Thursday, June 24, 2010


I got an interesting anonymous comment to my last entry.

I know your ultimate running goal is to run a sub 3 marathon... in order to maximise your potential at any discipline, ones training has to be focused and it has to be consistent... Dublin in October should be the main focus. Triathlons and Ultras are unnecessary distractions... [shortened]

Thank you. At first I was weary to see a lengthy anonymous comment because they sometimes tend to be unpleasant, but this one is really good. However, you got one fundamental thing wrong: my ultimate goal is not to run a sub-3. I don’t know what my ultimate goal is, or if I even have one. Running a sub-3 is still important to me, but shaping myself into a good ultra runner is at least as significant. In fact, if you asked me right now if I preferred to run a very good ultra or a sub-3, I’d opt for the ultra. A year ago the answer would have been different, and maybe next year I will have changed my mind again, who knows. In all likelihood I will indeed be in Dublin this year, though not to race it but as one of the official pacers. The line-up is yet to be confirmed, but I do expect to get the gig. My next real go at a marathon will be early 2011. I will have all winter to work on my marathon speed and hope to break that sub-3 target once and for all. But right now I can only think of 50 miles in Dingle and quite frankly, right now that is all I care about. But I very much appreciated your thoughts and input.

I don’t like even tennis and I had never heard of either Isner or Mahut, but when I turned on the telly yesterday evening and saw the 5th set score at 35-35, I thought that was just ludicrous but could not stop watching. Then it was dinner time. They were still playing when I came back. Then it was time to get the kids to bed. They were still playing when I came back. The way Isner was moving very much reminded me of mile 34 in Connemara 2 years ago, the one where I had sworn an oath never to do anything like that ever again (I did not keep it). Crash Reality TV at its best! Too bad it had to end on the 3rd day.

I have yet to get used to getting up early again. The alarm went off at 5:30 yesterday and I was still half asleep when I left the house 15 minutes later. But the run went very well. My usual measurement after climbing the big hill past Cappanalea at mile 5 is that I’m doing well if the average pace is under 9:00. That morning it was 8:22, it was well below 8:00 at the bottom of the hill and by the time I was back home it was 7:45, all without unduly pushing the effort. My singlet was drenched in sweat though; the air seemed very humid, much more so than I am used to. But it was good to be out there for close to 2 hours. I have missed the feeling of heavy legs for the rest of the day, in the office. It’s a sign that I’m working hard enough for the body to adapt, and I thrive on it.

6 easy miles this morning, don’t want to over-do it. In fact, one goal of mine for this training cycle is to keep all easy runs slower than 8:00 pace at all times.
23 Jun
15 miles, 1:56:21, 7:45 pace. HR 152
24 Jun
6.1 miles, 49:50, 8:10 pace, HR 141


  1. I can manage that pace for you easily Thomas! I have just joined a running group - I thought I needed some incentive to get my speed up, its only once a week, very casual and a nice bunch so heres to an 8 minute mile....

  2. Thomas, I think alternating the focus from one goal to another is probably a good way to remain motivated. Sub 3 is still my primary goal but increasingly other goals are perking my interest.
    On the pacer issue; how do you apply/volunteer for that? I'd be interested in throwing my hat into some ring to do that somewhere in the next year.