Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Midweek Report

That’s an interesting observation from a psychological point of view. In my last post, I told you about my encounter with those dogs, and about my best ever tempo run to date. The running effort was basically ignored – everyone went on about the dogs. There might be a lesson in there.

Anyway, I did go to the Garda station (as we call the police here), and was basically told that they are not responsible for dogs, the Dog Warden is. And I need the name of the owner; otherwise he won’t be able to do anything about it. This rather annoyed me, to be honest. They basically ask me to find out more details all by myself before anything will be done. Anything else would probably disturb their cosy workday.

Let’s get back to the running, shall we? I did 6 easy miles on Tuesday, and even though there was nothing to report, really, I did notice that my pace for recovery runs has increased a little bit, as has the HR (it’s still within the accepted limits). I’ll make an effort to slow down again. The very very very easy level for recovery runs has really served me well.

I had to get up at 5:20 am this morning to get in my mid-week 15 miler. I didn’t even need the alarm clock, at 5:18 I woke up all by myself; my biological clock seems to be working very well these days. The weather wasn’t too inviting, it was raining just a little bit, just enough to make it more difficult to turn the door handle and head out into the open. Once that hurdle was surmounted, the run went very well. I did the first 2 miles at about 8:40 pace, by 5 miles I was down to an average of about 8:10, and by mile 10 I was at sub 8:00 average pace. All this was done in what I would call my natural pace. I didn’t run hard, but relaxed, but still putting in some effort; the HR was about 10 beats higher than for a recovery run. Personally I feel very comfortable with this approach, even though I’m running at or even above the upper limit of the usually recommended pace for long runs. I just happen to think that this effort level works very well for me.

That’s all very well, of course, but I’ve still got that massive 23 miler ahead of me on Friday. I’ve been dreading it all week. In fact, I’ve been dreading it since last week. By the end of today’s run, I did ask myself, could I continue for 8 more miles. Well, I felt very comfortable, so the answer was yes, but I was still glad that I didn’t have to do it at the time.

When I got back home, Niamh took one look at the rain outside the window, and commented that she couldn’t understand how I just ran for 2 hours. In the office, someone said basically the same thing. Non-runners just don’t get it, do they? A slight drizzle doesn’t particularly affect your running, it might even make it easier because of the cooling effect. You just have to manage to turn the doorknob. Once that is accomplished, the hardest part of the workout is behind you.

29 Aug: 6 miles, 53:34, 8:55 pace
30 Aug: 15 miles, 1:59, 7:56 pace


  1. Guilty. It's the two photos of the bite that put the focus on the bite instead of the run. Maybe. Maybe a lame excuse. What a pace for your 15 miler. Well done.

  2. That doorknob! Biggest hurdle there is.

    I dread Fridays as well - but my Friday staple is 18 miles,leaving my long run for Sunday mornings. Sometimes my mind starts to wander and think about the marathon and whether I could finish one "now". The answer's always 'no'. That's why we taper I guess.

    Just remember on Friday, the mile you came out to do is the last one.

  3. Hi Thomas,

    Very true abot the hardest part of getting out in the rain is turning the door handle. I always dread running when I see the rain pouring down outside as it has been all week, but I have to say once I'm out I actually love running in the rain.

    Disgusted to hear about the Gardai's attitude towards the dog situation, but to be honest are you really that surprised. I'm glad to know that it's not only the Gardai in Dublin that are like that. I hope you can take further action because those dogs sound seriously dangerous.

    Thanks for the comments and tips on my blog, I really appreciate them.

    By the way I'm very impressed with a 15 mile midweek run, I'm still only at the 10 mile long run stage at the weekends. Best of luck with the 23 miler though, although it sounds like you won't need it.

  4. Hi Thomas, Philip just brought your blog to my attention. I don't have a lot of "blog surfing" time i just about find the time to surf my own blog!!
    I'm very impressed with your blog & alot of what you say is true. In fact the only part of your blog i can't relate to is 15 milers before work! How do you find the time & muster the energy?!
    Phil & I are currently doing our long runs after work. I agree with what you said about the hardest part is turning the door handle. Some days after sitting in over an hour of traffic just to get to the park, i find i need all my will power to actually stop in it for my run, instead of driving through it to Phil's house. As hard as it is though I always feel much better for pushing myself. If i ever chicken out of a midweek run, or any run, i find myself stuffing my face in front of the TV feeling VERY gulity!
    Anyway i'll definately add your blog & keep an eye on your training. If i keep reading about your prework 15 milers maybe i might motivate myself to try it some morning.

    Ps.... i agree about nonrunners not understanding. Last weekend after our 10 miler I told my friends via text & got no response but one emailed me about her weekend walk of "nearly 2 miles down the beach". They just don't understand & i think are in fact bored of all my running talk.

    Good luck with training & the dogs.

  5. Enjoy that long run Thomas. I think once you get past this week (with the 7 miles of tempo and the huge long run), you're pretty much home free with the exception of some marathon pace runs.

    You've come a long way.

  6. Thomas,
    Good job on the 15 miler! How do you make it through your workday without a nap after that?

    I'm wondering why you dread your long runs, and since you do, why you set goals that require them? Do you dread the race distance that requires those runs?

  7. It's funny that, because I keep waking up just before the alarm goes off too. Although I love the rain, it's better if it starts once I'm out rather than already raining when I start my run.

    I find now that I run in the mornings before work, it's a lot better. I used to spend the whole day dreading the run - stupid really, cos I actually enjoyed the run, it was just the thought of it!

  8. Thomas,
    I am nervous about the 20 miler. I guess I thought that because you have done them before, the nerves would be gone. Thanks for clarifying that for me.

    Wait, now I'm having doubts - I know you've done 20 milers, is 23 a new distance for you?

  9. You call yourself a rubbish marathoner? Your easy run pace is as fast as my RACE pace for a mere MILE event! LOL!

    I didn't do my 18-miler this past weekend - I only did 10 miles. Ugh. Now my plan is all out of whack. Time to readjust.

    Feeling lazy, too. And anxious at the same time.

  10. Running wise you are really sound right now. I have no idea if I'll be capable of squeezing in much over 20 before Dub, so good luck with the 23 today (As I write this you are probably on the road).

    I agree about the doorknob, I always used to say the hardest thing about running was tieing up the shoelaces, and as all say, non-running friends just don't get it!

  11. Good job with the 15 miles. My wife never understands how I can go out in rain, snow, wind, heat or any other weather extreme. I don't have a problem with it. About the only time I don't run is when there is thunder and lightning - and then only because my wife would throw a fit if I did.

  12. rain, i don't mind so much. Rain +cold=unhappy runner. I STILL will never understand how you get that much mileage in before work! you're amazing!