Sunday, 30 December 2007
Thursday, 27 December 2007
Wednesday, 26 December 2007
Sunday, 23 December 2007
Friday, 21 December 2007
Sunday, 16 December 2007
Tuesday, 11 December 2007
Sunday, 9 December 2007
Sat - 11.4 miles in 01:30:50 (07:53 pace @ 142 HR) Sun 6.5 Miles including 4 mile race (no time, HR or anything)
Postscript:- The results are out - I finished in 25:32 (06:23 Pace) and a new 4 Mile PB.
Friday, 7 December 2007
I took delivery of these yesterday morning. I ordered them from this website. They cost about €67 ($100 - exchange rate is very good at the moment) including delivery from Utah - although they are made in China.
Tuesday, 4 December 2007
Saturday, 1 December 2007
Tuesday, 27 November 2007
Saturday, 24 November 2007
I ended the week with a four mile road race this morning over a hilly course not far from my home. I had no watch or HR monitor so it was going to be very much by feel.
From the course description I got from John's blog below, and the fact that most of my running over the last few months has been of the long endurance type, I knew it was not going to be easy -
This is a hilly 4 mile course. You can forget about fast times, there are too many hills for that. However, despite the hills, the course is run on nice quiet country roads and it's a nice spot for a race.
The race itself starts down the road from the GAA grounds. Initially, you run downhill but soon, you turn off left and then there is a nasty drag uphill. Soon it eases off and then you are running on nice quiet roads.
Around the 2 mile mark, you come to the small village of Berrings. You turn left here at the church and you have another uphill section. It's not so severe but enough to put you into oxygen debt if you push too hard. After that, you're on flat or downhill sections.
Just in case you thought you were getting off lightly, the 3rd hill of note comes at the finish. In the last few hundred metres, you drop downhill and then you have to run about 200m up to the finish line which is just outside the GAA grounds.
As I said, forget about fast times but don't let the hills put you off.
I met with Brendan from work before the race and ran a 2 mile warmup with him. There were about 150 to 200 runners lined up at the downhill start with everyone taking off at a good pace - that’s the last time I saw Brendan until after the race. A left turn after a quarter of a mile saw the road rise in front of us. Over this section a lot of the enthuastic starters began to drag their feet a little as they huffed and puffed their way up the hill, me included, even though I passed quite a few. As the road leveled out everyone settled into their own pace.
I spotted a girl in a red top about 10 yards in front. I was certain I passed the same girl at the 13 mile mark in the 15 mile Cork to Cobh race at the end of September. I thought that if I kept on her back I wouldn't go far wrong. Unfortunately as the first mile settled into the second she appeared to be pulling further away and I didn't have the energy to give chase - my brain had already decided to give up the ghost in relation to that particular goal. I knew I had over half the race left with more hills to come - better ensure I finish without fading - anyway she may be a fast starter and fade towards the end. I was passed by four or five runners between mile one and two as I maintained a fairly even pace - I didn't feel particularly strong over this section.
After mile 2 there was a left turn that took us up a short steepish hill and reduced me to a slow pace- I kept the leg turnover the same with little baby steps - I still managed to pass one guy on this section. The downhill/flat section to mile 3.5 felt reasonably good and for the first time I felt that my pace had increased and I felt a bit stronger. As the road had straightened out a bit I saw the girl in the red top about 100 yards ahead. "Still too much effort to give chase" although I was keeping pace with those in front of me.
We took a left turn at mile 3.5 (approx) along a slight incline/flat section and I noticed that the gap to the "red top girl" had reduced to 50 or 60 yards as runners in front of me gained on her and passed her out. "her pace must have slowed - she's fading". I knew then that I would catch her before the finish. As I slowly gained on her (she hadn't faded as much as I thought - or else I was also fading) I could hear the slap-slap of shoes hitting tarmac behind me and pretty soon I was overtaken by a guy - he looked like he knew what he was doing i.e. he was wearing real running gear so I was not too upset - anyway my mind was focused on catching the girl and the pace I was at was enough for me until I could see the finish line.
With 500 yards to go the road dipped down before rising steeply over a short section and then the run into the finish. At the bottom of the dip I came level with the girl and saw the finish line,
which spurred me on as I surged up the hill past her and crossed the line in about 26:48 (06:42 pace) just behind the guy who had passed me. Over the last 20 yards there were loud cheers as the announcer said " lets give a hand for the fifth woman home".
As I walked along the finishing chute the woman's husband came up with baby in hand saying
"here's mummy didn't she do great - well done mummy". For some reason my victory felt hollow as if I had deprived this child’s mother of her rightful place.
All in all I was happy with my time given the hilly course - I had just knocked over 4 minutes off my 4 mile PB of 31:09 set three weeks ago. (I know it was a very soft target). There is a 4 mile turkey trot on 9th December over a flat course so I hope to improve on this again - maybe get under 26 minutes if things go my way.
Brendan came in in 25:05 (23rd overall - I think I was in 41st Position), which is a very good time. Another colleaghue, Tony, came home in 30:something which means we would score in the team results. A two mile warm down with Brendan gave me 8 miles for the day.
Yesterdays run of 13.75 Miles was my longest since Dublin. While the start of the run felt sluggish I perked up after 5 miles. Running out the Model Farm Road (mile 9) I noticed how very comfortable I had become, gliding along effortlessly at about 8 minute mile pace, I couldn't feel the remotest sign of stress anywhere on my body, nothing. I could have been sitting on a chair at home, I felt so comfortable. By mile 11 or 12 this feeling began to dissipate as I began to feel the usual stiffness in my legs, still nothing out of the ordinary but that effortless feeling was gone. I finished in just under 1hr & 50 minutes (8 minute pace).
This week saw me top the 50 miles mark for the first time since the marathon (53.75 Miles), The only day I took off was Thursday (went for a swim instead). My heart rates are still higher than I would expect so marathon recovery is still ongoing.
Mon 6.7 Miles in 00:54:30 (08:08 Pace no HR) + 2.5 Miles in 19:46 (07:57 pace no HR)
Tue 7.7 Miles in 00:56:57 (07:24 Pace @ 157 HR)
Wed 5.9 Miles in 00:45:57 (07:47 Pace @ 147 HR)
Fri 6.7 Miles in 00:51:33 (07:42 Pace @ 146HR) + 2.5 Miles in 19:57 (07:59 Pace @ 137 HR)
Sat 13.8 Miles in 01:49:44 (07:59 Pace @ 141 HR)
Sun 8.0 Miles approx with 4 Miles in 26:48 (06:42 Pace)
Tuesday, 20 November 2007
Monday, 19 November 2007
Saturday, 10 November 2007
- Tue: 5.0 miles in 00:44:36 - 08:55 pace @ 129 HR
- Thu: 6.7 miles in 00:56:26 - 08:25 pace @ 142 HR
- Fri: 6.0 miles in 00:48:58 - 08:10 pace @ 132 HR
- Sat:11.4 miles in 01:27:44 - 07:42 pace @ 149 HR
Tuesdays run was with Adrian who hadn't run since the Cork Marathon in June - pace suited me fine as my right calf was still tender.
Fridays run was in the park at lunchtime with with Brendan at work. It felt good to run on grass for a change. It is too dark in the morning and evening to head to the park.
This mornings run felt good. While I can't say it was easy it certainly was comfortable and there were no aches and pains in my legs - the first real sign of recovery.
This is the 2nd of 4 recovery weeks that will get me back to a base of at least 50 miles per week before I decide on my next medium term target.
I had thought of going back to the Barcelona marathon in March, with the whole family this time but Abina is lukewarm about the idea. Apparently it is a dangerous place - Adrian and I are the only people she knows that went to Barcelona and didn't get robbed or pick pocketed. My experience last year was totally different - irrational fears are the most difficult to dispel.
Alternatively I thought about leaving the Marathon until Cork in June and going for the Edinburgh half marathon in early March as there appears to be a group travelling to it from Cork and I may join them. Or I may do something completely different. Decisions, Decisions - plenty of time to make them.
Sunday, 4 November 2007
Friday, 2 November 2007
Tuesday, 30 October 2007
Monday, 29 October 2007
Adrian (my cycling support and replacement drink holder) and I stayed with my brother in Dunlaoighre (7 miles form the city centre) the night before and arrived at the start area in plenty of time. I left Adrian a map and a range of expected times (varied from 07:20 to 08:00 paces) I would be at various locations on the course.
I headed for the start-line early to make sure I got a reasonably good position. Race numbers were coloured green (4 hrs plus) and white (sub-4 hrs). An error in booking on-line saw me with a green number. As I wore an old sweater to keep me warm before the race it obscured my number and as I approached the gates I kept my head down and made my way towards the (sub- 4hrs pen) The marshals were calling "white numbers to the left and green numbers to the right" and were inspecting as many numbers as they could - but I managed to give them the slip - first hurdle over with. As I was early (50 minutes before mens start) I was quite close to the front and managed to see the elite women head off at 0845, the trikes (2 in all) at 0850 and the wheelchairs at 0855. The elite men and the rest of the field headed off at 0910.
I crossed the start line and while there was a bit of jostling for position I couldn't have asked for a better start give the size of the field. The start area was moved to Fitzwilliam Square from last years position to accomodate the larger field.
We headed off along Fitzwillian Sq, Merrion Sq, Holles St and Prease St and crossed the River Liffey onto O'Connel St past the Spire. I missed the first mile marker but clocked 15:37 when passing the second mile at Dorset Street Upper
"so far so good marginally over 07:30 pace. The first mile was probably closer to 08:00".
We headed along the North Circular Road towards the Phoenix Park. The 3rd and 4th miles came in 07:31 and 07:15. My legs felt fine and no sign of a problem with my left calf which I strained 2 weeks ago.
We headed into the Phoenix Park past Dublin Zoo. My pace was steady and the effort was manageable (Average HR for the first five miles was (152, 152, 164, 165, 164). Miles 5 and 6 through the park went by in 07:11 and 07:30. I met Adrian at Mile 5 and he cycled along beside me for a mile before the road narrowed. He turned up again at Mile 8 as I exited the park. Miles 7 and 8 in 07:07 and 06:45 (downhill) - I certainly paid for these fast miles later. I was running alongside three girls through the park but they surged ahead during the 8th downhill mile - I wasn't going with them as I was saving my energy for later - the 06:45 mile said differently.
I didn't generally run with anyone for long periods happy to run at my own pace which I was used to in training. As I was not heading for a podium finish I saw no benefit in racing those around me and concentrated on my target pace. However I tried to get in with a group of runners when battling headwinds. The course took us through the suburbs of Chapelizod, Inchicore and Dolphins Barn where there was plenty of support and cheering. Miles 9, 10 and 11 went by in 07:37 (steep uphill on a road underpass), 07:19 and 07:15. My legs still felt reasonably fresh and no niggles were evident - I was enjoying the run. No sign of Adrian though - maybe I didn't spot him although he had planned on cycling alongside me from about mile 11 until as close to the finish as possible.
At the 10 mile make I came alongside a fellow runner from Eagle AC, Laurence Courtney. I had seen him 100 yards ahead of me from mile 5 - took me 5 miles in chase him down (well not really as I was running to my pace). We chatted for awhile about our targets (Mine sub 3:20 his "as good a time as he can" - not revealing much) and ran together for a mile or two. I went ahead of him just before the halfway mark and didn't see him again.
Mile 11, 12 and 13 are out along the Crumlin Road which, like last year, had a strong headwind blowing. I took every opportunity to draft off other runners as the wind was quite strong at times.
From Milltown we turned onto the Clonskeagh Road and Roebuck Road which saw a slight incline give way to a shorter but steeper incline towards Mile 20 at Fosters Avenue. Along this section I began to noticeably fade recording 15:54 for the 2 miles (07:57 average with an average HR of 171 BPM). My HR was above what I wanted it to be - I was trying to keep it below 170. The clock at the 20 miles mark was about half a minute under 2:30 when I passed under it.
"10 minutes+ under the 08:00 minute pace of 2:40 for 20 miles - which means if I average 08:00 pace to the finish I will come in just under 03:20 - 10 minutes below the 08:00 minute pace of 3:30"
Once the inclines were out of the way it was downhill or flat to the finish so I had anticipated faster paces. However I passed the 21 mile mark on the Stillorgan Road in 08:06 (168 avg HR) - At least I met Adrian with my drinks bottle he had lost me and initially thought I was nearer the finish - I don't know how we missed each other as he stayed at the halfway mark from 01:30 to 01:40.
The effort to keep the pace was now very hard to maintain - however the 22nd mile passed in 07:39 (170 avg HR) dividends from Adrian's reappearance perhaps - maybe I could keep it together until the end. Mile 23 on the Merrion Road passed in 07:58 - strong headwinds from mile 22.5 to 25 were not helping my exhausted body. I wasn't speaking to Adrian much and any words of encouragement were falling on deaf ears. I kept telling him to slow down as my HR was too high and I needed to get it under 170. Mile 24 on the Shelbourne Road came in 08:16 (175 avg HR) the stress was becoming unsustainable.
At the humped back bridge over the Grand Canal before the 25 mile mark I stopped - the effort of going over the hump was too much and my body took over and stopped dead - I called after Adrian to stop and proceeded to walk over the bridge. Somehow I managed to recommence running - my legs weren't actually that bad. I missed the split at the 25 mile mark but I could see the finish line tantalising close (about 400m away to the left) but the course took you away from it for another mile and a bit around Trinity College - the final kick in the teeth.
The crowds cheering were unbelievable, but I didn't care - it was one foot in front of the other as I made my way down Pearse Street in front of Trinity College Gates and back up Nassau Street towards the finish line at Merrion Square - I was progressively slowing down as numerous runners passed me by - "you're nearly there" spectators shouted but no words of encouragement could spur me on. In fact I was slowing further and even beginning to wobble a bit. I took the clock at the end of Nassau Street to be the 26 miles mark - it read 3;20:something as I passed it - The split for miles 25 & 26 read 18:52 (09:26 average & 177 HR) I turned the corner and saw the finish line - I still could only manage a wobble as it took me nearly another 2 minutes to cross the finish line. My body actually stopped a few feet short as the clock past 03:22 - given up the ghost - and it took some effort to walk over the line and lean on a barrier - I could go no further - my hands were tingling and I felt light headed - scary stuff.
It took me another 20 minutes to collect my medal, goodie bag and rest up until I could make my way to the Physio tent. Those Physio's are a godsend. I have to go now as my daughter Safan is fighting to get on the computer. My thoughts on my run and why it went so horribly wrong will have to wait. While the time was disappointing the disastrous finish is very worrying and cause for concern. Adrian told me afterwards my face was snow white and my lips purple - seems like my body was beginning to shut down.