No, not really, just didn’t get round to running long at the weekend. Shame on me. We were heading over to Cardiff for Jackie’s exhibition at the g39 gallery and I was stressing all week about how I could fit in an 18 mile run. Of course, I had good, solid intentions, and had planned to go out for nine miles of the Taff Trail then back, but it was turning out to be quite a challenge to fit this around staying in a hotel, check-out time, breakfast and keeping Hector entertained at the same time. Eventually I headed out at 6.15am and came back in time for breakfast and then a swim with the boys I figured that I will be running twenty miles this Sunday then seventeen the following Sunday, so I’m not really going to do any harm by having a mini rest.
There were many points on the run where I wished I had my camera. Cardiff is a quiet place at that time on a Saturday morning and, as I ran some of the Taff Trail alongside the stadium, I was greeted into the Bute Park by the biggest stretch of daffodils I have ever seen. This display went on and on throughout the park and I really knew I was in Wales! It’s a lovely park, really well kept, and looked particularly lovely on this fresh, bright morning with trees weighed down with colourful blossom and dew heavy on the grass. I didn’t see many people, just a couple of dog walkers and the odd cyclist. I ran up as far as Llandaff then headed back down on the other side of the river. Just from this little stretch, I am pretty sure the Taff Trail will be a future run or maybe a cycle; it’s quite something, all 55 miles of it.
As I ran back towards the city, I passed a stadium that had blue seats with a huge daffodil pattern marked out all around, really cheering as you pootle along on your own. Bells were ringing as I stepped through fallen magnolia petals and the cathedral clock followed behind the park clock in chiming seven. Back over towards the big stadium (where Wales lost to Finland later that day ) where I was given a round of applause by three men standing outside a hostel. I wasn’t sure how to react, so just gave them a half smile and realised that I had better get used to this as there will be clapping and cheering all the way in four weeks’ time…
A quick run through the pubs and clubs bit of Cardiff and the nauseating odour of last night’s stale beer puddles, then a stretch outside the hotel before heading back in for a delicious breakfast. Just a short run, but a lovely one.
Time: 56 minutes 27 seconds
Distance: 6.01 miles
Average Pace: 9.23
Best Pace: 7.15
This morning is bright and sunny, if a bit fresh. I have invested in some sunglasses for Hector for these kind of days, as he gets a bit freaked out if the sun is in his eyes. Check him out:
I asked him if he would like to go for a run and he said ‘Now!’ then ‘diggers, water diggers!’. So that’s decided then! We ran along various bits of the canal, pausing to enjoy the diggers, of which there were many, and I took a few photos as I always do. As I was about to capture a big orange digger scooping up some sludge, a nearby tug-boat driver called out ‘Don’t you be taking any photos of me lady’. Oh, how I hate being told off. I figured he must be up to no good if he is being cagey about photos, should have told him his boat was far more interesting than him anyway…
We spent ages in the playground because Hector was really into it today, maybe because it was quite warm…and there were loads of dumpers and diggers around. They seem to be renovating a pumping house and building something interesting next to Markfield Park, I look forward to seeing the results.
Time: 46 minutes 58 seconds
Distance: 4.63 miles
Average Pace: 10.09
Best Pace: 7.02
And some stats from another run last week:
Time: 47 minutes 23 seconds
Distance: 4,48 miles
Average Pace: 10.35