Thursday, July 29, 2010

Track Thursday

3.2km up and down. With 15 x 400s thrown in the middle on the track with one minute walking recovery.

Times were:

69 / 69 / 69 / 68 / 69 / 68 / 68 / 68 / 68 / 69 / 68 / 68 / 68 / 68 / 67

Another toughie in the bag. A little quicker than when I did this session a few weeks back - maybe a second a rep. Now it's time to meet my Dad at the airport and head out for a few pints...

A total of 13km of running.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Same old

Same run as Monday. This time covered a little slower in 1:02:39. It will do.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Track Tuesday

A 3.2km warm-up at Dangan, followed by 10 x 1km reps on the track. Finished off with a 3.2km warm-down. I was taking 200m walk/jog recovery between efforts which was around 80 seconds.

Times were:

3:16 / 3:15 / 3:15 / 3:17 / 3:15 / 3:15 / 3:14/ 3:14 / 3:08 / 3:02

Pleased with that as it's a tough session - especially by yourself. Dropped the hammer a bit in the last couple of reps. It felt pretty good. All up 17.4km of running.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Start of a new week

The Claregalway 14.4km route in 1:01:42.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Sunday and Darts

I was considering the track this morning for some long reps but that didn't come off. Instead it was a lunchtime run with a tempo effort thrown in.

After a 9km warm-up, I ran the 5.0km loop as a tempo (it's actually 4.99km according to MapMyRun). I took the warm-up really easy (41:18). It was very humid today (!!!) and my legs were a little heavy (read a lot heavy) after yesterday's long run. I was wearing my heavy runners and with a few hills I had set myself a target of 18 minutes. Well the actual time was 18:01 which I was pleased with. How many excuses were in there?

So the big news is that after today's 14.4km I have covered a total of 116km this week. Biggest week since records began - not that I had run bigger before records began. An injury or a big PB is just around the corner of the next corner.

I watched the final of the World Matchplay darts tonight. The Power was awesome. If I had my time again I would have given this running malarkey away and "focused on me arrers". These guys get paid for getting pissed and hitting some red bit. Plus Alex Higgins passed away. Another one of my idols. That exhibition match I watched Higgins play at the Inn off the Park in Middlesbrough is something I shall take to my grave. Pure genius.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Long Run

7 pints last night. Not feeling 100% but mainly just tired due to the 2am finish...

Met up with the 2 x Brian's at Dangan at 8:30am. Weather was again poor - rain and more rain. We were running laps of Dangan - 2 miles. We did 7 laps then one of the Brian's pulled the pin. We then did an extra road loop, upping the pace a bit to clock up a total running time of 2:18:39.

I did have to stop after an hour for a quick pit-stop. The Guinness may give you strength but it also gives you other things...

I estimate 30km for this run. Another long run in the bag.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Same as yesterday

Today it felt really easy. The same 14.4km but from the get go it was like I had the wind behind me the entire time. The time was 58:46 so I make that 4:05 per kilometre. I really need to make the transition to miles as they are mainly old skool over here but that's an aside. What a run. It's a magic feeling when the effort level is commensurate with 5 minute clicks but it's actually nearly a minute quicker.

I'm out tonight for a few pints of the black stuff. Will try and take it easy...

Thursday, July 22, 2010

As they say in Ireland "Tursday"

A run round my favourite route in Claregalway - the 14.4km.

Nice and easy in a time of 1:01:40. That works out to 4:17/km. Even on my easy runs I seem to be running much quicker than I normally would. Is that a good thing? The effort level seems the same so I'm assuming it is. Perhaps my economy is improving.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

No Race!

The race was postponed due to a funeral so it was back to Dangan for a fartlek session.

We were split into groups of equal standard and in my group I had Paul and Gerry. We could each take it in turns to control the effort for between 30 seconds and 5 minutes. I should add at this point that the weather was dreadful - raining and windy - typical Galway!

The fartlek was to last 40 minutes and during that time I was in control for 3 efforts. So it was 3 x 5 minutes from me. Not a bad session, tough in places - especially running into the wind where it felt like you weren't moving.

With a 1.6km warm-up, and 2km to finish with, plus 10km for the fartlek, I'll put this down as 13.6km all up.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Tuesday Easy

I did the 9.6km loop today. I felt really good and it was one of those runs that felt really easy - as if you had someone pushing you along. Time 39:11 so that's 4:05 kms.

It started to rain towards the end of the run - I'm going to have to get used to that!

I'm going to run a local 5km race at Maree tomorrow. Another chance for a good hit-out.

Monday, July 19, 2010

MLR Monday

I'm going to try and crank up the kms this week. So a longish run today whilst the kids are at the play centre. I ran into Salthill, along the prom, through the city, up by the river to Dangan, then did a loop there. Then I ran the same route back in reverse. The time was 1:28:29 and with the aid of MapMyRun I would estimate 19.6km (conservative). That's 4:31/km pace.

New shoes today - I ran without my orthotics and got a blister which I could feel for the last half an hour. That aside, a very enjoyable run.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Athlone 5km

I drove out to Athlone which is about an hour from Galway. I got there in good time and ran a 2.5km warm-up where I felt awful - I think I was still struggling to digest my lunch....

The race was scheduled for 4:05pm and luckily I didn't do a longer warm-up as we were called to the start at about 3:40pm. They were going to run both the premier league and 1st division races together - that was a good thing as I wanted a good race.

The race was soon underway and one bloke went straight off the front leaving a group of 7 or 8 chasing which I was one - just sitting at the back. The laps were ticking down and we went through 1km in 3:06 so quick but not electric. As the race progressed the group slowly started to whittle down. The next km was also covered in 3:06 and the guy out front was slowly being reeled in...

By 3km (km split 3:07) I'd say the group was down to 4 and the leader had been spat out of the back. I was still feeling good and it was about this time that another runner made a break. I sat in with 3 other runners and could feel the pace slowing a little. Sure enough, a 3:09 km proved that - time for a final push to the line.

The leader had opened up a nice lead so I was racing for second. I went to the front of our group with 2 laps to go and focused on running hard. On the last bend for home I tripped over the curb and stepped out of lane for a few metres but recovered well to finish in 2nd in a time of 15:27 (last km 2:59). Happy as with that run as I will still a little sore from Thursday's race. Again it left me thinking that I could run a good bit quicker.

After a 2.5km warm-down it was back to Galway. Although I didn't win the race I secured maximum points for GCH as I was running 1st division and the winner was in the premier league. So, only 2 seconds slower than my PB in a race I don't feel I really nailed. There will be more to come I'm sure.

A total of 71.6km for the week.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Top of the Morning!

A long time between drinks - so what has been happening?

Just settling into Irish life. A new house and car, exams, job hunting, and plenty of running. I'll focus on the running as this is after all a running blog.

Well, I've currently got a 100% race record here in the Emerald Isle. I've raced 3 times and secured 3 wins. The first was a new local 5km race at Monivea where I broke the tape in 16:28:

The race itself was a good hit-out and I wasn't really sure what to expect as I hadn't raced for a while. I took the lead just before the 1km mark and it was a really uncomfortable feeling not having anyone to chase. The first half of the race was on the road with the second half being a more technical trail run through the forest. I kept looking back expecting someone to overtake me and I also had the added worry of not taking a wrong turn. Needless to say I loved the course - my first ever road race win after racing for over 10 years!

The second race I won was a bigger race at Headford - an 8km race which is a distance I had not raced before so a guaranteed PB! I had been training pretty well with some solid sessions under the belt so I was expecting a good run. I took the lead from the gun and was never challenged. The conditions were wet - especially the last km or so where the rain became torrential. That didn't dampen my spirits and I was pleased with the time of 26:08 which was a good 30 seconds quicker than I was targeting:

I backed up the next day with a long run and I pulled up a bit sore with a slight thigh strain. I knew I was pushing my luck having been running close to 100kms per week which is much higher than I would normally run. After a few days licking my wounds I decided to try a 10km track race with the aim of "taking it easy". After the warm-up my leg felt okay so I went into the race thinking I'd run a solid 35 minutes as a good session. That's pretty much what happened...for the first 2km which was covered in 6:56. Then the pace cranked up and I decided to sit on the lead runner. The next 2km was covered in 6:30 and I still felt okay. The pace then slowed a little with the middle 2km ran in 6:35. The next 2km passed in the same time and after all this time running in second place I decided to try and hit the front with a few surges. This went on for a few laps and a small gap started to open up. With 2 to go I ran pretty hard and was surprised to take the win in a time of 32:45 (last 2km in 6:09). The 5km splits were 16:41 and 16:04 so a big negative split. I think that's my 3rd quickest 10km of all time and left me wondering how much quicker I maybe could have gone if the pace was on from the gun. Here are the results:

So I'm not running any quicker than I was in Oz but I've started to win a few races. It's a bit embarrassing to be honest. In a strange way I much preferred being the one doing the chasing as it constantly spurred you on to keep training hard.

So what are the long-term plans? Depends on work. I'm tentatively targeting the Galway Marathon on August 29th but I'm a little underdone distance-wise. That's probably not a bad thing. If that goes well I may then focus on the Dublin marathon on October 25th for a serious crack at a quick time. There's no doubt I'm running well at the moment so I just need to focus on staying injury free and a few PB's along the way will get my confidence up and get me believing that quicker marathon times are still possible.

Here's a quick summary of my weekly distances since arriving in Ireland:

w/c 17th May 18.5km
w/c 24th May 51.1km
w/c 31st May 88.8km
w/c 7th June 72.2km
w/c 14th June 40.6km
w/c 21st June 77.3km
w/c 28th June 103.6km
w/c 5th July 95.4km

I should add that I've joined the Galway Harriers and they have been a very friendly and welcoming bunch. A good track out at Dangan and some excellent training grounds:

My next race is tomorrow. I'm representing the club at a track meet in Athlone. I won't win this race that's for sure as the standard is red hot. It's a 5km race so 12.5 laps of red lining. Looking forward to it - lets hope the weather is dry and not windy - that's as good as it gets over here! Sub 16 should be possible though I'm still a little sore after the 10km on the track a few days ago. A 15:30 would be a great run. Update to follow...