Thursday, November 23, 2006

Irish lesson

Ok, I dug out the map, as promised, and the Irish name of the water witch is Callahaniska, though I strongly suspect that’s actually an anglisation of the original spelling. The second part of the name comes from the Irish word for water, uisce. You all know it; it still lives on to this day as … Whiskey.

After the hills on Tuesday I took it easy again on Wednesday, and got my heart rate down another notch. I managed to get into a very relaxed, if slow, stride, despite a few twinges in my left hamstring. That’s definitely getting better though, despite me forgetting to ice it in Tuesday. The weather was quite benign; it’s very warm for the end of November, even in the morning the temperatures go up to 10C/50F. Mind, I still got caught up in the rain.

Today I upped both the mileage and the pace a little bit. I visited yet another hill, opposite the water witch, called the Devil’s elbow. If it’s by chance that the water witch and the devil are staring at each other across the lake I don’t know, but my guess is that there’s a local myth involved. I haven’t been able to find anything written as of yet, though. Anyway, the loop around the devil is 8.5 miles long and included a wicked climb of about 130 meters/425 feet in less than a mile. I used to take this as a fitness test; if I managed to run all the way I was fit enough. I must be getting stronger, because running all the way up to the crest was not a problem today. The downhill part is less steep, and it’s really easy to get into a very fast stride without much effort. Of course one could run the loop the other way round, but then the downhill section would be too steep for comfortable running. I ran most of the loop at what used to be 8:00 effort, and ended up a bit slower than that. Even taking the hill into account, it still shows that I’ve got plenty of work to do. And the weather was worse than the day before, with high winds, apparently up to 50 mph during the night. The strap of my reflective sash got thrown about by the wind, and at least twice gave me a rather painful slap across the face. Ouch. Of course it rained as well.

And about 2 miles away from home a very, very big dog came barking towards me. It was still dark and I’m not sure what breed it was, maybe a Doberman, and boy did it frighten me. Luckily barking was all it did, a bite would have been truly nasty. Maybe I should take that into account when looking at my heart rate for today’s run.

22 Nov: 5 miles, 47:11, 9:26 pace, avg. HR 145
23 Nov: 8.5 miles, 1:10, 8:14 pace, avg. HR 161

Consecutive days in the rain: 10 (but the weather forecast says this will end soon)


  1. That's quite an interesting route you have with witches, devils and mad dogs! Glad you survived Ok. It sounds like your recovery is coming along nicely.

  2. Great job on the hill climb, sounds like a great route to run in general.

    I noticed that Bloglines has not been updating your feeds lately, I don't know if anyone else has had this problem. I've started using Google Reader which seems to do the job right.

  3. I love the hills, although I never get them here in Florida! Used to have them by the buckets in California.
    I look forward to reading about your Ultra....


  4. Did you yell "NO" to the dog as he approached you? That has always worked for me. But then again I have a big mouth so it works for me. Thanks for the lesson!

    You impress me with your memory. Yes, I have injured myself 2x by going to a martial arts class 6 days after the marathon. This time I'm waiting for a couple of weeks and will begin cautiously.

  5. Thanks for looking up the name - it's so interesting. Most of the names around here come from the local Native American languages, or have been named after explorers. For example Mt. Rainier was named after some guy but the local tribes called it Tahoma.

    My oldest son sang me what he told me was an old Irish ballad that they used to sing to those leaving for America. I can't remember the name of it, but it was beautiful, and, I must say my son has a fine voice. I'll have to ask him again for the name - I'd be curious to see if you've heard it, and if he is correct about it's origins.

  6. Tha hills keep the mind busy and the workouts is easier. 10 days running, here it never happens.

  7. angie's pink fuzzySat Nov 25, 01:04:00 am

    rain? what's rain?