Sunday, May 31, 2009

Single Parent

With Niamh gone, my weekend was dominated by fatherly duties rather than running, and went very different as a result. I managed to squeeze in 5 miles on Friday at lunch time, but because we don’t have a shower at work, this has some drawbacks (more for my colleagues rather than myself). I did my best to wipe myself down with baby wipes – hey, there is an advantage to having a baby in the house after all! My main problem with the run was that it was way too fast. When I checked the Garmin after about a mile I was doing about 7:30; by the time I had finished my loop I had lowered the average down to 7:16! Oops. That’s fine for a tempo run, but not for what should have been an easy day. Thomas you plonker.

Just before she left, Niamh had arranged for a friend to come over to our house on Saturday morning so I would be able to run that day. Am I a lucky guy or what! So, while the boys were being minded (they were glued to the telly anyway), I did a loop towards Cromane. I tried to tune into a ¾ effort again, and for the first 7 or 8 miles that worked well. Then I had to fight a headwind, and the road was climbing, and I got progressively slower. I retrospect I have to admit that I had gotten over-ambitious. Last week’s equivalent run of 8 miles had me hanging on towards the end. In light of that it is no big surprise that 11 miles were way too much. The average pace, which had been about 6:50 after mile 7 gradually slowed down to 7:05, though to be fair the last few miles are net uphill, and the wind didn’t do me any favours on that stretch either. But this will be the loop I intend to do most of my ¾ runs on, and I expect to be able to do it a bit faster in the coming weeks.

After that it was me and the boys. We did loads of things we would not be allowed to do with mummy around (staying up late, not having a bath before bed time, eating chocolate and so on). We even had a pirate party, including a treasure hunt, singing, dancing, and games. All that would have been great were it not for their tendency to start a fight every 5 minutes, and eventually it wore me down. I really don’t know how Niamh can cope. I guess it’s pretty normal behaviour for boys of their age, but it was rather weary. So we were all looking forward to the girls coming back to Kerry, and we collected them Sunday afternoon from the airport (yes, there’s an airport in Kerry). This even enabled me to get a run in for today after all, which I did in 20+ degrees. The temperatures have increased by 10 degrees Celsius this week, and finally we might be able to have something resembling a summer.

Which is great news for everyone except the runners of tomorrow’s Cork City marathon. While I did prove last year that it is possible to run a decent marathon there on one of the hottest days of the year, I’m sure every single participant would prefer a few degrees less. All the best lads! And Grellan, I’d give you my calves if that helped, but they’re a bit wonky themselves.
29 May
5.1 miles, 37:04, 7:16 pace, HR 154
30 May
11.2 miles, 1:19:22, 7:05 pace, HR 164
31 May
7.2 miles, 55:53, 7:45 pace, HR 148

Weekly mileage: 73
Monthly Mileage: 265.5


  1. Sounds like a good weekend - and you managed to run too!

    It gets hot in Ireland? ;) 20 is nice - that's what we get all Autumn and Spring. I think the temp is the least of Grellan's worries.

  2. Your 3/4 or marathon pace run at 7.05 pace [ = to your Dublin marathon pace] sounds about right for your current fitness level, When you can run 12 - 18 miles at 6.50 pace [ in training] without undue distress your know that sub 3 for your next marathon is a possibility!
    Ideally training on the same type of terrain as the marathon course.

  3. P.S. ideally you would build up to 18-21 miles to be sure!

  4. It's funny how the primary focus each day is how/when I can get my run in. Lokks like you managed it fine and still had a grat weekend with the boys. Parenting can be tougher than running though.

    Ewen was spot on, although it was quite hot today I wasn't given the chance to test "how hot".

  5. I think Niamh is a goddess and you are so lucky to have her! :)