Focus shifted immediately to the Connemara 100, but I managed to place 3rd in Killarney and Portumna, run 10 marathons in 10 days and a new 4-mile PB during that training, the latter one especially coming as a complete surprise because I thought my legs would be sluggish as hell after all those marathons and no speed work. Connemara went very well, reaching my dream time of sub-17, but coming second once more. With that the running year was basically done, it took a few months to recover from running 100 miles on the road and a couple of marathons in Dublin (running as a pacer) and Clonakilty (running as an idiot) sandwiched yet another second place in Sixmilebridge.
I ran new PBs over 5k, 4 miles, 10 miles, marathon, 50k and 100 miles (plus unofficial PB split times over 5 miles and 10k), which at the age of 43 and after 9 years of running is a rather spectacular return. Things could only have been topped if one or two of those second or third places had turned into victories, but you can't have everything I suppose.
One particular highlight was running my 50th marathon, with the chairman of the Marathon Club handing me my medal. I was chuffed to bits by that one.
Since Christmas I have run 10 easy miles on St. Stephens Day, giving the Farranfore race a miss as I did not think a sudden load of anaerobic miles would do much for my only just emerging conditioning. Then the weather turned very nasty indeed. We've had an unprecedented series of storms hitting us, but all others hit land further up North. For this one Kerry took the brunt. Apart from a very interrupted night of sleep we actually got away lightly in Caragh Lake, there was no real damage when half the county was without power, but running in the morning was still out, it was too dangerous. I did manage to catch up at lunchtime and do another 10 miles, but the pace and HR were a bit too high without me noticing. I think running later in the day had something to do with it, it always throws out my gauge.
That might have had some impact on Saturday's run where I tried to do 8 miles at a higher effort, my one faster run of the week. The legs were a little bit sluggish at first but I thought I had the effort very much under control. When I checked the Garmin afterwards I found that once again I had run a little bit too hard, something I tend to do when not paying attention (or, in that case, only running by feel without paying attention to the watch). I'll get it right one day.
- 26 Dec
- 10 miles, 1:17:10, 7:43 pace, HR 144
- 27 Dec
- 10 miles, 1:13:21, 7:20 pace, HR 151
- 28 Dec
- 10 miles, 1:11:09, 7:06 pace, HR 157
incl. 8 miles @ 6:56 pace (HR 160)