Friday, December 31, 2010

Yearly Review

Today I did the same route as yesterday - this time a bit quicker in 36:53 (3:53's). So that's it for 2010. Total running for the year 3,782.9kms so well over 10kms each and every day. Plus my beer intake is up on 2009!

It's been easily my best year to date. I've run PB's for 5km, 10km, half and full marathon. You can't really ask for more than that. Here's a quick summary:

5km track - from 15:57 down to 15:14
10km road - from 33:30 down to 32:49
Half - from 1:13:48 down to 1:11:54
Full - from 2:34:49 down to 2:28:20

After never winning a single road race in Oz in over 10 years, my record in Ireland is much better. Since arriving I've won 7 out of 10 road races. Smaller pond and all that but I'll take it!

Below is a summary of my 2010 races:

So here is my top 5:

5th Galway Half Marathon

My first big win - a tough course and a big PB and running with the world ultra guys was a great experience.

4th NSW State 10,000m

I was hoping for a crack at sub 32 but conditions on the night were too humid. That said I still ran only 3 seconds slower than my PB and with the conditions in mind, it was worth at least half a minute.

3rd Streets of Galway 8km

An unusual distance for me. I finished up with a time of 25:38 running into a headwind the last 2km which everyone told me never happens. I reckon this was worth sub 32:20 in terms of a 10km race.

2nd Tullamore 5000m

This race felt like a 12.5 lap sprint. I was comfortable at 3km in 9:05 then things got really hard. I gritted out the last 5 laps and was rewarded with a massive PB.

1st Dublin Marathon

What can you say? A 6 minute plus PB and the realisation of a dream to break 2 hours 30 minutes. I still can't believe it happened.

As you move into a new year it's always difficult to see where the next PB is coming from. I certainly need to get a bit more serious with my training but the weather makes that hard. I'll target the 10km and half marathon. Sub 32 and sub 70 respectively would be nice.

Happy New Year and may 2011 be a great year for all. I might have to get a job this year - I've really impressed myself by adding a spreadsheet to my blog so I feel I've lots of skills to offer!! TTFN.

Thursday, December 30, 2010

More of the same

Just going through the motions really - just good to be out there burning off some of the Christmas excess. I squeezed in my 9.5km run in 38:11 (4:01's). I'm subscribing to the David Sweeney training philosophy where all runs have to be at sub 4 minutes per km pace so today I didn't quite make it!

I may try and run some intervals tomorrow at the track. Yearly review will also follow.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Hour Run

A lunchtime run in typical Irish conditions. One of those days when it's not actually raining but you still get wet due to the Irish mist. I ran my 14.4km double loop course (first time since Nov 18th!) in a time of 57:43 (4:00/km pace). I think that's a course PB (edit: no it isn't, my best is 57:04) but that said I only cruise these routes. Felt good but the knees seem to be a little sore post run. I'm on a running streak now - 3 days and counting...

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

The Ashes

Well I stayed up to watch England retain the Ashes. Well done boys, much deserved.

Earlier in the day I squeezed in a 9km run in the gym in 38:04 (still no water - 4 days now). That's a run 2 days on the trot now - serious stuff.

I also bought a new pair of 2150s in the sale.

Spurs keep winning. Life is good.

Monday, December 27, 2010

The thaw

Well the weather has improved - the snow and ice has gone to be replaced with rain. I took the opportunity to run outside and it was good to get back out there. I ran 9.4km in 39:29 starting and finishing at the gym. The reason for that is that we don't have any water at present as the mains have frozen so after 3 days of no water I was in need of a decent shower. So a quick jacuzzi, steam and shower to finish off with.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

End of week

No running on Sunday so another pathetic week of only 2 runs and 21.0km in total. Cricket looking good though!

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Catch Up

Well no posts since Wednesday. You guessed it, the race was postponed so any thought of trying to being sensible went out of the window.

No running for 3 days now. Still freezing cold with ice everywhere. Minus double figures, no water in the house as the pipes are all frozen. But the Guinness keeps flowing. Christmas Eve turned into a right bender and today was a day for the cure. All thoughts now turn to the cricket. I can't wait and will try and at least watch the first session which could decide the whole series.

Health and happiness to one and all. I'll finish up the year with a race summary of all my performances in 2010. I bet you'll never guess what my #1 pick was?

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Midweek sports special

Still no sign of a thaw. Unbelievably cold - it was minus 12 last night...

So another gym session. I ran 10km and threw in 4 x 1km in the middle with 500m float recovery. I was running them in 3:23's wearing my heavy hoofs and felt pretty cruisey. The total running time was 39:27.

I still doubt the race will happen on Sunday - I kind of hope it does as the standard will be very good. They should get about 500 runners and last year there were 4 guys under 33 with the winner running 29:57!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010


No running today. My sporting fix was watching the darts world champs with Freddy Flintoff as a guest commentator.

Track is cancelled tomorrow so it will be back to the gym...

Monday, December 20, 2010

New week

The knee pulled up okay after yesterday so I went back on the treadmill for more. I think I mentioned I wasn't going to run back-to-back treadmill sessions but at the moment that would mean no running as it's minus 8 degrees and icy outside...

The session was 10 mins easy, then 3km at 3:24/km pace, then 3 mins float recovery, then 3km at 3:23/km pace, then 2km warm-down. All up 11.0km in 42:36.

I felt pretty good - hopefully I can run at that pace for 10km in the race on Boxing Day. Having said that, I'd say there is a very good chance that the race won't go ahead...

Sunday, December 19, 2010


No running on Saturday - I was willing but the weather prevented a run. Today it was back to the gym for 10km in 42:26. Very boring - difficult to get into any sort of routine when all the roads are iced over.

Cricket was rubbish. It's good for the series that the Aussies are back in it but I can't help feeling that a couple of good days for the Aussies has papered over a lot of the cracks. They still have a lot of players out of form and without Hussey and Johnson in Perth, there wouldn't be too much to worry about.

Friday, December 17, 2010


More snow in Galway so it was 10km in the gym. Time 41:09.

Cricket not so good. The Aussies are putting up a fight. Early wickets needed....

Thursday, December 16, 2010


Another rest day. A good start to the cricket for the England.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010


After a longish warm-up of 6.5km, it was time for my first track session in 3 weeks. Conditions were as good as could be expected - very little breeze and mild for this time of year (6 degrees). Not even raining!

The session was to be 15 x 400m with 30 seconds recovery. I eased into it and felt pretty good throughout. I was at the front and lapped the next quickest group so I ended up running a bonus 16th lap effort which I didn't time but would estimate around 71 secs. Here are the splits for the first 15 laps:


So I averaged around 72 which was the intention as these were supposed to be run at target 5km pace. But there is no way I could have kept that pace up for long at the moment...

All in all a good session. I ended up with a couple of kms warm-down so a total of 14.9km for the session.

I best get to bed early so I can get up in the morning to watch the last few hours of the cricket.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Rest Day

No running today - a planned rest day.

I'm hoping to make the track tomorrow. That said there is more bad weather forecast so we shall see.

The third test starts tomorrow so looking forward to that. I won't be watching the start though as it's a 2:30am start...

Monday, December 13, 2010

New Week

Another pounding of the knees on the treadmill. A 10km run in 42:11.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Carnmore 6km Turkey Trot

A very small race, I'd be surprised if there were more than 100 runners. Well organised, and after a 4km warm-up it was game on. I took the lead straight away following the lead car. After about 500m I was surprised to hear some heavy footfall behind me getting closer Sure enough a taller runner eventually drew level with me as we approached the first km marker. He was wearing football gear so knew it was a probable quick starter who (I hoped) would slow any minute. That happened as we passed the first km in 3:10. From then on I was left by myself. I was running well but didn't have that edge to really push each km (fitness and lack of concentration), and that was reflected in the kms which got slower and slower. So 2km was reached with a 3:16, 3km 3:20, 4km 3:22, then I missed 5km (doh) and ran the last 2km in 6:44 to finish in 19:52. A few hills and long drags but all in all a pretty good course. I won by just over a minute with my GCH team-mate Ian coming in second. So a good day for the Harriers.

My prize was a turkey (not live) and after a 2km warm-down there was hot tea and biscuits served in the community centre. I was watching the European XC on the TV during the presentation as GCH had an Irish representative running. His name is Gary Thornton and I think he finished 44th overall in the senior event. Well done Gary.

The rest of the year I'll stick with running 5 sessions a week (weather permitting). That way I shouldn't lose too much fitness. There is a race on Boxing Day which I've been asked to run in. It's a 10km race called the Fields of Athenry. If I decide to run it could curtail my normal Xmas day boozing....

A total of 53.5km for the week. Piss poor really but that said, it has been a Stella year.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

On the road again

Finally the ice had cleared. I only had the cold and wet to deal with....

I ran my 9.5km road route in 39:52. Good to be out there again. I've definitely lost a good piece of fitness which you can detect from breathing a lot harder than was previously the case.

I noticed there is a local race tomorrow. It's titled the "Carnmore 6km Turkey Trot". I'll give that a bash and see how I go. I've set myself a soft target of 21 minutes but to be honest, I don't think I'll better that by much.

Friday, December 10, 2010


I ran 10km in the gym. I started slowly and wound the pace up a bit at the end. Time 41:31.

Wednesday, December 08, 2010


No running yesterday, all I could think about was cricket. Not sure why...

Well today the track was closed due to it was back to the gym. I decided to get out of my comfort zone and break into a bit of a sweat so it was to be a 2km warm-up, then 6 x 1km cruise intervals with 400m float, then 2km warm-down. All up a dozen of the best.

All went well. I started the first km rep at 3:45/km pace and worked down to 3:29/km for the last one. It felt pretty easy - it should do really as even the quickest rep was close to my marathon pace from a few weeks back. The knee was a little sore afterwards and as a precaution I don't think I'll be able to run back to back days on the treadmill. Hopefully the ice thaws soon and I can get back onto the road.

Another update on Friday as tomorrow I have to prepare for a job interview. I think that after nearly 18 months as a stay-at-home Dad/athlete, it's time to get back into the workforce. The company is about 2 minutes from the athletics track. Umm.

Monday, December 06, 2010

Please don't rain

The weather is still atrocious. Black ice everywhere so I headed to the gym for 10km in 42 minutes. Knee still sore...

England need 6 wickets to wrap up the second test match. I'm feeling confident.

Sunday, December 05, 2010

End of another poor week

No running Friday or Saturday. I then got smashed Saturday night and was licking my wounds all day Sunday. I managed a stumble around on the ice in the afternoon. Very treacherous (read stupid to even consider running) and my normal 9.5km route took me over 47 minutes.

So only 3 runs for the week and a massive total of 31.5kms. My left knee is sore - I think the treadmill running must have triggered that. I've gone from hero to zero in the space of 2 weeks. At least the cricket is looking good...

Thursday, December 02, 2010

Welcome Back

Well here goes. On Friday I travelled to Dublin to watch my favourite band (The Wedding Present). My first Weddoes gig in over a decade - brilliant. No time to train, plus it was too cold. A few pints was had - all good.

Woke up on Saturday to quite a lot of snow. I made it to Dublin airport for my 11:30am flight and all was well as we queued up at the gate for departure - apart from the small fact that there was no plane to board. Anyway, after being told the flight was delayed by at least 2 hours, I went for a wander only to receive a phone call to tell me that the race on Sunday had been postponed due to bad weather. So that was that, straight to the airport bar......

Eventually the flight left after a 5 hour delay. It wasn't so bad for me, but I did feel sorry for my old man who was waiting to pick me up at Stansted. At least I had alcohol - even if it was a fiver a pint.

So a bit disappointing - I was in decent shape and was looking to have a crack at sub 1:11. My race plan would have been to go out hard (33:30 for 10km), then hang on. Yes, it's the same for all of my races. So the time I spent in Norwich was spent predominantly in the pub. No running, as it was too cold with lots of snow and ice.

I got back to Galway late on Tuesday evening. Luckily no delays coming back. I was feeling guilty about not running for 5 days (unheard of), so I joined the gym last night (Wed) and ran 12km in 49:12. Then today I ran 10km in the gym in 43:35. Very boring but there is no chance of running outside as the paths are all iced over and the temps are currently minus 6 degrees. Pleasant if you are an Eskimo but not to my liking.

I need to find some motivation now. I'll have a look at the race calendar and see if I can target something. It may involve skis or ice skates if in the Irish winter though...

The positive was the cricket. I'd pretty much given up on the first test after day 3. And what a fightback it was. The second test is an hour from starting as I type this and I'm now full of nervous anticpation. Barmy Army.