Thursday, October 12, 2006


I’ve started the taper, and I can already tell that the intensity has decreased. The usual 15 mile midweek run has been reduced to a mere 12, and there is only one of those medium length runs, rather than two.

I still had to get up early yesterday. It had been raining heavily earlier on, but it stopped at some stage, and the sky was once again brilliantly illuminated by a crescent moon, and once again I left my headlamp behind. I chose to run alongside Caragh Lake. After 5 miles the road climbs quite steeply away from the lake towards the mountains, and one mile into that climb I turned around and headed back, As there are two hill on the way, which I had to cross twice, this made for 5 decent climbs, plus a few more smaller ones. I have long lost count of how often I have run on this road, but it’s still my favourite running route, and in the moonlight it is just magic. Maybe one day I’ll be able to shoot a decent photo, but I doubt it. Some things just cannot be captured in a still picture.

Anyway, I took 50 minutes for the 6 miles on the way out, but only 45 minutes on the way back, and felt quite good afterwards, even though I got caught by the rain over the last mile. Niamh questioned how I could get motivated to get up on such a lousy morning, and didn’t really believe me when I told her how wonderful the first 11 miles of the run had been.

Today I just ran 7 easy miles. I should have included a few strides into the run, but I completely forgot. Ah well, next time. I originally intended to run to Ard-na-Sidhe, and run the 1 mile stretch between the hotel and the main road twice in each direction, but it was so dark on that stretch of road, and I did hear a few strange noises (at least one of them was from a bird-of-prey, and that definitely was unnerving, even though I knew it wouldn’t perceive me as breakfast) that I got freaked out, and instead ran the 2 extra miles on the open road. I still encountered only one car.

Since I ran 20 miles on Monday, I won’t do another long run this week. This just feels wrong. I look at the schedule and wonder where the hard days have gone. I guess I’d better get used to that taper thingy again.

The kids all have a slight cold at the moment. I’ve been waiting for a few days to get it myself, but so far I’ve managed to escape. We’ll see.

11 Oct: 12 miles, 1:35, 7:55 pace
12 Oct: 7 miles, 1:02, 8:51 pace


  1. Hey Thomas, these dark mornings are really freaky, aren't they! The things I imagine when I hear the slightest sound...

    Glad your tapering is going so well. It's all a mind game isn't it, unless you're pushing yourself it feels like cheating.

  2. Oh, the taper...much better than total race, you do have a goal in site!

  3. Hey Thomas, thanks for your thoughtful comment on my blog. As I said in my comments (in case you don't go back to read them) all opinions are welcome, and no I don't think you are an elitist. I learn something from you every day. I won't try to talk you out of your opinion, either.

    Good luck with the taper! And here's hoping you don't get a cold!

  4. Tapering really is a mind game as Sue already mentioned, somehow it just doesn't feel right - backing off with the mileage right before a race. But I think it is necessary in order to have an optimal race. Don't go mad in the meantime.

  5. Hey Thomas,

    I often think about you out running in the dark as I always do here. Now that the taper has begun, I trust you take it well. It's hard to ramp down the miles and allow your body the rest. Take care.

  6. I tend to stay closer to home when running in the dark alone. Can make for some boring runs but safety comes first.

    Enjoy the taper and hope you don't get that cold. Life with kids is so fun.

  7. Enjoy the taper and savor the reduced mileage. Time to start strategizing on your race plans, eh? Take care!

  8. Tapering is not easy when you are accustomed to run more but this is the most important part of the program. Take care.

  9. Running by the light of cresent moon! Sounds great to me ... beats the heck out of running to light of on-coming headlights.

    Enjoy your taper. There will be plenty of time for hard runs after you complete this marathon. Hope your kids get better soon.