Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Stormy Christmas

It's been a stormy few days, but so far I have managed to get a run in every day.

Sunday was reasonably okay, but I preferred the somewhat sheltered road past Ard-na-Sidhe to the totally exposed Caragh Lake one. Then I had the brain wave that I could a full loop on the Devil's Elbow, which might be as exposed as it gets up in the hills but the wind would be mainly at my back. I managed the steep climb well enough but then I heard a loud thunder coming from somewhere behind me and got a bit scared as I was far away from any shelter and being caught in a thunderstorm out in the hills isn't a good position to be in. Luckily, this one single thunder turned out to be the only one of its kind and all I had to deal with was a hail storm, which was painful but not dangerous. I was very pleased by how well the legs felt and how easily they had managed the long steep climb.

Monday morning was very dark but the wind was manageable once more, at least in Ard-na-Sidhe. I ran the out-and-back route twice, which added up to 10 miles. Conditions changed every five minutes, from calm, to very gusty, with rain, hail and even sleet all making a few appearances. Once again, the feeling in the legs was by far the best part of the run.

When I put out my running gear on Monday evening I somewhat doubted that I would be able to run the following morning as the weather forecast was quite frightening with the weather already rather wild and a bad storm on its way. However, things were much brighter in the morning - well, it was pitch dark, but the wind was definitely a lot calmer than what I had feared and running was never in doubt. I did the same route as the day before, and once more, even though I'm sounding like a broken record (wait, do people still know what a broken record actually is/was??),  the best part was the feeling in the legs as the entire run was completely effortless. The HR was a bit high (I eventually remembered my ancient hard plastic Garmin HR strap and dug it out, it seems to work), though that was not really reflected in subjective effort which was entirely comfortable and, you know, just ... right.

I guess I have reached that point in training when it doesn't feel like training any more because running is becoming so easy.

The contrast to Wednesday, Christmas, could not have been greater, with a lovely crisp blue sky greeting us all. I ran later than usual because obviously Santa took precedence, and I was astonished by the amount of presents on display; the kids must have been much better behaved throughout the year than I had realised! Anyway, around 12 o'clock I managed to get an hour for myself that I used for some hill repeats. It was my first workout of that kind for a long time and I decided to err on the side of caution. You should always leave it be with at least 1 or 2 more repeats in you, and I followed that advice. Besides, I am still concerned about my Achilles, while it has been fine for a good while now I really do not want to aggravate it again, so the rather modest number of 9 repeats, 1 minute each, was all that was on the menu. Obviously, this is going to increase in the coming weeks.

Happy Christmas everyone. I hope Santa has been good for you.
22 Dec
13+ miles, 1:38:12, 7:30 pace, HR 152 (est)
23 Dec
10 miles, 1:15:33, 7:33 pace, HR 147
24 Dec
10 miles, 1:14:16, 7:26 pace, HR 148
25 Dec
6.59ish miles, 54:51, 8:22 pace, HR 150
   incl. 9 x 60 sec hill repeats

1 comment:

  1. I remember how a broken record sounds! It's great that you could run on the roads, in spite of the terrible weather. So you see, Santa is generous to your whole family:)