running

From the mountains to the sea – a weekend of exploring Cardiff

What a weekend of running! Saturday started with an 18 mile run up the Garth and today was ten miles down to the sea and Cardiff Bay.

The top of the Garth
Roald Dahl’s Crocodile in Cardiff Bay

Yesterday’s run was my furthest run so far on my ultra training plan. It was a new route so a bit of an adventure run. The Garth is a hill/mountain (it depends who you ask!) in North Cardiff and you can see it from almost anywhere in the city. It’s also the inspiration for the book, and the film, ‘The Englishman who went up a hill but came down a mountain’.

Having never run the route before I did get a bit concerned when at one point, about three miles in, I was heading down hill rather than up. The route was much more undulating than I realised it would be. I think it’s because the route up to Caerphilly mountain top pretty much starts in Cardiff and just goes up.

The view from the top of the Garth

I tried my new hydration bladder this weekend too, as well as Tailwind for the first time. Yesterday I got it wrong with the amount of Tailwind I added to the water and ended up struggling for the rest of the day. I was hydrated but clearly didn’t add enough to benefit from the additional electrolytes. Today I upped the amount to the recommended amount and was fine so I obviously need to use more in future.

The bladder worked well too and the added benefit was that I had my front pockets of my vest free so I could load them with my gel, food and my phone.

I took a small flapjack with me yesterday as now I’m running for longer I’m finding I’m getting hungry. The idea was great but I need a different brand as the flap jack was hard and it made it difficult to eat it when I was on the move. I’ll try again next week with a different brand to see if that works.

In terms of the distance across the weekend I feel like I’ve managed well. Mentally I coped well. I think listening to music yesterday and running with Gruby today helped as a distraction. There were points where it felt tough going and I had to push myself to run after a little walk yesterday but I tried to remember that I’d covered 17 miles two weeks before. When I got to 17 miles today I kept pushing through knowing every step was the furthest I’d run.

Some views from Saturday’s run

I’m slightly concerned that I’ve picked up a bit of an injury. I think it’s all triggered from the blister I picked up last weekend. The blister was on my right foot and I think I’ve changed my gait when I’m running as my right calf has felt tight at points. I wore a support on my right leg and foot this weekend and there’s a spot on the top of my right foot that feels sore. I think it’s the pressure from my shoe with the extra thickness of the support as well. My left foot has come out in sympathy now, except it’s sore on top of my foot but more central. I’m on a rest day tomorrow and Tuesday is strength training so I’m hoping a couple of days will help even everything out. I’m try to keep my feet up as much as possible. It’s really frustrating but at the same time its still early enough in the training that if I need to dial down my distance I can.

I’m off to foam roller to see if loosening up my legs helps.

4 thoughts on “From the mountains to the sea – a weekend of exploring Cardiff

    1. 13 miles is a solid distance. The ultra in June is 40 miles but the aim is to go up to 26 on a Saturday and may 23 the following day as the max for my training.

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      1. Cheers. I have a (regular) marathon in my sights for this year or next, having done the half distance a number of times now.
        Good luck for the ultra!

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