Friday, September 05, 2008


I think the weather is getting to me a bit. It certainly seems to knock everyone else as well. There is hardly a smile to be seen around the office at the moment.

Wednesday’s run was an easy 8 miler that would not have been worth mentioning had it not been for the conditions – heavy rain and gale force winds. My thought when leaving the house was “I wish I had a treadmill”, which I presume will be repeated a few times over the winter. I tried to find some shelter on the Ard-na-Sidhe road, and despite being battered by the wind and drenched by the rain I managed to pretty much tune out of it and hardly noticed the repetitive pattern of running up-and-down the same stretch of road three time. Niamh sarcastically inquired how my run had been, and gave me “that look” again when I responded with “strangely enjoyable”.

Thankfully the conditions were much better on Thursday, no rain and just a bit of a breeze, which enable me to do my cruise intervals on the Cromane loop. The plan was fairly simple, 2 miles warm-up, 2x3.5 miles tempo with half a mile of recovery in-between, followed by a cool-down. I followed my recent decision not to get too stuck on the actual pace; anything around 6:40 would do me just fine. I felt a bit stiff and awkward when the first tempo part started; it took me about 2 miles to really get into it, but from then on I was flying, below 6:30 pace and feeling good. That part of the road may have been very slightly downhill, but if so then it only made up for some earlier uphill parts. I was tempted to keep going through the recovery interval because I had such a great rhythm going but settled for recovery pace after all. Again I felt stiff and awkward when the second tempo section started, and again it took some time to get into it. The last half-mile of that tempo run was uphill, which added to the challenge. I ended up with 6:43 and 6:46 pace for the two tempo runs, but I think I would have been faster without the recovery interval, which really had broken my rhythm.

The weather forecast for today, Friday, had been dire, and unfortunately it proved all too accurate. The rain came down by the bucket load, and the wind had picked up again. I guess I should be grateful that it topped out at 25 mph rather than reach gale force again; small mercies and all that. The schedule had originally called for a short-ish MP run, but since my last two long runs had been fairly short (18 and 17 miles respectively) and I’m not planning on a long run next week (because of the half marathon race) I decided to change it to a 20-miler. It was ridiculously dark when I stepped outside just before 5:10am, and after stumbling around the driveway and nearly running into the bushes I went back to pick up a light source. My trusty old headlamp has given up the ghost and I haven’t got a replacement yet, but borrowing Shea’s cheap toy-flashlight did the trick. It even survived the run in the rain, which somewhat surprised me.

I felt surprisingly good early on and crossed the hills that make up the first 10 miles in very good time. Last month I had done 20 miles on the same route, and had accelerated to 7:30 pace after mile 10, and to 7:00 pace at mile 15. I decided to try and replicate that workout, which would form a nice back-to-back workout with yesterday’s cruise intervals. I felt confident I would be able to pull it off. The first 10 miles went by quickly, and holding 7:30 pace felt easy over the next 5. It was then that I hit the buffers. Try as you might, I could not get down to 7:00 pace. It was not for lack of trying but the legs were gone. In the end I worked as hard as felt prudent and ended up with 7:15 pace. I was wiped out afterwards.

At breakfast I remarked to Niamh “I know it’s not something normal people would ever say, but I should not feel so tired after running 20 miles”. I got “that look” again.
3 Sep
8 miles, 1:05:57, 8:15 pace, HR 141
4 Sep
11 miles, 1:20:06, 7:17 pace, HR 158
2x3.5 miles @ 6:43, 6:46
5 Sep
20 miles, 2:33:43, 7:41 pace, HR 151
miles 10-15 @ 7:28, miles 15-20 @ 7:15


  1. Well done for hanging in there!

    BTW - can you get a photo of 'that look'?? I can picture it but the real thing would be better!!


  2. just think Thomas, If you had a treadmill you wouldn't get that warm glow of satisfaction as you stepped back inside the house after fighting the elements on another wet and windy run, plus think of all that fresh air you would miss out on!!!

  3. Are you sure you're on the "Brain Training "programme as my programme calls for a 4 to 8 miler @ base pace the day after the cruise intervals and not a MP run.

    To be quite honest pulling off a 20 miler the day after cruise intervals is a feat in itself - I wouldn't be too worried about not getting down to 7:00 pace at the end. In contrast my legs were still tired this morning for an easy 6.7 miles (couldn't bother going any further in the wind and rain)

    "That look" - priceless.

  4. Thomas,

    Don't u find it hard to explain to ur wife the diff between 'good' tired and crappy tired from a long run?? I find it hard to explain to ppl..yeah it is hard but it shouldn't be so tired.

    Got a quick question to ask do you deal with hydration on ur long run? For me, i do four 6 km loop around my house and i leave a water bottle out on the front yard.

    I feel dead by 2 hr mark and mostly is the lack of water i am getting in. Do you put a bottle out and run around, run w/ water, or find water along the route?

  5. No need for a picture of "that look" for me. I have seen it before and no doubt will see it many more times in the future. You need to keep those strange comments about not feeling tired after 20 miles to yourself. Normal people just don't get it.

  6. Nice work Thomas. I remember reading some of your posts back when you were fighting through the illness. You've really come a long way since then, great job!

  7. I share your thoughts on the weather. Our vacation has been great but the last two days it has done nothing but rain buckets! Keep up the good work but much like Grellan hints at, make sure you save some energy for race day.

  8. I hear Eric has a treadmill for sale.

    Was it "the look" of being pleased because you were out of the house for 2 1/2 hours?

    Good 20 miler Thomas.