The defining word for this morning’s run is probably ‘bracing’.
Ensconced, as we are this week, in a little holiday let in Trearddur Bay, I did expect a few rough winds. It is the final week of October after all.
When we popped out to this little corner of Wales back in September, the waves were sedate ripples, and the sand was golden on a gloriously sunny day, and we walked along the promenade after meeting the amazing Ken.
This morning, in the early hours, I’d heard the hammering of rain on the windows and wondered if I should forgo my mid-week planned canter.
Yesterday had been a lovely, dry day, with everyone managing a good run around on the beach in the morning after the tide receded. By everyone, I mean the dog and two of the grandchildren. The third was in a baby carrier, enjoying the views, but not best pleased that his mum was eating an ice-cream without him getting a lick.
In the afternoon, they all visited Beaumaris Castle, one of Edward I’s many stone fortresses built to overpower the Welsh, while Anne and I looked after the baby and the dog. We’ve got two of Anne’s kids here, their spouses and their kids, as we’ve finally managed to get most of us together for a family holiday in the Autumn Half-Term. Her youngest couldn’t make it because of work, but his wife is joining us for a couple of days from today which is really lovely.
By about half 8 this morning, the rain had stopped and I was chomping at the bit so took my chances. Breakfast was only beginning to be thought about so I nipped out for a steady and gentle 4-5 miler.
The South Stack Lighthouse, built over 200 years ago, is just five miles from us, but I knew I didn’t have enough time to get there and back. Especially as I was stopping to take loads of photos of the sea, attempting to capture the strength of the waves.
It was definitely not a steady and gentle kind of day. The wind pushed and pulled me in all directions. My plan to go along the promenade for the first bit was a no-go as I would have been totally soaked. As it was, the spray sometimes reached me, even on the roads, and in some places it looked like it was snowing with all the foam being whipped up high and floating down.
The coastal road is what I may have called hilly a few months back. Now, it felt undulating, and I revelled in the buffeting and the feeling of inner-strength that made this jaunt so exhilarating. I did have my headphones in for the first few minutes. But I quickly took them out, and embraced the rasping ebb and flow, the tremendous crashing of the water on the rocks and the occasional fluting of trapped vortexes.
I absolutely loved it. One or two cars, a few dog walkers and one other runner. But mainly just me and the wind. There is something special about running so close to the sea. You can smell and taste the salt in the air, and it feels cleansing.
It is our Hindu New Year today, and I have a little resolution. I know that the going will inevitably get tough when I get into my marathon training next year. But if I can remember that the hard work creates the strength to enjoy days like this, it will be worth it.