Saturday, June 26, 2010

An Easy Double

After running a lot of 100-plus-miles-weeks last summer, I have come to the conclusion that this is too much for me in singles. I still think that doing that sort of volume in doubles might be ideal, but real life issues mean this is not going to happen. I run in the morning when the rest of the family are asleep, and that’s that. Just recently Niamh was asked if she didn’t mind me spending so much time training, her answer being that she is asleep at the time, so how could she possibly mind? Doubles don’t work that way, the second run of the day would have to happen at the most busy time for the family, either dinner time of getting-the–kids-to-bed time, and my absence would not be appreciated at either. Family comes first, and doubles simply are not going to happen.

Unless I strike lucky on occasions like yesterday. The company I work for has an annual summer day out. Last year happened to fall on miserable rainy day and ended being a day in the pub, which I hated. This year was at the opposite end of the scale. A boat trip across the Killarney Lakes into the stunningly beautiful Black Valley was followed by a cycle through the Gap of Dunloe, only that I opted to run rather than cycle. Initially several people had said they would hike, in the end I was the only one to do it on foot, which once more confirmed my status as the odd one out. What’s new. However, I immensely enjoyed the run. The scenery is breathtaking (well, so is the 800-feet climb), just as you reach the top of the Gap there is a view across Black Valley and Upper Lake, which is probably my favourite view in the whole world.

Last November I had done a race on this very course but that had been out-and-back and today I was only doing it one way. I took it reasonably easy, or so I thought, but when I checked the Garmin (yes, I had brought the Garmin along for the occasion) I realised that I was running faster than I had done so during the race. Then I remembered that I had taken it relatively easy in that race because it had been only 3 weeks after the Dublin marathon. Of course, then I remembered that today was less than 3 weeks after the Cork City marathon. I guess it is fair to say that I have recovered a lot quicker this time. I think the Connemara training has improved my legs no end.

Two colleagues asked me if I had been running earlier that day, which I quietly confirmed. There’s no need to appear even more odd. Several inquired when my next race would be, and it took me a while to remember that I have another marathon in a fortnight. Crikey! Better not forget about that!

Training is going well so far. The legs are fresh and I’m looking forward to some proper long runs. This might have to wait for a week because we’re off on our holidays and I’m not sure how much running I will be able to squeeze in. I’m bringing my gear, that goes without saying.

24 Jun
6.1 miles, 49:50, 8:10 pace, HR 141
25 Jun
am: 10 miles, 1:16:22, 7:38 pace, HR 151
pm: 7 miles, 51:00, 7:17 pace, HR 167, very hilly
26 Jun
5 miles, 40:38, 8:07 pace, HR 141


  1. I'll let you say "crikey", but don't make a habit of it ;)

    Yes, I think switching goals around a bit is a good way to keep the training fresh and motivated. Having 'sub-3' as a goal (not that you do), for year after year creates a certain pressure that could take the love out of running.

    For readers though, it's always interesting to follow the story of a runner with a singular difficult goal for year after year - like that bloke on Letsrun who wanted to break 4:00 for 1500m, and eventually did so.

  2. I know partly why the guys in there 50s and 60s are so competitive! They can do things like doubles.

    The way I do them is particular to my situation and I wouldn't assume to tell you you can do them like this as you know your situation and I'm sure if you could get away with it and still stay married/sane you would.

    Anyway if you had all the time in the world to run it wouldn't be half the fun.

  3. Thomas, thanks for the pacer tip. Enjoy the holidays.

  4. It can be hard to fit it all in sometimes but you seem to manage just fine. Good luck in your 'marathon' training!