Monday, December 24, 2018

Happy Solstice

Things are finally starting to show proper signs of improvement but there's still a long way to go. Some days are better than others, but that's already a massive improvement from most days being sh*tty. I am able to run a decent amount of mileage again without feeling banged up, but anything faster than easy pace and I need at least 2 days of recovery, sometimes more.

Most of my runs are easy commutes ones. I managed to run either in or out of work once each day, and then either cycle or take the bus when going the other way. I noticed that I run a lot faster in the evenings, though that comes with a higher HR, so it's not as if I suddenly turn into a more efficient runner in the evenings.

On Saturday I headed towards Shanganagh Park to run about 4 miles at evaluation effort (that's about 160 HR). I was well on my way towards it when I suddenly, and very belatedly, remembered that there would be a parkrun and I would be right in it. I couldn't think of a decent alternative venue (I reckoned the promenade would already be busy) so I kept going but once in the park stayed on the field closest to the road, and where I shared the road with the parkrun I ran right at the outside and stepped into the grass when there was a group approaching. I wouldn't have done that if it were a "proper" race, but a parkrun has to share the path with walkers, prams, dogs and all other folk anyway, so I reckoned one more park user won't make much of a difference.

While I was there a girl doing the parkrun collapsed and was tended to by a few people. One person seemed to take charge and really seemed to know what to do, and after a while they had her sitting up, so I think she will be ok. It took 15-20 minutes for the ambulance to arrive, which is very long considering the hospital is maybe 2 miles down the road, but that also meant most of the parkrun was finished by the time they arrived, which had its advantages.

It was a sobering experience, especially so close to Christmas, and my own running doesn't feel particularly important in comparison. Nevertheless, I was reasonably pleased that I could hold HR 160 without too much issue and the pace seemed to hold very steady (7:00, 7:01, 7:05, 6:58) but with stopping a couple of times due to the mentioned incident that's maybe not all that valid.

Fairycastle. Photo by Anto Lee
You should always mix things up a bit, especially when not training for a particular race and therefore without a specific training plan, so when Anto told me a group of them were headed into the local hills on Sunday I joined them, despite the rather awful weather. Not knowing where exactly we were headed I was distinctly underdressed, which worked ok at first but became a bit chilly on top of 2 Rock mountain, with the wind and rain and general wet conditions, so I was thankful for Anto to lend me a second layer, after which I was perfectly snug. He couldn't do much about my other problem, namely being half blind without my glasses (and they would have been utterly useless in the wind and rain) so all I could do was to take it slowly and carefully, especially on the downhill, and try not to trip over any of the thousands of stones. Still, it came as a surprise that it was Ollie who came home with bloodied knees and not me. All in all a lovely outing with a great group.
17 Dec
9.31 miles, 1:16:32, 8:13 pace, HR 147
18 Dec
10.23 miles, 1:28:46, 8:40 pace, HR 145
19 Dec
10.29 miles, 1:22:55, 8:03 pace, HR 147
20 Dec
10.22 miles, 1:31:02, 8:54 pace, HR 143
21 Dec
10.23 miles, 1:28:06, 8:36 pace, HR 142
22 Dec
10.18 miles, 1:21:31, 8:00 pace, HR 145
   incl 4 miles at evaluation effort (~160 HR, ~7-minute pace)
23 Dec
~6 miles, 1:22:00, 13:39 pace, HR 123
24 Dec
6.7 miles, 55:46, 8:19 pace, HR 140

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