Sunday, November 15, 2015


The first of the winter storms hit us on Thursday. Most of these storms affect mainly the northern part of the island and here in Kerry we tend to get away lightly in comparison (until we don't). This one was somewhat cooperating in as much as it only struck properly once I had already finished my run on Thursday morning and mostly blew itself out before I went out again on Friday but I still had to deal with interesting conditions on both days. My standard procedure on particularly windy days is to run on the Ard-na-Sidhe road, where the trees give the advantage of providing some sort of wind shield but considering the amount of broken branches of all sizes on the road, this comes with its own dangers. I don't know how likely it is to be hit by a falling branch - clearly not very likely but it does happen and at times I do wonder.

Anyway, I got through it all without a scrape and a few more miles in the legs. I think my recent adjustments to my training worked very well. I still try to run a bit faster once a week but no longer at 7:10 pace and HR 160, more at 7:30 pace and HR 150, which leaves the body in much better condition and doesn't require two recovery days on stiff and tired legs. I'm pretty much back to the base training MC had me do - it only took me about 4.5 years to work that out for myself.

Abigail's yellow weather warning had only been in place until Friday morning but unfortunately the next one fit in seamlessly. The plan had been to run over the Windy Gap on Saturday but I was not sure how safe that would have been in those conditions and pored over the map for an alternative. I like to think I found a pretty good one - 4 loops of a hilly run with a very steep road for climbing and a gentler one for descending and the overall elevation change was similar to what the mountain run would have been like. Conditions were testing at times - at one point I thought it may have been hailstoning but it was just the rain being blown sideways with quite some force by the rather strong wind. The legs, however, handled it all pretty well - I must have been building up some decent amount of leg strength by now.

An unusual amount of procrastination brought some unexpected and undeserved rewards on Sunday. After looking out of the window for an hour until finally putting on the shoes and going for a run I realised that the rain had unexpectedly pretty much died down. The wind was still here, of course, but that was never going to go away today. I made it unnecessarily hard for myself by running too fast over the first half. Two or three times I consciously slowed down but each time the legs spun up again as soon as I stopped paying attention. I paid the price for that towards the end and the last 4, 5 miles sucked more than they had to.

Even so, it was a pretty good week of training. I managed over 83 miles and the pace is moving towards 8-minute miles on my easy runs.

12 Nov
10 miles, 1:21:10, 8:07 pace, HR 146
13 Nov
12 miles, 1:37:10, 8:06 pace, HR 144
14 Nov
12.6 miles, 1:43:59, 8:15 pace, HR 149
   very hilly
15 Nov
17 miles, 2:16:39, 8:02 pace, HR 146

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