Wednesday, July 4, 2012

More Aquatic Adventures

I like the effect here - the cockle boat stranded at low tide
Happy 4th of July.  Of course, here in the UK nobody is really aware it's a National holiday in the US.  But as it also happens to be my birthday, we will go out tonight to celebrate the fact that I have 365 more days where my age starts with the number 3.

It's been raining here non-stop all week.  Cold, pouring, drenching rain.  Apparently it's been the wettest June on record, and it's extending into July.  But that hasn't stopped the Gavster and I from going swimming in the sea, and it hasn't stopped me running every day.

I haven't been going far, only about 4 to 5 miles, but it's been all hills.  For the first 2 miles, I'll run with Nancy and run backwards up a hill I have taken to calling the "Quad Masher" (back when I was good at running hills I would regularly train by running uphill repeats backwards, and it made a big difference).  Then we'll run the forest trail around the lake at the top and head back down.  We'll complete a loop back to my parents house, and then I'll go back out and run it all again as a pace effort (running the hill facing forwards this time).  My best for the 2 mile pace loop so far is 15:22 - not particularly fast, but I've been consistent on aching quads, and I'm starting to build base for the Fall and Winter marathons.  Consistency has been something I've been missing for a long time, so this is good.

And I'm loving the cool temperatures.

What I'm reading: just finished "Forks over Knives" and am midway through "Finding Ultra" by Rich Roll.  If you can get past the constant references to the "pay for" material and programs on his website, it's a remarkably frank and honest account of his battle with alcoholism and the transformation of his life through fitness and nutrition.  Both books have made me think seriously about the health and performance benefits of a plant-based, non-dairy diet, and this is something I plan to experiment with when we get back to Austin.  For my birthday, I have promised myself a top of the line Vitamix blender, and green smoothies may well become a regular menu item at Casa del Welshrunner.

Scott Jurek's "Eat and Run", and Brendan Brazier's "Thrive Foods" are next up on my reading list.  I doubt either will do anything to talk me out of trying a plant-based diet.

Here are some photos of our recent watery adventures.

On the Swansea seafront.  This coastal path runs for several miles from the city of Swansea to the seaside town of Mumbles.  We are headed toward the pier in the far distance
The beach between the pier and the Mumbles lighthouse (out of shot)
Nancy and Dylan taking a break while we skim pebbles at the Mumbles raised beach
Just descended the rock face to a secluded tidal beach at Porthcawl.  I have gotten a lot of use out of my Boston jacket this trip (as have Nancy and Gavin).
Pouring with rain, temperatures in the upper 40s, Gavin and I get ready to enjoy some rocking waves at Rest Bay, Porthcawl.  Once you got past the initial cold, it really wasn't too bad.  Lots of surfers in the background.  Do you like my Welsh dragon swim trunks?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Glad to hear you are running. I was worried I'd never get my partner back. :)

It looks really, really cold there. I'm sure you can't wait for good 'ol Texas humidity.

About half way through the Scott Jurek book. I find the recipes a little too "hippie-ish" and unconventional for my tastes. I prefer vegetarian and vegan version of familiar foods. I look forward to discussing with you...