Don’t need gritters where I’m going

No not hell but the beach, major advantage of coastal running on days like this is the abundant salt. Not so good the rest of the year when it wrecks your shoes apparently.

It was extremely cold and the windchill was a killer but worth it to get out to see some cool stuff….

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Like iron underfoot and an ankle killer in fields with horses
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Soft snow, in fact probably the best bit of the run for shelter
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Arctic beach with first icicles
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More impressive icicles
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Cave surrounding icicles
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The waterfall is on a break
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I liked the way this one was frozen in the act of being blown to the left
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I climbed the ladders to get up on the cliffs – may have been a mistake as I lost all my shelter and it was bastard freezing up there.. Boring photo really but I took it to remiond me next time i’m dying of heat exhaustion in an ultra that I did the hard yards in winter
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Amazing really, for about a minute I could see the sun. One minute – when i was cold and tired again. I swear its Soaks 😉 Said thanks anyway
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Opposite the snow has been very kind and traced out my hill repeat training route

Brecon wander

Went up the Brecon beacons yesterday.  Out into the bits people don’t tend to go and just hiked around a bit with the dog.  It was pretty cold, then hot, then windy then not. Hey im a poet! We didn’t follow the paths mainly as there weren’t any. Its quite liberating and definitely fun to just go where you please. This did mean we spent a few hours or so falling in bogs, marshes and swamps (we havnt worked out which is which yet) but wet feet is a given these days.  Plus Tilly the dog loved every minute of it even if she couldnt see over the grass much of the time I guess.

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Pro tip – Park the car by a big obvious mountain like this one so you dont lose it
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Technically we should have been over there but I cannot tell a lie – my directions are shit
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Standing stone doing what it does best
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Waterfall – slightly on the wonk
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Frozen “waterfall” / trickle
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Is that the mountain by the car? Oh …
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Look I CAN take photos – Tilly in her snazzy coat
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Ok we put the dog with short legs on the rock for a photo shoot, she didnt leap there – tiny legs and all that. Though she did exceptionally well seeing as its not really short dog terrain
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Reservoir points to car (backup in case of loss of mountain)
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“Over there is bog…. over there is marsh ….. over there is swamp” ( I fell in most of them)

Going longer with a wonky leg and sunshine

The plan continues – run longer, take a day or two off to rest ankle then run longer.  Each time the ankle takes longer to hurt more, it was fine til around 12 this time.  Everything feels stronger. Might be the yoga (yep I’m still doing it although the breathing side of it mystifies me. I wanna breathe when I need oxygen dammit I cant wait for my arms to be over there ——>  ) might be the general stretching, might be the work on the bike (and parents exercise bike – cheers for that even though I broke it immediately) might be the wobble board. Might be a lot of things but I’m feeling more optimistic about things holding together.

While checking out my ankles – yeah we all do it I’m sure. I’ve noticed that my right leg is considerably bigger than my left, I did spot it a while back but its definitely more pronounced, Im gonna look like a leggy version of popeye at this rate. I guess its from the right leg doing all the hard work – all the pushing up onto rocks and taking the impact when dropping off them. In fact any time I need to drive up anything the right leg does all the work as I protect the left foot and ankle. Cant be helped so Ill just look weird in shorts I guess!

Anyway enough waffling about my wonky body, bring on the photos!

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Rainbow! See it this time dad?
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It was pretty damn amazing down there – hence a 4hr training session
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Can you blame me for staying out as long as I could?
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Molehills on a hill!  Highest moles in the Vale
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Sun starts dropping and time to go home

Better to light a candle than curse the darkness

Day two of the storm and I decided to put into action something I’d been thinking about for a while but oddly never did. I took some rubbish sacks to the beach and filled them, pinned them under rocks at it was still pretty galeforce then ran another six miles or so, came back and hauled the bags up the path to where the road meets the trail. After I got home and showered I drove to pick up the bags and drop them in with my rubbish at home.

It’s a tiny dent and judging by the amount of plastic debris its a Sisyphean task but I figure as the title says it’s better to do at least something than sit and moan.  Plus running up the path with the bags is giving the old arms a workout too so can’t complain. I’ll just keep chip chipping away.

 

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You lot (inside of a fridges insulation) go in ….
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there.
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It was still kinda windy – The waterfall was having issues reaching the ground again

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Errr thursday?

All these days run into one amorphous mess so I think this was thursday or friday, does it really matter? It was a run and judging by the photos and where I was it was around the 11 mile mark. So in running order …..

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Start off with the carrot delivery
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Rainfall means the waterfall has ramped up its efforts
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Good day for it
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From Nash Point which leads tme to believe it was at least 11 miles if I did the photo above too

Its that time of year again ..

Yes indeed it is time for me to unveil this years beachcombed xmas tree! This years required  10 miles of running and searching and 3 miles of carrying back on my shoulder (its a bit bigger than last years hence it being rammed against my ceiling which also mae for tricky navigating under trees and over stiles on way back) The sun was sort of out though so made for a pleasant morning and I was happy with my discovery.

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Work of xmas art or crime against xmas?

Oh yeah I found waterfall rainbows too

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Boat race!

Not the Oxford v Cambridge type but today included a race against a boat along the coast. The run started normally as per usual.  Down to the beach and along to Witches Point.

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Tide was right out so the reef was very exposed – Note the slanty photo angle ….
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The recent deluges means the waterfall is alive!

At Witches Point I stopped to turn to return home (around 3 and a half miles) and noticed a sailboat just coming around the point and headed with the wind in the direction homeards…..

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If you can spot the boat … youve got better eyesight than me – but I promise its there

I wonder if Im faster than a sailboat over 2 miles? Even better a boat that doesnt know its in a race. The course was set – me v boat to the headland in the photo below. I had some rocks to traverse but I reckoned I could do it

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So as the boat drew level I was off.  Boats actually go much quicker than they seem when you’re trying to keep level so for the 2 miles or so I was going pretty much flat out. I was pleasantly surprised that I could do the first mile over a lot of rocks at 7 minute pace but the boat was keeping level. The second mile was just wet sand and with some determination and complete disregard for my health I managed a 6 minute mile (probably the first and only in my life) to come in just ahead of the boat. Winner winner chicken dinner!

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Boat slightly behind!

Next up a speedboat ….. kidding …. Last risk taken before the ultra …. probably