Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Running on Tired Legs

Whoever designed my training schedule must have had a sadistic streak. Only three days after the 20 miles run it called for a mid-week 14 miles run. Not only was I still stiff from the weekend’s effort, it also meant I had to get up at 5:20 in the morning. On the plus side it meant a tranquil run in a beautiful setting with hardly anyone on the road, at least initially. The run was not too bad, but I could definitely still feel the effects of Sunday in my legs, and the longer the run went on the more my hamstrings were hurting. Luckily headwind or dogs didn’t bother me this time, and I managed to get back home in reasonable shape, but I am really tired now. There is still no rest for the weary, tomorrow calls for another 6 mile recovery run, but at least this week’s mileage is lower that last week, a mere 47 miles, and I have already covered 20 of those.

Monday, July 25, 2005

Long Long Long

20 miles sounded like a very long run, especially after the torturous 18 miles run two weeks ago. I woke up a couple of times the night before and it was raining heavily each time – not too encouraging. But the rain stopped in the morning, and temperature wise it was perfect. The strong wind was less so, and from mile 6 to 11 I was constantly running against an increasingly strong head wind. I suddenly got a stitch in my side, something that had never happened before since I started running in earnest. It was then that I got aware of my breathing. Instead of taking a breath every four steps I did so every three. I consciously changed my breathing pattern and the stitch disappeared. Apart from that there was no problem, I changed my running route from mile 13 to the finish to run in the woods toward Ard Na Sidhe, thus avoiding more wind.
Considering how long a run it was, I felt amazingly well, I was still running strong on the last mile. I was pretty tired for the rest of the day though, and today I’m quite stiff. Nevertheless, I’m pleased how well it went. There won’t be any longer runs than this for the rest of the training schedule (though there will be two more 20 milers), and to go through a run like this feeling fairly well is a tremendous confidence booster.

Friday, July 22, 2005

Long Ones

This week the mileage is seriously cranking up. 12 miles on Wednesday, 11 today (including 6 miles at LT speed), and the longest run is yet to come, 20 miles on Sunday. Add to that two shorter recovery runs and you have one big week. Well, not by athletic elite standards, but certainly by mine.
Additionally I had to endure a test of character yesterday, as the company organised a barbeque with free drinks. Most other guys (and the girls!) got drunk, and I was there with my glass of water. On the plus side, I’m the one without the splitting headache today.
The LT run today was great, I enjoy pushing myself harder, and I can already feel the effects of previous tempo runs on my fitness.
The missus yesterday mentioned to a friend that I got up at 6 am to go running (actually, it had been 5:30), and she recommended that I should go for a psychiatric treatment!

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

City Life is not for me

I think it’s fair to say that if I lived in Dublin, I would not have taken up running as a hobby. Most of the pathways are concrete, which is really bad for your knees, and where they are tarmac they tend to be so uneven that you have to be very careful to go over your ankles. Add to that that on each crossing you either have to break your rhythm or risk your life.
I didn’t realise that South Dublin is so hilly! Running up either Kill Lane or Newtownpark Avenue is a challenge, take my word for it.
I still managed the 37 miles I had intended, and the training is going quite well, to be honest. This week is going to be tough, with 54 miles, and a 20 miler on the weekend.

Saturday, July 09, 2005

It felt like hell!

The 18 miles run just 14 hours after the Killarney 5km fun run was pure torture. It didn’t help that the sun came out after 4 miles and was burning down relentlessly. I had chosen on a new route towards the McGillycuddy Reeks and that included a 3 miles stretch where the road continually went uphill. At least coming down the other way was easy! The worst thing was that I ran out of water 4 miles before the end. I didn’t drink enough before my run and felt thirsty soon enough, which is always a bad sign. Anyway, 2.5 miles before the end I asked an old lady if I could have a drink of water, because I was really dehydrated. She seemed actually please to have someone to talk to for a minute or two. Anyway, after thanking her several times (and really meaning it!) I went on for the last stretch home which now felt much easier. I was glad to come home though, mind. The whole run took over 2 hours 40 minutes.

Thoughts about Friday's Killarney 5km Fun Run

  • Don't eat a dinner just an hour before the run
  • Don’t wait behind some, well, heavier runner at the starting line. They are bound to slow you down when you try to overtake them.
    Fell for that one
  • Don’t run behind some good-looking girl and stare at her behind instead of overtaking her.
    Managed to avoid that one. Just.
  • Don’t run the race the day after an 11 miles run, and the day before an 18 miles long run. On the other hand, that is fine as long as you’re treating the race as part of the marathon training.
    I did the latter one, obviously.
  • Don’t worry about some overweight fellow overtaking you after 500 meters. You will catch him 1 km further on at the very latest.
  • Don’t worry about some kid not older than 8 or maybe 10 years in front of you. You will finally pass him on the last km.
  • Don’t worry about the maybe 70 years old granddad in front of you either. You will finally catch him on the hill just before the end.
  • If this is your first ever race over 5km, despite the fact that you have already finished two marathons, you’re doing that running thing the odd way round
    I know
  • Anyway, finishing within 21:50 despite being tired from the day before and despite not running all out because you’re conscious of the 18 miles run waiting for you just 14 hours later isn’t bad.
    At least I hope so.

Wednesday, July 06, 2005

Reality Bites Yet Again

The Good Lady Wife has informed me rather late that she made an executive decision that the whole family are going to spend next week in Dublin. She even pretended to have discussed that with me (which she had not) and that I had agreed (which I definitely did not). As I don’t fancy running 50 miles through Dublin’s traffic, I decided to up this week’s quota and have next week as a recovery week instead. Of course we are already in the middle of the week, but my total so far is only one mile less than scheduled, and I can live with that I guess. To further complicate matters, I will have to do this week’s long run on Saturday rather than Sunday because there is no way I can run 18 miles in the morning and then share the drive up to Dublin.

I’ll handle it, I’m sure.

Monday, July 04, 2005

Here Comes the Rain Again

A run of 17 miles sounded very daunting, and I was somehow dreading it all Saturday, but when I got going, it wasn’t nearly as bad as I feared it would be. The biggest problem was the weather. It was raining very heavily when I intended to go out, so I delayed for about 20 minutes, when the sun was shining again. All went well for two hours, when, at 14 miles, the mother of all downpours erupted. It was raining so hard that I first thought it was hail stoning. There was not much I could do about it, apart from keeping running. It rained for less than 20 minutes, so the last mile was run in full sunshine again, but I was soaked all the way through, and rather glad when I got home. The whole run took 2 hours 26 minutes, which I was pleased with.

This was the longest run I have ever done in one go without any walking breaks, so I am definitely getting a lot fitter. The first phase of the training schedule is now complete, next week is a recovery week with “only” 36 or so miles to go, and then the lactate sessions phase will begin. Somehow, in my weird way, I am actually looking forward to that.