Splendid Isolation

Once again I haven’t blogged in weeks. It’s not like I have nothing to blog about I just never seem to sit down to do it these days. Doesn’t help being back in work after the summer off, having a cold, a mental dog etc etc All excuses of course. Luckily I always have time to get out with Murph.  usually two big walks or runs a day, usually to the beach. I calculated last week I was up in the 60 mile range of walk/run so it’s no wonder my feet and ankles are feeling pretty battered.  Theres not much I can do about it though.

Take rest everyone screams in the running world when you feel injuries and those niggles. Rest it! Rest it!  I can’t, not out of stubborness and stupidity (Been there seen it done it) but because I have aforesaid mental dog who needs the exercise. So I really have no option but to hope things hold together!  Im sure they will, I stretch and roll my feet (Got a great foot massage roller thingy that looks a bit like a sex toy)

So splendid isolation?  Its that time of the year again which I love, I love Autumn not just for the season itself but because the beach empties and I have it pretty much to myself again until spring.  Being a rescue Murph has some difficulties with people and as his confidence has grown his defence mechanism has switched from running away from people to barking at them.  I know he’s fine and wont hurt people hes just saying “stay the fuck away from me” but hes quite large and scary if you dont know him so I almost (almost) feel sorry for people when he charges up to them baring his teeth and barking.  He is responding better to commands though and I can usually haul him off before kids cry.

So here are the latest batch of photos. A random mix of walks, runs and ….. well just see

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Dawn at the beach is always special
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Sunrise in the fields (awful photo technically but i like it)
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Little fluffy (pink) clouds – for you SRG
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Sunlight through the woods
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Splendid isolation in full swing
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Eerie evenings
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Then fun in the sun
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Stroll with friends
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If you’re digging a hole then i’m digging a hole
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Blue skies
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Random cat in a pot in neighbours garden
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poser

Old to New

Time to semi-retire my Inov8 xtalon 200’s I think. They can go in the back of the van for impromptu runs.  I think probably the best recommendation for running shoes is that I bought exactly the same pair to replace them. I find them that comfortable (for a stripped down shoe) and wouldnt run in anything else if I know I’m doing technical stuff. The grip is utterly fantastic and I love that I can really feel the rocks under my feet. I feel confident in my foot placement so much more in the 200’s.

But after around 3-400 miles I can see materials starting to tear and I want to run Cornwall in them – or the same model at least so I’ve got a new pair to break in ready.

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This is what hundreds of miles of battering on all sorts of terrain does to a shoe. Im mystified as to how they appear to have shrunk but both old and new shoes fit me perfectly well (they are both size 11) Its a testament i think to the quality of Inov8 shoes that they have lasted this long and to be honest there are miles left in them.

To be honest the new ones don’t even take any breaking in, I did 7 miles in them yesterday and felt perfect from the off.

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We did seaweed and rocks
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We did more rocks and revelled in the grip
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We did sand in lovely patterns
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We did forest trails

Welcome to the world new shoes – I’m gonna wreck you!

 

 

Winding down …. ish

Tuesday it was back to normal following the Easter weekend. Well I say normal but of course I’m still off work 😉

So a quick 6 miler in the sun to stretch the legs. Along the cliffs to Cwm Mawr and back.

It feels a little odd at the moment with just over 2 weeks to go until the Preseli Beast. I’m now trying to maintain where I’m at without getting injured which feels almost like I’m putting the brakes on myself when the weather is sunny like this. Perhaps its overcaution but I really don’t want to screw myself over after 4 months of training for this run so I guess it’s listen to the body and force myself to rest every few days …. like today … hey I get to catch up with everyones blogs (and mine)

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Bane of a trailrunners life or a chance to stop and take in the scenery?
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Competition time – Spot the crow?
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Woods at Cwm Mawr which is the perfect turning point for 6

When Trail Running goes a bit Blair Witch

Thought I’d have a change of scenery today so I ran the trails around St Brides common (St Brides being the next village to us). I used to walk Soak up here a bit so I knew a little of the area but not that much, today was as much about getting out into different conditions, finding a few hills and just going where the trail took me.  It turned into an 8 mile jaunt which I didn’t really intend to do but I felt fresh and the way i’m feeling at the moment i’m not too worried about the legs for the half on sunday so while the weathers good why not do a little more?

So my journey in photos

 

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Nice easy trail to kick off with some sand to get the muscles working
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Looking down on the River Ogmore
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I ran floodplains
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And saw some geese (Possibly Canadian Geese I don’t know, I’m no avian expert)
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However I know a swan when I see one
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My phone kindly made a panorama for me without being asked
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Climbed a hill – ended up on a golf course. Variation is the spice of life and all that
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First lamb of the year spotted!
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Ok so when is a left turn not the right turn?  When the trail stops and you end up in the woods running along a 45 degree slant with no path.
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Still lost in the woods and it’s all going Blair Witch (Ok I’m using some poetic licence here, I sort of knew where I was I just couldn’t be sure. We used to play around here as kids but it looks different now)
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Success! This is where I was trying to find. the old quarry at Castle Upon Alun.  Scarily we used to happily climb these cliffs as kids with no safety gear whatsoever. Ahhh the feeling of being an indestrucible young un.
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It actually gave me chills realising how steep these things actually are
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Took the scenic route back – All uphill it seemed
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I pass this tree everyday on the way home from work. I call it the “fuck you tree” For some reason it was felled years ago but in defiance it is determined to sprout again and keeps growing year on year.  Can you draw inspiration from a tree?  I do, it reminds me that whenever life beats you down you don’t give up. You get up, dust yourself off, say “fuck you” and grow again.

So all in all a great run which put a smile on my face, especially the ending with my inspiring tree which i’ve wanted to take a photo of for a while and today serendipity happened.

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