Up and down week for me, and not just because of the hills! I was really happy to run 100 miles ontop of all the effort it takes just to live out here. The runs are stunning and we are spoilt for breathtaking vistas that put a spring in your stride. I was surprised to get an England call up for a 10km race, which would have been great news if I didn’t find the email 3 months late, and with it the realisation that I had effectively blanked the England selectors, smooth Russell.

I was devastated to lose my wicked Silver Bullet running jacket. It was the most expensive garment I owned at £135, and even more valuable to me seeing as I had earnt it in a race a few months ago, and it was actually amazing at blocking the wind.

One great thing about living out here is that you can eat whatever the hell you want without a second thought, the cold weather seems to burn everything off. It is actually hard to get enough fuel in some days so we have a big bag of Lidl M&Ms in the car which we have been gobbling by the shovel load. Eating sweet food so liberally means we have to find new ways to treat ourselves. We develop photos taken from disposable cameras, we read papers by the fire, once a week we pay £1.60 to use the showers in leisure center and stand under the hot water until skin turns to jelly.


wingmirrorbigBest day of week for me was when we did 8x1km around a lake on Tuesday night. The hail and wind were so strong that we did the whole session soaked through and freezing. By the last reps it was hailing so hard it stopped being funny and the warm down jog could go straight to hell, instead we drove to nearest village and had sausage and chips and tea in the car with the steam lifting off us.

I have grown a beard which is actually really effective at keeping face and neck warm, although quite itchy and looks like ginger wire wool. I like to think of myself as a rugged animal, I have a beaten brow and have been doing this stuff forever. In contrast Nina’s fair complexion looks as synergetic russell-nina-snowdonto these conditions as a kangaroo to the Arctic. But, running along the ice capped ridge up to the summit of Snowdon, she was speeding along blissfully disaffected while I was chasing in her wake, acutely aware that the slightest slip could be very unfortunate. At the top I met two ex-marines who had arrived wearing full gore-tex gear, crampons and ice axes. They were quite impressed with me standing there in t-shirt and running shoes, and we did some masculine back slapping, proud of how tough we all were, until Nina breezed up behind me acting like she was out on a picnic and showed us all up!


nina-kitchen-text russell-paint

In the meantime, we are getting to know as many locals as possible.  Russell painted our lovely neighbour Anne’s wall today in exchange for her receiving our post (we have no address), teaching us Welsh, and the great dinner she made us last Sunday night.

Last week we ran up Snowdon, on a clear, windless day when the top was covered in the first of this year’s snow deluge.  Sometimes I’m feeling unsure about things, hit a low point, and wonder why the hell I’m here…

and a moment jumps out of the endlessly dramatic landscape, hits me round the face, and says ‘this is why’:


Thanks everyone for all your love, send us more (below) as it keeps us warm! Hopefully see you all soon.


22 thoughts on “Frost

  1. When I initially commented I clicked the “Notify me when new comments are added” checkbox and now each
    time a comment is added I get four emails with the same comment.

    Is there any way you can remove people from that service?
    Many thanks!

  2. Hi, I think your site might be having browser compatibility issues.

    When I look at your blog site in Safari, it looks fine but
    when opening in Internet Explorer, it has some overlapping.

    I just wanted to give you a quick heads up! Other then
    that, amazing blog!

  3. I’m loving the blog!!!!! We need to set the date for our visit. Jane and I keep on saying how much we miss you Nina…. there is a Nina shaped hole in our lives…. I’m off for a months worth of 40 degrees every day and night so we’ll be experiences oppostie extremes. I will keep reading your blog from out there. The photos are also beautiful. Much love to both… Jo x x x

    • Wicked! I’ve got both Jo and Jane shaped holes in my life so I’m definitely the worse off – not to mention drawing the short straw on the temperature gauge. Have an amazing family time in Colombia – and give my love to the Aisha, Mali, Raffa and Kique shapes that have similarly left me tattered and torn with gaps and grazes. Dates, Dates – the calender is all yours at the moment!

  4. that was really nice to read. Russell how could you of all people loose anything? Nina is having her day in the sun. pictures are beautiful. I am full of the cold. I bet you are not. lots of love me

    Geraldine McBride Date: Fri, 7 Dec 2012 18:58:00 +0000 To:

    • Wow that is a long email coming from you! Yes the pictures are coming out nice aren’t they, I took all the best ones, but nina has been on my shoulder curating! Get well soon, we are cold all the time but have no cold yet! You can have nice long time in new bath to feel better!

  5. wow, great to read your adventures. I wouldn’t be able to survive in that climate but it sounds amazing. seems you’re both finding what you are looking for up there and plenty more. Keep searching and running!

    • Thanks Roger – great to hear from you. I remember training for every day out here. It is the greatest trail race in the world in the best part of it. Have you got a blog? Love to the wife and kids – Nina and Russell x

  6. Greetings from sunny Australia – land of the aforementioned kangaroo. A mild 27 degree C today. I must ask the question – why?

    • Nina’s font is called Corbel, where I am stuck with Tahoma, it is more web friendly, hers has to be embedded in photoshop, by me, very labour intensive, esp if you make a speeling mistkae!

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