How could I resist? If Niamh stops me from running, I can just sit at the side of her cot and stare at her for hours. This might not do much for my aerobic conditioning, but it will do just fine for my mental side.
Anyway, as promised, the rest of this post will be about running again. After Saturday’s run Niamh had asked me to delay running for the next day to ensure that her helpers will be out of bed, so I didn’t leave until about 9 o’clock on Sunday. I ran all the way along Caragh Lake and added an extra hill at the end of that road to the proceedings, to make this a 12-mile run. At the turnaround point I noticed that I had been running pretty fast and expected a slower second half, but was wrong about that. Not that I hammered the pace on the way back home, but somehow I managed to run the 6 return miles at 7:17 pace. It wasn’t like that run about two weeks ago when I nearly ran myself into the ground, I just felt good and strong, and the pace just developed. My legs feel really good at the moment. I’m sure I have recovered fully from Loch Ness, and in fact I basically feel ready to run another marathon right here and now. Of course, racing season is over. If there were a shorter race anywhere nearby, I’d run it and expect a good time, alas there is none, and all I can do is train and run for fun – not a bad option anyway. Of course, theoretically I could hop on a plane and run a race in the UK, but that’s not my style, and leaving Niamh alone with the baby and the other kids is utterly out of the question. I’ll have to be content with the way things are, and guess what? I am!
If you compare my present paces with any other time of training, you immediately that at the moment I’m running at least 30 seconds per mile faster. I can’t really explain why that is. It’s not that my legs have suddenly mutated; my heart rate is a good bit higher than normal, so I guess I must be working harder. However, it doesn’t feel like it. I just run what I think is my normal training effort, but when I look at my watch or HRM they tell me I’m hammering the runs without even realising it. What will come from it? In base training, as long as your rate of recovery matches your rate of breakdown, you’re doing just fine. If I’m exceeding that threshold I guess I’ll find out soon enough. In one way this wouldn’t be the worst time getting injured, with no races planned, but of course I don’t want to be sidelined, races or not. During the last training cycle my paces automatically got slower as the miles added up. Maybe the same will happen this time again once I crank up the mileage again – if Niamh and Maia will let me crank up the miles, that is.
I’m off work this week (that’s what I saved a week of holidays for), and after dropping the children off to school and preschool respectively I had a good 90 minutes for a run, while Maia was sleeping, and decided to go for a route that I had always wanted to run. There is a part of the Kerry Way that passes high up between two mountains, and the climb from Caragh Lake is over 300 meters/1000 feet. It’s called Windy Gap, and I found out why. The trail was very steep, there are no switchbacks, it just goes straight up. I nearly managed to run all the way, with the HR climbing all the time. It was around 175 for most of the way, and by the time it reached 181 I had to compromise and hiked. As I found out, the summit was just around the corner, and would certainly have managed to run that far had I known. I’ll keep that in mind for the next time. I even took my camera with me, but it didn't handle the light very well, and the pictures are not doing justice to the majesty of the view, which was breathtaking, despite the weather not being great; halfway down the mountain on the descent towards the village of Glenbeigh it started raining. That would have been a real problem higher up with the stony trail, but at that stage the worst was well behind me and I managed just fine. I don’t know how far it was, according to the map it should be about as far as my normal Kerry Way loop, and I’ll call it 12 miles. I’ll do the same run again one day, but I might wait for some nicer weather.
- 4 Nov
- 12 miles, 1:28:53, 7:24 pace, HR 155
half splits 45:11, 43:43 (7:31, 7:17 pace)
- 5 Nov
- 12 miles, 1:42:32, 8:32 pace, HR 155
crossed a 300 meter mountain along the way
Weekly mileage: 67.75