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do run did. do run done

  • Posted by ade
  • 21 September 2010

I took the running workshops at the Do lectures over the weekend.  I went to the lectures feeling the weight of responsibility to please all the runners. And a little worried about my billing as fastest man in Cardigan.

Asking the 12 runners if they ran regularly and how far everyone ran 5 miles nearly every day. Much more than me.

One was a triathlete,  one ran 56km at the weekend and the last person I asked said he was an ultra marathon runner.  So I explained that due to the Welsh national champion and a coastal path running record holder living in Cardigan I was officially downgrading my status to at least 3rd fastest man in Cardigan.

After making my excuses we left and hacked round the fforest loop along the trail to the Teifi river, to the 70 step warm up climb to the 100 step wheeze to the top of the valley, through the pine forest, back to the lectures then out again to the boardwalk round the wildlife park and then raced back at race pace in time for fresh bread cooked on the fire by Tom Herbert.

This run is our back yard. It's our lunch break run. Our run of the mill run. But of all the runs you can do on this earth, if you run it you will see it's magic. It's not just the beauty of the place but the beauty of the actual trail you run on. It makes you think of every step you place.

And everyone over the weekend saw it.

We did it again on the Saturday night but this time we swam in the river mid run. The cold was like jumping through glass and then your body being crushed, but we had over 20 people in the river at one time. Pictures later!

The last day we took a boiled down group of 4 to run the Preseli hills after hearing Brian John's talk on the place. It was a wild night in true Preseli style.  Wind, low cloud, bog and lots and lots of water.

It was an amazing experience for me to take great people and great runners out on our manor.

If you are in the area, and you have your shoes, I'll take you out to feel the magic.


  • Posted by ade
  • 17 September 2010

       I am off to the do lectures for the weekend.

I am taking any attendees and speakers running tonight and tomorrow (no pressure there) round the fforest loop.

I hope they see the beauty as they feel the burn.

And I'm going to make them jump in the river too.

Done the run

  • Posted by ruben
  • 5 September 2010

Here's me, having just finished the 2010 Bristol Half Marathon.

It was my first running race, and it was tough.

I made a few outlandish statements about running it sub 1h 30, and for a few miles it felt like that actually might be do-able. Even at the half way point where the clock read 48 minutes I was hopeful of making it in the 30s. But as the minutes passed and my mile times started to drop off, I began realise that running that fast for that long was harder than I'd thought it would be. Even though it was flatter then any of my training routes and the weather was perfect. Cool, a little drizzly and calm.

There were a few moments in the closing stages where I thought I might not be able to finish, or I might have to start walking. But I stubbornly kept myself going and crossed the line running. It was a mass start with chip timing, so I had to work out my time from my watch, and I thought I'd done enough to hit 1.40 but the official chip time online reads 1.44.02.

I'm a little disappointed I didn't get under 1.40, as I was pretty sure I'd manage that, but after having finished my first race without stopping, or walking I'm still pretty happy about everything.

And I know I can go faster next time!


  • Posted by ade
  • 3 September 2010

Been wanting to run the "barefoot" way for a while. So I got a pair of the Terra Plana Evo M to test.

First easy run this lunchtime to free the legs after Cader Idris was tough.

They run beautifully but no padding on the heel takes some getting used to. By the end of the 6 miles I was tired in places in my legs where I don't tire.

These are going to take some training into.

But one thing I loved is when you get on the rocks and roots you trip lightly and the flow feels great and you feel the trail just slightly distanced by the sole.

More later.

a good days work

  • Posted by ade
  • 2 September 2010

Yesterday I tripped upto Manchester to see Oi Poloi to show them the new Spring/Summer range for 2011.

I had 3 huge bags to show them so it was a driving mission, but this means passing up through North Wales and mountains.

Which also means Cader Idris on the way home. The run is from 300ft to 2854ft and back in 7 miles.

4pm I parked up, hid all my stuff round the car. Put on shorts, shoes and merino, stretched and plodded off to the steps.

The first few hundred feet are steps and stones that need a slow constant warming pace.

By the top of these I am drenched in sweat, breathing to the bottom of my lungs and my legs are burning.

The steps stop, the mountain still climbs on rocks, gravel and grass. The sun is in my eyes, my shades are off as the lenses are already sweat stained. I tap out a constant pace. I pass all the walkers coming off the hill to go home.

I try to thank them for moving aside but my breathing is too hard and I am beginning to descend into that level of concentration you need when pushing beyond.

I reach the lake and decide that today is the day to go right to the top, round and down. But I have bought no water or food.

The climb from the lake really kick. I can run short sections and then others it's marching pushing on my legs. I pass another set of walkers who look at me with questioning faces.

The trail flattens for a short spell and I calm my breathing and concentrate hard on a smooth pace.

I run, march, run, march up and up feeling the onset of dehydration. When I look back this was the toughest bit. I run a sentence through my head over and over asking the next walkers if I can have some of their water. Will I ask, won't I ask?  The last people thought I was mad. Who wants to speak to a sweating runner in the wilds.

No one comes along. I see bilberry bushes along the trail that all seem bare. I search harder and find that bushes in the shade of rocks have fruit. I eat every one I find no matter how ripe.  50 berries kick in. Pace rises.

I see the top with a ladder over a fence where I stop and look at the view. 44 minutes.  I look down to the lake and rejoice.

I then look along the ridge and see I still have a decent and another climb. A big climb. To higher than where I am.

I am not at the top.

I am super hot, vision is blurred and my hands feel tight and cramp like. And I am not at the top. I am a long way off and this knocks me.

I have a very long steep decent followed by a sharp climb. People are coming down and I can only just see them. Should I continue. Will going on be harder than going back. I can't get this far and not do this. Now or never.

Top off, volume up, wipe face and down the slope. It is really steep and loose and I have trouble slowing down. I am worrying about injury and my ability to get round and I am making mistakes.

I meet the walkers at the bottom of the climb. They all smile and say hi and I cannot bring myself to ask for water. Am I embarrassed about being so far out and so unprepared?

I start the last climb. I can't run, but I maintain my fast march. I look for bilberries but up this high there is nothing but rock. I look for pools of water, but the only ones are peaty.

Then there is the last gully to the trig point. It's looks like a greek mountain. And then I am up.

I spend 10 minutes at the top. Absolute silence. Birds are on the floor resting. No wind. The Irish sea to the fore and North Wales behind. There is a rock shelter.

It all come back. My legs. My breath. My confidence. I have done it and now I just have to get back.

I hear voices and decide to descend.

The fist section is over grass. Steep and fast. Rocks appear. Picking a line has to be fast and acurate.

I then enter back into rocks and gravel and the perfect hip hip mix enters the head phones. I pick up the pace across the rocks despite the gradient feeling like vertical and relax into the tune. I dance down the boulders. The more I relax the faster I can be.

There is nothing right now but the rhythm and my rhythm.  I am now flying along and I have shoved the fear of falling away.

I join the path I climbed up on and know it's steps all the way to the car. I pass all the walkers I passed on the climb. I replay the last track and dance the last decent to the car.

On the very last step I stop and whoop.

I am soaked, boiling hot, my knees and ankles are painful, my shoulders and back are stiff but I feel like I won.Further, higher, longer and faster.

And I beat my head.


  • Posted by ruben
  • 1 September 2010

I've been running since last year.

Well, I  say 'running' ... I mean going out with a specific route in mind, and aiming for a speed at least a couple of times a month, usually a couple of times a week.

This weekend I will be running in my first organised race, the Bristol Half Marathon.

With 4 days to go, it's playing on my mind, I can't stop thinking about it.

Have I done enough training? (probably not.)
Can I pace myself for the first half? (maybe...)
Will I be able to finish? (yeeeah.)
Will I be fast? (Don't be stupid.)

I'm aiming to finish in under 1 hour 40. With my own absurd target being 1 hour 30.

I figure there are three key points that will help me in the race as opposed to training on my own.

1 - Bristol is flat. A lot flatter than Pembrokeshire.
2 - There will be well organised and regular drink stops. I often dehydrate half way through my run and finish with a headache.
3 - I will be running in a pack and will be able to tune out easier once I find someone to pace myself with.

The nervous energy is building in my legs.

It can't start soon enough.

What ever you do, don't hesitate.

  • Posted by ade
  • 31 August 2010

Tomorrow is 16 days to the do lectures.

They have a tent that can fit 100 people.

20 speakers and 80 attendees.

It's 4 days long.

The location is idyllic and accommodation superbly comfortable.

The lectures inspiring.

The food will be local and made by Anja who worked here and is now writing her own cook book.

The company will leave you with friends and stories for life.

And I will be taking attendees running.

And they have just 4 tickets left

So if you want to spend 4 days washing around in intellectual compost that will  return you to your world ready to make change then buy now.

It is one of the most inspirational things that I have ever done.

Call 01239 62 35 84 and tell em we sent you.

Run, run, as fast as you can.

  • Posted by ruben
  • 16 July 2010

I wasn't really planning to be competitive until Ade posted this.

But that sparked something. And now I'm driving myself to win.

For three weeks now, I have been running around 40km every week.
Including two half marathons.

I have been practising my strong finish, and my interval sprints, and running up lots of stairs.

I know Ade has an edge on the bike, but I am sure that the gap when running is narrowing.

My legs and lungs are different animals than they were even a month ago.

Third half marathon on Sunday. New record to set.

head to head at howies

  • Posted by ade
  • 8 July 2010

This week Scott from the Cardigan shop, Ruben our web manager, Nathan in Finance and old me signed up to compete in a Survival of the Fittest event on the 3rd of October.

It started as an e-mail challenge from Nathan and has now developed into some quite strong office bravado.

And we are four distinct active humans.

Nathan does both gym work for strength and runs in the real world. He looks lean and has great motivation. He trains regularly

Scott is a strong paddler (check out his blog!), runner, coastering very lean outdoor boy. He's always doing something.

Ruben is a runner and biker who is running good distance weekly and riding the trails at the weekend.

And then there is me. The oldest. (This week I really really thought I was still 37 and I am actually 39) Adhoc biker first and runner. Always covered distance.

So we are pitting ourselves slightly against each other on a 10km run with challenges along the route like walls, steps, swims etc.

So in my preparation I started running again today. The usual 6 miles round fforest but with a swim in the surprisingly warm Teifi along the way and despite 2 months off the pins was only a few minutes off my best. (I've just climbed out in the pic).

My training is going to be real. Bike, legs, trails, river, sea, logs, lifting, scrambling.

And to have a goal, a test, a challenge and a focus is a real zing. I find myself waking up in the night thinking of pace, stride, breathing and getting into that amazing place of pain and focus.

We have entered to leave in the last Wave 12.

Will you race with us? Will you race against us? Enter now.

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