Friday, October 08, 2010

Local Wildlife

The dark time of the year has definitely started. It’s almost pitch dark when I leave the house in the morning and this means an increased number of encounters with the local fauna. The bats are my favourite, even though Niamh keeps freaking out at the mere thought of bats in our neighbourhood. I also startled a few horses yesterday morning, they seemed to gallop away in a panic from my approach. And a couple of minutes later I almost ran into a deer.

For my training I pretty much alternate steady runs with short, easy ones, but go very much by feel rather than let anything else dictate the effort. 8-minute mile pace is starting to feel comfortably slow, which is good news as far as pacing for Dublin is concerned. The weather could be better, I got drenched on a couple of occasions and the gale force winds are doing their best to keep things interesting, but there have not been any winter storms yet. On the few occasions where the sky was reasonably clear the stars are very bright and I love seeing Orion up in the sky as soon as I open our front door. That’s a privilege that only early risers can experience, and only as winter approaches.

My achilles has been improving steadily. On Thursday I thought I could not even feel a twinge, but when the aforementioned deer pretty much stepped out of the wood right in front of me I must have come to an abrupt halt, because I got a sharp short pain shooting through my lower leg, almost as bad as last Tuesday. Luckily it went away again immediately and has not bothered me since. However, it served as a very useful reminder that the injury is still there and has to be respected. I am still keeping up the icing, eccentric calf raises and compression, and I am still not daring to run faster than 7:00 pace.

Niamh had to be in Cork at 9 o’clock this morning which meant an early rise for her and a busy morning for me, trying to get 4 not particularly cooperative children ready for school/pre-school. As I did not fancy getting up ridiculously early for a mere short run I only had half an hour which I spent off-road in a nearby field. Running on uneven grass in the dark wasn’t ideal and I took things easy. I had thought that the much more forgiving grass surface would make things easier for my achilles but the opposite seemed to be the case, I felt it more than on previous days. However, there is definitely progress being made.

Some of you guys seem to be very keen on MC's program. Fear not, I won’t keep any secrets. In fact, keeping a record in my blog and giving a full and honest assessment of the workouts is part of the deal, so you can expect a very detailed description of the training program, which should keep everyone happy (except Ewen. Ewen hates details). The first task he set me is to recover from my injury and that's what I'm trying to do now. Luckily there is still a lot of time to my target race in March. I expect the training program to begin in November, but we shall see.
6 Oct
5 miles, 38:56, 7:47 pace, HR 148
7 Oct
9 miles, 1:06:22, 7:22 pace, HR 156
8 Oct
3.43 miles, 30:31, 8:56 pace, HR 143


  1. Sounds neat...if sometimes very stormy running!

    I have to avoid my favorite park areas when it's dark...


    They don't move out of the way, they just, uh, turn around !

  2. At least you don't have to worry about running into Kangaroos - they're a real danger around here. I almost hit one on my pushbike riding to work one day.

    Actually, I like details (as in numbers) - distance, pace, recovery, HR, terrain, weather. That's all good. I just groan a bit when I see blog posts about 5k fun runs that resemble the first chapter of War and Peace ;)

  3. Forgot to say, looking forward to November when the MC torture starts ;)