Withering Heights and Wonderous Memories

My One & Only Grizzly…..

What is it about some of the toughest challenges in your life that keep you going back for more?

The Grizzly was an event I had been wanting to take part in for over a year now as I had to give up my place last year due to lack of training. This year, I was determined to get to that start line and understand what all the fuss was about.

Taking On The Grizzly

After my epic fail at preparing for my Lanhydrock half marathon two weeks ago I was giving my body a fighting chance at this one. For the week leading up to Grizzly, I was putting in the necessary amounts of nutrition and hydration needed, I was showing the race prep the respect is deserved. It was due to be a beautiful day, which only helped the positive vibes as I set out my race kit on the Saturday evening. My race vest and shorts were getting their first outing of the year and I felt ready for the day ahead.

The Grizzly start

It was an early start from Bude, being picked up at 7 am meant I needed to get some early morning nutrition inside me, taking some more to take during the morning. Many of the Caked In Mud crew had already experienced the Grizzly, I had ample exposure to what I was letting myself in for, somehow this never prepares you for the atmosphere once you are there.

Seaton, the gateway to the Jurassic Coast, is a beautiful seaside town in Devon which wholeheartedly gets behind its most famous of events. This year was the first where competitors needed to enter a ballot to get in, the popularity of the event is growing, I was lucky enough to get my place. The whole town gets behind & supports the runners, with many staying in the towns various hotels, B&B’s and discovering the beauty of this stretch of coastline and enjoying the Grizzly fest that happens throughout the weekend.

I have vowed to take the boys camping there this summer as I am ashamed to admit that this was my first trip there, living only an hour and a half away, I will be returning before next year for a more leisurely exploration of the area.

The route was marshalled by over 200 marvellous merry makers, with folk bands playing, drummers drumming on the beaches as well as hundreds and hundreds of supporters lining the route with flapjacks, cookies, jelly babies and other baked goods to help us on our way. The carnival atmosphere never waned throughout the entire 20 mile route.

The beach

My highlight? It would have to be the Valley of the Bogs, where I managed to acquire a new pair of compression socks! The bog managed to give my race outfit a whole new look. The squealing & choice use of the English language that I was witness to whilst slipping & sliding through this part of the route will stay with me for a while!!

The Grizzly is much more than a race, it is a life changing event, one which I hope to be a part of again and again!!!

Grizzly motivation Memory tree

Oh The Places We Go

This gallery contains 6 photos.

Today’s run coincided with St Piran’s Day, the national day of Cornwall, named after one of the patron saints of Cornwall. It was a stunning morning, the plan was to take to the coast path around Hartland with much excitement … Continue reading

What makes a run a good run?

In my case, it certainly does not depend on the weather. In the last 18 months, I have shed my fair-weather runner skin and morphed into a bring it on kind of runner.

Today’s run was evidence of this change. Storm clouds were brewing as I layered up this morning, getting ready to hit the coast paths and trails around Millook, North Cornwall. It looked like we were in for more storms towards the latter part of the day, so getting out in the morning was sensible.

Starting point

View at the start – Millook

An hour into the run, the group were under no illusions that the wind was picking up, the proximity of us to the coast path made us first hand witnesses to the changing size of the waves breaking onto Chipman Strand. At this point we diverted and made our way inland – a sensible option it was duly noted! I think the wind had whipped us all into a crazy frenzy as we had a giggle for the duration of our 8.5 mile run. The wind at times made moving forwards a sport within itself. We really did have added resistance today. We slipped & slid down many a muddy track, screamed like girls (me) and landed on our posteriors (Sarah), climbed every stile, choreographed the Morecambe & Wise Bring Me Sunshine dance through a field and stopped for some amazing views & photo opportunites.

Sunday Run

The Crew

 

I always look forward to running with a group, not always the same people but always good to chat with, who encourage you up the hills, pass you a fruit pastille or three or arrange to take on certain events with.

What makes a run a good one for you?

A good run for me incorporates being out with people, chatting, laughing, enjoying the space I am in, feeling strong, getting fitter, eating cake with the crew and of course, coming home with a little mud between my toes.

Why I’m blogging again.

Two weeks ago I was asked by a fellow running tweep, @iPlodded, to contribute a little something to be included in his 7 days 7 runners blog post. The brief was to document my favorite run. I don’t have a specific place that is my all time favorite (around here there really have been numerous wonderful run locations) but I do tend to have a favorite day that I run on.

Hello to Wednesday. Feel free to pop over to Paul’s blog and read the posts – 7 days 7 runners , it will enable you to run throughout the UK and beyond without even leaving your home. I had great fun writing the post, connecting with 6 other running tweeps & being inspired by some amazing challenges people have been through. Thank you Paul for getting us all together & for motivating me to write about my running again.

Lara x

Winter training = beauty treatments for FREE.

Winter running brings about its own challenges. There is an element of, do I really want to get out in this? as you leave your warm duvet. There is invariably the dark mornings & nights to consider. All in all, it gives us more reasons to not get out there.

Regardless, winter running has it’s advantages when it comes to my beauty regime, which is minimal at best. These little freebies that I get whilst out on a winter run help my skin look & feel alive & healthy with no cost whatsoever. Beauty “treatments” courtesy of the trails & coastlines of North Cornwall are as follows:

Indian Head Massage achieved when running in a hail storm, granted not as relaxing but certainly stimulates the hair follicles!

Reflexology achieved by trail running over stony tracks through woodland & coast paths. This has in fact helped me to achieve pain free running after suffering with plantar fasciitis.

Beauty facials can be achieved by stepping out of the door, heading for the coast & letting mother nature do it’s thing. Invariably I return with rosy cheeks, clear eyes & feel a million dollars

Mud packs for my feet achieved the minute I get into the surrounding fields & trails. There is rarely a run when my trainers do not need a good scrub or at least a good airing!

Facial exfoliation / Microdermabrasion achieved by running along the beach on a windy day. Top tip is to keep eyes semi closed or have glasses at the ready otherwise your eyeballs may receive an unwanted exfoliation as well.

To top it all off, if you catch the weather in North Cornwall just right, you even enjoy a free shower at the end!

Lara x

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