Monday, October 11, 2010


Jean Byrne, the RTE weather lady, might be good looking and is wearing, erm, “interesting” outfits at times, but she really made it into my bad books yesterday. After her promising a weekend full of sunshine I fully expected an apology after 48 hours of miserable drizzly conditions, but she instead muttered something about “a dry weekend in most places.” Not in my place, darling, I’m seriously offended by your lack of care.

Anyway, where was I? Oh yes, the weekend. I got up reasonably early on Saturday but delayed my run for a full 2 hours, waiting for the rain to dissipate and the promised sunshine to appear before it became clear that I’d been had and went out into the drizzle. Since I had not covered more than 12 miles since Dingle and could feel the Dublin marathon looming ahead I went for a slightly longer run, 15+ miles. I fully intended to stick to the upcoming pacing effort of 8-minute-miles but lost patience early on and just let the legs do their own thing. I was quite surprised to see the pace come down by quite some amount; considering that I was taking it fairly easy, 7:40 pace seems pretty fast. Luckily the legs had absolutely no issue with running for 2 hours and the achilles seemed perfect as well, but at one stage a woman came walking the other way with her dog running towards me and jumping up on me (the dog, not the woman!). As I swerved to avoid the creature (the dog, not the woman!), the achilles gave me one of those quick, sharp pains that serve as a reminder that things are not quite there yet, no matter how it might feel 99.9% of the time.

5 easy miles followed on Sunday in the same dreary conditions and this time I took things really easy. Again I was very surprised as I looked up the numbers on my Garmin after the run, it was almost at 8:00 pace. I see that as a sign that the legs are finally bouncing back from Dingle, 5 weeks after the race. I remember something similar happening after Connemara; it takes time to recover. The legs are just slower for a few weeks after an ultra, even if you only notice it on the stop watch.

6 o’clock felt very early today for reasons I’ll get into shortly, but I managed to heave myself out of bed and out of the door. I opted for another steady run, this time into Killorglin on a fairly flat loop. I used to do this a lot before Boston last year, the hilly runs around Caragh Lake for leg strength and the flat loop through town for speed. Unfortunately the gremlins seem to have gotten into my HR strap overnight. For the first half of the loop the HR reading hung around the 60 mark (not 160), then rose steadily towards the 150s, which still seemed rather low. My guess is that the strap requires a new battery. Anyway, I had to rely entirely on feel for today’s run and was once more surprised (for the third time in a row. There’s a pattern here) to see the pace figures, this time well below 7:15. Maybe it’s time to carefully add a few faster efforts, but with Dublin only 2 weeks away I’ll get that one out of the way first, and then I should hopefully have MC’s guidance for help.

If that battery change does not work out, I might have to rely on my luck from here. I don't think the odds are great.

The reason why last night wasn’t particularly restful was little Maia’s accident yesterday. She was having a shower and when we heard a bump followed by screaming. We rushed to her, only to find her bleeding heavily from her mouth. She must have slipped in the shower and then bit a massive hole out of her tongue as she fell. It looked horrendous, as even a small amount of blood in a big amount of water looks like a massive amount of blood. Niamh held her, and she was still bleeding 20 minutes later and Niamh’s shirt was soaked in blood. Luckily the doctor reassured us that it would be okay and will heal all by itself in about 10 days. A rather disrupted and worrisome night later she still could not swallow; Niamh already had visions of getting her to hospital for an infusion when she finally managed some ice cream later today, almost 18 hours after the incident. This was quickly followed by a second bowl of ice cream and a third one, so I guess we’re over that particular hurdle. Poor thing, but with all that ice cream she might eventually start to think it was all worthwhile.
9 Oct
15.15 miles, 1:56:31, 7:41 pace, HR 155
10 Oct
5 miles, 40:23, 8:05 pace, HR 138
11 Oct
10 miles, 1:12:07, 7:13 pace, HR ???


  1. That's a nasty accident alright. The tongue is a difficult spot to treat. Glad to hear Maia's on the mend.

    Looking forward to see how Dublin goes.

    What's with Jean Byrne - you're not the first running blogger to refer to her good looks and "interesting outfits"

  2. Yikes. :(

    But ice-cream does work. :)

  3. You are good parents.

    I still remember mine constantly telling me to "Bite your tongue!"

  4. Ouch, I hope Maia mends quickly. And her da too.

  5. hoping little maia is going to be ok

  6. I'm glad Maia's OK. That was a nasty accident.

    Doesn't matter what your weather girls are wearing, if they can't get the forecast right, what's the use of them?! And yes, does sound like a low battery in the strap or the watch.