Thursday, January 11, 2007


It’s business as usual, the weather changes from day to day, and every good day has to be paid off with a bad one. The contrast was never so stark as in Wednesday and Thursday.

I went to bed with some trepidation on Tuesday night because the storm outside was getting worse and worse. But when the alarm went off at 5:30 on Wednesday morning and I looked out of the window, I could not have been more surprised. A perfect night sky with a brilliant moon awaited me. It was like once of those runs under the moon light I enjoyed so much last year, and which I really treasure in my memory. I definitely missed those this winter, and I very much enjoyed it. Even the running effort seemed easier. I repeated the same workout I had done 7 days earlier with 2 loops around the devil’s elbow, which should be around 14 miles. I checked the map website and it came up with 14.2, but let’s not be too nerdy about the distance. I ran at an easy effort, but upped the pace a bit over the last 3 miles. It was a really enjoyable run.

But boy did I have to pay for it today. The weather had turned once more, and the weather warnings of “gale force winds and severe gale force winds” were certainly no exaggeration. Apart from severely hampering my ability to run a good workout the storms also knocked out electricity all over the country, caused plenty of local flooding and sunk a fishing boat off the Wexford coast, tragically killing all 5 crew members (those fishing accidents seem to be happening at an alarming frequency in the last 2 years. Or is that just my perception). Anyway, I tried to have a 3/4 effort tempo run, but once more didn’t quite succeed. Running against the wind and rain was as hard as running up a steep hill, and it completely killed my pace. After fighting the elements for what had seemed a very long time I turned around to have the storms blow me home, but I didn’t quite succeed in getting the effort up to the desired level. These tempo efforts are a bit hit-and-miss from me, but I do usually get one good tempo run per week, just not always on the day I had planned. When I got home I was thoroughly frustrated, not only because the weather had interfered with my running, the wind had kept blowing the earphone from my ears. This really pissed my off so much that not even swearing loudly helped to vent my frustration.

The weather forecast for tomorrow isn’t exactly great, but at least the worst of the storm is behind us. It will still be very gusty, but I’m planning to do 20 miles no matter what, and I’m looking forward to a proper long run. I haven’t run more than about 17.5 miles since the marathon, and it is high time to get into the 20s. After all, that’s just half the distance of the ultra in April. Blimey, that’s only 11-and-a-half weeks away. Better get going!

10 Jan: 14 miles, 2:02, 8:42 pace, avg. HR 144
11 Jan: 8.25 miles, 1:01, 7:23 pace, avg. HR 159


  1. We certainly are getting some extremes in weather this year. Do you suppose it's all a part of the global warming? It must have been a strong wind to blow the ear pieces out of your ears!

    I can't believe April is only 11.5 weeks away - it seems so far, but sounds so close. No rest for us runners!

  2. Glad to hear you'll be back to tackling the long runs. The weather does sound just hellish there.

    I think those up-tempo numbers you're running will help you quite a bit, keep it up.

  3. I'm only getting back slowly, but I had to duck out this morning. If I'd tried running in THAT weather, I'd have been swimming in the Liffey!

    Hopefully I'll be OK for Ballycotton, as I was entered thru my club (Athenry), fingers crossed.

  4. Boy you've got it rough! It's too bad there isn't a way to auto-compensate for crappy weather ... sort of like the "wind chill factor". 8:20 pace + Gale Force Wind + Driving Rain = 7:48 pace.

    You did an outstanding job working your way through the weather.

  5. run with headphones???!?! Who knew?

    Your moonlight run sounds positively bucolic. I like phil's formula!

  6. It had to be absolutely beautiful to run th emorning after a storm

  7. I am with Phil - lets find a plug-in factor for elements!

  8. The quiet after the storm. A poem and a good situation for a relaxing workout.

  9. Wow Thomas!! and here I am complaining because it was in the low 20's the last few mornings I went out!!! guy I truely hope you get that 20 miler in and in some decent weather you deserve it!!