Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Home, Sweet Home

RTE have a short report of the New Year’s Day race on their website. They describe the conditions as gale force. Listen up, you soft Dubs: I’ve run in gale force winds, and what we had two days ago was just a bit windy, not gale force. That's truly pathetic.

Anyway, I had my last run in Dublin on Tuesday. The race has slightly upset my schedule. Because Niamh and the kids were there I never managed to make up a few extra miles, which meant I only ran 40 minutes on a day that was scheduled to be 90. Since running fast two days in a row was out of the question I decided to do those 90 minutes on Tuesday instead, and regard Monday’s race as a substitute for Tuesday’s originally planned 60 minutes tempo run. While this sounds logically enough it also meant two long-and-slow days in a row for Tuesday and Wednesday, but I really didn’t want to switch any more days and just returned to my normal schedule.

I felt absolutely fine on Tuesday, there was no residue of the race in my legs, and I finally managed to take it easier on an easy day, something I haven’t been particularly good at over the holiday season. I ran the same route as on any other days in Dublin; all the alternative runs I have tried have loads of concrete, and I really want to avoid that as much as possible. I felt really good after my run, and was happy that the race hadn’t left any marks on me.

The drive home to Kerry was long and the kids got worse by the minute. I was tempted to leave Shea by the roadside and drive off because he was driving us mad. (Note to social services: I wasn’t really. It’s an exaggeration.) We came home late in the evening, and with unpacking, ironing shirts for the rest of the working week and just doing lots of bits and pieces around the house it was nearly midnight by the time I got to bed. Less than 6 hours later the alarm went and I had to get up for my midweek run. The weather is noticeably warmer in Kerry. In Dublin the temperatures were generally about 5C/40F, here it is about 10C/50F, which is positively balmy for this time of the year. The big drawback is the wind, it is much worse than on the Irish East coast, and if Monday was gale force winds, then today would have been classified as a hurricane I guess. I originally planned to run around the lake again, but that would have taken well over 2 hours at my current easy pace, so I decided to run two loops around the devil’s elbow instead. On the first loop my legs, especially my right calves, did question the wisdom of running the steepest climb in the neighbourhood, but once that obstacle was mastered it went a lot better, and on the second loop it went a lot smoother. I even managed to drop my average heart rate, despite this being the hilliest run I could find.

The one thing missing in my training is a proper long run, despite me giving out to Marc on occasions for exactly those failings. Since I had to cut last week’s long run short, I don’t want to jump straight into a 20-miler. I’ll do my extended Caragh lake loop on Friday (a bit over 17 miles), and the following week I’ll attempt 19 or 20 miles, which would finally get me into proper long-run territory. I’ll see how that leaves me regarding fatigue. At the moment I’m definitely tired, but I put that down to lack of sleep rather than running too much. I’ll work on that problem as well.

I weighed myself for the first time since Christmas. To my utter shock and horror I've gained 6 pounds, and am now on 156. I'm not sure where those pounds are hiding, I still look as scrawny as ever. I accused the weighing scales of lying, but that that's a girly thing to do, so I stopped ranting and accepted the verdict with just a few hysterical sobs instead.

According to the results on the race website, I came 6th in my age group (hurray!), but they have my official time as 19:54. Hrmpf! Don't you dare! It clearly said 19:52, and, as I've already said, that was gun time.

2 Jan: 1:32, 10.5 miles, 8:45 pace, avg. HR 149
3 Jan: 2:02, 14 miles, 8:42 pace, avg. HR 147


  1. ranting and raving at the scale, huh? that's why I got rid of mine. now I just rant and rave at my clothes that don't fit :)

  2. Holidays will do that to you! Flexibility is an important part in any schedule. It's good that you are analyzing and making adjustments.

  3. Wow Thomas - 6 pounds and still look scrawny! Nice job on your 5K! WOW - fast.

  4. You will do fine solving those sleep problems just wish the family is agree :)

    Those problems with the scale... let's blame the parties and running doesn't seem to make any difference now...

  5. I would be in heaven if I could gain six pounds and still look scrawny. But, no, that doesn't happen.

    Yeah, what's with race clocks and chips and gun times and stuff? Seems like there is always some minor difference - in Portland my chip didn't register the finish line. Good thing they had a backup!

  6. Holiday poundage can creep up on you (hate to say what I packed on). But look at that 5K time! Simply amazing. Don't let the bastards take 2 seconds from you. Those were hard fought seconds.

  7. Well done on the 5K Thomas. those pounds will melt off soon enough. A few 20 milers will certainly do the trick.

  8. nice race Thomas, congratulations!!!

  9. 19:54 is still under 20, ain't it?
    Good approach to long run, patience, I tell myself.

  10. It's good to be back -

    Great run on Monday, wish I could have been there. And I think I have a set of scales similar to yours, it's a conspiracy of weight gain - darn holidays!

    Roll on 2007 season.....

  11. you might have been sixth in their race, but you are first in ours. (I'm not quite sure what that means, but take it as a compliment!)