Saturday, 27 September 2008

The Road to Amsterdam

My last long run before Amsterdam is over and by the time I was finished I could have slept for a week. I took Mike's advice on specificity and kept to the flat roads running with the Saturday morning crew but doubling back before the hill (9.5 miles in) and meeting up again at my mile 14 (I did 2.4 solo miles before the 0700hrs start) . The pace from here on was 07:30 or less, which I found challenging enough (no gels on this outing) but I hung in and although the desire to take a quick break when passing the cars at mile 18.5 was all consuming, the opportunity did not present itself (i.e. no one else stopped and those that did had been ahead of the posse and were heading out again as I approached) I persevered with 3 loops of the flat centre Park Rd/Monahan's Rd that's used for the John Buckley 5k in June. Along this section a couple of the stronger runners took off at a pace that I couldn't manage and so I was on my own slogging out the last remaining miles to the car coming in with 24.1 miles on the clock in 03:02:25 (07:34 pace). A 10 minute dip in the Atlantic Pond to cool down the legs and I was finished for the day (on the running front that is). Unlike one or two who were heading home for an hour or two's kip I had a busy schedule on the home front as Abina was working. Next weekend the 15 Mile Cork to Cobh race is on Sunday. My schedule calls for 13 Miles @ MP and on balance (and good advice from others) i'll stick to this pace as opposed to race flat out. My MP, going on my recent HM, is somewhere between 06:45 and 06:50, compared to a 06:30 for 15 miles (I know I may never do 06:50 pace in Amsterdam, But I'll do it in training). Last year I covered the 15 miles in 01:42:33 (06:50 pace) so I'd like to beat that and ideally get under 01:40 (06:40 pace) - but as recent as this morning I was warned that manys a Dublin marathoner left their best race on the road between Cork and Cobh - and Dublin is 4 weeks after Cork to Cobh (Amsterdam only 2) - so others may take heed. Fri 26th Sept 6.73 Miles in 55:18 (08:13 Pace @ 128 HR) Run in the park with Brendan. p.m. 2.5 Miles in 20;00 (08:00 Pace - Treadmill) Sleep - 7 hrs: 7.5/10 Legs: 6.5/10 Sat 27th Sept 24.1 Miles in 03:02:25 (07:34 Pace @ 138 HR) Sleep - 6.5hrs: 6/10 Legs: 6.5/10 Marathon Training week 13/16 - 67.65 Miles

Thursday, 25 September 2008

Ticking the right boxes

This week has been busy on the work and home front but I still managed to tick off my quality runs on the marathon programme. At this stage i'm looking forward to starting the taper for Amsterdam at the end of next week. Just 1 long run (24 miles), two speed sessions and a 15 mile race (well maybe @ marathon pace) left before I take the foot off the gas. The weather decided to pick up this week with almost continuous sunshine - although my runs were consigned to either dawn or dusk. After a rest on Sunday, Mondays run went quite well with 11.5 miles on the clock at a reasonable 07:34 pace. Tuesdays intervals at the track were 3.2k, 2k, 1k @ 0.8k @ HM to 3k pace. (found out later that the 1k should have been 1.6k) which also went reasonably well although the recoveries did not go to plan as I stopped for 5 minutes talking to Laura Buckley about her tri season after the 2k rep (welcomed the break to be quite honest). 3k - 06:15 Pace - 155HR 2k - 05:58 Pace - 163 HR 1k - 05:45 Pace - 164 HR .8k - 05:33 Pace - 164 HR Wednesday was a work enforced day of rest (from running) - far from restful. I was tired getting up at 05:25 this morning but I was determined to get in 2 x 4 miles @ HM pace as I wanted an easy day (i.e. didn't want to get up too early) before the early rise on Saturday for my last long run. After 2 miles warmup I launched into the first 4 miles which went reasonably well - although the 3rd mile at the top of the "straight road" was in almost total darkness where I was jumping from the road to the footpath every time a cars headlights came near (had to get off the road to avoid being knocked down and had to get off the footpath once the car passed as I couldn't see the surface - all I could see was the road markings). I thought that would be a slow mile because of the ducking and weaving but I didn't get the time until after the run (turned out to be the fastest mile @ 06:20). Outbound 4 miles in 25:53 (06;28 pace). The return 4 miles were slower as I began to tire during miles 6 & 7 which were covered in 06:47 each. I recovered a bit during the 8th mile to give 26:37 for the 4 miles (06:39 pace). Glad as always to get it in the bag (these Thursday early morning tempo runs are the ones I look forward to the least but am most satisfied with when I get them done). My left hamstring and glute are still a bit tight/stiff since the half marathon 11 days ago which I particularly notice when I stretch after each run (less flexible that the right side) Mon 22nd Sept a.m. 11.54 miles in 01:27;15 (07;34 pace @ 134 HR) p.m. 2.5 Miles in 20:00 (08:00 Pace - Treadmill) Legs: 7/10 Sleep -7 Hrs: 7/10 Tue 23rd Sept 7.69 Miles in 01:02:47 (08:10 Pace @ 139HR) with Mixed Intervals 3.2k to .8k @ 06:15 to 05:33 Pace Legs : 7.5/10 Sleep - 7 hrs: 7/10 Thur 25th Sept 12.54 Miles in 01:29:18 (07:07 Pace @ 150HR) with 2 x 4 Miles @ 06;28 & 06:39 pace. Legs: 6.5/10 Sleep - 6hrs: 6/10

Saturday, 20 September 2008

Nice n Long

I rose this morning at 0600 for my last run of the week - The Long Run. I hadn't bought a new pair of runners since before the Cork Marathon in June and while I was feeling no ill effects, there must be well in excess of 600 miles on my current pair (closer to 1,000 i'd say - perhaps this built-in obsolescence is a cod after all). So I headed into town yesterday evening and bought myself a brand new pair of Asics Nimbus and two power bar gels. I got to Pairc Ui Caoimhe about 12 minutes before the scheduled 0645 Eagle AC meeting time so that I could do a quick out and back (1.8 miles in all) to test the shoes - no problems so drive on. There was 8 of us in all heading out the old passage railway line to passage, Monkstown and Rafeen before turning right up the only hill of the run (1.5 miles of it). The pace over the first 12 miles (including my solo 1.8 miles) to the top of the hill averaged at 08:02, which was the target pace for the run. However coming down the other side to the Rochestown Inn the pace went sub 8 minutes and stayed that way until the end. We took the long way back to the cars via the Estuary loop taking in Blackrock Castle and the Marina giving me 17.4 miles. Some bailed out here and some went on to do a few laps of the Centre Park Road/Monahan's Road loop (about 1.58 mile loop). I ran with John Desmond completing 4 loops which gave me 24.52 miles in all (22.72 for John - most went for 20 miles). Total time = 03:09:04 (07:43 pace @ 137 HR 155 HR at end) - last 12.52 mile @ 07:24 pace. Those power bar gels certainly seemed to have helped with the fuelling. John wanted to know what the marathon time would have been if we had maintained our finishing pace of 07:20 for another 1.7 miles. I figure it would have been 03:21:31, not bad for a training run. Rest day tomorrow. I certainly believe that rest and recovery (sleep) play a much bigger role in my training that I previously thought. In previous training cycles I would have gone out for a 10 to 13 mile recovery run the day after a long run just to get the weekly mileage up - not this time. Sat 20th Sept 24.52 Miles in 03:09:04 (07:43 Pace @ 137 HR) Marathon Week 12/16 - 65.6 Miles.

Friday, 19 September 2008

Taking It Easi(er)

Monday's recovery run was limited to 2.5 miles in the gym after work and while my calves and hamstrings felt tight it was to be expected.
On Tuesday morning I added a 5.2 mile recovery run in the morning ahead of the scheduled evening mixed intervals at the track. As I was still in recovery mode I gave myself some concession on distance and effort reducing the scheduled 3.2k, 2k, 1k & 8oom to 3k, 1.6k, 1k & 800m with pace turning out only marginally less than previous weeks (however I spent about 5 minutes talking to John Quigley of Eagle AC between the 1st and 2nd intervals - John was reminiscing about the Marathon in which he passed the 20 mile mark in 2 hrs and 10 seconds - on schedule for smashing his PB and coming in @ 02:40 however he blew up before the finish "What a waste of 115 mile weeks" he said - occupational hazard of the long distance runner).
3k @ 06:15
1.6K @ 06:08
1k @ 05:51
0.8k @ 05:38
While Tuesdays intervals went better than expected a combination of residual fatigue from Sunday's HM, pushing the pace on Tuesday and a 05:30 rise on Thursday morning to catch a flight to Dublin left me fairly drained for the rest of the week so I bagged the second speed workout ( 2 x 4 miles @ HM pace ) first putting it off from Thursday to Friday and then sleeping in until 07:10 this morning and going for an easy six miler in the park with Brendan at lunchtime leaving me sufficiently rested for tomorrows scheduled 22 miler, which I intend to run with a few others from Eagle (& friends). My runs on Wednesday and Thursday were of a similar easy/recovery pace.
Thursday's run was with Adrian and Liam (Liam or "Puds" is a cyclist who dabbled in running a few years ago and went sub-3 hrs on his 2nd Marathon in Dublin). Liam reckoned pacing is everything in a marathon as he had a significant positive split when he went sub-3hrs completing the first half in 01:24 and the second half in 01:33 he was full sure he was on for a sub-02:50 and put his misfortune down to a surge in the first mile to catch up with runners of similar pace. It's true what they say - if your pace is too fast in a race slow down gradually unless it is a marathon, then slow down immediately.
Got me thinking about my pacing strategy for Amsterdam and while some of you think that I can go sub-3hrs (and I know I will some day) it's still a very big step - a 17 minute PB is huge, considering it equals my total improvement over my last 4 marathons (from 03:34 to 03:17). It all depends on the day - the weather, how I feel (physically and mentally) and a bit of good fortune. Given my recent form I have set a minimum target of sub-03:10 with a more ambitious target of coming within an hour of the world record - 02:04:26. I think my capability is within that range and on a very good day - who knows?
On a final note last Sundays HM also doubled as the AAI's Munster HM Championships and I was the third member of the Eagle AC masters team that qualified for a silver medal. The prizes just keep on coming. Soon i'll have to give up the day job - don't think so!.
Have a good weekend.
Mon 15th Sept
2.5 Miles in 00:22:00 (08:48 pace - Treadmill)
Sleep: 7 hrs 7/10
Legs: 6.5/10
Tue 16th Sept
a.m. 5.23 Miles in 00:43:38 (8:21 pace @ 125 HR)
p.m. 7.05 Miles in 00:59:56 (08:30 pace @ 131 HR) with 3k to .8k Ints @ 06:15 to 05:38 pace
Sleep: 6.5 hrs - 6.5/10
Legs: 6.5/10
Wed 17th Sept
a.m. 8.6 Miles in 01:11:21 (08:18 pace - stopwatch)
p.m. 2.5 Miles in 00:20:00 (08:00 pace - Treadmill)
Sleep: 6.5 hrs - 7/10
Legs 7/10
Thur 18th Sept
9.24 Miles in 01: 15:57 (08:13 pace - stopwatch)
Sleep: 6 hrs - 6/10
Legs: 6/10
Fri 19th Sept
6.03 Miles in 49:47 (08:15 pace @ 125HR)
Sleep: 8 hrs - 8/10 (needed)
Legs: 7.5/10

Monday, 15 September 2008

Half Marathon Recap

The photo below confirms my 01:24:30 HM finish time yesterday. Mile, Pace, Time, HR 01, 06:31, 06:33, 151 02, 06:33, 13:04, 157 03, 06:29, 19:33, 160 04, 06:33, 26:06, 169 05, 06:44, 32:50, 169 06, 07:05, 39:55, 168 07, 06:09, 46:04, 168 08, 06:08, 52:12, 169 09, 06:09, 58:21, 169 10, 06:22, 64:43, 171 (10 Mile PB?) 11, 06:19, 71:02, 172 12, 06:27, 77:29, 175 13, 06:23, 83:52, 178 13.11, 00:38, 84:30, 184 The HR certainly shows the increasing stress I was under from mile 10 on. Just hanging in there before blowing up - I certainly left it close but isn't that what you're supposed to do for the perfect race and I don't think I was far off it yesterday. The key is to know what you are capable of and head out at that pace and hang in. I miscalculated in my August 5k when I blew up 300m before the line. The danger in applying that race philosophy in a marathon is that a small miscalculation in target pace could mean a disastrous end to the race. While McMillan would give me a 02:58:13 marathon (equivalent to doubling HM time and adding 10 minutes as mentioned by Alien Lizard). Heading out at 06:48 pace in Amsterdam still represents a huge gamble in my book. While my calves are a bit stiff from yesterday I feel reasonably ok. My recovery run will have to wait until this evening as I woke late this morning. Marathon Week 11/16 - 63.5 Miles Chasing Charlies Angels at 5 Miles.

Sunday, 14 September 2008

I Found My HR Monitor.........

I should tidy under the bed more often - cause I find all sorts of things that I have given up as lost, none more precious than my Garmin HR Monitor. Now I could see, as well as feel, the suffering in todays Half Marathon in Blarney. The morning was perfect, for running that is, mild with a light rain. I left home shortly after 10 for the 15 minute drive to Blarney. Still no sign of sunshine - great. Following registration I met Brendan coming in from his warmup as I was heading out on mine. I felt a bit sluggish and my stomach was a bit heavy after my breakfast - not conducive to fast running - then again that is the purpose of the warmup - better to warmup before the race than during the first few miles. I returned to my car and changed, pinning the gel I got from Richard to the inside of my shorts - felt a bit uncomfortable so I decided to hold it in my hand. I met Thomas just before the start and we wished each other well as we stood on the footpath not too far from the front line....and then the gun (well whistle) went off and we were away. As I was slightly in front of Thomas I got in front of him as we headed down the road - new territory for me. I kept a comfortable pace over the first mile, my half formed strategy being to keep under 06:50 pace (90 mins) until I was over the first hilly half and push the pace for home after that. A few runners passed me during the first mile, but I controlled myself. 3 Eagle AC runners in particular, noticeable from their black singlets (I don't have one yet), passed me - Pat Twomey, Pat Murphy and Denis Carroll. I thought that I might see some of them again as my target was somewhere in the middle of their recent results. Mile 1 in 06:31 - "ok well it is my HM training Pace and the hill hasn't come yet and I feel comfortable". I kept the pace reasonably even as we headed out to Waterloo when suddenly the gel slipped from my hand and I turned my head in what appeared to be slow motion, took a quick look at it lying on the road - "fuck it" I thought and turned around and took one of two fast steps to retake my position relative to the guy in front of me. "Shit" I thought "I may come to regret not picking it up - then again I could drop it again - i'll just have to make sure and take on water at each station". Mile 2 in 06:33 - "Slightly behind the 06:30 pace required for 01:25 - well that was always going to be a very tough target, remember sub-90 is the goal" - but I knew that I would not be satisified with just a sub-90 - I wanted a bit more. First water station after the 2 mile mark and I managed to get some water into me. The next 2 miles went by more or less at the same pace as I managed to pull back some distance on runners in front of me, Pat Twomey being one of them (Pat did very well in the AAI 2008 National Half marathon in waterford last Sunday - getting third M55 in 87:55). Mile 3 in 06:29 and Mile 4 in 06:32. Then the rise to Grenagh started, first with a gentle pull and gradually getting steeper. I spotted Pat Murphy in the middle of a bunch of girls ahead (like Charlie and his angels) and gradually managed to catch up and as the rise began to get steeper the bunch spread out leaving me and Pat at the front. Mile 5 in 06:44 - To be quite honest, eventhough the Garmin matched the mile markers very well, I did not see all the mile splits (combination of small text and trying to keep my arm still) - but I knew I was doing farily well and while I felt good there was a long way to go and I was hoping the early pace could be maintained to the finish without blowing up. The road continued to rise and then the only steep part of the course to the 6 mile mark. My pace certainly reduced but so did the pace of those in front. Top of the hill into Grenagh Village. Mile 6 in 07:04 - I certainly don't remember seeing that split. The Garmin was on total time and current and lap (1 mile) pace. I picked up the pace going through the village and then the right turn and the long steep downhill over the best part of 3/4 of a mile. Picking off one or two in front but most managed to increase their pace like me. I spotted Denis Carroll ahead - if I'm near him I must be doing good. Mile 7 in 06:09 - I certainly didn't see that split at the time. The next 2 miles turned out to be at the same pace (although I didn't know at the time) Mile 8 in 06:08 - I did see the total time of 52:12 as I passed the 8 mile mark. Mile 9 in 06:09 - Those three miles were consistently fast - may be due to the momentum of the first. I was alongside Dennis Carroll now, after passing a guy and a girl (girl turned out to be 2nd female). But I don't think I got too far ahead as I could hear the odd bystander saying "c'mon Dennis" as I passed. Fatigue began to creep into my legs now and my breathing got heavier as the effort to maintain pace became more difficult. Every time I looked at my watch the current pace seemed to read 06:27. As I passed the ten mile mark I looked at the watch 01:04 "shit no second display on this screen - still it is better than my Ballycotton 10 Mile PB of 01:05:04. Mile 10 in 06:23 - Didn't see this split either. I was now concentrating on the overall time. I appeared to be close to 01:25 time so I started counting down the minutes as the effort and pain intensified. I caught up with another Eagle AC runner, Derek O'Keeffe, and we ran more or less together over the next few miles, changing position regularly. Mile 11 in 06:19 - All I saw was 01:11 on the watch. "14 more minutes of pain - keep the legs on autopilot for as long as you can". This is when the mind games begin. I began wondering when I would begin to blow up and fall of the pace - would I lose 1 or 2 minutes. "The longer I hold on the less I will lose". Mile 12 in 06:27 - "01:17 on the clock - only 8 minutes of pain". Dennis Carroll was back on my shoulder and passing me out. Derek was ahead of me also. How much would I fall behind them - would I lose 30 seconds over this last mile. My "autopilot" kept going. We kept going and for a spell I was in front of them. "They don't look as bad as I feel, maybe they are human just like me". So we all suffer in silence. Mile 13 in 06:23 - just another big effort up a short incline and around the corner, I could see the finishing area, Dennis was past me at this stage - I had no kick. I was just delighted to be so close to the end as my first sight of the clock showed 01:24:2x. I passed under it in something like 01:24:33 and stopped my watch. Exhausted, delighted and sooo glad to be finished. My watch said 01:24:30 but I don't mind I was under 85 minutes I couldn't believe it! I had beaten my PB by over 5 minutes. I know it was any easy PB to beat, but to run a HM in sub-85 as my first sub-90. McMillan had given me 01:25:07 as my target HM based on my April 10k time and I had beaten it - this is now my breakthrough race. While I was expecting Thomas to come up on my shoulder at any moment during the race, it was not to be - but he was closer than I thought. I met Thomas, Brendan, Richard and my neighbour, Pat, after the race (he ran it at the last moment with very little training and still did a 01:36). Richard let out a cheer when he heard that I had come in first as my race history with Thomas had not been peppered with success. I completed a warmdown with Brendan back to the car (less than a mile) where I met John Desmond and I joined John for a warmdown with Pat Twomey back out the Waterloo road. What I didn't know was that this warmdown was over 4 miles - a "Pat Twomey" special I'm told and by the time it was over so was I. I was famished and headed straight for the refreshments at the GAA Hall - and what a spread was laid on - ham rolls, cakes, scones, tea, soup, coffee and plenty of it - full credit to the volunteers with St Finbarrs AC they know what a hungry runner needs - plenty of food & drink. The official results put me at 01:24:21 which I think is wrong. Others thought that the official time was out by 7 seconds - so i'll stick with my watch time of 01:24:30. Sun 14th Sept 19.13 Miles in 02:14:56 (07:03 Pace @ 156 HR) with 13.11 Miles in 01:24:30 (06:27 pace @ 167 HR)

Saturday, 13 September 2008


From Wednesday to Friday I was attending a conference in Wexford at which I was giving a presentation. In the pub (aptly named the Undertaker - although I think that was the other profession of the publican - which is common in Ireland) on Thursday evening I got talking to a fellow runner, Richard, who is training for the Dublin marathon. I asked Richard was he doing the Blarney half on Sunday to which he replied "Do you think I would be here if I was?". "Maybe I'm not taking this seriously enough" I thought as I stared into my pint of Guinness.
Once we got talking about long distance runs, gels, hills, etc. the others in our group looked on as if we were from a different planet especially when Richard started talking about how addictive running can be. "Nutters" someone said as he passed by on his way from the bar - at least there was more than one of us. The following morning Richard gave me one of his "Go" gels that he swears by (doesn't need to be taken with water) So I'll give it a go in tomorrows half - Thanks Richard.
In terms of running I completed a 7.7 mile base/recovery pace run on Wednesday morning after the Tuesday mixed intervals.
The recovery week programme called for 2 x 2 miles @ HM pace for Thursday morning which I completed on an out and back run from the Hotel out the Rosslare Road. The first 2 fast miles were into a strong headwind and a net uphill which took a lot out of me. I was glad when I turned around and had the wind at my back for the return leg. the fast miles splits were:-
06:56 (uphill section into the wind was tough) - avg 06:51 pace outbound
06:25 (expected faster downhill with the wind)
06:18 - avg 06:22 pace inbound
Avg 06:36 pace overall.
Two easy 5 milers on Friday and Saturday mornings completed the week ahead of tomorrows Half marathon in Blarney which should see me get my first official sub-90 result - hopefully the first of three PB's between now and Amsterdam.
Wed 10th Sept
7.76 Miles in 01:02:41 (08:05 Pace)
Thur 11th Sept
9.1 Miles in 01:07:02 (07:22 pace ) with 2 x 2 miles @ 06:37 pace average
Fri 12th Sept
5 Miles in 39:42 (07:56 Pace) - TREADMILL
Sat 13th Sept
5.36 Miles in 45:56 (08:34 Pace) with Adrian, my old running partner.

Tuesday, 9 September 2008

Premature Recovery

This four week phase of my training programme ends with a recovery week leading to a HM tune-up race. As I have the Blarney Half Marathon next Sunday I have swapped weeks 3 and 4, taking the recovery week this week instead.
Sunday's recovery day was welcome as my calves were a little tight after Saturdays 20 miler. The tightness was still evident during Mondays base pace run over 7.7 miles but had eased by Monday evening when I churned out another 2.5 miles on the treadmill. I am being careful with not overdoing things so close to marathon day as it was at this stage in my previous training cycle that I developed ITBS, followed the week after by calf cramps which essentially prevented me from completing long (ITBS) and tempo runs (cramps) during the six weeks leading up to the Cork Marathon - just when I needed them the most.
This evenings mixed intervals at the track went off quite well particularly as it was a cutback session with 2k @ HM Pace, 1 Mile @ 10k pace, 1k @ 5k pace and 800m @ 3k pace. The times compared to those of 2 weeks ago compare reasonably well as follows:-

Scheduled Dist & (Pace) - 9th Sept - (25th Aug) 2,000m @ HM (06:30) - 06:18 - (06:15) 3,000m 1 Mile @ 10k (06:09) - 06:01 - (06:00) 1,000m @ 5k (05:56) - 05:45 - (05:48) 800m @ 3k (05:40) - 05:37 - (05:38)

Garmin measured the paces for each Interval as 06:05, 05:50, 05:31 & 05:31 but I'll go with the track distances and assume that the satellites had a job tracking me going around in circles.

Have a good week.

Mon 8th Sept

  • a.m. 7.72 Miles in 01:00:35 (07:51 Pace)
  • p.m. 2.5 Miles in 00:19:50 (07:56 Pace)

Tue 9th Sept

  • 6.98 Miles in 00:52:31 (07:32 Pace) with Mixed Intervals 2k to 0.8k @ 06:18 to 05:37 pace

Sunday, 7 September 2008

Marathon Pace My Arse!

My "long" run this week called for 9 miles @ MP with 2 miles warmup and recovery giving 13 miles in total. Not wanting to reduce my endurance training I opted to extend the run to 20 miles and revert to the programme by taking today off and recovering. Marathon pace for me, which is based on my "once off" 10k in April, is 06:51 and although I have not come even close to it in a marathon (07:31 is the best so far) it is still my training target and if I can run at that pace I will. While I find it near impossible to achieve some of the faster training paces (e.g. tempo runs @ 10k pace) I appear to generally get on target for the "slower" paces (half marathon to marathon pace). My plan was to hit the 06:50's after the 2 mile warmup and possibly extend the MP section to 10 miles and "cool down" over another 8 miles. The route I selected was reasonably flat, with the first mile to the Inniscarra Bar and then a left heading in the Lee Road to Wellington Bridge, down the Mardyke, along the UCC walk to the North Gate Bridge and back out the Straight Road, through Ballincollig to the Ovens Bar on the Macroom Road and back home. Following 08:02 and 07:34 opening miles I cranked up the pace coveing mile 3 in 06:52 (bang on target). The effort felt reasonably comfortable but I had to concentrate at times to keep from falling off the pace as my cruise control wasn't the best. The remaining MP miles went by pretty uneventful:- 06:49 07:07 (the only real hill) 06:28 (gradual descent down the other side - fastest mile) 06:44 06:42 06:45 06:44 06:47 06:35 (pushed the last mile) 10 Miles in 01:07:39 (06:46 Pace average) I can tell you now that there is no way that I could extend that pace for another 10 miles not to mind 16.2. To be quite honest this is closer to my half marathon pace and I would be quite happy to run at this pace in the Half marathon next Sunday - after all it would give me my first sub-01:30 HM (01:28:41). While I was tired after pushing the last MP mile I recovered and kept the remaining 8 miles all under 08:00 pace to give me 20 miles in 02:24:15 (07:13 Pace). My fastest 20 miles to-date (I think). I thought about what kind of 10k I could have run if I had kept going - even a 50 minute 10k would give me a sub 03:15 Marathon. However that final 10k shouldn't be under-estimated as, from an effort point of view, you are only halfway through a marathon at the 20 mile mark. I was glad of the rest day today as my legs were fairly fatigued and I had a bit of a hangover following a feed of Guinness at a neighbour's 40th birthday party last night (@ this morning) Sat 6th Sept 20 Miles in 02:24:15 (07:13 Pace) - with 10 miles in 01:07:39 (06:46 Pace) Legs: 8/10 Sleep: 7 hrs: 7.5/10 Marathon Training week 10/16 - 59.5 Miles .

Thursday, 4 September 2008

Happy Beginnings and Sad Endings

The title of my post has nothing to do with running but does accurately reflect my week thus far. On Monday Saran had his first day at School and from the minute he went in the door he didn't look back. "I want to go to school for ever and ever" is what he said after his first day. Lets hope the sentiment lasts.
On Tuesday I went to Dublin to attend the funeral of a colleague's wife who lost her battle with cancer at the age of 45 - very sad occasion. So heartbreaking to see her Husband, Tony, and 2 young daughters (10 & 15) say their last farewells.
On the running front I covered 10 miles on Monday at base pace (07:44) following Sundays day of rest.
I was overnight in Wexford on Tuesday night (work related) so did not get to do my mixed intervals at the track and instead covered 10k on the treadmill at the Hotel I was staying in. I had it in my mind to do a 5k race in Cork on Wednesday evening in lieu of the mixed intervals but decided against it as I was tired when I got home and Abina was heading out to work.
That left my legs fresh for this mornings 2 x 3.75 miles @ HM pace - although I felt less than fresh hauling my sorry ass out of bed at 0530hrs. The route was fairly flat (same route as last training cycle) so that I would have a fighting chance. While McMillan gives me a 06:30 HM pace my HM PB pace is 06:52 - so anywhere between the two would mean a satisfactory run.
Last training cycle I extended the first leg to 4.25 miles in 06:34 pace to get the pain over with early and the return 3.25 miles in 06:31 pace. This time round I wasn't too far off that with the first 3.75 miles in 06:32 pace and the return leg after half a mile at recovery pace slightly slower in 06:35 pace. The splits
06:36 06:38 06:23 04:48 (06:24 pace) . 6:33 06:45 (partly uphill) 06:33 04:48 (06:24 pace) .
Mon 1st Sept a.m. 10.18 Miles in 01:18:43 (07:44 Pace) p.m. 2.5 Miles in 19:50 (07:56) treadmill Legs: 7/10 Sleep 6.5 Hrs: 7/10 .
Tue 2nd Sept 6.2 Miles in 47:20 (07:38 Pace) treadmill Legs: 7/10 Sleep: 6hrs: 6/10 .
Thur 4th Sept a.m. 12 Miles in 01:25:49 (07;09 Pace) with 2 x 3.75 @ 06:32 & 06:35 Pace. p.m. 2.5 Miles in 21:50 (08:44 Pace) treadmill - recovery. Legs: 8/10 Sleep: 5.5hrs: 5.5/10