Saturday, 1 December 2007

Here Comes the Rain Again

The Weather Rain is the subject of my post today. Not that I've seen too much of it but it has come back into my runs after an absence of a month or two - which is strange for Ireland in November. Despite what Thomas is experiencing in Kerry (where most of the country's rains falls as the south westerlies coming in off the Atlantic unburden their load on the first landmass they meet) the country has been pretty dry over the last number of months with river and lake levels much lower than usual for this time of the year. The winter rains normally start in early October and aquifers begin to recharge for the winter. Apart from the odd day of frost the temperature has also been fairly mild. Ireland has the quintessential temperate climate - one long season of overcast days with showers and sunny spells. If it's sunny and above 25C for more than two days we call it a heat wave and if it's cold, wet and windy (above 50mph) we have a storm. And we love nothing better than to talk, and generally moan, about the weather. The un-seasonal weather could be put down to “global warming” but experts are divided as to what exactly is happening to the earth’s weather systems and what the likely outcome will be. Our ancestors didn’t have the forewarning of meteorologists & Climatologists afforded to them when the ice age hit some 10,000 years ago. They just said it’s a bit cold around here let’s move south for a few millennia. I can see history beginning to repeat itself with more and more people buying that “house in the sun” and our old and infirm heading to the south of Spain (or Florida) to live out their final days. Sorry didn’t mean to rabbit on for so long about the weather………… Running…………. After Tuesday’s intervals I did an easy 5.2 miles in the rain on Wednesday morning. The rain was light and the temperature mild. While my legs felt fine I had a general overall tiredness as I didn’t get to bed until 0030hrs (I’ll have to stop this blogging lark). Thursday morning saw me heading out for another speedwork session – this time on the roads in the form of a fartlek run. I had intended doing an 11.4 mile loop from the house but I got up too late to get back by the 0700hr curfew and so headed out on a shorter 8.6 mile loop with 5 hard efforts at about 06:00 pace lasting between 2 and 21/2 minutes. While I managed to complete them all (the last one was the shortest and on a downhill) I was glad they were over – still not used to putting that much effort into anything so early in the morning. When I got home at 0700hrs I went to wake Keevsa and Safan for school – a little surprisingly they were both less than responsive - when I went back downstairs I noticed that the time was in fact 0600hrs. Somehow I had risen an hour earlier than I thought – the watch I use for running is still on summer time which I had neglected to notice in my half groggy state when rising. No harm done except that I could have made that 11.4 mile loop with plenty of time to spare. Starting at 0445hrs, this was my earliest run ever (so a new PB of sorts). Friday was another recovery day with 6.7 easy miles in the morning with a bit of rain thrown in. I also threw in a 2.5 mile (4km) threadmill run in the gym after work with 1 km each at 11.5, 12, 12.5 and 13 kph. I recorded the following stats for each km using Adrians super duper watch (still borrowed):- 11.5 kph: 126HR, Cadence 87, Stride length 3'7" 12.0 kph; 137HR, Cadence 89, Stride length 3'9" 12.5 kph: 145HR, Cadence 89, Stride length 3'10" 13.0 kph: 152HR, Cadence 89, Stride length 4'00" While my cadence was steady at 89 for the last 3 km my stride length is what changed to keep with the faster paces. Don’t know what this means but it may have more to do with running on a threadmill than anything else. I notice that both my cadence (99/100) and stride length (4’10”) increased during my interval session on Tuesday. For this mornings long run I was expecting wind and rain as the weather forecast predicted storm conditions coming in from the west as 14m waves were predicted to hit our western shores. So heading out at 0830hrs I was surprised to find calm dry conditions with a little chill in the air. While I felt some drops of rain after mile 1, which prompted the title of this post, it cleared up and the sun even came out for a few miles. I ran into Cork along my usual route (straight road) and along the north quays heading down Patrick Street at 0930hrs (main shopping street) – glad I wasn’t caught up in the Christmas shopping frenzy that was just beginning - before heading out past the University and the Model Farm Road. My pace was fairly even and comfortable throughout and everything felt in working order. I did begin to feel some fatigue towards the end but nothing out of the ordinary. I finished 15.3 miles just under the 2 hours. My average HR of 138 was quite low for the 07:47 pace sending a clear signal that I am at or near pre-marathon fitness or my HR monitor is malfunctioning. I may go for an easy run in the morning to get the weekly mileage up but if the predicted “storm” conditions arrive I may give it a miss – no pressure. Wed...5.2 Miles in 00:43:53 (08:26 Pace @ 132 HR) Thu... 8.6 Miles in 01:07:02 (07:48 pace @ 144 HR) with 5 x 6:00 pace fartleks Fri..... 6.7 Miles in 00:56:29 (08:26 pace @ 132 HR) & 2.5 Miles in 00:19:31 (07:50 pace @ 140 HR) Sat.... 15.3 Miles in )1:59:12 (07:47 pace @ 138 HR)


  1. We're always talking about the weather down here as we've been experiencing drought-like conditions for so long. We've had some good falls in November, but dam levels are still around 50%.

    A cadence of 89 is good - that's the 180 steps per minute that speedygeoff recommends.

    4.45am is ridiculous!

  2. Maybe I should move to Cork, your weather sounds almost nice. It was absolutely atrocious here for the last 3 days.