Sunday, 24 September 2023

On the road (hopefully) with Iron Man

 A good running week to cap off a pretty brutal working week. Least said about the working week issue but dealing with pillocks of different types had affected the long run the week before on the Sunday. I had hoped to get a 20 mile in but the work related stressors had taken its toll as I couldn't tune correctly into the effort. I tried one visualization and concentration aid after another but no luck. The legs or the mind gave in after 17 miles and I simply walked home the last 3 miles. 

I resolved this week to focus completely on the running and to not allow intrusive thoughts into the head. This did the trick and I ran 7 miles on Tuesday,Wednesday and 7.4 on Thursday. In work we had a sports day on the Friday and I didn't do any more rigorous than the egg and spoon race. I excused myself a hour early as the tummy wasn't feeling great and I feared the worse that night. HR was elevated too around 90 beats instead of the usual 70 beats. Queasy.

Nevertheless on the Saturday morning I felt and went on my run. It was the usual route but despite one enforced pit stop in the railway road I was feeling very relaxed. Again I substituted negative thoughts for a positive one (and for some weird reason kept singing Iron Man in my head). My pace was very solid and  after 20 miles I kept chugging away for another 2 miles. The garmin died at 16.2 miles but I knew the route well enough to pretty much guess the distance left. It was my best long run since the 18 miler I did with Aidan on the 2nd of September. The 13.1 race in Charleville on the 10th September was solid affected by the high humidity.

The rest of the day was great. 22 miles in the bag, 43 for the week, up to my Mum's for a social chat, nice dinner in the evening and wins by Everton in the football and Ireland in the rugby.

I was proud to wear my running top given to me by 6th years last May. It's good to remember the positive stuff - that's what matters.

35 days to the Dublin City marathon. 

Tuesday, 22 August 2023

Post holiday

 It was fair hot in Las Palmas Gran Canaria. I managed to get 14 miles in on the Monday before we left but plans too do a bit of running over there just didn't happen. Too hot (35 degrees), too hilly (the apartment was outside the main centre on a series of hills) and I was enjoying my holiday too much (beers and good food every night). By the end of the week I gathered enough gumption to do a 4 mile run Sunday and the Monday. The hills , the heat and the food made movement rather slow but I got the job done. Wednesday back in blighty I managed 5.5 miles, Thursday 5 miles and Friday 5 miles in Dublin. On Sunday I ran 16 miles in the usual Charleville route but the tank was empty at mile 10. Nevertheless I was happy in that I kept tipping away and didn't fall too far over the 9 minute pace. Total run was complete in 2hrs23mins. Around 8.53 pace. That night I popped up to Cork to see Peter Hook and his band play. A good set it was too around 29 songs. Standing 3 hours for that. 35 miles for the week.

Monday 21st very easy recovery walk jog. Around 3 miles at 12 minute pace. Tuesday 5.2 miles at 9.05 pace on Treadmill. Hopefully a few more runs at the end of the week. Back to work on Thursday.

Monday, 7 August 2023

August note. The flu before we fly.

 My last post was all very triumphal and then as is the way of these things ...... bang!!!! Well more of a sound of a squeaky balloon with the air being slowly driven out of it. A kind of a farty , squeaky sound.

I had a 3 mile recovery jog on Monday last fully intending to rack up a good mileage week up to the Sunday.

Anyway it never happened. I felt quite ill on the Tuesday morning, the kind of feeling where your body feels it skin wants to peel away from it bones and your head is undergoing some sort of trepanning process. Essentially a type of flu virus. I get this every year and have done for years. Feels like a type of flu - achey bones, sweats, nausea and all that. It usually coincides when I start upping the intensity of mileage for marathon training. It was never a issue when I was only up to 35 miles as that was quite easy in the past but not so the last 5 years . For example when I got food poisoning in Malaga in 2015 I was still able to knock out 45 mile weeks despite being ill for 3 weeks after it. (It's amazing when you never realize in the moment how fit you once were)

Anyway nothing for it but keep to the bed and to the back of the living room when the family are around. 

It meant no running this week so that was another hopeful training week gone to pieces.

Sunday I felt a bit better and ran a easy slow 5 miles at 10 minute pace (HR 127). The rest of the day I was still feeling crappy but at dinner time I had a massive craving for salad, peppers, steak and beetroot!!! It seemed to do the trick and I slept well. The tummy was a lot healthy the bank holiday Monday too.

I decided to head out for a slow 1 hour jog but my mile 4 I was feeling a lot better and kept going until mile 14 and 2hrs05mins later. (HR 152 - high) Had I brought a gel or two I might have kept going up to 16 miles but i was still mindful that I was a wee bit virus ridden. The HR was high enough. Even at 14 miles I am still in a solid position with 12 weeks to DCM.

The rest of the day I felt fine packing for the holiday abroad our first in 8 years. I obviously will be bringing the running stuff but now that I got some sort of log run done the mindset is more optimistic with a few to the next 4 weeks.

Running week

 Monday 31st July 3 miles recovery

Tuesday 6th August 5 miles at 9.53 minute pace . HR 127

 Monday 7th August 14 miles at 8.56 pace. 2hrs05mins. HR 151

Sunday, 30 July 2023

Summer update

 I better write something I guess. Running going well enough. I ran that Cork City half marathon and despite the gammy hammy I ambled around reasonably comfortably. I think it was under 1hr54mins. I say comfortably as compared to other runners in particular doing those doing the full I had a easy time of it. It was the hottest day of the year and runners suffered badly. The whole set up was far from ideal and the organizers didn't cover themselves in glory. I had resolved not to take part again but 8 weeks later in the middle of a another training cycle I'm sure that (like the current wet weather) might change.

After that I stuck to the physio plan for the next 6 weeks and the quad/hip/hammy or what ever it was began to slowly improve. I was very happy with my approach to the recovery process but as is the way with these things I have begun to move away from it. I suppose boredom with it plays a part.I should do better there.

Anyway I started training for the Dublin marathon a few days after the Cork half and it was a case of slowly and surely. 8 weeks in I haven't done everything perfect but for most of it I'm  doing ok enough. The goal is to get the start line fit and healthy with the training done as well as possible (in particular the long runs). In terms of frequency I am hoping to get 5 runs in a week (only getting 4 in at the moment). In terms of pace I am hoping to keep the pace easy and HR no higher than 140 (not doing badly on that score) and speed work solid (I could do with a bit more there). Mileage wise I am only hitting 30 miles now (that's ok no rush ) and long runs are up to 16 miles (I'm happy with that). I could do with running long runs in a variety of settings (currently all Charleville). The weight has stayed the same since June (87.5kgs) but I would hope to get down to under 85kgs by October weekend. It might creep up a bit over next few weeks.

My score card would read 7/10.

When I do get to the startline I would hope a sub 4 marathon wouldn't be beyond me ( maybe 3hr52mins). 

The week ended 30th June read as follows

Monday 16 miles (8.40 pace HR 150)

Tuesday rest

Wednesday 3 miles (recovery pace 10.22, Hr122)

Thursday No run . Just too tired and lacking motivation

Friday 6 miles ( tried to run 5 miles at 7.40 but came unstuck and stopped after first 3 miles at 7.45 average and jogged home). 

Saturday no run. Cutting the lawn for nearly 2.5 hours and sending the last of the emails to my A.E for the state exams

Sunday 10 miles. ( Woke up after 3 miles did 10 miles in total. Notional marathon pace run at 8.10 pace, HR 154. Soaked through but good effort. The MP pace is probably a more relastic HMP in real terms)

Total mileage for the week 35 miles

I have one more big week next week before our holidays abroad (first in 8 years)

Friday, 2 June 2023

Gammy hammy

 Ah yes.... the gammy leg....I went to the physio last week..he diagnosed a pull in the quad muscle..... Took the week off running. Tried a 4 miler on Saturday, did that very slowly. Tried a 7 miler the Sunday after that. Again very slowly. Got around. Foam rolled and stretched and iced and all that jazz afterwards. Seemed ok enough but it does sting first thing in the morning and in the evening. Rested Monday. Another 6 miles Tuesday this week and no other running for the week. That's partly down to the heat during the day and too busy in the morning to get out. Anyway I'm pretty much where I was last year - plus ca change- apprehensive and allergic. I'll turn up Sunday and take it from there. 

Sunday, 21 May 2023

No Mow May

 Due a I write I had planned to pop out for a 14 mile run but the quad and/or thigh area has giving me gip since Thursday.  I tried but after a mile had to head back, started to tighten up completely. It was rock hard, a problem I have had over the years. Usually caused by over use or lack of foam rolling/ stretching, both issues I probably can hold my hands up too. I was running well this last few weeks, targeting the Cork half marathon on the June weekend. 

This week was a 3.5 mile jog to collect Iseult from afterschool and a jog back. Herself wasn't too impressed being in the walking company of "sweaty Daddy". Too warm and too fine a evening to be using the treadmill. I think the problem started on the Wednesday . I did a fair bit of walking in Cork on the morning walking to and form the car (2 miles) and then with the pupils to Fitzgerald park museum (3 miles). Later that evening I ran 8 miles at half marathon pace (7.45 average) and I probably felt a slight twinge that evening going up the stairs. 

Thursday I ran the hilly 7 miler during my lunch break - Wellington Road to Mayfield to North Ring Road back to work - 8.35 pace. Low heart rate (139)  very relaxed. Friday evening was the 4 mile race in Buttevant. I did this in October 2021 , training for the Donadea 50k. I ran 30.18 that day a slow time. This time I was way down the back and it cost me a bit of time. I finished in 28.54 a bit off a sub 28 minutes but a decent enough personal effort nevertheless. The leg was sore going into it and was twingey for the first 1.5 miles but during the race felt ok. The cooldown felt difficult. By Saturday I was limping a bit watching the small one take part in a camoige blitz.

We will see how it goes. I should be able to manage it ok but have to be careful not to do something more harmful.

The 2 previous weeks before that were good too - 37 miles last week and 32  miles the week before. It consisted of 14 mile long runs each Sunday. Speed sessions were 4 x 1 miles (7.10 average inc one 6.57 mile) and a 4 mile race in Galbally last Friday (28.40). In between a number of 7 mile runs around town here and hillier efforts in Mayfield.

See below photo of Buttevant 4 mile race. Never pretty...!!! (The same guy caught me at the finish in Newtown 4 miler too)

Sunday, 23 April 2023

the space in your head , the head in your space

 I ran the 10 miler in Patrickswell. I had figured it would be very hilly and so it proved. I hung in with the 80 minute pacers until mile 5 and was left behind after that. Hills, hills and more hills. I haven't done any hill work of any worth this year and so it worked against me for the latter 5 miles. I had a few walking spells there at times but I wasn't upset and finished reasonably strongly at mile 9 and mile 10 to get in under 85 minutes. I was all in all happy enough. It is a tough course and it was a warm day so delighted to have got it done. As a race I liked it and will probably come back next year.  It isn't a PB course and is very different to Mallow or Dungarvan but that's no bad thing either. It was very well organised and well run. Anyway it meant 36 miles for the week. Not too shabby with a nice speed session on the Tuesday and a few easier paced runs the rest of the week.

I took Monday off running, back in work after a two week break so that kept me busy. I was also busy with helping Mum and Dad out with a few things out and getting ready for my first coaching session with the under 8 camoige group. I don't think Iseult was too keen on me being there!!!!

Tuesday I fitted in a 4.5 jog collecting Iseult from after school and completed the other 1.5 miles on the treadmill. A interesting way to run but it worked out well. Wednesday I ran a more orthodox 6 miles around the Cooleen route. Again I took it very handy mindful of the 4 mile race in Newtown the Thursday evening.

It was first time in a few years I had ran a evening race in maybe even 6 years but I was looking forward to it. I knew the course was flat and downhill but I had hoped for a solid 29 minute finish. I did a mile warm up, some stretches, another half a mile more stretches with a few running drills. It was a old routine I used to use and it always helped me relax and stay nimble. The race went well and I was close to a sub 28 minute time finishing in 28mins13seconds. I was delighted with the effort but as I said it was a downhill and flat course. Nevertheless a encouraging outcome. Getting there by degrees.

Saturday a 3 mile recovery jog - HR at 130 and good 12 mile jog along the usual route. I left the latter run until 12 mid day and it suited me better. I was comfortable until mile 11 but I found the 12th mile difficult. Overall time on feet 1hr45mins, average pace 8.37 per mile, HR 155 (a bit high). Then it was a free dinner and dessert in my wife's brother house. Happy days.

A busy week outside of running but I dealt with it well. That allowed me to get my head into my running space. 33 miles for the week. 

Hopefully a few more short races coming up and the Cork half marathon next month.