Tuesday, November 29, 2011


As it happens, Mick Rice just posted a very appropriate picture on his blog. I'm going to “borrow” it unashamedly.

Sometimes life gets tough. There are bumps in the road. You learn to deal with it. You adapt. You don’t forget, but you may learn from it all, let the wounds heal and come out stronger. Life goes on.

I took Monday off work, had a stressful day but nevertheless managed to run for an hour at lunch time. I never looked at the Garmin, just ran easily, and was totally blown away when I realised what pace I had just averaged; 4 days earlier I had run at the same HR 30 seconds per mile slower. I have seen jumps in HR before on plenty of occasions, always following a race, but never to such an extend in so short a time.

The HR/pace connection continued this morning. I never looked at the Garmin when running. At home, I was at first dismayed with the slow pace, but then realised how low the HR had been. I'm now wondering if I should run a bit faster or not. Last year the coach had told me to keep the HR mostly to the lower 140s (though he’s not that keen on HR in general); running at a rate of 135 is a fair amount below that level, but the legs felt no different, really.

The low HR was all the more surprising considering today’s conditions. Icy wind coupled with heavy rain and flooded roads made for some hardcore miles in the dark, which I would normally expect to drive the HR up by a few beats. Anyway, for the time being I’ll keep running at an easy effort and see how things develop. I might increase the mileage at some stage, but nothing crazy. I only ran 25 miles last week, following the off days after Sixmilebridge, and that’s obviously going to increase straight away.

Maia has her future planned already. When she’s big, Mummy and her brothers and sister will have to vacate the house, as she needs it for her own children. I'm allowed to stay – she needs a daddy to look after her kids, apparently. The gerbil can stay too – we’re both very grateful.

28 Nov
8 miles, 59:12, 7:24 pace, HR 143
29 Nov
8 miles, 1:03:18, 7:55 pace, HR 135

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Running Is My Therapy

We had a couple a traumatic days. I'm not sure if I would be able to cope had I not running as my valve to let of steam. Got very emotional at times.

It was very windy yesterday, a couple of hours before the real storm was supposed to hit. In marked contrast, today was stunningly beautiful, sunshine and little wind, and entirely unexpected. I probably ran too fast, but this one was entirely for the head, trying to get rid of some of the trauma.

Can't say too much - sorry. Normal service will resume. Let's just say I'm immensely grateful that running gives me something to hold on to.

Maia drew a couple of pictures on tissues, apparently THE arty thing to do when you're 4 years old. Apparently that's me in the background, running while being chased by the neighbours' dog. In the foreground that's her playing with her toys (ah sure, it's obvious, just look at it). Having a happy, enthusiastic and innocent 4 year old around helps as well.

24 Nov
5 miles, 39:36, 7:55 pace, HR 143
25 Nov
5 miles, 38:36, 7:43 pace, HR 146
26 Nov
7 miles, 55:39, 7:57 pace, HR 145
27 Nov
8 miles, 1:00:34, 7:34 pace, HR 143

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Looking Back, Looking Forward

When I looked at the official results page I realised I made a mistake in my race report; since I stopped the Garmin several seconds after crossing the finish line, the last mile was actually a good bit faster than the 7:13 I reported – it was closer to 7:00, which comfortably makes it my fastest mile of the day. Being able to pull off a 7:00 mile without even pushing the pace at the end of a 30 mile race is a good place to be.

Despite the fact that I let my competitive instincts get the better of me, I don’t regret a single thing. Given the chance I’d do it again, without a second thought. Winning feels great, even in a non-competitive event like Sunday’s. Of course it goes without saying that a) if it had been a competitive event I would not have won and even so, b) the single most important factor in me winning the 30 mile race was the fact that Mick Rice had decided to “only” run the marathon.

I had not mentioned it, but in Dublin quite a few people told me that I looked a lot younger in real life than in the pictures from my blog. I got the same comments again on Sunday, with the clear suggestion to change my profile picture. The funny thing is, right at this moment I am actually 3.5 years OLDER than my profile picture, which was taken around mile 15 in the 2008 Cork marathon. I guess the 15 miles have added a few years to my face. Problem is, this is a running blog and I'm struggling to find a photo of me running where I don’t look like Quasimodo’s less handsome older brother. Just like that one from Sunday:

I also need a haircut.

I remember standing in the pub in Sixmilebridge before the prize ceremony, when they brought out a few plates of sandwiches. They made the mistake of putting one right in front of me. Without thinking and without noticing what I was doing, I gobbled up almost the entire plate on my own. I was genuinely embarrassed when I realised what I had done – not embarrassed enough to not grab yet another sandwich from another plate on my way out, though. I must have been craving that food after the race, and I firmly believe that the time immediately after such a run you should give in to those cravings; your body knows what it needs. Apologies to all the other runners who might have been left starving after my binge are in order, though.

Let’s move on. Every time I got asked on Sunday if I would go to Clonakilty in 3 weeks, I responded with “if I get permission”, elegantly shifting the blame to my lovely wife should I be unable to make an appearance. Actually, and reluctantly, I have now decided to give this a miss and it has nothing to do with Niamh and all to do with me trying not to overtrain.

The evaluation I ran last Thursday clearly showed some deep fatigue lingering in my system, and that was even before I added 30 miles at 7:23 pace on top of it. As much fun as I had on Sunday, my goal remains Connemara and I want to get there in the best possible shape and right now that means stepping back a bit and giving the legs a break. It’s not just the evaluation, ever since Dublin my running log has been filled with comments “fine”, “bad”, “good”, “legs like concrete pilars”, “fine again”, and so on, a complete mix of good and bad days without any noticeable pattern, and I can’t go into the next training phase like that. Sixmilebridge was a magic day, but I don’t want it to be a once-off, and for that I need to step back and relax for a while.

Following that, and in marked contrast to my days post Dublin, I have not run a single step yet this week, despite not feeling tired and not feeling sore at all; even walking down a staircase does not provide any discomfort whatsoever. That’s good, but I prefer erring on the side of caution for once, and my former coach, who still has an eye on my training, is very much in agreement.

Still, easy running will resume shortly and I'm looking forward to it.
21 Nov
0 miles
22 Nov
0 miles
23 Nov
0 miles

Sunday, November 20, 2011

More Than A Feeling

(If only Boston had gone as well).

I did not know Eddie very well, but I had met him on one or two occasions and I was shocked when hearing of his death last April. I all the more appreciated Tom Enright's plan of putting on a race in Eddie's memory, and all the proceedings went to the hospital charity nominated by Eddie's brothers. It was a wonderful gesture. Today was that day.

Of course this was not supposed to be a "race" race. The setting did not suit it and anyway, I am in the early phases of my training for Connemara. I have messed up my recovery from Dublin, I had not slept well the last couple of days, I had not tapered and I was treating this strictly as a long training run. I could not mess this one up even more, could I?

Though as Mike pointed out correctly, once you pin a number onto your shirt, all bets are off. I guess I should have known.

After some truly wild condition during the week, the weather forecast for Sunday had been ideal, no rain and 10C, not too much wind. It felt pretty cool when waiting at the start and I noticed I was the only competitor amongst 15 who was wearing a singlet, but I knew I would warm up as soon as we set off.

The plan was to start at around 8-minute pace, drop it to 7:45 or so once I warmed up and then see how it goes. You know what they say about plans. Mine didn't even last to the first corner.

Usually there is at least one fast guy running any race, which means the rest of us don't have to worry about winning. In this case though, the one fast guy around, the incomparable Mick Rice, had opted for the marathon, leaving the Ultra to us plodders.

There was also a double-marathon going on at the same time. The guys had started 3 hours ahead of us and looked weary already. I'm sure they were fed with us during our first few loops, when we were all bright, fresh and excited, in marked contrast to their own weary style.

The race course was a one mile loop, with a nice little hill in the middle, not too long and not steep at all, though sufficient to solicit plenty of moaning over the next few hours. There was a cone at the end of the start/finish area that created a short out-and-back section and required a very tight 180 degree turn. The rest of the loop went through the delights of Sixmilebridge. I never thought I'd ever study Sixmilebridge in such great detail

I might have been able to live with the fact that same other guy was running faster than me. Maybe. But when Deirdre Finn (who I think won the Belfast 24 hour race last July) took the lead, my fragile male ego could not take it. Idiocy triumphed over reason, testosterone won over grey matter, logic went out of the window, you name it. She was running about 7:30 pace, and I followed in her wake. Together with another guy, Declan, we formed the leading group.

Miles 1-5: 7:26, 7:26, 7:26, 7:25, 7:35

The first few miles were impressively even, which was absolutely not down to me. I was running right behind Declan and Deirdre most of the time, admiring the very, very even effort. I even commented on it.

We passed the start/finish area every mile and one of my targets was to spend very little time there. It is very tempting to stop every time and grab a drink, a gel, a
biscuit and/or whatever else springs to mind each time, but 30 stops can quickly add up to a lot of wasted time.

By mile 8, I took over the lead once more, expecting the others to stay right behind. I did not up the pace, just kept going at the same effort. I was a couple of seconds ahead at mile 9, and all of a sudden I was 30 seconds ahead at mile 10. That wasn't in the plan.

Miles 6-10: 7:43, 7:29, 7:23, 7:29, 7:27

Mind, I was feeling so comfortable I could have thought I was out for an easy Sunday jog. I decided to keep going at exactly the same effort level and see how things would develop. I was not worried about hitting the wall. I was feeling too good to worry about anything right now.

The marathon had started an hour after our Ultra, and the tenth and eleventh lap were rather congested, but then the field spread out and from then on there was always plenty of company around.

I can always test my levels of fatigue in the manner I treat runners when I overtake them. This also works very well in Connemara where you catch up the with the marathon and later the half marathon runners. It works even better on a loop course like this, where you meet the same runners several times and soon get very familiar with them. If I feel ok, I greet all of them, maybe just a quick hello, or some little motivation, "getting there", "looking good". As I get more fatigued, this changes into just a little "hi". And when things get bad, I become silent. Sorry, nothing personal. It's a surprisingly effective gauge.

Miles 11-15: 7:15, 7:15, 7:14, 7:10, 7:15

I was still at the chirpy stage. The miles were flying, the hill seemed flatter every time, I had a little chat with almost everyone on the course, high-fiving kids and volunteers and so on. I realised I was speeding up a little, but still felt so comfortable I just let it go on.

At that stage I had tuned totally into the effort and it becomes difficult to remember at which part of the race certain things happened. Mick Rice passed me, looking as comfortable running 6:25 miles as I was doing 7:25.

I was getting a thrill out being in front while knowing I had loads in reserve. I knew I was going to win today.

Miles 16-20: 7:19, 7:22, 7:21, 7:25, 7:19

Around mile 18, a little bit of fatigue slowly started creeping into the legs, but since I was already closer to the finish than the start, I was not worried at all. I tried to decide what to do if the pace started suffering. Should I accept it or should I increase the effort in an attempt to keep the pace even? As it turns out, since I did not keep an eye on the individual mile splits, I was never really aware when the pace did indeed slow down a little bit, so I never had to make that decision.

Miles 21-25: 7:37, 7:33, 7:24, 7:33, 7:32

I was getting closer to the marathon point and still feeling fresh as a daisy. Most of the other runners had become increasingly quiet by now. I noticed I wasn't quite as chirpy myself, but still had a few words for just about everyone on the road. I was enjoying myself so much, I cannot put it into words. I live for days like that.

I was almost sorry when I entered the last few miles because I did not want this to end.

Still, I got really excited towards the end, telling all the volunteers and a lot of the other runners that I was on my last lap, whether they wanted to hear it or not. Mick Rice caught me one more time and rightfully called my a sissy when I responded "not this year" to his question if I was going to do the Connemara 100. You can always count on Mick to keep things in perspective.

Miles 26-30: 7:34, 7:24, 7:27, 7:27, 7:13

On the final climb I wondered why I was busting a gut, chasing after Mick when I could soak in the atmosphere and enjoy the glory stretch instead, so I eased up a little bit, but I still produced my second fastest lap of the day. I could not wipe that grin off my face and breaking the tape gave me a big thrill. I just don't get a lot of wins.

I do not have the words to describe just how much I had enjoyed today's race. I have no idea where that performance came from. Not once did I push the pace all day, maybe apart from the very last hill. I could have run much, much further today, as well as faster, and if that had been Connemara the sub-5 would have fallen with plenty to spare. Coming into this race I had every intention of running 20 minutes slower, but I do not regret a thing. Days like today don't come very often, and when they come, you should grab them. Live's too short. Eddie would have agreed, I'm sure.

20 Nov
Sixmilebridge 30 mile Ultra
3:41:34, 7:23 pace, avg. HR 157

Thank you to Tom Enright for putting on a great race with excellent organisation, to all the volunteers and all the other runners. This really is a true runners' race, and I could not enjoyed it more.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Pretend Taper, Pretend Carbo Loading

I think we can take one thing for granted; if I managed to run through the conditions of the last few days then there won't be any problems running through the winter. The weather has been absolutely atrocious. Caragh Lake and Caragh River's water are at the highest levels I have ever seen them. When Niamh went walking yesterday morning she remarked that the lake had changed its shape, all the flood plains surrounding it had become part of it. On Friday I ran through a piece of road that was a least one foot under water; there is a little wall at the side of the road, normally separating the road from the lake, which was entirely submerged. I had to run through that twice, on the way out as well as on the way back. Trail runners might be used to river crossings, I am not. Maybe the impromptu ice bath for the lower limbs was beneficial, you never know.

Running wise, I felt reasonably good, trying to forget the numbers from Wednesday's evaluation. I ran virtually the same run on Thursday and Friday and noticed a significant drop in HR between the two. Saturday's run was a mere 5 easy miles which basically makes up my taper for tomorrow's 30 mile race in Sixmilebridge, but of course that will only be a training effort for me, not a race as such. Nevertheless I am very much looking forward to it.

Niamh is in Cork all day today, the twins are out and I am tasked with minding the two little ones. The good thing about sitting around on your own the day before a long race is that you don't have to worry about carbo loading, the carbs seem to find their way into my mouth all by themselves. The bad thing about sitting around on your own the day before a long race is that you take the race as an excuse to totally pig out on anything that's sweet. I must have take more calories onboard that I will burn in tomorrow's race already, and it's not even three o'clock yet and City are going to be on the telly soon.

Well, I suppose the good thing about the recent weather was that it seems to have gotten it all out of the system. It's a lovely day today and the forecast for tomorrow is pretty benign. I don't think we will let get anything in the way of a serious day of good fun. I'll let you know how it went, of course.

17 Nov
8 miles, 1:01:19, 7:40 pace, HR 146
18 Nov
8 miles, 1:01:09, 7:39 pace, HR 143
19 Nov
5 miles, 38:38, 7:44 pace, HR 141

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Technical Issues

The week had started very well, with two great runs. I was surprised on Monday; I had expected the legs to feel very tired after two tough runs over the weekend. Instead I was back at the "effortlessly floating" stage. I took it easy and the HR reflected that. The pace for that kind of HR was pretty good though, getting close to pre-Dublin levels already.

Following my resolution to take it easy easier this week, I ran easily on Tuesday as well - at least I thought it was easy. Turns out, it was a good bit faster than on Monday, but being able to run 7:30 pace while taking it easy is not a bad place to be.

I was looking forward to today's evaluation workout. Not only would I be able to run a bit faster than usual, I was curious what the figures would look like.

The morning did not start well. As I tried to turn on the Garmin, it played dead. Thankfully I've read the manual and was able to revive it. Unfortunately, it replied with an "empty battery" message. I had charged it the night before, so this was annoying, if not entirely unprecedented. On any other day I might have gone out without Garmin but for an evaluation run it is absolutely vital, so I spent the next 10 minutes charging it, keeping an anxious eye on the clock.

I can't really be late for work so I ran the warm-up much faster than I would have otherwise, which may have had an influence on the subsequent numbers. During the second mile of the evaluation, the "battery low" message came on and with all the hassle and the dark and the pace I was getting really flustered and turned the thing off for a few seconds by mistake. To be honest, all those problems did not have much of an effect on the final numbers, stressed as I felt. The pace was significantly lower than 3 weeks ago; I clearly still have Dublin in my legs, even with all the good feeling over the last couple of days.

After the 4 miles, I stopped until the HR returned to 130. It took 45 seconds, much longer than last time. Again, a sign of not being fully recovered.

I added 3x800 on the way home. They were supposed to be run at a fast but controlled effort. Last time I got them right. This time I did not. I ran them much too fast, which would explain why they felt much harder.

Maybe I should have left the evaluation for another day, with me starting feeling all flustered and stressed out because of a technical hitch. The run was never going to feel great after that start. You live and learn.

14 Nov
8 miles, 1:01:58, 7:45 pace, HR 139
15 Nov
8 miles, 1:00:10, 7:32 pace, HR 147
16 Nov
11.7 miles, 1:23:06, 7:06 pace, HR 156
   4 mile eval: 6:55, 6:59, 7:02, 7:06 (normalised figures)
   45 seconds to 130
   3x800 in 3:05, 2:54, 2:53

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Training And Recovery

My feeling is that you are running too much during the week. Your legs / body needs time to repair after the Dublin Marathon. I would suggest that you do a run every second day. Your body is used to the marathon / ultra endurance now and all you need do is to keep your body "oiled". Give it time to recover for the next long race.

I freely admit, I sometimes tend to struggle with the optimum amount of training I should be doing. I have erred plenty of times. I try to read various signs and signals and adapt my training accordingly, but it's as much an art as it is science and I am no expert in either.

I do take note of the feeling in my legs. This has been very up and down since Dublin, on some days it feels like dragging a pair of concrete pillars along, on other days I am effortlessly floating across the road, and on one occasion both happened in the same run.

I record my heart rate, both during the runs and resting HR, and both sets of values are actually very encouraging at the moment, my heart for any given pace has gone down since Dublin, though it's not quite back to pre-Dublin levels yet.

I will do another evaluation workout next week, like the one I did before Dublin.

In short, I am trying to keep an eye on things. Maybe I am indeed running too many miles, but my thoughts went as follows: I would not take rest days for 20 or 22 or 24 mile training runs, so why would I do so after a 26 mile training runs, especially one that has been slower than almost any other training run? I am sure others can find a flaw in that argument, but then again, I am trying to get to the point where 26 miles is just another mile marker along the way.

Conditions on Friday were downright scary, heavy rain coming in horizontally, at times actually stinging the face from sheer force of impact. Hardcore stuff. Loved it. I had been awake since 4 am, up since 5 am and running since 6 am, so I did 11 miles before work.

Much better sleep and perfect running conditions on Saturday left the door open for a better run and I did my one "stretch the legs" run of the week where the effort goes higher than on previous days but is still very reasonable. I was quite surprised to see the pace faster than for the equivalent runs before Dublin, only 12 days after the marathon, which made me wonder if I am recovering particularly quickly this time.

I was proven wrong on Sunday when we were back to the concrete pillars stage, though in all honesty I put that down to the 10 miler on Saturday rather than the marathon 2 weeks ago. I knew from the word go that this would not be all fun and games so I just jogged my way around Caragh Lake, fighting the strong gale force wind that seemed to want me blow off the mountain at times. It was one of those runs where you just put your head down and get it over with. The legs pushed a faster pace than I would have expected, maybe they wanted to get home to be done sooner. That's 79 miles for the week and if you think that's too much, well, I was regularly doing 82-85 miles at he same stage when training under MC's guidance. Having said that, I will take it a bit easier next week in preparation for Sixmilebridge.
11 Nov
11 miles, 1:22:46, 7:31 pace, HR 147
12 Nov
10 miles, 1:09:04, 6:54 pace, HR 152
11 Nov
16.6 miles, 2:07:17, 7:40 pace, HR 149

Weekly Mileage: 79+

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Shock To The System

After taking the marathon week off work, the return to my desk was always going to feel strange. We drove back to Kerry on Friday for the kids’ swimming lessons, so I had time to adjust but that didn’t help. I spent Monday and Tuesday doing a rather intense work training course that pulled me way out of my comfort zone; as I sat down at my desk on Wednesday morning for what felt like the first time in ages, it came as a complete shock. Mind, the feeling of “what do I do now” dissipated very quickly, I came out of the first meeting with a massive to-do list that took care of that problem.

Cycling into work on Monday had felt strange too at first, but I got used to that in no time.

Dealing with an upset and confused 4-year old at 4 am in the morning wasn’t the easiest task either.

The legs seemed to come round nicely during the week, feeling pretty good on Wednesday; the next shock was delivered during the first half on Thursday’s run when I felt like dragging a pair of concrete pillars around. Mind, the second half of the same run was great; maybe I only had to shake off some cob webs. The HR has come down as well. It is always affected by a marathon for several weeks and will take some additional time to get back to where it was before Dublin, but it is moving pretty quickly.

The final shock came 10 minutes ago when I realised that it’s already Thursday, more than half of the week is already past and I haven’t updated the blog in 4 days. On the plus side I'm almost halfway through to next payday and still got some money in my bank account (something that had not been the case over the last couple of months).

Things will adjust. Except the recovery from Dublin won’t get the chance to run its full course because in 10 days I will run 30 1-mile loops around Sixmilebridge, and if you think that running 30 1-mile loops around Sixmilebridge does not sound like the best way to have oodles of fun then you and me are not on the same wave length.

Then there’s still the Clonakilty marathon to think about, 4 weeks from now. During the first half of today’s run I decided that my legs were not recovering quickly enough and doing 3 marathons and/or ultras in 6 weeks are not a good idea, not even when they’re all run at leisurely pace. But then I was floating effortlessly through the second half of today’s run and things changed again. I do not want fall into the same trap I did last year when training for Dingle, when too many marathon-length training runs in too short a time left my legs unable to recover in-between efforts and all the hard training made me slower rather than faster. I will have to see and adapt my plans. After Sixmilebridge I will have a week to decide on Clon.
7 Nov
10 miles, 1:18:00, 7:48 pace, HR 143
8 Nov
10 miles, 1:18:08, 7:49 pace, HR 143
9 Nov
11.5 miles, 1:30:16, 7:51 pace, HR 144
10 Nov
10 miles, 1:18:06, 7:49 pace, HR 140

Sunday, November 06, 2011

Back To Work Tomorrow

Thanks to Niamh for reminding me. I was just enjoying a beautiful sunny Sunday. Taking the week off was great, and once again we managed to leave before the grandparents were about to throw us out. It would be nice if the boys stopped fighting for a second, imagine the peace and quiet that would come over this family.

The week was of course all about recovering from the Dublin marathon. I had planned on taking a couple of days off, but the legs felt fine and the sunny weather on Tuesday called me out onto the road. Since then I have taken it reasonably easy, and I was surprised how quickly the pace has returned. After previous marathons I would not have dreamed of running 7:30 pace again within less than a week, this time it just happened. But I can clearly feel that the quads have not recovered yet. The pain is long gone, but they still feel distinctly heavy. Maybe I should have run a tad slower over the last few days.

Maia has now celebrated her 4th birthday and never misses an opportunity to remind us that she is now a Big Girl. Her mother once again surpassed herself in the cake making department, even Maia was impressed for once, and that's not an easy thing to do, believe you me. It's incredible how quickly they grow up. Not only can I vividly remember the day she was was born, her brothers and sister can too.

A week away in Dublin meant a week away from my weighing scales. I was slightly apprehensive stepping on it again. I had serious cravings for sweets the day after the marathon, then there was Maia's birthday and finally they had particularly yummy chocolate in the shop, but the scales tell me that I somehow got away with it. For the first time ever they have me at 10% body fat. If I can manage to leave it at that level over Christmas and drop a few more pounds before Connemara, I'll get closer to my optimum racing weight than ever before.

4 Nov
9 miles, 1:08:26, 7:36 pace, HR 150
5 Nov
10 miles, 1:16:13, 7:37 pace, HR 146
6 Nov
12+ miles, 1:30:05, 7:29 pace, HR 149

Weekly Mileage: 74

Thursday, November 03, 2011

Once Again, After The Marathon

There are always things that slip out of your mind when you write a race report, but I'm not quite sure how I managed to forget about him:

He started right with us but went ahead. At the 2 mile mark I noticed that the spectators were cheering particularly enthusiastically, until I noticed him again. He fell behind quickly, despite the crowd's support. Some people try and slip by unnoticed. Others might have to deal with interesting chafing problems.

Thanks to Ray for a good video, from right at the bottom of Fosters Avenue (mile 21.5 or so). My balloon comes into view at about 1:20 and slowly draws closer to pass the camera a minute later, with the other balloons about 10 seconds apart each (excellent formation, guys!). What really strikes me is the size of the group. No wonder I got tripped on a couple of occasions.

What will stay with me is the crowd support we received. I was not the only one to notice that the spectators seemed even more enthusiastic than usual. Dublin calls itself the friendly marathon, and it sure lived up to that. I feel sorry for anyone who ran with an ipod. You really missed out, and you probably don't even know it.

Recovery is going very well. I had not planned on going running the next day, but the weather was so nice that I eventually donned my shoes and went out for a 5 mile recovery jog, which incidentally matched the marathon pace from the day before. Tuesday's run was the same, except in lousy weather. That didn't change for today; I ran to Mount Merrion and circled Deer Park 5 times, which gave me 7 miles today, the second half in a downpour that left me drenched to the bones, but happy enough that the soreness in the quads is almost gone.

I'm not planning ahead and will take every day as it comes. Recovery is paramount. While last year's training for Dingle has shown that I can run a marathon per week fairly comfortably, this does not build me up and has me running significantly slower. My next long run is in 3 weeks (ok, 2-and-a-half weeks by now), and I'm planning on running roughly the same pace as on Monday. If that goes well, I'll sign up for Clonakilty, another 3 weeks later.

That would bring my marathons for 2011 to 6 and slowly it's dawning on me that I'm building up quite a sizeable number. It's probably time to officially sign up to the 100 marathon club; the bronze medal only needs 25 marathons and I can get it in Connemara.
1 Nov
5 miles, 39:52, 7:58 pace, HR 142
2 Nov
5 miles, 39:21, 7:52 pace, HR 143
3 Nov
7 miles, 57:07, 8:09 pace, HR 144