Sunday, February 22, 2015


I'm starting to get neurotic about my training. I'm flip flopping between thinking that I need to do more as Turin is approaching rather rapidly and panicking about not getting enough recovery. To be honest, I'm not in a happy place right now.

It's not all bad. My cold is gone and nobody else in the family is sick, so for the time being I can look forward to a spell of being healthy. The legs, on the other hand, could be better. A lot better in fact. I tried to get them moving a bit over the weekend but had to conclude that the 50k from Donadea is still in there.

Niamh whisked me away from home for a day during the week, which was a lovely break. I almost left my running gear at home and only decided at the last moment to bring it after all. I did a few slow miles in Fota; the trails there were lovely at first except that I kept feeling the stones through my soles and eventually moved onto tarmaced roads, which felt more comfortable straight away. I guess I really am a road runner.

I took it easy again on Friday but on Saturday I had to bring Cian to Tralee and used the opportunity to run there that morning, which had the advantage of not having to get up quite so early. However, I clearly got ahead of myself on that run when trying to run 2x1 miles at a faster pace, about 6:30-ish. The main problem was that the first mile was right into a very strong headwind and by the end of it I was cooked. I did manage a decent enough time on the return leg without killing myself but that was because I now had a strong tailwind blowing me along. My original plan had been to tag another couple of miles to the end of that run, but the legs had turned to concrete and I left it at that.

I still had that run in there on Sunday of course, in addition to the 50k still making itself at home. The gale force wind and heavy rain didn't exactly spell encouragement but out I went, heading for Windy Gap because I concluded that I can only run there in daytime, which at this time of year means during the weekend. Even the first step was a struggle which only got worse when I reached the hills. Thankfully the rain subsided for a while, otherwise the wind would have blown it straight into my face and I was already struggling badly as it was. It might have been windy at home but further up there it was a lot worse and Windy Gap clearly lived up to its name. With the conditions and the already tired legs this quickly turned into one of the toughest run I've ever done. I wasn't sure if I would make it all the way to the top right until I actually got there, and when I finally made it I had to sit down on the nearest stone just to catch my breath and stop myself from collapsing, despite knowing that I could not stay there for long or I would start getting hypothermic very quickly.

I was not looking forward to the return journey, but that was actually very easy, with the wind blowing me home almost without effort. I really had to mind my footing though, it was rather treacherous, so much so that I kept slipping even in trail running shoes. I got home in one piece, thank goodness for that.

Ok, some more recovery is in store next week, I suppose.

19 Feb
6 miles, 52:59, 8:49 pace, HR 140
20 Feb
5 miles, 40:29, 8:05 pace, HR 141
21 Feb
8.25 miles, 1:03:29, 7:40 pace
22 Feb
10.7 miles, 1:42:40, 9:35 pace, HR 150
   Windy Gap
Weekly Mileage: 35 (!!!)


  1. Last year you had a goal race later in the year & had a few decent warm up distances before that came around. This year your goal is four months earlier! Like myself you've concentrated on building a strong base over the winter & competitive races took a back seat. Added to that you had a bad run of luck with heart scares, a few bugs & the mishap with the car. Your not going to feel as prepared as you would have been last year. But I think what makes you a good ultra runner doesn't go away & you'll dig deep & perform on the day when you have to. I'm running that slow but challenging 36 next Sunday if you want to join me & have fun with the milage my offer of accomadation still stands, your more than welcome. "I promise I wont murder you in your sleep" :-)

  2. I'd like to get UP to a 35 mile week. Might have to reduce the 130 miles of cycling though ;-)