Sunday, April 27, 2008

Happy Birthday

I started Saturday morning with a set of half mile repeats. I wasn't exactly looking forward to that; in the recent past, those workouts have tended to be less than satisfying. Well, I don't know what's changed, but things are looking on the up. I was planning 6-8 repeats, and the times were the following:

3:16, 3:05, 3:18, 3:04, 3:16, 3:00, 3:09

The odd ones were against the wind and the even ones with the wind, which explains the difference. I once more tried to concentrate more on form than on running as fast as I can, and I'm chuffed by the fact that for once the times were not dropping off with each repeat. Maybe I'm finally getting the hang of this. Don't ask me why the sixth was that fast, but I may have paid the price on the seventh, which was tough. After 400, I was thinking about cutting it short. After 600 I was really struggling. And the last 100 were a pure fight for survival with my breathing completely gone and the head bobbing left and right. After that one I knew I had enough, it was HOK time and I was grateful that I hadn't had any breakfast, or I would have reacquainted myself with the content. But at the same time I was pleased that I had managed to push so far.

The afternoon was completely taken over by the twins' seventh birthday party. 30 children are a lot, and this was probably the last time we could get away with one party for the two of them. In future years this might deteriorate into a running battle between boys and girls. I tell you, those kids can be rather rough, and don't think that the girls are any better. But afterwards everyone seemed to think that it had been a great party and left happy. And the twins left the venue with tons of loot – it pays to be a kid.

Today I ran a reasonably long run early in the morning. I tend to forget, but it's still only 3 weeks since the ultra, and today's 13 miles have been the longest run since then. I did 8 miles along Caragh Lake at a measured pace, and then added 5 miles to Ard-na-Sidhe at a stronger effort. Again, it went really well, despite the weather turning nasty, and I got soaked to the bones on the last 3 miles. I was pleased with the effort, the last 5 miles went by in 36:50 (7:22 pace), but it was more like 3.5 miles at 7:30 and the last 1.5 miles at 7:00, and I still had plenty left in the tank afterwards.

We drove to Millstreet after lunch to watch the annual Disney on Ice show, which the kids all loved, even Maia. She kept marvelling at the light show and giggled a few times at the antics on the stage. I don't know what exactly delighted her so much, but she definitely enjoyed it. Poor Lola didn't feel very well, but she had insisted on going, and with the help of some medicine she was in good enough form at the show itself. And they all accepted the fact that we refused to splash out on the merchandise, even though we saw people laden with stuff on the way out.

I got an unexpected extra run in the evening because I had to bring the car to the mechanic, who happens to live 4 miles from here, and he'll replace the cam belt tomorrow. So, on Niamh's orders, I changed into my running gear, drove the way to drop off the car and ran back home. Niamh has finally come round to the idea that it can be handy to have a runner in the house, but, admittedly, most other people wouldn't have bothered bringing the Garmin along to ensure that every step was measured. What surprised me was how much easier it is to run in the evening. I took it really easy and relaxed and still ended up with 8:00 pace. That's amazing, the same effort in the morning would have been no faster than 8:30.

If there was one piece of bad news this weekend, it came from the weighing scales. When I measured myself after Saturday's workout, it came up with 146. Today, after my morning run, it was up to 149. Shit! Just how much sugar did I eat at that party? Thankfully there won't be another birthday party for over half a year.
26 Apr
7.55 miles, 57:25, 7:36 pace, HR 154
7x800 in 3:16, 3:05, 3:18, 3:04, 3:16, 3:00, 3:09
27 Apr
am: 13+ miles, 1:42:16, 7:50 pace, HR 148 (last 5 in 36:50 @ 7:22)
pm: 4 miles, 32:04, 8:01 pace, HR 140

Weekly mileage: 70


  1. Some consistent improved running there Thomas.

    Enjoy "Brain Training for Runners" I find it great and am (was) using the level 3 marathon programme, with some success, as you know.

    Bantry may be yours for the taking. I may come down and cheer you on.

  2. Those parties sure can be tiring and fattening as well. I hope you find the Brain Training book useful.

  3. Looks like a fun party!

    P.S. Thanks for checking on me after the shark story - scary stuff, indeed.

  4. Happy Birthday to the twins look like a great party.

  5. Happy birthday to the twins.

    I don't know, that cake has fruit on it - must be healthy! If not, keep stacking on the lbs - looks like Grellan will need every advantage to beat you by 3 minutes at Bantry ;)

  6. try 2 fit 2 faster sessions per week into your training program;
    alternate 12x400m, 6x1/2 or 3 x 1 mile.
    on another day run a tempo session or if you have summer evening races [ 4-5 miles] like we do over here, use them to improve your speed.
    expectto see big improvements.