Saturday, 29 March 2008


While I started the week sharpening my speed on the track I got progressively slower in my speed workouts as the week wore on.
Thursdays run called for 5.5 Miles @ 10k pace (06:15-06:18) between 2 miles warm-up and warmdown @ recovery pace. I completed 4.6 miles @06:31 pace 2 weeks ago and missed last weeks session so I was hoping for an improved performance (less that 06:30 pace).
My 2 mile warmup was a bit faster than recovery pace (08:14) but I felt strong heading into my 5.5 (actually 5.6) fast miles keeping a steady pace - the polar was only accurate enough to tell me I was running sub 7 minute pace. As I kept the same course as 2 weeks ago I was conscious of the 29:57 time I achieved for the 4.6 miles. As I approached 4.6 miles I knew I was down on time which was confirmed when I pressed the lap button at 30:19 - still I persevered through the last mile in 06:27 to get a total of 36:46 for 5.6 miles (a slightly disappointing 06:34 pace). Still I was happy with the workout - I don't think I could ever run an 9k tempo run @ 10k pace (unless my "10k pace" was easy). I completed a 3.1 mile warmdown to give me 10.7 miles for the run.
Friday's recovery run over 9.6 miles went well, but again was a bit faster than recovery (08:30+) pace @ 08:07 per mile. I also did 2.5 miles on the treadmill in the evening at about 07:54 pace.
The lack of recovery running took its toll on this mornings 17 mile progression run - 9 miles @ base pace and increasing the pace over the last 8 miles to finish the last mile @ HM pace (06:36). I completed one of these 2 weeks ago more or less to plan (perhaps with a fast base pace of 07:50). This morning was wet and windy and Pat and I almost decided to head for the treadmills at the gym instead. But the rain began to clear and we decided to "give it a go".
The early miles were at a relaxed pace although my legs thought I was going faster. We arrived at the 9 mile mark in 01:15 (08:20 pace) and I slowly increased the pace - by this stage my polar footpod had packed up (I must get me one of those Garmin thingies) so I decided to record laps at road junctions so that I could analyse my pace on Google Earth post run (not the recommended way to pace yourself). To be honest my legs felt tired and achy long before mile 9 and I was debating with myself whether on not I would be able to complete the run to plan.
Mile splits from here on are post run calculated.
The first "progressive" mile was partly uphill into a strong headwind (08:13) - not a great motivator.
Mile 2 was mainly downhill (07:31)
Remaining miles in
07:33 - uphill
07:08 - the best I could do. There was noting in the legs.
While the paces were disappointing considering the energy I put in I'll put it down to experience and not enough rest (I certainly could have done with more sleep this week). With legs like that a sub-40 minutes 10k tomorrow week would be out of the question. A "recovery run" tomorrow and a cut back week should have me back in form in no time (it's better to have the dud run out of the way).
Thur 26th Mar
10.7 Miles in 01:17:13 (07:13 pace @ 148 HR) with 5.6 Miles in 36:46 (06:34 pace)
Fri 27th Mar
a.m. 9.6 Miles in 01:17:56 (08:07 pace @ 127 HR)
p.m. 2.5 Miles in 19:44 (07:54 pace @ 128 HR)
Sat 29th Mar
17.2 Miles in 02:16:46 (07:57 pace @ 134 HR) with 8.2 Miles @ 07:32 pace

Wednesday, 26 March 2008

Better start to the week

Took a rest day on Monday and therefore headed into Tuesdays track session of 6 x 1k @ 5k pace feeling refreshed which showed in the times compared to last week:- 03:48 03:48 03:47 03:47 03:47 03:43 (pushed the last rep to get under 3:45 - 1:30 laps) Recoveries were still greater than the scheduled 3 mins as Pat tended to stretch just as we approached the start line for each rep. Running in lane 3 (1,048m) the pace equated to 05:42 to 05:50 (03:33 - 03:38). I still felt strong for this mornings recovery run (normally 08:30+ pace) churning out 10.7 miles in 01:23:58. Somehow I feel tomorrow mornings tempo run of 5.5 miles @ 10k pace will suffer. Tue 25th Mar 8.1 miles in 01:07:08 (08:17 pace @ 141HR) with 6 x 1k @ 03:43 to 03:48 Wed 26th Mar 10.7 Miles in 01:23:58 (07:51 pace @ 131HR)

Sunday, 23 March 2008

Dodgy Gut

Week 14/24 started out poorly, dropped to a few zero days before recovering at the weekend. As Monday was a Bank Holiday (Paddys Day) I opted for a short 6.7 mile run in the evening after spending the afternoon downtown with the family. Throughout the run I felt tired and lethargic with no energy and what felt like a lump of lead in my stomach (I blamed it on the unscheduled stop at McDonalds earlier) On Tuesday I felt no better heading out to the track in the evening to run 5 x 1k intervals with Pat next door. Only for Pat I think I would have stopped after a few reps as the effort coupled with stomach cramps and general aches and pains all over was such that I was ready to throw up if the pace/distance increased by 1%. The recoveries between reps were (thankfully) well over the 3 minutes scheduled for (al lot of walking involved). With a target of < 03:54 I just about managed it - 03:51 03:50 03:52 03:52 03;53 Why I went for an 8.6 Mile recovery run on Wednesday morning I will never know. It was one of the worst runs ever - I felt absolutely terrible throughout. This run is normally tiring coming as it does less than 12 hours after the track session but when shivery aches and pains and stomach cramps are thrown into the mix it make for one hell of an experience. While the shivers and stomach cramps affected my running they were not sufficient to warrant time off work as I could function reasonably well when my heart rate was in double digits. Needless to say Thursday's tempo run (4.5 miles @ 10k pace) was initially postponed until Friday and then cancelled. The additional sleep I got Thursday and Friday mornings did not appear to boost my energy levels though. However I did feel sufficiently well to head out on my long run on Saturday morning. All things going well I planned on going longer than 20 miles (23+). Heading out the door I was met by a strong cold northerly wind and so my first 2.1 miles consisted of a loop back to the house to fetch gloves and hat - and off I headed again on my usual 20 mile loop, throwing in a 1 mile diversion on the way (I'd do the same on the way back to get 24.1 Miles in total - assuming I didn't bail in the meantime). The first 5 miles were not the most comfortable starting miles of a long run I've ever had but the discomfort did not subside or intensify as the miles increased. Knowing that I would be out for in excess of 3 hours I concentrated on time left as opposed to how far from home I was so that I was less concerned with distance and kept an even pace/effort. Towards the end I was beginning to tire but still threw in the 1 mile detour on the return leg and briefly thought about repeating the 2.1 mile loop from the house to give me a Marathon training run like Thomas did last week. but decided against it for the following reasons:-
  1. Thomas is training for a 39 mile ultra in 2 weeks (compared to my 10k)
  2. I wanted to recover reasonably quickly (If I had planned a 26.2 miles I should have at least headed out at a slower pace)
  3. I was already well above the scheduled 18 mile long run in my programme.

I completed the 24.1 miles in 03:15:40 (08:07 pace) which wasn't bad given my form earlier in the week. However, on checking my log, this time last year I completed similar long runs at slightly faster paces (07:59) - albeit at marginally higher heart rates 137 compared to 133 yesterday - doesn't look like an awful lot of improvement in a year.

This morning I headed out for an 11.4 mile recovery run which was taken at a slow pace (the only pace available this morning) - no thoughts of extending it like last week - probably still not 100%.

Mon 17th Mar

6.7 Miles in 56:53 (08:29 pace @ 117 HR???)

Tue 18th Mar 7.0 Miles in 01:03:08 (09:01 pace @ 132 HR) with 5 x 1000m @ 03:50 to 03:53 (5k pace) Wed 19th Mar 8.6 Miles in 01:12:46 (08:28 pace @ 127 hr) Sat 22nd Mar 24.1 miles in 03:15:40 (08:07 pace @ 133 HR) Sun 23rd Mar 11.4 Miles in 01:38:54 (08:41 pace @ 121 HR) Total of 57.8 Miles for week 14. Happy Easter to all.

Sunday, 16 March 2008


My week 13 "Long Run" asked for "Progression Run - Run 16 miles - Run first 8 miles @ base pace then gradually increase pace every mile: run last mile @ half-marathon pace” No problem I thought. My plan was to cover the first 8 miles at 08:00 pace and drop 10 seconds per mile over the last 8 to end up at 06:40 pace for the final mile. (My target HM pace is actually 06:36) My next door neighbour Pat who is also training for the Cork Marathon and now following the remainder of my programme, albeit as slower training paces, decided to run with me - for the first 8 miles at least. As my Polar running watch is a bit erratic in that it only measures distance accurately within a particular speed range (and the faster I go the more it under records distance - must be something to do with my gait) I wasn't sure how I would monitor my increase in pace during the second half of the run. The route we selected, which was 16.2 miles long, took us on a loop from Ballincollig in the “Straight road”, along the Mardyke, up past the College, out to Glasheen, (mile 8) Togher, in the Sarsfield Road to Bishopstown, and back out the Model Farm Road to Ballincollig. We headed out shortly after 8 on Saturday morning and after a first slow mile (08:25) gradually got into a rhythm which saw us get as low as 07:40 pace - faster than planned but comfortable. We averaged the first eight miles at 07:54 pace. I slowly cranked up the speed for mile 9 which I completed in 07:44 (Pat dropping off slightly). In the Sarsfield Road for the 10th mile (downhill mainly so should be fast) – 07:29 v’s target of 07:40. The rest of the miles went something like this: Mile 11 – 07:07 (07:30 target) - through Bishopstown. - steady Mile 12 – 07:10 (07:20 target) - Melbourn Rd/Model Farm Rd - steady Mile 13 – 06:59 (07:10 target) - Model Farm Road, uphill - tough but manageable Mile 14.2 - 07:00 (07:00 target) – Model Farm Rd/Ballincollig – comfortably hard Mile 15.2 – 06:50 (06:50 target) – hard but controlled. Mile 16.2 – 06:30 (06:40 target) – first half uphill - very tough last mile. The paces for miles 10 to 14.2 were calculated after the run as the overall distance recorded for the last 8.2 miles was 7.9 miles and the recorded times had to be redistributed. The time for last 2 miles was recorded manually as I knew the mile markers. That was certainly a tough run and was more a combination of a speed workout and a long run rolled into one than the usual weekend long run that I’m used to – tortuous, therefore it must have some training benefit. On Sunday I went on a planned 11.5 mile recovery run which turned into 15.7 miles at a slightly faster pace – What can I say I need the endurance and don’t seem to be able to get double digit miles in during the week. Fri 14th Mar 8.6 Miles in 01:10:48 (08:14 pace @ 121 HR) Sat 15th Mar 16.2 Miles in 02:01:23 (07:30 pace @ 137 HR) first 8 miles @ 7:54 pace, last 8.2 Miles @ 07:06 pace. Sun 16th Mar 15.7 Miles in 02:06:00 (08:02 pace @ 125 HR) Week 13/24 – 76 Miles.

Thursday, 13 March 2008

Not quite up to speed

Week 13 of my 24 marathon Training Programme sees me enter the "Build 2 Phase" where my objectives are to "continue to build endurance, increase fatigue resistance at 5k and 10k pace and build efficiency at half-marathon and marathon pace" - not much really! While Monday was a rest day I headed out for a recovery/easy run on Tuesday morning before my first weekly speed session at the track in the evening. My legs felt comfortably strong but the wind and rain increased in intensity during the run leaving me saturated by the time I got home. While the rain was gone come evening the wind was still strong and the advice at the track was to "stay in the outer lanes" as one of the stanchions supporting the netting around the hammer throw enclosure was swaying dangerously in the wind. Apparently it had come down in high winds last year. My schedule was for 1,000m reps @ 5k pace (now more or less 06:00 = 2.5 laps in lane 3 @ 03:54). As other were running in lane 3 without ill effects I did a quick risk assessment and decided to stick with my original plan ( anyway I couldn't work out how many laps in lane 8 would do). During my final warrmdown lap the wind picked up and the rain came down sideways and as I passed the hammer throw enclosure the stanchion was swaying nitoceably and it's base plate was rising and falling on it's concrete foundation (glad I was leaving) Looked like the next session was cancelled. While my legs were tired the reps went reasobably well: 03:54, 03:50 & 03:48 with 3 minute recoveries. When I got home I discovered the programme called for 4 x 1,000 reps - Doh! An easy 8.6 mile run again on Wednesday (rain gone but strong westerly wind didn't help on the return home) ahead of today's 4.5 miles @ 10k pace (which has now reduced from 06:18 to 06:14 thanks to last Sunday). My miles repeats at 10K pace over the last 4 weeks were hard enough - how was I going to string 4.5 of them together without stopping. I know that I should be capable of running 10K at 10K pace but not at 6 in the morning and still half asleep. I decided that I would run on effort so that at least I would cover the 4.5 miles without blowing up halfway through. I stuck to my normal 8.6 mile route with the scheduled 2 mile warm up/warm down leaving the middle 4.6 miles for the hard pace work. As this included some hill work (up past the guide dogs home and again up a gradual rise past Carrigrihane PO on the return) I wasn't going to obsess over the time. While the effort felt hard at the start I got into a grove for a while keeping the leg turnover and effort steady so that I finished the 4.6 miles in 29:57 (a minute or so down on the 06:18 pace target) - actual pace of 06:31. I'm not too upset about it as a 30 minute tempo run for my level of fitness according to Jack Daniels (of the "Running Formula" kind) should be completed at 06:36 pace. I'll see how my pace develops over the coming weeks. To be honest if I had managed 06:18 pace I would have beaten my 4 mile PB by a few seconds and have been heading for a 36 second 5 mile PB (remember that's an IF). Tue 11th Mar a.m. 8.6 Miles in 01:09:14 (08:03 pace @ 129 HR) p.m. 7.2 Miles in 56:54 (07:54 pace @ ?? No HRM) incl 3 x 1000m @ 03:48 - 03:54 Wed 12th Mar a.m. 8.6 Miles in 01:12:11 (08:24 pace @ 122 HR) p.m. 2.5 miles on the treadmill in 19:44 (07:54 pace @ 130 HR) Thur 14th Mar 8.6 Miles in 01:03:02 (07:20 pace @ 144 HR) incl 4.6 Miles @ 06:31 pace & 157 HR

Monday, 10 March 2008

Slight Correction

Thomas drafting off Brendan during the early miles at Ballycotton.
My Mile splits for yesterdays Ballycotton 10 were slightly out as they only added to 65:01 as I rounded down the splits on the watch so here is the stats for the record:-

(Mile, Pace, Avg HR, Cum time)

1 - 06:47 - 143 - 06:47
2 - 06:25 - 159 - 13:12
3 - 06:35 - 162 - 19:47
4 - 06:35 - 162 - 26:22
5 - 06:32 - 164 - 32:54
6 - 06:33 - 165 - 39:27
7 - 06:25 - 165 - 45:52
8 - 06:22 - 168 - 52:14
9 - 06:38 - 168 - 58:52
10- 06:12 - 172 - 65:04

My clock finish was 65:20 (not the 65:15 I thought I saw yesterday - the 16 second delay tallies with Brendan and is a second greater than the 15 seconds Thomas got).

I'm debating whether or not i'll go for the 5k next weekend as I'd rather keep to the training programme which has my first scheduled progression run next weekend over 16 miles. No point in testing my 5k PB if I don't give myself a chance by mini-tapering. The 5k I had in mind is the "Joey Hannan Memorial Croom 5K" which is over an hour from home on this day week (Paddy's Day).

One thing I learned from yesterday is that if I want to give myself the best chance for a sub-40 min 10k next month I need to warmup so that I can get into a fast pace from the off.

ps. Richard, well done on breaking the 70 min barrier yesterday. I didn't realise who you were until I put 2 & 2 together with the results.

pps Congrats on the new addition to your family as well - I meant to say it after the ESB 5k.

Saturday, 8 March 2008

Ballycotton 10 - still on the upward slope.

As this was a programmed recovery week my scheduled runs for Friday and Saturday were short and easy. As Abina was working on Thursday night Saran, our 4 years old boy who still snuggles up to her at night, used me as a substitute - so when 0530 hrs came on friday morning my attempt to slip out for a run was thwarted and I got a further hour+ in bed (I actually felt more tired when I did manage to get up at 0720hrs. I still managed to get 5.85 miles in at lunch time.

With a programmed 2 miles run on Saturday (hardly worth getting out of bed for) I left it for the treadmill at the gym while watching Saran and Ani at their weekly swimming lesson.

and so ................. to the race I had signed up to last November, one of the largest races on the calender the "Ballycotton 10" now in its 31st year.

This morning turned out to be a bright sunny morning with a moderate westerly cool breeze. Given the large numbers, competitors were advised to arrive at Ballycotton before 1130 hrs for the race start at 1330hrs. Thomas picked me up shortly after 1000hrs on his way from Kilorglin and we were off. While the sun was shining Thomas had seen snow enroute from Kerry and strong winds and stormy conditions had been forecast for later in the day.

We arrived in Ballycotton shortly after 11 and managed to get into one of the temporary carparks close to the village. After parking we met Brendan, a colleague from work who was also running the race. After walking the half mile to the village, browsing around the race HQ - not much to see unless you wanted to buy some last minutes running gear, we headed for the baggage area which was literally a field with some race officials handing out tags with your race number on it and plastic bags to put your belongings in. We hung around for awhile and used the portaloos as we didn't want to tog off and expose our bits to the cold wind until it was absoplutely necessary. Thomas and Brendan compared their garmin 305's (my Polar was left in the shade)
With 40 minutes to go we took off our outer layers, packed our bags and left for the start area. We completed a short warmup run to the end of the pier (bracingly cold when the wind blew) and back to the start area - less than half a mile. We stood between the sub 58 min and sub 65 min signs and counted down the minutes to the start (the last sign I could see was "sub-75 min" - what about all those 80 min plus runners that must have been in the 2,000+ strong crowd).

While Thomas had a 65 minute target (06:30 pace) I had no plan other than to run comfortably fast for the first few miles and see how I felt - obviously I would be keeping an eye on Thomas and Brendan as I didn't expect their paces to be too dissimilar to mine.

Finally the gun went off and we moved slowly forward. I was surprised at how long it took us to cross the start line (about 15 seconds) - The first mile was slow as we ducked and weaved where possible to get past slower runners (why did they start so far forward???) all three of us within 5 yards of each other (I should know as I brought up the rear).

Mile 1 in 06:46 as I pressed the lap button much (timekeeper calling out 7 minutes even)

The crowd began to spread out as we continued into the slightly downhill 2nd mile. Brendan and Thomas were about 10 yards ahead of me at this stage but I was not inclined to catch up - the pace was slightly faster than I was willing to run at.

Then they were 20 yards ahead. If they continued at this pace I would be left behind - "so what" I thought "no point in trying to catch up and not being able to sustain the pace".

Mile 2 in 06:24 - the downhill effect.

The road levelled out and I continuted to run at a steady effort if not pace. Brendan and Thomas still ahead but not pulling away. These early miles felt tough as I did not feel I was "getting into my stride" - lack of a proper warmup probably.

Mile 3 in 06:35

Came alongside Thomas shortly after the 3 mile mark (Bendan a few yards ahead) - I remarked that we were slightly down on the 06:30 pace average. I thnik Thomas said something like "can't be helped". For the first time in the race I pulled ahead of Thomas fully aware of the likely cat and mouse game we would be playing over the next 6+ miles. I pulled alongside Brendan and we ran more or less together until mile 7.

Miles 4, 5, 6, 7 in 06:35, 06:32, 06:32 & 06:25 - Some good steady running. I certainly felt more comfortable over this section as we both continued to pass runners that had set out too fast. Brendan did say that he had set out too fast and was beginning to struggle. Still no sign of Thomas (I never look over my shoulder) but I was sure he had us in his sights. The halfway clock had just turned 33 minutes as we approached it -about 33:10 or so as we passed. Given the lag at the start I was not too far off my Mallow 10 PB half time of 32:52.

At around mile 7 I came across Nollaig Hunter (I had passed her in the last 400m of the Mallow 10 miler in January beating her by 2 seconds - she beat me by 2 mins in the Cork to Cobh 15 miler last September). We exchanged plesantries and I continued on my way.

By this time I had lost Brendan and continued to feel strong as mile 8 was a net downhill. However I wasn't getting complacent as I had heard mile 8.5 to the finish is primarily uphill and a "killer" (outward route in reverse)

Mile 8 in 06:22 - still going strong. Along a straight windy stretch at sea level for about 1/3 of a mile. Over this section two runners came up behind me and passed me out - I was sure each time that it was Thomas making his move - but as they came up on my shoulder my peripheral vision told me each time that the colour of the singlet was not yellow and therefore it was not Tomas.

Around a corner and up a short incline and onto a more gradual drag towards the 9 mile mark. Still running strong eventhough my stride shortened to account for the incline.

Mile 9 in 06:38 (Time keeper calling out 59 minutes as I approached). Sub- 66 minutes was certainly on the cards as I should easily clear the last mile in less than 7 minutes.

As I felt reasonably strong I began to push the pace closing in on a few runners and passing them out. From 1km out each 200m was marked. I knew that it was an uphill until the 200m to go mark and a slight downhill to the finish. I felt strong enough to pass a runner at the 600m mark thinking that I had only 200m of hill left - however when I rounded the corner to the 400m mark and saw the incline rise for another 200m my legs cut back (I only had the pace left for a 200m downhill and so I was overtaken and we both passed another guy who did not take too kindly to it and preceeded to burst his gut to overtake me - which, to be fair to him, he did as we approached the finish clock which read 01:05:15 as I passed under it, 2 seconds behind Mr burst a gut. "Well done" I said but he made no response or didn't turn around. 20 yards futher on one of the officials taking down race numbers asked him was he alright - so he must have appeared (from the front at least) to have been suffering badly.

My watch time gave me 01:05:04 (at 34 second PB which I am very pleased with) - Mile 10 in 06:11 the fastest mile of them all.

First half in 32:54 and second half in 32:10 (4 seconds slower than my 5 mile PB)

Marathon Training Week 12/24 - 44 miles or so. The next month is 10k training for a sub 40 minute in early April.

Thanks for the lift Thomas and apologies for lengthening your already long journey by leaving my phone in your car

Have to go now as there is pressure from the kids to get on the PC. I will let Thomas tell his story. Have a good one.

Thursday, 6 March 2008

Mid-Week Update

This being a recovery week the number of efforts scheduled for Tuesday's and Thursday's speed sessions were cut back from previous weeks with 9 x 400m @ 3k pace (01:27 - 01:30) on Tuesday and 3 x 1 mile @ 10k pace (06:18) on Thursday. The recovery run on Wednesday morning (less than 12 hours after Tuesday evenings intervals) was certainly on tired achy legs. However despite nearly turning over and ignoring the 0530hrs alarm this morning I put in a decent enough mile interval session on the straight road. The speed sessions went as follows:- (time, start HR, Avg HR, end HR) Tues 4th Mar 9 x 400m (3 min max recoveries) 01:23 - 122, 143,159 01:25 - 129, 143, 163 01:24 - 126, 153, 166 01:24 - 129, 153, 167 01:24 - 119, 150, 163 (took longer recovery chatting to another runner) 01:25 - 123, 151, 164 01:24 - 128, 159, 166 01:25 - 126, 154, 167 01:23 - 127, 158, 167. Thur 6th Mar 3 x 1 mile (2 min recoveries - walk) 06:17 - 130, 151, 156 06:09 - 108, 156, 162 06:04 - 112, 158, 167 (target 5k pace) Wed 5th Mar 8.6 Miles @ 01:13:01 (08:29 pace @ 122 HR) Tired Legs As for those of you placing bets on me beating Thomas in Sundays Ballycotton 10 - don't hold your breath. My form may be improving but not that quickly.

Sunday, 2 March 2008


I took the opportunity (more of a last minutes decision really) this weekend to test my endurance by doing 20 milers back to back, which seems to have benefitted others in the past. I had intended to do my long run (20+ miles) on Sunday with my neighbour, Pat, who is also training for the Cork Marathon and so decided that I would do a medium long run on Saturday morning (16 miles or so). However as I set out on my saturday run I had it in the back of my mind to stretch it to 20 miles just in case Sundays run was cut short (Pat had run one 16 miler from a short base). To cut a short story shorter I completed 20 miles and felt reasonably good coming in just under 8 minute pace. I didn't know how Sundays run would go but knew that I could ease back the pace to suit.
Come Sunday morning I got a text from Pat stating that he would have to give the run a miss as he had developed a bad sore throat which had been lingering for some time and so I headed out on my own bringing a carb drink (water only yesterday) with me to make sure I had every advantage. My legs felt none of the usual tiredness and aches that follow a long run as I covered the first 5 miles marginally faster than yesterday. While this gave me some confidence I knew that there was a strong possibility that I would not maintain this pace for the remaining 15 miles. By mile 10 I was about 1.5 minutes ahead of yesterday and still feeling comfortable. However the last 10 miles are hilly compared to the first 10 flat miles (nothing like the hills that Thomas runs though) and I was heading into unknown territory. As the miles went by my pace remained comfortable and my legs, while experiencing some aches felt surprisingly strong. By Mile 15 I was still running comfortably and felt confident of finishing strongly. I was still about 1.5 minutes ahead of yesterdays pace. Over the last few miles I kept a steady pace as my HR pushed into the 140's - I timed the last mile @ 07:26 as I pushed to get under 02:37 for the 20 miles. I could certainly do with some more of this endurance type training before Cork in June. I know I strayed well away from my marathon programme this weekend but it was worth it.
Tomorrow is a rest day as I head into a recovery week before a programmed 5k race/time trail next Sunday. Unfortunately there is no 5k race next weekend (maybe the weekend after) and I don't fancy time trials so I have opted for the next best thing - The Ballycotton 10 mile road race with over 3,000 entries on a course consisting of narrow rural twisting roads (I understand the last mile is a long uphill drag - should be good fun). Thomas has kindly offered me a lift as he will be passing my door en route from Kerry (at last a chance to meet........ and compete?).
Fri 29th Feb
a.m. 8.7 Miles in 01:15:43 (08:42 pace @ 127 HR) - Recovery
p.m. 2.5 Miles in 00:19:44 (07:54 pace @ 134 HR) - Treadmill
Marriage Proposals - 0
Sat 1st Mar
20 Miles in 02:38:56 (07:57 pace @ 134 HR)
Sun 2nd Mar
20Miles in 02:36:36 (07:50 pace @ 131 HR) - Lower HR and all
Week 11/24 - 75.3 Miles