Sunday, May 11, 2008

A Spent Weekend

Is it a crime to be relieved that the weekend is almost over? You, know, I like staying away from work for a couple of days a week as much as the next guy, but honestly, this is killing me. Working in front of the computer screen is a lot less exhausting than working in the garden for almost the same amount of time. Presently I'm relieved that tomorrow will be Monday. I think another day of slave work would kill me.

Until that great 800s workout about 10 days ago I used to dread intervals. I just could not get them right, I'd start at what seemed like reasonable pace, and then I'd fall apart, time and time again. Then I had one good workout, and all of a sudden things seem to drop in place. I opted for 400s yesterday, just to do a different kind of distance for a change. I thought 12 would be a good number to do, and that's what I programmed my Garmin for, with 90 seconds of rest between each. The first 3 were easy, and I thought I'd fly through this. The next ones a lot tougher, and I started sucking air, and the last 3 were a quest for survival, pushing hard and desperately hoping to reach the end soon. I kept telling myself that 400 meters is really short, and that I would always be able to push on to the end, but it didn't really feel like that. Then, after the 12th, I felt that I had not yet left everything out there, and did a 13th, this time stopping the lap button manually. If I had planned a different number to start with, say 15, then I'm pretty sure I would have done all those, but the 13th was already a bonus, and with running being done very much in my mind I gave up after that one, assuming HOK position, trying not to keel over. The times for each interval were 89, 90, 88, 90, 85, 89, 88, 90, 88, 90, 85, 92, 86, and now seeing that the 12th one was getting slower I was probably right to call it a day when I did. The HR did drop back into the 140s after each run, which was a nice surprise. I was quite pleased with the numbers and the way the workout went. The fast guys amongst you might not be impressed with the pace, but keep in mind that my 5k PR is 19:16, which is 6:12 pace. Actually, this probably only shows that my 5k PR is rather soft. It's almost a year old, and I should be able to better it in July.

After slaving for hours in the garden afterwards I expected to sleep really well, but my hay fever kept me from doing so. I eventually got up in the middle of the night to take some antihistamines. When I told Niamh she stated that it must have been really bad; she knows that I generally avoid taking tablets as much as I can.

Anyway, I eventually managed to sleep until about 7:20 when the boys woke up, which always signals the end of my night. I fixed them some breakfast, and then separated them, Shea in the kitchen doing some colouring and Cian in front of the telly, because they could not even look at each other without starting a fight. That tactic worked for once (Niamh and Maia slept until 9), and I set off for my run. I had originally planned a trip to the Kerry Way, then thought I should run the Kerry Way the other direction towards and beyond Glenbeigh, because I've never gone past that, and then opted for a third route, towards the neighbouring village of Cromane. There is a nice lake there, which Niamh once suggested might make a nice running background, and which I had never followed up. I was also treating this as a scouting mission. I'm planning 17 miles at marathon pace next week, and the mountainous Caragh Lake road isn't really ideal for that purpose. I could run three out-and-back segments to Ard-na-Side and the Devils' Elbow, but that's a bit boring, and I was hoping to find a new route. What I saw looked good, though Cromane is a bit of a maze with roads criss-crossing each other, and it's really easy to get lost if you're not familiar with the area. I guess the lake helps with navigation, but I didn't see much of it, the road mostly kept its distance. But I think I will indeed give it a go next week. Anyway, the run today was fine, rather uneventful, apart from the fact that a few times I had to guess which way to go. I'm very pleased about the fact that I managed to run sub-8:00 pace at 140 HR. I vaguely remember being able to do so just before the Loch Ness marathon, which probably means I'm in very similar shape right now. Things are falling into place just in time.

I spent the entire afternoon in the garden again. I'm utterly knackered now. How can a few hours in the garden be more exhausting than running 20 miles over hilly terrain?

10 May
9.6 miles, 1:14:26, 7:25 pace, HR 151
incl. 13X400 (90)
11 May
12 miles, 1:35:39, 7:58 pace, HR 140


  1. Nice numbers on the intervals!

    Yes, the garden really takes it out of you. I too spent the day in the garden and was absolutely spent at the end. That night I slept the sleep of the just.

    Nice work on the divide and conquer with the children. A very good tactic if executed properly.

  2. Um, because gardening's not fun ;)

    Nice work with the 400s.