Thursday, July 13, 2006


Guess what the following sequence means: 5:50, 7:00, 5:50, 7:30. No, it’s not the pace of my most recent intervals. It’s the times in the morning when Shea or Cian woke me up this week. So much for sleeping in during your holiday. Each night I’m dead tired at 10 o’clock, but don’t go to bed because I don’t want to be unsociable. I eventually go to bed around midnight (still the first adult to go to sleep) and pray for a lie-in that never materialises. Twice I managed a bit of a snooze during the afternoon, but usually I’m just tired. Which isn’t optimal when you’re still expected to look after your children as well as running the highest mileage of your life.

I was a bit worried about yesterday’s 20 miler. I had, however, a cunning plan on how I would get water during the run. “Honey, why don’t you take the children to Cabinteely Park at around 12 o’clock? Oh, and while you’re at it, can you bring my water bottle along, please?” This worked a treat. After leaving the house at around 10 o’clock (later than planned) I first ran a few miles towards Ballybrack and Killiney, then turned around and got to Cabinteely at the 8 mile point, where I started doing laps around the park. It’s a nice park with a big playground in the middle, and a lap is a bit more than one mile (and it’s quite hilly). I did about 5 or 6 laps until I saw Niamh, Nana and the kids, grabbed my water bottle off them, did two more laps and then headed home to Stillorgan. One thing I hadn’t quite thought through was the mile long climb from Cabinteely to Foxrock, which isn’t very steep, but challenging enough if you already have 18 or 19 miles in your legs. I surprised myself on how strong I still felt and eventually got home after running for nearly 3 hours. I’m quite sure that the distance was closer to 21 miles than 20, let’s call it 20.5 miles. As Zeke said in his last entry, it doesn’t make a difference to the body how many miles you write down in your log.

I felt a bit stiff today but managed some relaxed 5 miles in the morning while all the other adults were still asleep (after being woken by Shea, as usual). Niamh got up when I came home and remarked that I looked like a man who had barely broken sweat. It’s amazing how well I feel after a recovery run these days – I guess it has a lot to do with the fact that I’m much more conscious to keep the effort down to the easy level than I used to be.

I finally managed to sneak off to Mick Dowling's sports shop in Terenure that Liam had recommended, and bought a new pair of shoes (Asics Nimbus, bloody expensive but they felt really comfy), shorts, socks, dumbbells and some recovery drink powder. At that stage I had to leave before I completely bankrupted myself. Niamh now demands to be allowed into a clothes shop. I guess I’m not really in a position to argue against.

We’re driving back to Kerry tomorrow. I hope to be able to run before we leave; I’ve still got to do two runs of double figures before the week is out, and don’t want to do them on Saturday and Sunday.

12 Jul: approx. 20.5 miles, 2:55
13 Jul: approx. 5 miles, 48 mins


  1. You have to convince you family to go to bed earlier, that's why they are still sleeping when you come back after running... I can't understand how you do it with out sleeping well and still you do it great!

    Yes they are expensive, but also they are heaven :)

  2. Nice job Thomas! My husband and I have the same problem when were are staying with others. They all stay up late and get up late. We often operate on less than optimal sleep. My husband usually only gets 6 to 6.5 a night. I usually get 6.5 to 7. Not the best, but we do what we can!

    I hope the non-running part of your holiday has been fun as well!

  3. 6 hrs is my best bet a night:)
    You did great by working your family in! How many water bottles did you drink total in 20M? Doesn't sound as much to me. Good pace though.

  4. Good work hanging in there Thomas. Aren't those easy-easy recovery runs a nice sweet reward after a tough day?

  5. I agree with Olga - great job working the family in. You need to take your wife shopping soon.

  6. I think I would have to be selfish and go to bed early...of course when my kids were young I didn't get much sleep either, good thing I started running after they left the house.

  7. Great job on the 20+ miler. It is hard to argue against your wife after you spend money on running gear. In order to keep things happy around the house it is best to let her go shopping.

  8. Thomas, I miss those 3 hr run.

    Great idea..mix your family and running together.

  9. Good luck on the doubles...perhaps you have finished already?