Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Base Training

Runners in the South of Ireland will know that the Great Island 10-mile road race had been on in Cobh last Sunday. The strange thing was that we were actually in Cobh at the time – and I was not running! We had gone there purely because my offspring (well, 2 of them) insisted on visiting the Titanic's last port of call on the anniversary of the disaster. It would have been obvious to combine the museums with the race, but two weeks after Connemara I was in no shape to race 10 miles. Instead I got up at 6 am and jogged 12 at normal pace – a much more reasonable thing to do, at least in my world. But if you ever find yourself in that place, I can recommend the Titanic Experience. It is rather short (and even that is a bonus with 4 young kids in tow) but very well done, though some of the stories are rather harrowing, but that comes with the nature of the event.

The HR on my runs is slowly coming down and the pace seems to settle down a bit as well. On the downside, the legs feel a bit heavy at times, but how much of that is just in my head, I'm not sure. On Monday I cycled home from work and felt absolutely awful. I had to work twice as hard and it felt like one of those nightmares when you run and run and don't move forward, except on a bike. I thought my legs must be in absolutely atrocious state – until I came home and after a short inspection realised that the rear brake was wonky and one of the pads was rubbing against the wheel. The realisation instantaneously made my legs feel much better.

I’ve got three weeks until my next pacing gig, the Limerick marathon, which I of course first and foremost regard as a training run for Bangor. I need to get used to 8-minute pace again and I need to make sure I have a fully functioning Garmin, but I'm confident all these things will be in place come 6 May.

The most challenging thing at the moment is the weather. It has turned rather nasty and I was battling gale force winds and at times very heavy rain both yesterday and this morning. There have been a few hail stones as well, but even the rain feels painful against your face at those wind speeds. The cycling commute into work was interesting as well. Apparently it’s not going to change until the weekend. Maybe it’s just nature’s way to toughen me up a little before the Big One.

It looks like I have a very experienced crew for Bangor, which can only be a good thing. From what I hear the organisers will have plenty of provisions there and it is perfectly possible to run the race unsupported, but I think having someone there whose main job will be to tell me to HTFU and get the f*** out of that chair will make a real and significant difference. Also, since I'm a complete novice at that kind of thing, having someone with experience at my side will be invaluable.

I guess I can’t chicken out now.

16 Apr
10 miles, 1:15:26, 7:33 pace, HR 148
17 Apr
10 miles, 1:17:27, 7:45 pace, HR 150
18 Apr
10 miles, 1:16:22, 7:38 pace, HR 150


  1. I have great respect for you and how you run in that weather. You have some great running coming up. Enjoy!

  2. I know a little of what you're going through re the weather. We've had such a wet summer that Canberra is looking like Ireland - not its usual brown dusty self.

    One of Martin's tips for a 24 hour race would be to don't sit down!

  3. I visited the Titanic Exhibition here in Kansas City. It was definitely worth the visit. Learned a lot about what happened.