Thursday, September 21, 2017

The Run Commute

Its early morning, just after 6 o'clock. I open the blinds and it's still dark outside - summer is definitely over. No matter. I have been awake for 90 minutes already and by now staring at the ceiling has lost its attraction.

I don't eat before running so it doesn't take me long to get ready - with 15 minutes I'm out of the house. There's a lady walking her dog, otherwise the apartment blocks are completely quiet.

And yet, as soon as I get to the road it's already very busy, there is a never-ending stream of cars. What a contrast to Caragh Lake where I would encounter a car every 3 miles on average at this time of the morning. Aren't the Irish all supposed to be night owls?

I get away from the roads again as I turn into Kilbogget park, which is very quiet again, apart from the odd dog walker. That park leads straight to another one, Clonkeen Park, both of them long thin green ribbons tucked away from the road, though you can hear the noise from the N11 loud and clearly. Deansgange awaits about 5k into my run, and the next few miles are along another road, not too busy but still. Today I get lucky with the green lights, I don't have to stop. At Blackrock, now halfway through my commute, I turn off the road again, past the DART station and into Blackrock Park. By now it's reasonably bright, though the sun remains hidden behind the clouds. At Booterstown I have another few miles beside the road, now very busy, and if I'm unlucky then I have to wait several minutes at the Merrion Gates level crossing. Why they have to close the barriers several minutes before the train passes is a bit of a mystery to me, it causes massive tailbacks for the commuters and only encourages dangerous behavior by trying to cross until the very last second before the gates close - drivers and cyclists being guilty at the same rate!

Anyway, today the gates are already closed as I get near them but I only have to wait a minute. I do wonder if such an enforced break has any impact on training effect - I've heard conflicting stories, not that I can do anything about it.

Once the gates finally open I'm soon on the Sandymount promenade, probably my favourite section of the run. The Poolbeg peninsula keeps coming closer and closer and I do encounter the odd runner. A lady gives me a sideways glance as we pass each other, in contrast to the usual stare-straight-ahead" method favoured by most Dublin runners.

I run through Sean Moore park where yesterday another runner started chatting to me - that's a first in the 5 months I've been running in Dublin, and a nice change to the usual urban anonymity and isolation. Today there is no repeat, I run through the park unnoticed, and the next one, Ringsend park, as well. I get to the office well before 8 o'clock, enough time for a shower and breakfast before most of my colleagues arrive. Today I'll be running twice, run-commuting in both directions. It's the first double day of this training cycle but hopefully the first of many. I'm nowhere near as fit as I'd like to be but I have many months and many miles to get ready.
18 Sep
9 miles, 1:14:17, 8:15 pace, HR 140
19 Sep
9.25 miles, 1:12:09, 7:48 pace, HR 150
20 Sep
10 miles, 1:22:49, 8:16 pace, HR 148
21 Sep
am: 9.25 miles, 1:15:28, 8:09 pace, HR 144
pm: 9.2 miles, 1:13:13, 7:57 pace, HR 144

1 comment:

  1. You could do something about having to stop at the level crosssing - run up and down the road while you wait. I always do this rather than stop.