So for a change we did some walking. Well we walk a lot anyway but this was pre planned walking so its different. My friend heard of a long distance footpath called the Glamorgan Ridgeway which runs from Margam Park in the west to Caerphilly Castle in the east. There isn’t a huge amount of info about it online and from what i can make out parts of it are run down and wild.
The plan is to walk its length with the dogs over a period of time. So we will head off along the path until we find a suitable spot to begin the next section in a few weeks and then walk back to that sections start point where we left the car. This way we should actually manage to walk it both ways at the same time. Follow me? I wouldn’t we get lost a lot. Well on our initial recce visit we did get lost because we weren’t really trying and didn’t have great maps but on the inaugural first section last Sunday we made good progress and didn’t get lost at all.
So far we have around 5 or 6 miles done. We found a spot to pick up from last time and overall we were out for 4 hours and 20 mins which is probably enough for the dogs – well actually they were fine even the little one … see below
We will keep you updated with progress, im also going to work on a route guide and publish it online for anyone who wants to follow in our footsteps/pawprints
We have just over 2 weeks left in the countdown to the run over the other side. Battling a sore back at the moment that just seems to tweak nastily every now and again. But then again when have I ever run a race without an injury so it’s going to be a fingers crossed and hope its ok on the day kind of thing, even if its not perfect I reckon it’ll be good enough.
So crew is sorted and we have a vague plan, its handy to have a friend who is willing to spend all day driving and meeting up with me and listening to me moan about how everything hurts. She’s seen it all before in my first 50 miler and doesn’t really give a shit as long as she gets to spend the day with the dogs.
Its a two dog adventure again and Murph will get to spend the day with his new best buddy Dug. We’ve been getting some training in but also enjoying the chance to to walk too with Dug, he’s a Romanian rescue and although not quite as damaged as Murph he has some issues that are being ironed out. Judging by the photo avalanche below you will see what I mean.
We were pinned at home by the storms over the weekend, nothing long was really possible so we made do the best we could. Sunday was utterly dreadful and it doesnt take long for cabin fever to set in. But this week is half term and so we took our chance on monday. Although we didnt mean to – I have a slightly dodgy back at the moment, I felt it pull while lifting but I figured a few miles to see the folks and back wouldnt hurt.
So off we went and although the wind was still strong it was just fine. We extended a little and then some more and then figured well we might as well go a little further which led to us covering around 10 miles or so and we got to see the damage to our forest – which turned out to be surprisingly little just a few trees here and there.
I’ve lived alongside the Bristol Channel my whole life, it’s always been there and part of my life whether I’ve actively thought about it or not. Where I have always lived has been bounded on one side by a wide strip of water, I’ve never really thought about it, it’s just there. Being able to go to the beach just a mile or so away has always been part of life and I’ve never considered actually how lucky I am.
And for all my life the opposite side of the Bristol Channel has been called “The Other Side” and I’ve never thought about that either. People around here will say something like “It was such a beautiful day, you could see the other side so clearly” or “You couldn’t see the other side because of the fog” and everyone knows that the other side is simply the other side of the Bristol Channel.
I see the other side a lot as it’s visible from not only my home but also from the beach where I run a lot and the fields where I walk Murph. As I say it’s just a geographical feature on the horizon but lately I’ve started thinking about it a lot more. Like what does here look like from over there? And what does Foreland Point Lighthouse actually look like up close? I can see this lighthouse – or rather in the early morning or late evening dark I can see it’s distinctive repeating 4 flashes followed by a pause.
And how much of over there can I actually see from over here. And can I run the length of all the other side that i can see? In a day?
So the blue dot is Monknash beach and the two red arrows mark the section of the other side I can see from “our side”
Luckily (or not) the South West Coastal path runs along this section of coast too – in fact Minehead which will be my finishing point is actually the end of the SW path too. So the plan is to run from Bull Point Lighthouse in the west to Minehead in the east following the coastal path. A handy SW coastal path calculator tells me it’s around 43 miles with plenty of ascending and descending – One thing I learned about the SW coastal path while running an ultra on it a few years ago (on the south coast) is that it is rarely flat and there is a lot of steep climbing up and down into the coves.
17 hours is the walking estimate so I would be thinking closer to 10 or 11 but as ever it depends on so many factors.
Timing wise looking at spring 2022 because it’s the best weather for both myself and Murph to be doing this kind of thing – He cant do the full distance but he could do sections maybe. Well he could probably do the full distance but I would never make him try. I can make the choice to stop but he cant communicate that to me and I know he would just keep going. School holidays run from the 8th April 2022 to 25th. Easter weekend is the 17th so that’s one to avoid. Preseli is the 7th May this year and I’d like some recovery time between the two as I want to run the ultrabeast this year as it’s been a while and I know how hard that one is with the elevation too. I need to get some hills under my belt!
So it’s some consistent winter training coming u – Plan is to get after it avoid injury and stop the weather watching – Murph fetch your rain gear!
Our weekend runs always include a visit to see Murphs friends now. Today we saw them first and then headed for the fields and the beach.
As the sun rose the day just got better and better. It was one of those runs where you never want to go home. 9 miles later we eventually finished – mainly so we could eat, drink and go out again later.
I guess when the world goes a bit mad you just gotta hop on for the ride. So I figured what with my parents (hi mum and dad) self isolating I should get posting if nothing else to keep them up to date and entertain …yeah ok so maybe not entertain so much. But photos are always nice right!
So still running – cos its something I can do out here and see and have no contact with anyone (not gonna lie isolation is something I like) plus the dog needs to be out anyway. And with everything thats going on its good to be outside away from it all for a while. The good news – good news – whats that? Is that the body is actually holding up ok, things hurt but it all pales into insignificance right now anyway. Preseli obviously got cancelled so no ultra and fell races and thats the right decison.
So I shall continue to work away at my latest project which I shall unveil here – you are indeed the first to know – i wasnt going to ever mention it as it was just for me but it’ll give mum and dad something to follow. This year’s project is “2020 2000” which is in a nutshell my attempt to both run and walk Murph 2000 miles in the calender year. It’s a bit of fun and provides me a goal and doesn’t allow me to ever get lazy. I include both runs and walks because my body cant cope with a 2000 mile running year plus we also love the walks too. So far I’d say the milage is about 2/3 running to a 1/3 walking and im more than happy with that.
My sketchy records tell me to date We’ve done 424 miles which is good going considering the winter start, dark mornings and evenings and the awful weather. I shall keep you all updated periodically – I bet you’re on the edge of your seats eh? The only “rules” are that we have to do the walk or run together – no dog no count and it has to be at least half a mile to count.
I wasnt intending to run much this weekend, y’know the old let things heal thing but it was just so glorious out what else could I do? Those crisp mornings at dawn are irresistable and not just for me they seemed to entice Murph into a world consisting of zooming around like an idiot. I was happy for him to zoom while I plodded, 5 miles on saturday and 10 today and I feel fine. Sometimes all you need is zoomies (and a plod)
I was planning to post again here a little more regularly and then i didst because I never seem to find the time or inclination. maybe running doesn’t seem as important right now. As long as I’m out with murph how quick we move doesn’t seem to matter so much.
And I think I’ve been right. Just reading up here and hearing others going through so much worse than the odd running injury puts things in perspective. So yep we’ve been out putting in the miles ready for some big plans this year – assuming the body copes. But at the end of the day what’s really important is just living life and enjoying it.
I got my fingers crossed for you Ceej! Now enjoy some photos!
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 ….
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!