Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Paddys Day

I could see the orange glow before I even opened the door. At first I thought it was a reflection of our hall light, but as I stepped out I realised that the mountain was engulfed in flames. This didn't bode well for my run, because the loop around Caragh Lake would lead me right into this. I decided to give it a go anyway, but do it the other way round so that I would hit that area after 2 miles rather than 13, in which case turning around would be much less of an issue. I only got half a mile down the road when I encountered two fire engines blocking off the road. I approached them and asked one fireman if the road was closed. He said no, it was passable. But when I inquired if it would be safe for running, he did a double take. I could see the thought forming in his head. “It's not even 5 o'clock in the morning and that weirdo wants to go running?”. Anyway, he advised against it because of the smoke, I thanked him and turned around. I quickly came up with an alternative route, namely a few laps around the Devil's Elbow. This would give me even more climbing as each loop contains a steep nasty climb of about 500 feet. For the next 3 hours I did exactly that, 3 loops, and on top of the ridge I had a perfect view of the five huge fire columns on the other side of the lake. It looked very impressive, from a safe distance at least. The run went very well. One side effect of running 30 miles for training is that I now view 22 miles as an easy workout. Once I had left the hill behind me for the last time I increased the effort for the last 4.5 miles, which turned out to be 7:10 pace. I enjoyed myself so much that I missed the turnaround point on an out-and back section to make up the miles and ended up with a little bit extra. I felt great afterwards.

Paddy's Day today had the not inconsiderable advantage of being able to lie in and still put 15 miles on the road before breakfast. I was awake at 6, up at 6:30, and, after fixing breakfast for Shea (an early riser as well), was out of the door at 7. Luxury! It had been raining all night which finally took care of the fires, but I decided to revisit the Devil's Elbow for 2 more loops. Running the day after a long run is always challenging at first, your legs feel stiff and tired and you can't imagine spending a couple of hours running, but after 2 miles I was into my stride and the miles clicked by. As I was cresting the hill for the second time I did enjoy the fact that this was the fifth and last time I had to drag myself over that hill in 24 (ok, 27) hours.

Since I did not have to be home at a set time I toyed with the idea of adding a bit extra, but then thought that I would spend plenty of time on my feet for the rest of the day and went home. The time on feet did materialise later in form of Killorglin's Patrick Day's parade. We had to split up the family, Niamh took the boys to Glenbeigh for the walk with their school and I brought the girls to Killorglin for Lola's school's march. I got roped into walking the parade rather than watching it from the sidelines, which is why I don't have any real photos of it. The weather turned warm and sunny just in time, and nobody's parade got rained on. As you can imagine, the boys were thrilled to be inside a real fire engine. The kids all got their sweets, which ensured happy faces all round.

I got a slight change of plans for the next few months, but I'll keep that under wraps for now. Laters.
15 Mar
5 miles, 40:23, 8:04 pace, HR 131
16 Mar
22.1 miles, 2:54:23, 7:53 pace, HR 142
last 4.5 miles @ 7:10
17 Mar
15.15 miles, 2:01:08, 7:59 pace, HR 145
last 4 miles @ 7:25 pace


  1. Looks like your concern over the proximity of your 27 mile training run to your last Connemara outing was unfounded - either that or you like tempting fate. Looks like your 39.3 mile PB is in for an ass kicking.

  2. I celebrated with a good icy cold beer - VB.

    I've got a lot of money riding on you crossing the line ahead of Grellan at Ballycotton, so good luck!

  3. Your kids look like they had a blast, treasure the days before they turn into teenagers ;-) I'm really curious what your change of plans will lead to, I have a couple thoughts, but am not sure which direction you'll head.

  4. The Highland Fling .... tell me you're running the Highland Fling????