Monday, June 03, 2019

Clinging On

I've heard it a lot. To become a better runner you must run with someone faster than you. In Kerry I never had that luxury - while there clearly were plenty of runners faster than me, they weren't around at 6 o'clock in the morning in Caragh Lake, and I did the vast majority of my miles on my own. Maybe that's why I always preferred the longer distances - long miles are easier done on your own than speed workouts. However, I got a bit of a taste of that medicine on Tuesday when running with the group from work.

Usually we just do a few miles but occasionally someone does a workout, and this week I decided to do a "Kenyan fartlek", one minute on, one minute off. And I didn't have to do it on my own, and the other guy was definitely faster than me, and so, just by trying to keep up, it became a much harder workout than it would have been otherwise.

If that's a good thing or not, actually, isn't quite so obvious. I don't want to work myself into the ground again and I have learned that running tough workouts in base training is doing exactly that to me, so I better don't do that too often.

Because I got a taste of speed workout on Tuesday I chose to do some hill repeats again on my "other" workout day, Saturday. Bray Head has become my venue of choice for that. I'd prefer a longer climb, like the Windy Gap in Caragh lake, but I haven't found a runnable one close enough to home, so Bray Head it is for the time being, and I tend to do several repeats. Actually, because I was caught for time I only did 4 repeats this week, one less than last week. However, despite definitely trying not to go too hard I am getting faster at these, so something is definitely working. Also, despite feeling a bit worn out at the start I somehow felt much better as the workout went on, until I felt really good at the fourth one, enough to wish I'd have time for more.

Then again, limiting that to 4 repeats was most likely a good thing because the next day I crashed and burned on my long run. It was a warm and humid day and leaving it to 9 o'clock before heading out was not a good idea, and after 12 or so miles I was burning up in the heat, relative as it may have been. I had planned 18 miles but cut it short and was home just after 17, totally done - 12 would have done me that day, thank you very much, and the last 5 were definitely a struggle.

It all added up to about 66 miles this week, a bit less than last week but still in the same ballpark, plus a fair amount of cycling,.

Oh, and I'm actually signed up for another race, though I don't have to worry about it for a while yet. The Donadea 50k in February was close to being full up already, so I signed up before it was too late. And I never expected to get an elite entry into a race ever again, so that was an ego-boost that I didn't say no to - just try and not be the slowest "elite" on the day.

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