I’m not sure I’m getting the idea of the HR monitor. At the moment I’m like a kid with a new toy which does lots of things but uses it the wrong way. Today at the beach I wanted to see how high I could make it go and then see how quickly I could bring it back down again. This may be called interval something or others (thanks SRG) but I shall call it arrghhghgh ooooohhhh.
It’s probably not doing me much good but I like it and thats what counts to me. I don’t do it by increasing pace but instead by running harder on technical ground. I figure although I am increasing my chances of decking it I’m less likely to pull any muscles. Don’t worry I’ll get bored of looking at the watch again soon.
It’s easy to get it back to normal by fossil hunting too! Found this today in a shale bed.
Although it was wet and cold I loved being out alone on the beach for another 7 miles.
So off I went again to gather more running data from my new watch and hr monitor. Well ok thats not why I went I just wanted to be out in the sun at the beach but a little data gathering cant hurt too. It all looks very much like the first day only I managed to spike my heart at 180 something this time. Its the rocks I tells ya!
So for xmas I got a Suunto Ambit – cheers mum & dad! My Garmin was fine but the battery doesnt last more than 4 hours and this year I’m going to be out past that at least a few times. It also came with a heart rate monitor which of course I had to try out. I’ve never used one before but didnt notice it was there so I may use it again as the data is interesting. At this point all the heart rate based runners here might want to look away!
So I’m no data expert but I have a feeling I’m not meant to be spending the vast majority of the run in the hard and very hard categories and lets not talk about the 8 minutes running at max. I’m kinda sceptical as surely these are arbitrary categories and the watch has no clue what’s hard for me :p I also noticed that where I’m working really hard has less to do with pace but rather the terrain so my HR climbs when I’m on the rocks.
I think it will all make more sense once I’ve got a wider base of data to terrify myself with. I’ll give the watch a review once I’ve used it for a while too.
As for the run it was a beautiful boxing day on the beach.
Just a quick run today before the tide swallowed up the beach. Only a 5 mile run – I’m not sure when 5 miles became a short run but apparently it has in my mind so I’m happy to let things sit that way mentally.
I don’t know why cliffs currently have my attention but they do.
Back to the beach today … well no not the beach but the cliffs as the tide was in. No matetr it was time to practice some more hills. I’m slowly improving on climbing. Hills which would make me out of breath or get my heart pounding before are now climbed slightly easier. They still hurt but I can feel the effort I’m putting into them is lessening. This is good news for the incoming 2017 races. Another 8 miles which I’m sure is getting easier in tiny increments.
The sun was out as I began.
I passed the stack and got a photo from above. Still amazes me it stays upright.
Up and around Witches Point
As I reached Witches the weather came in so fast there was little I could do but run back in the rain. Not that I really minded its all part of the game. A little sun, a little rain, who cares when you can go out and see the things I saw today.
Took a jaunt up to the Brecon Beacons today to have a run up Pen Y Fan again. Closest we get to mountains in South Wales. I took a different route this time from the south . I parked up, got changed and headed off with a pack full of food, water and actual safety items such as a whistle and foil blanket. I knew the weather was supposed to turn early afternoon so this was an up and downer fairly rapidly.
The best laid plans and all that. My navigational skills are sketchy at best and the thing about the brecon beacons is that eveything looks the same, no wonder the SAS die out here in training.
After a false start and sinking up to my calves in mud in a forest I found the route to the mountains – in the cloud somewhere. So I had a minds eye picture of where I was and where everything else was but it was meaningless if everything else was shrouded in mist.
Ok I think its that way ————>
Following the sheep tracks was fun up the side of a mountain. Ocassionally my brain would say “ummm you dont know where you’re going” but I shut it off and ran a bit more. I figure there are two important directions on a mountain – up and down. So I followed what I could make out as a ridgeline upwards.
The wind was really picking up now and I packed on some more layers and kept going up and up and up. And then …. The summit! Only it definitely wasn’t Pen Y Fan – I’d have recognised that even in fog but it was somewhere I’ve never been before.
The view was …… well
I had a choice now to either follow a path off the top but this would mean I was getting really, really lost now instead of just lost and I knew the weather would worsen so I took the sensible option of coming back down the way I came.
Once down in the visibility zone as I shall now call it I followed the tracks wherever they went as long as they headed in the vague direction of the car. Which took me past the skunk sheep!
And then to a fantastic waterfall where I stopped to eat something. The whole run was only around 8 miles but I brought food so I was damn well eating it.
And looking back on a great morning getting cold, wet, lost and tired. I may not have found the mountain I was looking for but I found what I wanted in the end.
Today is a rest day so time to catch up with the blog and mondays run. Timed the beach again for low tide and rolled out in the Altras for a change. Although I love the feeling of comfort in them the difference in grip and stability to the Inov8s is huge so I think no more rock runs in them, they can hang around for the days there’s little technical stuff.
Another 5 miles on tired legs hence the rest day today. Always feels great to be out no matter how the legs feel though
So sunday was a recovery run, why I seem to be posting every run a day late I have no idea. But still I was out there doing a slowish 5 miles. I had to reverse a route starting with a hill up a road as I’d managed to leave the house without a key but luckily as I am used to doing this I have keys stashed with various friends and family all over the place. So I trotted to my friends house, gave his dog a cuddle which got it so excited it peed on the floor and then headed off to the beach via Wick ladders for once.
This reminds me, on saturdays run I passed 3 walkers at Monknash beach, by the time I had been round Witches etc they were stood on the beach near the ladders and flagged me down as they were panicing that this was the only way off the beach. Ever the helpful I directed them the mile or so to the path up Witches point which they might stand a better chance at …. maybe. As I left with a cheery wave the lady called “and congratulations” which was odd, congratulations on not breaking any limbs maybe? Weird thing to say indeed.
Anyway I digress! Back to sunday. As it was a recovery day I went looking for some fossils and found these two. Enamoured with my finds I ran home with them – workout for the arms too!
Altogether a 5 mile easy run and best of all had a lot of fun. Who knew there was so much free entertainment just lying in wait out there – go find some!
Saturday morning and a new training cycle begins (yes I’m still calling it that as it sounds like I know what I’m doing) so a wait for the tides and off out again for a 10 miler along the coast. I’ve worked out (It’s only taken me 20 years of visiting this beach) that I can get out to run the whole thing if the tide is lower than 6 metres give or take.
It was a misty and cold which meant I had the beach to myself whch is the way I like it. Everything seemed to be ticking over nicely as far as the running went and I had great fun on the rocks pounding my legs. I know that doing this leads to fatigue around mile 7 or so. It’s got me to wondering when fatigue would kick in if I didn’t run on the rocks at all. But that would mean …. roads. Nahhhh i’ll keep wondering.
I notcied that at the point between Nash and Wick beaches that there are numerous quartz veins amongst the rocks. I’ve never really paid much notice before but noticed today how cool they are.
Many of the rocks split along these veins.
Sometimes it appears in very random patterns
After investigating the quartz and guano it was up and over Witches Point and around Southerndown
Right on cue the legs started hurting around mile 7 so I switched into my run all day pace which means dropping the pace and expend less energy covering the rocks, picking lower lines and not leaping around like a fool.
I planned around 10 miles and it was spot on. Let the cycle run on!