Sunday, March 14, 2010

Mothers Day

I hardly know what to do with myself today. It’s the first weekend in 7 weeks without a race! After years of Kerry being almost entirely devoid of road races this sport has really taken off around here and these days I end up missing races within the county because of sheer numbers. However, today is the exception and since it coincides with Mothers Day, it’s quite a lucky coincidence.

After not feeling any muscle pain or fatigue on either Wednesday or Thursday after my early morning marathon, I was quite surprised when it all caught up with me on Friday. I was really tired, not just during my early morning run but all day, and on the run itself I felt rather stiff and awkward at first, though that rectified itself soon enough. My heart rate was very low, which is a very good sign and I’m rather confident I’ll be in Connemara right at peak shape.

Due to the lack of a race this weekend I did a faster training workout on Saturday. Since my training has been dominated by the long runs and then a short race at the weekend, I haven’t had many opportunities for tempo runs and this part of training has been rather neglected. Luckily I’m not training for a marathon, where this would definitely have consequences; I’m hopeful it won’t have much of an impact for an ultra. Anyway, I did 2x3.5 mile yesterday on the reasonably flat road to Killorglin. I used to do a lot of these runs 2 years ago when training for Dublin and was usually frustrated by my lack of ability to hit the intended pace and by the slowdown during the second tempo segment. These days I’m not bothered about the exact pace any more, but my goal was to run the fast segments somewhere around 6:30 pace. I was quite pleased when the first section came through in 6:25, though as soon as I hit the second part I pretty much knew that it would be slower. The half mile recovery between the fast runs always leaves me feeling stiff at the start of the second part. Anyway, the pace was still not bad and eventually averaged out at 6:32, which I definitely would have taken beforehand.

I knew the kids had planned a few surprises for Niamh for today and I also knew from experience that there will be a lot less cleaning up to do (and a lot fewer things broken) if they are supervised when doing this. When I heard whispering at around 7:30 this morning I was out of the bed in a flash and we got busy in the kitchen. Niamh got breakfast in bed (scrambled egg with smoked salmon), which she approved of, but she had even more praise for the kids’ presents. Later she asked to go for a walk and suggested to take the twins up to the Devil’s Elbow while I minded Cian and Maia. Maia is too big to be carried up the mountain but too small to walk all the way by herself at the moment. My alternative suggestion, that she’d take the three older ones while I run with Maia in the pram was accepted and we were soon off. We did not expect the road to the picnic spot to be blocked off for cars all of a sudden, which meant a longer walk for her, though it didn’t make any difference for Maia and me. As I found out, pushing a pram up a hill at about 8% gradient is rather hard work; who would have thought that 13-minute miles could be so strenuous. Actually, it did remind me of the mountain race last year, when an even slower pace was just as exhausting. Anyway, we managed to catch up with them halfway through, but the pram could not go to the top and we left the rest of them on their adventure, descending the road in the “speedy, speedy pram” (Maia’s words). She really seemed to enjoy the outing, but after being full of chat early on she got more and more quite as the run went on, and after 6 miles the 2 of us were back home. We should do that more often.

12 Mar
6.1 miles, 50:37, 8:16 pace, HR 131
13 Mar
10.1 miles, 1:10:21, 6:58 pace, HR 156
incl. 2x3.5 miles @ 6:26 (HR 164), 6:32 (HR 166)
14 Mar
6 miles, 53:01, 8:48 pace, HR 150
with Maia in the pram

Weekly Mileage: ~62 miles


  1. Looks like you all enjoyed a great day. The lake looks like a mirror!

  2. Nice photos, great to see that the family is doing well. Also nice to see that you're finding time for some speed. When I was running my ultra's I would do one "speed" w/o a week, 3-4xmile hard (5' recovery). Regardless, it lookslike you've got things sorted... looking forward to seeing how the BIG race unfolds, all the best!