Thursday, July 16, 2009


Reluctant as she may be, Niamh has clearly picked up some knowledge about running and training in the last couple of years. On Tuesday she enquired how much I would be running the next morning, and clearly did not like my reply of 18 miles. “Shouldn’t you take it easier before Sunday’s race?” A very good question, but I decided I’m training for the marathon and don’t want to interrupt that training for a mere 10k. I’ll take it easier on Friday and Saturday.

Because of the longer work commute I had to get up as early as 4:40 for yesterday’s 18 miles, which is earlier than for a 20 mile run in Caragh Lake. Despite the ungodly hour I didn’t even need the alarm. It was still fairly dark when I left. Not dark enough to need a light, but there were still a couple of stars visible between the thick clouds. I did two loops around Valentia, first a grand tour of the entire island and then a second, smaller one. Running 18 miles felt easy enough; there was no real soreness from Tuesday’s tempo repeats and I was still reasonably fresh at the end. Those long runs are quickly becoming routine. I still need a few longer ones before the marathon though.

The weather improved a lot during yesterday and I was greeted by glorious sunshine this morning. I seized the opportunity and ran up to Geokaun Mountain, Valentia’s highest point. First I did a set of hill sprint up the insanely steep pathway. I could tell that the road was much steeper than the hill I normally use for repeats in Caragh Lake. The quads were almost screaming with pain after 45 seconds, the HR shot up higher than normal, and 60-second repeats were utterly out of the question. I kinda wished I’d find a road as steep as that at home. The legs get much more of a workout that way. Mind, I was not wishing it that badly during the actual repeats themselves. There’s only so much suffering I can wish for.

Anyway, after the eighth repeat I continued on up the rest of the mountain, but at a significantly more sedate pace. The view from up there is truly breathtaking, towards Dingle in the North, Iveragh to the East, Portmagee to the South and the void of the Atlantic to the West. Even though I was pressed for time I did give myself the luxury of a minute or two just enjoying the sights.

The legs recovered surprisingly quickly. When I set off for the 3-mile run back home I thought I’d struggle with my aching quads, but by the time I was nearing the end I was cruising along at sub-7 pace. It’s funny how the hill-induced soreness always seems to dissipate so quickly. I might still be sore tomorrow, of course. I’ll find out soon enough.

As mentioned, there’s a 10k race on Sunday. It’s the course where I set my PR over that distance last year. I’d love to beat that, but chances are I won’t due to lack of speedwork, even though I feel it’s one of my weaker PRs. I’ll see. It won’t be for lack of trying.
15 Jul
18 miles, 2:22:24, 7:55 pace, HR 142
16 Jul
9.5 miles, 1:20:55, 8:31 pace, HR 145
incl. 8x45 secs steep hill sprints


  1. Sometimes you make me feel like such a piker! But in a good way of course. You run 18 miles at 4:30 AM, bad weather, high winds, 100 mile weeks all the while raising kids and living life.

    Anytime I have slight training motivation problems, I know that stopping by your page will cure my ills.

    It is so impressive - keep up the good work!

  2. Remember always listen to your coach, especially when that coach is your wife!!!
    LETS HOPE YOU DON'T GET THE ' i told you so'.

  3. best of luck on Sunday. You've been doing some good sessions lately and you should be seeing the benefits...

  4. I don't think the 18 miles will do you any harm on Sunday. Think positive and you'll run a PB. Only danger is if you get out in 3:30-40 ks. 3:50s would be ideal.

  5. Good luck in the 10k Thomas. You're as ready as you'll ever be.