Sunday, March 18, 2012

It Did Not Rain On My Parade

Something not quite right here. Because last week's mileage had been so low, I actually ran a lot more this week, despite calling it a taper.

But the best thing about this week was not the mileage or the pace but the way I've felt. It took 3 weeks to get my legs back after Donadea, and racing Ballcotton didn't help I suppose, but since the beginning of the week I have basically felt better every day. There was a small bump on Thursday when the legs felt lousy over the first 4 miles but they seemed to recover miraculously and felt great for the last 4.

The weekend saw a lighter load than previous ones with just a vague resemblance of those back-to-back workouts I have done on a few occasions this year. The plan for Saturday was to run 10 miles at 7:15 pace and for once I managed to stick fairly close to that. I paid plenty of attention to the Garmin during the first half and was very much on target as a result. I ran the second half much more by feel and ended up a little bit faster, but still very close to the target.

By far my favourite Paddy's Day parade in Ireland is the one in Glenbeigh. It's mercifully short. The kids like it too because they get a party bag at the end. We even got lucky with the weather. Despite the absolutely awful forecast, it was a beautiful sunny day.

I haven't run the Caragh Lake loop in a while, which is why I picked it one final time before Connemara this morning. The general idea was to run the same 7:15 pace again but on a much hillier course than previous efforts. Connemara is very hilly, at least the second half is, and I will have to be able to keep that same pace on such an undulating road.

I was out later than usual, owing to Mother's Day. Niamh's wishes for the day were a lie-in, breakfast in bed and no fighting amongst the children. 2 out of 3 ain't bad, I suppose. Maia seemed to think that because she had to be extra good for Mum, she had to be particularly awful for Dad and I was rather stressed by the time I was finally able to get out of the door for my run. Maybe I tried to get away as quickly as possible and that's why I started with a 6:45 mile, or maybe it were the three cups of coffee that completely messed up my pacing, but I did calm down eventually and settled into a more realistic pace. Having said that, I felt very good, and the sports drink I took with me to try it out before Connemara made a difference as well (all my other runs had been dry). As a result, I ended up a good bit faster than expected, but I can honestly say that I was always in total control and never once unduly pushed the effort.

With 2 weeks to go to Connemara, the hay is in the barn. I might be sticking my head out unnecessarily here, but my prediction is that it's not a question of if I break 5 hours in Connemara but by how much. And now that I've stated it so openly, there's no tracking back.

15 Mar
8 miles, 1:02:19, 7:47 pace, HR 141
16 Mar
8 miles, 1:00:21, 7:32 pace, HR 142
17 Mar
10 miles, 1:12:00, 7:12 pace, HR 150
18 Mar
15.1 miles, 1:46:54, 7:04 pace, HR 151

Weekly Mileage: 69+


  1. 4:45 it is then - provided you don't overcook it during the first half.

  2. I'm expecting a 5:03 from you in Connemara Thomas.

  3. hi thomas. don't mind the anon clown above. i think 4.43. u go dude!!!


  4. Don't worry Cathal, I don't mind, but even 5:03 would be a PB ;-)
    Thanks for the shot of confidence, guys.