learning

You cant teach an old dog new tricks?  I dont believe in that or I wouldnt be running ultras right now and you can certainly teach a young dog lots of tricks.  What I am learning is that I don’t really need to batter my body to pieces in order to keep at a good level of fitness, my running milage is lower but the quality is higher and I am guessing my overall milage if you include walking has risen thanks to Murph.

I could be running more but it seems less important than just spending time on my feet  and making Murph happy, dont get me wrong he loves running too but sometimes its just nice to chill and enjoy watching him play especially when its hot.  I can judge how im feeling and turn up and down the intesity but Murph doesnt have that option, he’s flat out no matter how hot it is and its the responsible thing to do not to push him. Its a nice balance im finding at the moment. Plus I’m suffering less pain in the ankle and toe and figure it cant be a bad thing to let things heal a little, it was a long hard training block up to Preseli and although its hard to switch off from that mentally its the right thing to do.

So I havent run all week but have been to the beach a dozen times and only this morning we ran and it was a nice change and was nice to run pain free, only 3 miles but enough

As for young dogs learning new tricks – This week we nailed sit!

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Sit!
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See those teeth – do not stick your hand in his mouth even if its only playing – Im learning 😉
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Happy running
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Posing again

Karma

I believe in karma. Or essentially what goes around comes around. It works both ways, bad and good karma.  Learned the hard way and seen it happen thankfully to others who deserved it (Yes I have a mean streak a mile wide)

So yesterday I had to go out mid morning and decided to fit in a quick 4 mile or so run to the Barrow mound on the cliffs as the tide was in.  When I got there it was beautiful and sunny.

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Like this kinda sunny

So I headed back and passed coming the other way a group of kids doing their Duke of Edinburgh type stuff, all with their packs on etc  I met one group at a stile and the first two kids just ignored me stood there dripping with sweat and breathing hard and then a girl at the back said “wait everyone let the person through” (Im not sure that they knew what gender I was due to the long hair) and so I hopped over and thanked them and ran on.

A mile or so later I got to the beach and found one of them had dropped their sleeping mat.  So what do you do? I was in a rush as I had an appointment to keep, I had already run 3 or 4 miles hard pace and they were headed in the opposite direction and all uphill. You know what – the tipping point of making me grab it and run as hard as I could to catch them (they move fast these damn kids) over 2 miles or so at 6-7 minute uphill pace (good training hey) was that the girl had called out to let me through and they did.

So I caught them eventually utterly fucked and they were I think amazed that I had done that for one of them – all I could gasp was “Its a bastard sleeping out without a mat” and trotted off – thankfully downhill and home. Ok so I was a little late. So what – And thats karma.  Just the little things can come back to you. And maybe those kids saw a small  gesture from a stranger and might just try it themselves.

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Should have nicked it for myself it was a nice one too (Joking of course)

Quick update

Had a few things going on lately so only a few runs this week. At the moment it feels fine and the body can probably use the lessened milage.  Its only three weeks to the Preseli Ultrabeast and in a way I feel like I peaked in the last few weeks so it’s more a case of just keeping the sharpness there.  I don’t want an injury. Though I have noticed that despite not running for 3 days the fankles still hurt as normal. I guess they’re just damaged in general although the amount of time I spend on my feet at work doesnt probably help much.

So what did I do this week …

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I ran in some cool sea mists – Always love it when the weather does this even if the rest of the village doesn’t get to see any sun
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I found a rope – I found a rope than ran home with it. Why? Do I just like ropes? All will be revealed

Clipping Wings

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.

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Tides in
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Feisty little bugger on the left saw me off!
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Hard not to fly on days like these

More more

I was torn on sunday about whether to run until I saw the weather and then figured my fankles (new word covering my feet and ankles) would survive one more push.  The last few runs I’ve been trialing a thin ankle support and it seems to be making a difference.  Plus I wanted to get used to running on tired legs and so another longish run was the order of the day.

A further 12 miles with as much climbing as I could get in (going all the way up Witches Point as hard as I could go after 7 or 8 miles surprised me)

I also had some sad news on saturday night – Master Robert had died. He was a lovely old guy who lived in the big house at the Cwm and owned the Bruce Estate.  He loved the beach and area as much as I do and was always picking up litter. Guess I’m the only one left doing that now.

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Will be odd to run past here knowing he isn’t around. Often used to stop to chat with him.
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Still – life goes on and so does the run. Racing the tides today
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Just the perfect morning to be out before the trippers
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I found a map! Still exploring the Dunraven end of my run
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Badly focused cookie – Best thing about long distances – I eat what i feel like out there
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Tide racing – Tide won – Still the odd rock scramble never hurt anyone
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Always worth it

So in the last 4 days I covered 37 miles of pretty hard going terrain.  The fankle, although aching a little is holding up. I’m just utterly knackered. Few days off I think

Always better in the sun

Did 11 on sunday and got back into running with a pack. Its not particulary necessary but the extra water and bananas are nice and I’d better get used to it as Preseli is signed up for (32 ultrabeast) and thats about 10 weeks.

Went along the beach and as the tide was dropping went out past Southerndown on rocks rather than cliffs. The terrain there is a little tricker.

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Seriously cool erosion going on here
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Twas a nice day and over here I cant see people!
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A smidgen of rainbow
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Broken ankles ahoy!
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Best thing for sore ankle?  Freezing cold streams – Also handy for cleaning shoes. These are my current favourites – La Sportiva Mutants – These things do everything!

Looking at the long game

Short midweek run this week of 5 miles up the cliffs as the tide was in.  Only the one run in the week – unheard of!  The ankle is still niggling me so I figured more rest would help it plus I’m doing a little more work on flexibility and recovery including taking first steps at yoga! Yes indeed yoga. My suppleness could be best described as like an old oak tree, the trunk and major branches dont flex at all but I can move my twigs.

Where the hell do you start with yoga?  I started by asking the best in the business – Ceejay! Who very very kindly sent me huuuuuuge emails with instructions, videos, advice and encouragement for which I’m extremely grateful. Also brought it home how much support and help I get from the readers of this blog. Something I certainly didnt anticipate when I started it. So huge thanks to Ceejay and to all of you, the smallest messgae always means a lot and raises motivation =)

So if you are interested in yoga hop over to her blog and take a read.

So I’ve done it twice now and its harder than I thought, the 20 minute starting video I followed was manageable as long as I paused it long enough to work out how the hell to bend over there while keeping this bit straight over here.  So I did what I could and one day I will flex more and will be able to follow properly and better.

As for the long game – Well UTMB released their qualifying rules this week and as per usual I kinda jumped the gun, OCC now requires 6 points in 2 races this year onwards and not 4 – So the races I have planned this year get me 4 and to get the 6 I will need to do a 4 pointer or higher.  Thats out of the question this year – its planned, 3 ultras I really want to do, Preseli, Scafell and Sweden plus various other plans. And 4 pointers are basically 50 miler minimum. So I guess thats for next year. It’s a long game and I’m more than happy to be patient and wait a further year. I’m not pushing and breaking myself to rush a 50 or qualifying, it happens when it happens.

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Theres the motivation – hey look how round my face used to be!