Sunday, July 01, 2012

Moonlight Senata

It is getting close.

Niamh is going to Dublin tomorrow and I am sending most of my race gear ahead with her. When I packed my bag it really hit me how close we are to the race. This is going be reality very, very soon. I am going to find out just how far out of my depth I am going to be.

Niamh's eyes bulged when I gave her my huge bag filled up to the brim with all sorts of things that may or may not be needed in Bangor, with the words "I managed to fit most of what I need!". From the volume of gear alone you could think I'm going to climb Everest.

On Friday I did yet another 5 minutes run /walk session. I have been doing a lot of walking that week and now my heels and Achilles tendons are both hurting a bit. I might want to take it a bit easy the last few remaining days. Who would have thought that I would ever have to take it easy from walking!

Saturday was another group run, though I'm not sure if you can still call the pitifully small turnout of 4 runners a group. Undoubtedly the lousy weather has put a lot of people off, I have yet to do a group run and come home dry. But the group runs enable me to cover a few miles at a pace that is a good bit slower than my usual training pace without feeling that I have to speed up, and time always passes very quickly in good company. I definitely want to keep that up, as long as the group keeps going that is.

All of that was still somewhat normal; the same cannot be said about Sunday's run.

I wanted to test out one more condition I will encounter in Bangor: running in the middle of the night. I got up at 2 am, got dressed and headed out into the dark. Luckily the moon provided plenty of light and I did not really need the headlamp. Even though I have run plenty of miles in the dark every winter, I found it really spooky initially. I almost panicked when I encountered the first car, but eventually I settled into it. I followed the same protocol I will be using in Bangor, 25 minutes running and 5 minutes walking. Mentally I was fine and the unusual hour did not bother me at all. In fact, I enjoyed it and almost felt sorry when I eventually turned left, homewards bound, rather than right for yet another loop.

The only thing that surprised me was the amount of traffic. There seemed to be more cars on the road at 3 am than there are at 7. I was a bit nervous every time, I'm sure not everyone passing me tonight was as sober as the law allows, but the run passed without incident. I was back home in bed around 4 o'clock, dawn already approaching, safe in the knowledge that I have now cemented my place as the village idiot for good.

29 Jun
6.1 miles, 1:01:07, 10:01 pace, HR 117
   5 mins run / 5 mins walk
30 Jun
10.9 miles, 1:28:17, 8:05 pace, HR 137
1 Jul
9.9 miles, 1:31:33, 9:15pace, HR 126
   25 mins run / 5 mins walk


  1. fair play for running at 2am but yes you would want to be careful given the amount of drunk or tired drivers you might meet. anyway out of curiousity what does one pack for these events and also when you write your race report how will you remember everything ;-)?

    1. 3 pairs of shoes, 5 pairs of socks, several shorts and tights, longs sleeved and short sleeved tops, singlets, gloves, shades, jacket, compression gear, ankle straps, knee straps. Mp3 player and spare batteries, water bottles, loads of food options, gels, sports drinks, salt tablets, electrolytes, vaseline, plus whatever I have forgotten. The crew will bring tent, table and chair as well, and whatever else they think of.

      As for remembering things for the race report, I am making no promises.

  2. You've taken 'things to do when you can't sleep before a race' to a new level. Definitely watch out for drunk & unsuspecting drivers at 3am!!!

  3. I always enjoy reading your blog, but the last line of todays will live long in my memory as top quality penmanship!