Solo Run

Sunday, 23 March 2014

A Mugs Game



Shortly after 8:30 on Saturday morning I arrived at Glencullen, in the foothills of the Dublin mountains, to sign up for the Wicklow Way Ultra, organised by the Irish Mountain Running Association. The race, starting at 9:30, was an out and back route, primarily along the Wicklow Way, from Glencullen to Ballinastoe, with the half (Wicklow Way Trail Race) starting in Ballinastoe at 12:00.
 
I was hoping that my journey to the finish would be less arduous than my journey to the start, having very nearly missed registration, which is limited to online this year (last year I just showed up and registered on the day) and having to stop off at the Asics shop in Kildare Village on the way up the evening before to buy shorts, after twigging that I had forgot to pack any.
 
An advance party had headed off at 8:30 for those that were concerned with making the course cut-off times. Last year I completed the course in 6 hrs 12 minutes in very harsh conditions. This year I was hoping to do considerably better - a sub 5:30 should be on the cards, given good conditions. Before the race even started I got my first and only injury of the day, catching my right leg in a bramble while taking a toilet break, While the scratch was minor enough it did bleed enough that a quick wipe from my hand wasn't enough to stem the flow - i'd just have to leave it run down my leg and let it clot in its own time. While conditions were cold they were not as bad as last year and the latest reports were that there was little evidence of snow. My fuelling was very simple this year. I had packed a 250ml bottle of the EFS Carb Drink I had used for the Connemara 100 last year and had 2 zip-lock bags of the powder to add to water picked up along the route. I did not avail of the option of drop bags at Crone Wood (Mile 8 & 24) and Ballinastoe (Mile 16)
 
About 100 of us in all headed off without much fanfare after the 9:30 "ready steady go!". My pace/effort was relatively easy for the first few miles along paved roads, crossing the Glencullen River for the gradual climb up to Prince Williams Seat. I chatted to one or two along the way but as I was not running with anyone I knew I kept to my own pace (Clubmate Paul Tierney was running but he normally is winner or runner up). With the sun shining and the wind at our back the hats, gloves and coats come off. The effort up to the top of the first climb is relatively easy, however the start of the descent to Curtlestown Wood is rocky and steep and my technical descending abilities are crap compared those around me and I am left for dust - until the trail emerges onto a fire road and I can open up my stride and do a bit of catching up. Back on to paved roads for a while before we take a left along a forest road around the flank of Knockree and turn right down another steep trail where I am passed in rapid succession by more experienced mountain runners, chatting away as if there was noting to it.
 
We descend down to the Glencree River (the lowest point on the course @ about 500 feet), following its grassy banks before crossing it and rising again along a forest road initially and then on a paved road to the car park at the entrance to Crone Wood and the 8 mile water station. Those that had passed me earlier are walking, taking on food and gels. I take a cup of water and run on up the forest road.
 
The time is 1:12:30 and distance 8.43 miles. I have reached the quarter point of the race in less than 75 minutes, which sets me thinking that I am just about on sub 5-hour pace - if only I could get to the turnaround at Ballinastoe before 2hr 30min and get started on the return leg before the 200 runners commence the trail race. With a 1,750 foot climb to the flank of Djouce in front of me it's a bit early to be setting goals. My energy is still good as I climb steadily through Crone Wood with the views across north county Wicklow towards the Irish Sea spectacular in the morning sunshine. Passing Powerscourt Waterfall we descend briefly to cross the Dargle River before making the final assault on Djouce (still another 1,000 feet to climb). Progress is steady and I gradually gain on a group in front, joining them as we scramble along the track around the side of Djouce and onto the Boardwalk (about 2 foot wide timber sleepers) that takes us around the side of Djouce and on to White Hill. The wind from the South West is so strong that it blows me off the boardwalk onto the surrounding bog. Running on it is very difficult and I spent most of this section running alongside the boardwalk.
 
Descending from Djouce - Mile 14ish
The initial steep descent towards Ballinastoe sees the more experienced runners passing me. Eventually we are on the forest road leading to the turnaround with the front runners coming against us. I greet Paul Tierney as he passes by a minute or two behind the leader. I start counting those coming against me to gauge my position but stop after 10 or 12 as I cannot distinguish between those that started with me and those that headed out an hour early - they all seemed to be struggling up the hill.
 
The time is approaching 12 noon and whether or not I make the turnaround before the start of the trail race is touch and go. Not far to go - up ahead I see a photographer with his back to me ready to take a shot of something happening around the next bend - I round the bend and 200 runners are coming against me up the road - the trail race has started - they just about make room for me as they stream by. As the last runners pass by I hit the Ballinastoe checkpoint, where my number is taken and the marshall asks if I want my bloody leg dressed. I decline the offer and as I have no drop bag I do not join the other runners who have recently arrived but turn around and walk back up the road taking the
carb drink from my backpack and downing it in one before resuming a slow trot at the back of the field of trail runners with one other ultra runner for company.
 
The time at the turnaround is 2:30:46 - still on 5 hour pace, particularly as the return leg is nearly half a mile shorter (finish near Glencullen GAA Club as opposed to the start at Johnny Foxes Pub) - but will I have the same energy in a hour or two. As it is the climb back up to the Boardwalk is a steady slog, as I make my way through the back of the trail race field, eventually passing the ultra runner in front of me. From here on trail and ultra runners will be indistinguishable from one another.
 
Up on the boardwalk it gets a little congested and for a while I am content to run in single file with the fresh legs of the trail runners in front of me pulling me up the steeper sections of the hill. Once we are off the board walk and on the descent from Djouce my legs are rejuvenated and I can open up my stride a little, always careful with my footing on the mixed terrain. Across the Dargle River and up the short steep climb to the top of the long descent down through Crone Wood where I can really pick up the pace on the forest road, eventually joining a group of runners from Northern Ireland just as the heavens open and we are hit by hailstones. The Crone Wood checkpoint is the next milestone - 8 miles from home - I really need to be hitting it a few minutes before 3:45 to give me a bit of a cushion for a sub 5 hour finish.
 
The watch reads 3:43:52 as I stop and take a glass of water and 3 jelly babies at the Crone Wood Car Park - no time to make up my carb drink and I think I have enough in the tank to get me home, with the jelly baby top-up.
 
"ok a one minute cushion on 3:45......plus it only took me 1:12:30 on the outbound leg, which gives me another cushion of two minutes..........plus the return leg is shorter than the outbound leg so the aggregate cushion should be enough to get me to the finish in under five hours"
 
What I didn't know at the time was that the return leg was a net uphill compared to the net downhill outbound leg - ignorance is bliss. My energy levels are good as I descend to the banks of the Glencree River, running along its bank, passing a few trail runners and perhaps 1 ultra runner (I thought I had spotted him earlier) who is running noticeably slower.
 
The real test is about to come - the last obstacle - the long climb from the valley floor up and over Prince Williams Seat (1,250 feet of climbing). Once I am over that I am on the home journey and I know my quads will be strong enough to take the downhill pounding of the last descent, so the job is to keep a sustainable relentless effort, walking the steep sections but at a strong pace/effort. There is a string of runners in front of me whom I gradually reel in - the trail runners are now feeling the effort. My pace is purely set in accordance with perceived effort - I rarely look at the watch and never at my Heart Rate - this is a race and not a training run.
 

Mile 26ish - Behind Brendan Murphy of Le Cheile AC
 
There's a mobile water station at the entrance to Curtlestown Wood but I keep going. If I can keep running for the length of the forest road i'll walk the final steep section up onto the flank of Prince Williams Seat. There is a group of four or five 100 yards ahead, all of them trotting up the hill chatting away to one another. I keep a steady pace behind them and they gradually get closer - one of the guys is wearing a pair of vibrams. A few times when I get to within 5 yards I revert to steady walking for 100 yards and resume a slow shuffle to pull them back in. I don't know whether they are ultra or trail runners but it doesn't concern me too much as my goal is time related and  they come in very handy for pulling me up the hill, as at times the effort is beginning to feel like a struggle . I eventually join them as they reel in a few more who join the group.
 
At the top of the forest road we all revert to walking up the steep trail, with one of the guys shouting encouragement to the group saying that that was the first time he had run that entire section and urging everyone to stick together at a steady fast walk. I track him up the trail, with the group spreading out behind - the continuous uphill run having taken it's toll on a few of them.  The rocky trail eventually gives way to a more gentle ascent along a coarse sand track that takes us over the crest of the hill and I gradually pick up the pace as the track levels out and then descends, gradually at first and then more steeply as the coarse sand track gives way to a more unpleasant rocky forest road.
 
I can smell the finish line, which is still a few miles away. While I have no issue with pushing a steady hard pace I do not look at my watch as I don't want to put myself under undue pressure, particularly as this is not a measured course and therefore I don't know how far I have left to run. I reach the bottom of the descent, crossing the Glencullen River, passing a steady trickle of trail runners (I assume) as I tackle the last climb of the day up onto the road leading to Glencullen, sticking to a good steady pace, surprised at how little fatigue I feel (relatively speaking).
 
There is one guy ahead who is keeping a steady distance in front of me while everyone else around me is running at a slower pace. I keep the effort steady until I can see the goal posts of the Glencullen GAA pitch in the distance and decide to sneak a look at the watch - 4:57:15 or thereabouts. This is enough to spur me on as I immediately pick up the pace, not wanting to throw away a sub-5 hour finish, keeping a strong effort as I round the last bend and race towards the finish line halving the gap to the guy in front - crossing the line in 4:58:20 (Official time 4:58:30) congratulating the guy in front of me. He turns and asks me what time I did as his watch had malfunctioned. when I tell him he looks a bit perplexed at first until I realise that he had run the Trail race and I confirm that it was just under 2:30. I swap my number for a mug and jog the half mile back to the car, delighted with my sub-5 hour finish, not knowing how I did relative to the rest of the field and for the moment not caring, surprised that, while the whole run took a lot out of me I can't say that I struggled hugely.
 
While I though my time would get me a top 20 finish the results place me 9th out of 121 finishers and 2nd M40. I never though I'd get a top 10 finish so I'm delighted with that. Maybe if I could get a few lessons in technical downhill running I could improve ;-). With Paul Tierney taking second spot that's two Eagles in the top 10 - not a bad day for the club.
 
 

Tuesday, 7 January 2014

Base Camp


 
My body has well and truly come down from the peaks of 2013, acclimatised to the lower altitudes of recovery and rest, refuelled on a diet of "whatever took my fancy" and is now ready to scale new heights in 2014.  I had forgotten that my fuel tanks are infinitely vast and can accommodate more that I can physically eat, so much so that I tipped the scales just shy of 86 kg at the weekend, close to 10kg more than when I was in the rarefied air last summer. By my estimation I could hibernate for 43 days on that additional fuel alone.......I wonder did hibernation form part of human evolution........we certainly have retained some of the traits in terms of lying around doing nothing for days on end.........although I doubt that our ancestors would have had one hand in a box of quality street and the other around a glass of wine. 
 
As with the start of any journey it's always good to know where your starting from so that you can assess your progress. With this in mind I headed to the track this evening to run a 5 mile evaluation at my new MAF Heart Rate of 137. The result was predictable enough when compared to previous years. For example on 10th January 2012 I covered the 5 miles in 37:17 but at a higher target HR of 140. It's the number of heartbeats per km that tells the real story - 642 this evening compared to 650 in 2012. My first MAF test last year was at the end of January and resulted in 621 Hb/km. Lets see how well I do in 3 to 4 weeks time. When in peak shape I would expect the figure to dip below 600 Hb/Km.
 
As my aerobic efficiency should improve with reducing weight I will also record my weight before each MAF test to see if there is a linear relationship between weight loss and aerobic efficiency - hence the new baseline figure of 7.52 Hb/Km/Kg body weight - very similar to the "power to weight ratio" used in cycling. Onwards and upwards!
 

Wednesday, 1 January 2014

The Year That Was




2,588 Miles





17 Marathons/Ultras
 


4 PB's

    • 5k - 17:57 (28th May)
    • 10k - 37:52 (28th June)
    • Marathon - 2:54:35 (15th June), 2:56:01 (3rd June)
    • 100 Miles - 16:22:08 (9th August)


2 Wins

    • Leixlip Midnight Marathon
    • Connemara 100






1 Prize






 






























Roll on 2014. HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!




Sunday, 29 December 2013

Carb Loading Ain't What It Used To Be

With my training very much in the aerobic zone and no racing there's not much to blog about. Time has also been at a premium over the last few months so when I do have some it's better to go running than write about it. My weekly mileage had been relatively low and only picked up over the last few weeks, still very much in the aerobic zone. My focus since Connemara in August had been elsewhere and the weight had piled back on. No harm as the body needed to recover.

However all that changed a few weeks ago when I decided to embark on a two week carb depletion diet in order to kick start my fat burning metabolism ahead my Christmas Eve 48 mile looooong run. About three weeks ago, two days before pacing 3:45 in the Clon marathon, I had a bad reaction to overdosing on crusty white bread (I can be a bit of a junkie) and spent a whole day feeling like shite so the decision was relatively easy - i'd sandwich a two week depletion diet between the Club night out on 7th December and my work Christmas do on 20th December and gradually replenish the carb stores between the 20th and 23rd - a new slant on the traditional carb depletion/loading combo, although the purpose of the traditional practice is to fill the carb /glycogen stores to the brim for reuse in a race as opposed to my current philosophy of training the body to burn as much fat as possible for as long as possible.

The 3:45 pacing gig in Clon was the perfect aerobic conditioning training run as I managed to keep my heart rate on the hills just below my 138 MAF Hr. This was my 6th time running Clon this year (2nd on this "new" course) and my 6th time coming home in the same time as my Clubmate John D - we're joined at the hip when it comes to Clon. The pace was perfect for enjoying the scenery, which more than made up for the very hills that "made the scene". We had a permanent crew of between 6 and 8 runners, including Pat O'Toole, Gerry Delaney and Geraldine O'Sullivan (Bantry AC), who all ran within themselves managing to push on over the last few miles to finish a few minutes ahead of the balloons. Pat even managed to carry a backpack containing 2 full hot water bottles (5kgs worth) as part of his prep for Marathon De Sables next April - and he didn't even break into a sweat. He said he came across my Connemara race report through a link to "spring onions" - delighted to hear that my blog was reaching a wider audience - i'll have to post a few recipes.



Mile 24 - Heading for home


My 2 week carb depletion diet proved a bit monotonous and resulted in an over consumption of nuts (almonds, brazils and pecans) so much so that my initial 3kg weight loss regressed to 2kg by the time I was back on my "normal" diet - not helped by the fact that I did not run as often as I would have liked. I'll have to expand my eating options next time. But weight loss was never the name of the game - it was all about getting the fat burning engines stoked and ready for action. My running during these two weeks was typically slow and effortless. Although one or two runs were at the high end of the aerobic spectrum the resulting pace was relatively pedestrian - as if 8 minute miles had suddenly become hard work. This bothered me initially but I was more interested in knowing the cause and the only thing I could put it down to was the fact that I had set off too fast, pulling energy from my depleted carb stores and not allowing enough of a slow warmup to mobilise my fat stores sufficiently. Lesson learnt.

My Christmas Eve run started at 4 a.m. with clubmates Denis and Alan joining me at that cold and windy hour for an "easy" run before both of them headed off to work, Denis covering the first 12 mile loop from my house into Victoria Cross and Alan going for the full marathon distance (2 x 12 mile loops with 2.2 stitched on the end). What can I say? Hats off to both of them for turning up at my house at that god forsaken hour to accompany me on the start of my journey - Denis even managing to arrive 10 minutes early for the free cup of coffee. Given the forecast of heavy rain and strong winds, Alan was a bit doubtful as to whether or not I was going ahead with it, but nevertheless turned up just as I was about to head off.


My nutrition consisted of 2 x 750ml bottles of a carb drink (600 calories) and 2 x 200ml bottles of ensure meal replacement (300 calories) - less than a fifth of the calories I expected to burn - the other four fifths coming from my fuel tanks.  In reality I ended up taking about half of each and relying on my ample fat stores to make up the difference.

3:59 - Self Portrait With Denis (Loonies)





I walked the first mile, heading off ahead of Denis and Alan and commenced running when they caught up with me. The pace was a few seconds ahead of the 9 minute mile target but relatively effortless. I kept reasonably quite for the first few miles as I warmed into the run leaving Alan and Denis do most of the chatting. Heading out of town passing the Kingsley Hotel (Mile 7) I decided to hop over a low wall to relieve myself and misjudged my step and ended up flat on my face - thankfully on grass, although I did catch my shin on the top of the wall. I said I was fine and told the guys to run on and i'd catch up with them - the adrenaline masking any pain. Apart from this the first 12 mile loop passed without incident, with neighbour Ian joining us at about 5:50 a.m. for the second loop. The weather remains quite good with no rain and only a moderate wind. 
 
 
The pace for the second 12 mile loop remains under 9 minute miles, which is more challenging for Ian, whose HM PB pace is about 8:30 minute miles. The weather takes a turn for the worse just before 7 a..m (mile 19) when we are hit by a heavy downpour of hailstones and strong winds, the hailstones biting into any areas of exposed flesh - ouch!!!
 
With the second loop completed, I don a backpack containing my carb drink and remaining ensure, bid adieu to Ian and Alan and  set out on the 8 miles into town as far as the Lee Rowing Club on the Marina, to join the Eagle AC club run, scheduled for 9 a.m. The backpack adds a little to the effort and my heart rate climbs into the 130's as I maintain a sub 9:00 pace to ensure I arrive on time.

Mile 32 - Nice morning for a run



Unlike last year I manage to keep the pace on the club run as we head out to Blackrock and along the Mahon walkway, the expected strong winds replaced by a gentle breeze and sunshine, perfect running weather. After 6 miles of chatting we are back at the cars, where I pick up my backpack and head into town with a few others to offer support to clubmate Jo Fearon, who has just started running her 12th marathon of Christmas - 12 marathons in 12 days in support of Cork University Hospital's Neonatal Unit - and all on a treadmill. It's always comforting to know that there are others out there even more devoted to the cause of long distance running.


Mile 39 - 12th Marathon of Christmas


My legs limber up for the final leg of the journey as I leave my clubmates and head for home. Pat Twomey joins me for a few miles to the end of the Straight Road where I continue on at a 9:00 minute pace, a little surprised but happy that my legs have remained relatively fresh despite the increasing monotony of running for a long period of time.  I had planned on mixing it up a bit by introducing intermittent walking but as my legs were relatively intact I kept running. As the Garmin had acted up during the run, recording one or 2 miles faster than actual, losing the satellites for a spell and pausing accidentally I was unsure of the exact distance I had covered so I erred on the side of caution, taking the long way home and slowing down to a walk over the last mile, arriving home at 11:49, 7 hours and 49 minute after I had set out - covering 48.4 miles in 7 hours and 26 minutes.


Mile 48 - Survey the damage

 
Apart from the cut and bruises from my fall at  mile 7, pointed out to me when I joined the club run at Mile 32, my legs were reasonably intact and there was none of the post run aches and pains over the following days that I had after the 100 miler - it's all about the pace....and the preparation.
 
Wishing a belated happy and peaceful Christmas to everyone.


Sunday, 3 November 2013

Dublin 2013

The annual pilgrimage to Dublin began a day early this year as I took in a bit of international rules football in with Ani, Saran, Robert (Cousin), Rob (Uncle)  Dave and Dermot on Saturday evening. I wouldn't class myself as a fan of this makey-uppy game that is a mish-mash between Australian rules and Gaelic football that is only played once a year between said nations. This year the Australians didn't appear to take the test seriously (apparently they didn't practice enough with round balls, they being used to the oblong ones) and the match was very much one sided, except when it came to the frequent bouts of fisticuffs, where they very much held their own (The first bout came before the start whistle was blown - the match was 5 minutes old before I saw where the ball was).

Sunday was a laid back day with the only activity involving a stroll in the park with the kids followed by the short trip into the marathon expo to pick up my race number and pacing gear, bumping into Thomas near the pacer stand, both of us sporting our Connemara 100 hoodies (wearing a top with the longest race distance all part of the play).

Monday morning turned out to be mild and sunny, despite the warnings of wind and rain. It was still cold waiting around at the start, where I met my fellow 3:20 pacers Fran and Dom. 
 
 

Killing time before the start



The early rise had me yawning as we waited for the gun, not very encouraging for those expecting me to pace them to the finish. We placed ourselves in the middle of the first wave ( < 3:50), starting at 9 a.m.


It was only when I went to power up my Garmin that I realised that it was the old one, that does not pickup the satellites and to compound my rising frustration at how stupid I could have been the "low battery" indicator came up on it. So much for my meticulous preparation. In searching around for solutions I noticed that Dom was wearing two watches so I explained my predicament to him, without going so far as to ask him for one of his watches. He didn't appear to take the bait or else didn't want to part with one of his watches as he replied that I'd be grand as all i'd have to do was follow him and Fran. Yeah! me and couple of hundred others. I though the purpose of having three pacers was that each could pace independently. I only had myself to blame. Luckily who should I spot but the guy who prepares for all eventualities and has got me out of more holes than I care to remember , clubmate Denis Looney. Sure enough he has two watches and does not hesitate in offering me one, showing me briefly how it works. I just hope that his lack of a spare does not hex his marathon PB attempt.

At last we are off and I begin to warmup as the pace picks up. Still it takes us a couple of miles to get on pace as it is difficult to run freely within the crowded field.



Mile 0.25 - Rounding the first bend




I find the first 3 or 4 miles to the Phoenix Park quite challenging, but gradually get into my stride. I get chatting to a few runners including two girls from Raheny Shamrocks who were both aiming for 3:20, their coach telling them to stick to the 3:20 pacers. At each mile marker we are only ever a few seconds either side of a 3:20 finish. As always the crowd support is top class and with people shouting out my name I realise that it is printed on my race number and I am not as popular as I thought I was.

Clubmate Keith flies past me shortly after the 9 mile mark, well on his way to a sub 3:10 PB finish, having started well back the field (the only way too race). He is followed a mile later by Denis Looney, also on his way to a PB finish, although I would see him later.

I can't say I was relaxed but I was reasonably comfortable. We cross the half way timing mat in Walkinstown a few seconds under 1:40 (chip time). There is always a good group around us, but at times it's difficult to differentiate between those running with us and those running around us. The sun begins to shine and it gets quite warm for a bit, glad I did not put on the compression top I was tempted to wear (but did not have), hanging around in the frigid morning air at the start line.

Over the next few miles my legs begin to tire as the lack of mileage over the preceding months begin to tell. An endurance base is only as good as the previous months training and 3 runs per 35 mile week will expose a few cracks when put to the test.


Denis comes back to me shortly after mile 18, where I inadvertently take a bottle of lucozade sport instead of water and have to chuck it away after taking a tentative sip (too sweet for me). The last hill of the day takes us past the 20 mile mark and onto Fosters Avenue. A few drop off the pace along this section. but most stick to the pace. Fran informs me that Dom has dropped out due to nausea and vomiting, so it is down to us two and with 15 seconds in the bag we commit to add a further 10 second cushion over the following miles. 

Mile 21 - Fosters Avenue "We are this much ahead"



 
 To be quite honest the last few miles are not fun and while I offer encouragement to those round me I just want it to be over - "Just 20 minutes of pain left, keep pushing, one foot in front of the other". Its my tiring/achy legs rather than any lack of fuel/energy (Apart from the sip of Lucozade I took on no calories) that is the week link in my chain. With all my training long runs on grass the impact of tarmac is having a toll. Miles 24/25 are particularly challenging as we are hit by a headwind and have to up the effort just to stay on pace (cushion of about 20 seconds at mile 25), not the best for those around us. At this stage those that had a bit of energy left pushed on for a 3:17/18/19 finish and a few more clung on to us for dear life, pushing hard to stay on pace and no doubt a few fell off the pace. At last we are rounding College Green and heading down Nassau Street and onto the home straight crossing the line in 3:19:4x (chip). Another pacing job complete, and although not my fastest it felt the most challenging.


It's difficult to know who or how many relied on you to pace them part or all of the way until they come up to you at the finish and thank you, which makes the whole effort all the more rewarding.

There were plenty of PBs among my Eagle clubmates (including Denis and Keith, who I met on the course and Elaine who I met at the finish line) A big well done to all.


This time last year Dublin marked my 25th Marathon, this year marked my 43rd - so between the two I ran 17 marathons/ultras, pacing 6 (and a half), setting 4 PB's (2 marathon and 2 ultra) and participating in a few unusual ones (midnight & back to backs). I don't think I will be as prolific over the next 12 months. Where to from here? I don't know yet.  I have a few thing floating around in my head but i'll have to get out on the roads more that 3 times a week if I am to stay in the game.





 

Saturday, 26 October 2013

The Best of Luck................

........to all those running the 34th Dublin City Marathon on Monday. With 34 clubmates taking to the streets there will be plenty Eagle singlets out there on the course, all gunning for that PB.
 
We may just escape the heaviest of the rain, which is forecast to die off just before sunrise on Monday. However there appears to be no escaping the wind, which could be up to 35 MPH from the west/southwest, which will make running out the Crumlin Road (miles 11 to 13) interesting. Bring it on!!!

Saturday, 19 October 2013

172 Miles............

............ of running in the 10 weeks since Connemara. That's 17.2 miles per week. My highest weekly mileage was 38 miles, 3 weeks ago. That, followed by two 34 mile weeks, is the core of my post recovery training programme for pacing Dublin in 9 days time. My last long run this morning was more or less a repeat of last weeks run, except for the fact that I joined the 12 mile pre-Dublin club run @ 7:30 pace, getting pulled along in a post late night of over indulgence stupor. With the group consisting of  runners in peak condition targeting anything from 2:50 to 2:57, the pace slipped down towards 7:00 at times, which went unnoticed except for your truly. Still, I managed to hang on and keep a reasonably consistent pace after they had stopped, covering 21 miles @ 7:26 pace between 2 walking warmup/cooldown miles, getting 3 hours on my feet. I only need to add another 20 minutes for my next long run in 9 days time. Looking forward to it.