Friday, February 12, 2010

Whisked Away

I'll try and keep this short, mainly to force Ewen to come up with a new joke, but also because I'm in a nice comfy hotel room in Cork and we're off to dinner soon.

After Tuesday near-marathon I didn't run on Wednesday but drove to Killarney to the pool instead. Starting a new sport is fun in that you make progress rapidly, and I can feel my swimming improving from week to week. Obviously I'm still very much a beginner and won't be looking towards the business end of the tri in May, but by now I'm reasonably assured that I might make it across Valentia Harbour without drowning in 3 months' time.

In the past few weeks it was easy to come up with training because there always seemed to be only 2 days between the long runs and the next race, and it was always a no-brainer to keep things slow and short. This week I have no less than 4 days after my long run and Sunday's race, and I thought I should probably do one fast day. But what workout would be appropriate? Mile repeats, like Grellan seems to be doing for fun these days? 1000S? Yassos? 400s? Then I thought back towards the start of the training when I did an 8-mile progression run, with each mile faster than the previous one. This sounded like fun, ans at the same time it would not be particularly strenuous because only the last 2 miles would be at a fast pace, really.

I changed my mind on Thursday because the legs were still rather tired, which is not too surprising really, come to think about it. It takes more than one day to recover from a 25 mile run, and I just went for 6 slow and easy miles instead. I did notice that the HR was a bit higher than it was in previous weeks, which is obviously a hangover from Tuesday.

I felt fresher this morning and decided to go ahead with the progression run. After all, I could always pull the plug if it seemed to get out of hand. The first few miles were very easy, I gradually turned the screw over the next. In fact, miles 4 and 5 were a bit frustrating as I felt I was getting into a very good rhythm but slowed down to have something in store for the next miles. It wasn't until the last 2 miles that the actual workout started, and I had no real trouble increasing the pace to 6:41 and 6:31 respectively. I had been right – this was a fun way to run, and it definitely was not strenuous at all. I might do that again.

And since Niamh followed the rule that you should always give a present that you enjoy yourself, she booked a Valentine's weekend away for us for my birthday, while the grandparents are minding the kids at home. And since she is the best wife of all, we're in Cork so that I can run my race in Bantry on Sunday. Isn't she great?
10 Feb
45 minutes swimming
11 Feb
6 miles, 51:37, 8:36 pace, HR 137
12 Feb
8 miles, 59:48, 7:28 pace, HR 150
progression: 8:28, 8:08, 7:52, 7:38, 7:22, 7:03, 6:41, 6:31


  1. "to force Ewen to come up with a new joke"

    Now Thomas that is a hard task.

    Whoever coined the expression "You can't teach an old dog new tricks" must have known Ewen!

  2. Unlike Scott, who never has trouble coming up with new jokes - usually at my expense!

    Thomas, I'm so stunned by this post that I plan to print it out and frame it as an example of brevity.

    And you're so lucky to have a wife that organises her social calendar around your racing plans. Scott does the reverse, and hence survives on a diet of blackened fish.

  3. Ewen's good he can make one laugh all the while ripping out your heart!

    Still, I'm afraid he's right, my wife is not as supportive as some and tends to "Blacken fish" and just about any other thing that enters our kitchen.

    It's a pity your wife is already married ;)

  4. Good on you for agreeing to a weekend away so that you could get a race in. The sacrifices you have to make are unbelieveable and I hope Niamh appreciates you.

    Best of luck in Bantry (although i's over at this stage)the sun is shining ad the course is supposed to be stunning