Saturday, April 30, 2011

Lazy day

No running, just pottering about. Watched the snooker (Judd won!), threw a few darts, Spurs were robbed, etc, etc.

The plan tomorrow is to race like a 10km (as I mentioned earlier). Hopefully get in a good bunch and enjoy some decent racing. Fingers crossed we get decent weather and the course is conducive to some quick times. Good luck to all.

Friday, April 29, 2011


One final run before the race. Same run as yesterday though a lot slower today (41:06 or 4:20/km). The run didn't serve any purpose other than earn me a few beers tonight.

Still not 100%. Am I in better shape for this race than the Norwich Half? Not sure, maybe not.

I'm not going to talk about the you know what. Instead I'll focus on the snooker. My hope Ronnie is gone so I'm now cheering for Judd. Looks like it could be a cracker locked at 12-12 in the semi-final. I don't think I've ever seen anyone hit the cue ball so cleanly. Incredible.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Running like an old drunk

Another easy run. Distance 9.5km. Time 37:47 (3:59's).

I nearly fell over tonight after a momentary lapse in concentration. I rolled my ankle slightly but somehow recovered to stay on my feet. I can't recall ever falling over completely on a run. I do remember a mate of mine falling over on 2 consecutive runs in Sydney. Very amusing.

I wonder if Prince William will be going on a bender tonight? Somehow I can't see it...for the record I had 8 beers the night before my wedding. Tame.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Weekly track night

Conditions were warm and humid. Yes, you have read that right.

I started off with a 6.4km warm-up. My legs were sore from the massage and I wasn't particularly looking forward to running quickly. The usual drills and run throughs and it was time to start.

The session was another mixed bag. Starting with 4 x 400, then 3 x 1600, finishing with another 4 x 400. Recovery was 60 seconds between the 400's, 90 seconds between the 1600's and 2 and a half minutes between each set.

Times were as follows:


It was all plain sailing except for the 3rd 1600 where I had to work the last lap to get it under 5 minutes. The top even came off for a while, that's how hot it was.

Nice to get that out of the way without any hiccups. More so considering I'm still not feeling great, plus the sore legs.

I finished up with a 3.2km warm-down. All up 17.6km for the day.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011


No running today. Instead I had a massage which was not pleasant. Muscles now as good as new.

I'm starting to think about the race on Sunday. My plan at this stage is to race it like it's a 10km...

Monday, April 25, 2011


The plan was to take a rest day but it made more sense to run today and rest tomorrow. So that's what I did. A very easy jaunt of 9.5km in 39:25 (4:09's).

That's 16 days of running on the trot so a decent block of training. I will try and get a massage tomorrow so that I'm in top nick for the half on Sunday. Wednesday will see some sharpening up at the track and more easy stuff Thu/Fri.

I'm still not feeling great. The sore throat has gone but I still have a bit of a cold or something. A few days to shake it off and I'll be good to go.

I'm loving the snooker at the moment. I'm glued to it. The quarter final line-up is incredible. I'd love to see Ronnie win it again. Plus he's a decent runner so that's who I'm cheering for.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Long Run

Started out at Dangan with Brian and Owen before heading into town and meeting up with a few regulars for the Cathedral Run. Pace was a little slow so we went off the front and upped the pace a bit.

Finished off back at Dangan around the fields to get the distance up and finished in 1:57:23 for a total of 26.7kms (4:24/km). Pretty tired come the end.

A total of 116.2km for the week. Very happy with how it has all gone. Easy week next week.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Double brace

Same old, same old. The 4th time I have done this run thia week. This time a good bit slower in 59:54 for the 14.4kms (4:10's). Lovely warm conditions for running.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Dreading it

One of the sessions I wasn't looking forward to. I was down for 3 x 2 miles but I didn't have a local 2 mile route mapped out so I reverted to my 3.6km time trial course. So I'd already upsized to 2 and a quarter miles...

It was quite windy and my thought process was that I wanted the benefit of the wind (not my own) for 2 of the 3 efforts. With the wind direction that meant a short warm-up (2km) and a longer warm-down (4km). That would have been the other way round with the wind in the opposite direction. Confused?

I wanted to run at HMP so to run the 3.6km in 12 minutes exactly would be about right. The first one felt fairly comfortable and I was surprised at the time of 11:42 (3:15/km). I decided on 2 minutes recovery of mainly walking whilst thinking "what the hell am I doing here". The start of the second rep and you could notice a big difference running into the wind. Trying to run relaxed but it was a real effort and with the long final stretch to my starting point which arrived in 11:50 (3:17/km). Happy as.

The third rep felt tough for the first couple of minutes but then I started to come good. That continued for most of the effort. Oh for that to happen more often. The final 2 minutes were a bit tougher and I finished with a 11:44 (3:16/km). So slightly slower than the first one but all in all very consistent.

All 3 inside my target. Not sure if that's good or not? I finished up with a 4km warm-down so all up 16.7km for the day in a running time (ignoring recovery) of 1:02:31 (average pace of 3:45/km).

The 3 efforts (10.8km) totalled 35:16 so a tough session. Especially for my lily livered low mileage legs. That pace equates to 32:39 for 10km - albeit with 4 minutes recovery thrown in...

Another good session in the bag. Still not feeling great but it doesn't seem to be hindering my training.

Thursday, April 21, 2011


Still not feeling great this week. The sore throat persists and a bit of a cold but still out for my daily run. More glorious running weather. Quite warm still as I headed out at 8pm for the same run as on Mon/Tue.

Today it felt really good. I was quick at all my checkpoints and finished in 57 minutes exactly for the 14.4km. That equates to 3:57 per km. That's a PB for this easy run.

On Friday I'm going to run 3 x 2 miles at HMP. Saturday easy and long on Sunday. Then take it fairly easy next week before the half.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Track kms/400s

Arrived at Dangan and managed to squeeze in a 2km warm-up before the session. Conditions were drizzly and a little cold but all in all not too bad for running.

The session consisted of sets of 1km, 60 seconds recovery, 400m, 90 seconds recovery. The plan was to run 6 sets so 8.4km of fast running in total. I wanted to run the kms at 5km target pace and the 400s at 3 minute/km pace.

Times for the efforts were as follows:

3:10 1:11
3:06 1:13
3:07 1:13
3:06 1:12
3:05 1:11
3:04 1:10

The 90 seconds recovery was maybe a little too long. This would have been a much tougher session if that was reduced to 60 seconds. Still I'm pretty happy with how I ran and nice to get the times for the km reps down from the slowish start.

I finished up with a 4.8km warm-down. All up 15.2kms of running. A good session in the bank.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011


The same run as yesterday. This time a little slower in 58:34 for the 14.4kms (4:04/km).

More glorious weather this evening. My only grumble would be the large number of flying insects around at this time of year. Swallowing flies isn't pleasant but I guess it saves you having to have supper.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Volume week

Wasn't feeling great today. A sore throat so I decided a run would sort me out. I headed out just before 8pm and ran my local 14.4km double-loop course in a time of 57:48 (4:01/km). The run felt good but the sore throat remains.

The aim this week is to up my kms. The target is 100 clicks with a couple of speed sessions thrown in plus a long run on Sunday.

Half way through watching the London Marathon...

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Coole Park 10km

A good crowd today. Much bigger than expected with over 500 runners toeing the line. The start was delayed a bit due to the numbers but that gave me a bit of time to chat to the regulars and get a better idea of the course. Talking of which it was predominantly forest trail which I knew would be tough for me but I was keen for a good hit-out in the glorious hot weather.

The race was underway and I went straight to the front with 2 other runners just behind. The start of the race was on the road leading into the park and at about the 1km mark (which passed in 3:10), we hit the forest trail. I knew one of the other runners Michael (from Clare) as we've had a few good battles this year, but the other guy I didn't know (until the finish).

The trail was pretty wide and was mainly loose gravel so it wasn't too bad. That said, it was constant ups and downs with a few sharp turns along the way which doesn't suit my running style. Through 2km the pace had slowed (3:20) but the effort level was certainly up there. This is how it continued with one of the runners dropping off between 2km and 3km, leaving myself and Michael to fight it out.

The 3rd km showed a split of 3:17 and I continued to lead with Michael on my shoulder. That's how it remained through the 4th km (3:22) and it was about this time that I was happy to swap positions.

At about this time I think neither of us were keen to push the pace. A bit of cat and mouse with a few little surges, but we basically stuck together. The pace was quick enough but I think it was a case of holding back a little in preparation for the finish. The splits through 5km to 8km were all in the 3:20's range and the course remained challenging making it tough to get into any sort of rhythm.

Shortly after 8km we crossed a path and were greeted by a long uphill drag. And that's where my wheels fell off. Undone again by the hills. I soldiered on and was probably gapped by about 5 seconds in pretty quick time. Michael must have sensed I was struggling and continued to pull away in the 9th km. My legs were very tired and I knew the race was slipping away. The 9th km showed a split of 3:23 and to my relief the last section looked pretty flat. I threw everything into the last km and for about 400m I was definitely closing. But I didn't have that extra gear to surge the last 600m and Michael maintained the gap. The final section saw us coming through a gate followed by a sharp turn then one final turn before crossing the line in 33:20 (a 3:12 last km).

So second place and just 7 seconds behind the winner. Pretty happy with the run as my legs felt tired and the course didn't suit me today. Great organisation and just happy to be out there in what turned out to be a good race.

I finished up doing a warm-down with Gary who was the mystery runner in 3rd. All up 16km for the day and that makes it 88.9km for the week.

So my run of sub 33's for 10km comes to an end but I've had a good week nonetheless running every day and with some quicker stuff on 3 separate days. This should help me for my next half marathon in 2 weeks time in Limerick. It's all part of the bigger picture!

I have the London Marathon recorded so will watch that this evening. I've heard a few reports and it sounds like a great race. After watching it I just know I'll want to run another one...

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Thinking rubbish

Having overdone it on the sauce last night, today's run was a struggle. I set out late afternoon and did my standard loop, plus a bit extra to get 12kms in the bank. The time was 52:25 so that's 4:20's which I suppose is quite slow by current standards. I was convinced I'd injured my left Achilles but come the end of the run it didn't feel too bad. One of the worst runs of the year. Fingers crossed I'll be okay for tomorrow.

It's amazing the rubbish you think about whilst running. Some days it's nothing, but today I was mulling over the scenario of being offered a spot for the London Marathon which is being run tomorrow, and what time I could potentially run with one days preparation. I settled on 2hr 45. Perhaps that was the beer from the night before talking...anyway, I've retired from running marathons so it was purely hypothetical...

Good luck for anyone running London tomorrow and not just thinking about it. A few of my old sparring partners from Sydney are making the trip over so it will be interesting to see how they go.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Time precious

I had a spare hour and I wanted to squeeze in a session so I decided to run a slightly longer version of my normal 9.5km loop to allow for a 3km warm-up.

I was undecided what to do as I jogged to the start. Initially I was thinking 1 x 12 minute tempo, then I upped that to 1 x 15 minute tempo, but then decided that was going to be too much like hard work so settled for 3 x 5 minute efforts with 60 seconds jog recovery.

The first couple of efforts were uneventful. I was running well with the benefit of the wind and would be running around 3:10/km pace. Coincidentally, at the start of my 3rd 5 minute effort I was exactly 3.6km into the session (12 minutes divided by 3.6 = average pace of 3:20/km including the 2 x 1 minute jogs). Pretty good going.

The 3rd effort was a lot tougher. Running into the wind and I'd say the pace had dropped to around 3:25/km. Then as easy jog home for the remainder of the loop.

All up 10.6km in 41:36 so an average pace of 3:55/km.

Heading out tonight in town to watch Paddy Casey. A few beers and live music and I'm as happy as a cod in a sea of batter. Easy run tomorrow then race on Sunday.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Premier League Darts

Same run as Monday. Time 38:35.

Legs were a bit sore this morning after the 'sprints' from the previous evening but improved in time for tonight's run.

Just finished watching the darts again this evening. Not the best standard tonight but still enjoyable. The things I've enjoyed most since moving to Ireland are (in no particular order): the long evenings, the pubs, open fires and the darts. Oh yeah, almost forgot, being closer to my family...

Also, the results were up today for the nationals from the weekend. I finished 16th in the 10km and the Galway City Harriers finished 12th in the team event. Here's a photo:

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Something different

Back to the track tonight. After a longish 6.4km warm-up, it was time to knock out 20 x 200s with 30 seconds recovery.

I quite like these short sharp sessions. I haven't done anything like this in years. The going got a bit tough in the second half of the set, but I was always in control and could have done a few more. Times were as follows:


Average of just under 33 seconds so happy with that.

I finished up with a 6.4km warm-down. All up 16.8km for the day.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011


Out for 14.4km this evening. Quite cold but soon warmed up and glorious for running if the truth be known. The time was 58:19 which equates to 4:03 per click. Like yesterday, I felt really good.

My last three 10km races have all been under 33 minutes so I'm consistent if nothing else (32:44, 32:48 and 32:54). Going back a bit further, I've run six 10km races in the last 12 months (slowest 33:24, quickest 32:44, average 32:58). Again, pretty consistent. Note to self - must try and get quicker. Starting this weekend....

Monday, April 11, 2011

Keep on running

I headed out the door at 8pm for my 9.5km loop. The legs felt as fresh as a daisy, as if I hadn't raced the day before. I picked the pace up a bit and covered off the run in 38:19 (4:02/km). Feeling good.

How short the running memory is. At the time of the race I was absolutely flat stick for the full 10km but today I had many thoughts that perhaps I had given up a bit at the business end of the race. Also, I watched the race today on the TV and had to laugh when the female winner had said that the hills weren't that bad really and that she was just jogging the first half of the race. I wish I could jog at 3:12/km pace. Oh to be young again.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Great Ireland Run

Arrived in Dublin and was greeted with very warm conditions of over 20 degrees. After picking up my race number, then getting rid of bags, I did a bit of a warm-up and a few strides before watching the start of the women's race (I didn't realise it was a separate race for the elite/club women).

The men had to wait a further 20 minutes and despite being told to take on plenty of water, there was none freely available at the start. I did finally find some water at one of the charity stalls - much needed by this stage as I was dehydrating fast. I decided against any further warm-up and was soon lining up at the start.

The club runners were at the front of the race next to the elites so we were guaranteed a good start. To my surprise I found myself next to a celebrity runner (Craig Gazey) and we had a bit of a chat about running before the horn sounded. I was quickly into my running and the first section was very flat and fast. I had missed the first km marker and after navigating a roundabout, the course remained fast and I was soon running through 2km in 6:18. There was a nice group of half a dozen runners or so which I was part of. So far so good.

The third km was a slower 3:19 and it didn't feel like I had slowed so I was guessing that the km markers were a bit dodgy. Pressing on the 4th km was a nice quick section and with a km split of 3:04 I was back on track. The next km was a big downhill and at the bottom of the hill we rounded a corner only to be greeted by the first big climb. The 5th km marker passed shortly after and my split of 3:08 meant I was 15:50 at halfway and bang on target pace. That's a 5km road PB as well - but not claimable as it was very much flat/downhill. Moving on.

As I got into this first climb I knew I was in trouble. The group were working away from me and I had nothing. I kept grinding away and after what seemed like 500m, I had finally reached the summit. On the subsequent flats I felt okay, and to my surprise I managed to work my way back to the group which was starting to spread out. The 6th km was a 3:22 so I had slowed but I knew there were more hills to come which were going to hurt. Halfway through the next km we were climbing again up a very long drag that seemed to go on forever. At about the halfway point of the climb I had arrived at km 7 in 3:27. All I wanted now was for this to be over.

I can't recall too much at this point, the group had spread out and it felt like I was running in slow motion. The heat and hills had really knocked me. The 8th and 9th kms passed with splits of 3:23 and 3:37 (insert swear word) and I somehow managed to put in a strong last km along the longest flattest finishing straight I can ever recall. I crossed the line in 32:54 and was absolutely spent. Nothing left in the tank. I was 26th overall and 4th in the 35-39 age category. Not sure of my placing yet in the Irish Champs.

I was initially disappointed with the run but on reflection I was only 10 seconds slower than my road PB on a challenging course in warm conditions. Everyone I knew ran much slower than they were expecting in the region of 40 seconds to one minute. It's obvious that I still can't run well on hills but my lack of training on hills would explain that. I didn't think the heat would be a factor as I was used to it in Oz, but sadly that wasn't the case today.

I was trying to think of a course to compare this to. The only thing I could come up with would be like running the Lane Cove 10km course in reverse. Maybe. Perhaps Lane Cove would be slightly more challenging.

No warm-down. Too spent. A few beers in the evening and I was already planning my next 10km race which will happen in the next week or so. Sub 32:30 is there, I just need to be patient. I remain upbeat.

Great performances from the 2 British girls to go 1-2 in the women's race. Charlotte Purdue won in 32:42 and left some very experienced runners in her wake. She is only 19 and is already being described as the next Radcliffe. Great to see. Gemma Steele in second place only a few seconds behind.

Saturday, April 09, 2011

Rest day

No running today. Just taking it easy. I practiced my darts for a while and hit a couple of 180's - and I have a witness.

Lots of good runners tomorrow in the race. A very good chance of getting chicked as Berhane Adere (Ethiopia) is running with a 10,000m PB of 30:04! Also some top male elites competing including Sergey Lubid and Rui Silva.

Looking forward to the run and currently having the usual negative thoughts before a big race. I've restricted myself to 2 beers tonight - that's how serious I'm taking this one. Good luck to everyone racing this weekend. There are a few races on in Ireland plus there are a couple of big marathons on in Paris and Rotterdam so good luck to anyone taking part.

Friday, April 08, 2011

An easy 40 minutes

My last run before Sunday's race. An easy 9.5km in 38:58 (4:06/km). I felt really tired today so I think the rest day tomorrow is much deserved.

Here's a photo from the 5km on Wednesday:

Thursday, April 07, 2011

An easy hour

A local run of 14.4km in 59:02 (4:06/km). The long evenings have well and truly kicked in now. I left home at 7:30pm and there was still plenty of light at the end. Nice weather also with the wind finally having dropped.

Thoughts now turn to Sunday's 10km. As mentioned previously, it's a tough last 5km so it's all about putting time in the bank in the first half. Assuming a 40 second positive split I think splits of 15:50/16:30 (32:20) would be about right. That pace is similar to what I ran on Wednesday and I must say it felt far from comfortable. Lets hope it all falls into place on the day...

I suppose I have to mention McMillan. Based on my recent 10 miler (53:20), he is predicting a time of 31:50. So is my target of 32:20 a bit soft? Maybe but I feel I haven't done enough out and out speedwork to get to that time. If it does happen then I will be pleasantly surprised, and after that drunk.

Wednesday, April 06, 2011

Run with Ray 5km

I arrived just in time to pick up my race number. I did a bit of a warm-up (approx 2km) and made my way to the start. Just going back a bit, the concept for the race was a tie in with the Today FM radio station and one of their DJ's Ray Darcy who was promoting running on his show. A 5km race was organised in 5 different locations around Ireland all to be run this week with Ray running each day. Today was the turn of Galway. There were close to 800 people registered for the fun run so a good crowd. It was all about getting out there and having a go. The course itself was an out and back 5km route along the coastline.

Anyway, soon we were underway running into a very stiff wind. I took the lead after about 100m and tried to push on. But it was bloody tough. After a couple of minutes I only had a few metres on the field and I was ready to give up. My mind set at this point was to simply get to the turnaround point in one piece and hope for a much easier second half.

There were no km markers during the race so there was no feedback on pace. After about 1km I was joined by the lead cyclist and I tried to stick as close to him as possible. A roundabout, followed by a few twists and turns and it was time to make the turn for home.

What a difference that made. I was now flying. I'd opened up a bit of a gap so I just focused on running relaxed. There was quite a bit of traffic as I was running against all the runners coming the other way. There was no issue though as the lead cyclist and volunteers had done an excellent job of keeping the path clear. Soon I was making the final turn and after a 400m dash I has crossed the finishing line in first place. The clock in the finishing gantry showed 15:50 which I was really pleased with. That joy was short-lived as my own watch showed 16:05. Yes, the official clock was 15 seconds slow! No big deal though. I'd say I was running about 20 seconds per km quicker in the second half of the race so that gives you an idea of the wind factor.

I had to rush off at the end to get back to the kids. I had a brief chat with a few regulars then had a 1km jog back to the car. All up 8km and a great experience.

In the evening I did an 8km recovery run to flush out the legs. Time 35:37. I'll take it easy Thursday and Friday, rest on Saturday, before the 10km on Sunday.

Tuesday, April 05, 2011

Beer and chocolate

I ran my local 9.5km loop in 38:11 (4:01/km). Windy again but I pushed on and felt good.

There's a 5km fun run in the city tomorrow lunchtime that I've signed up for. I was thinking of using it as a race pace hit-out for the 10km on Sunday. The problem is that it's right on the coast so the 5km loop will mean at least half of the lap will be windy. Plus it's a fun run so I don't think too many people will be taking it seriously. We shall see.

I just watched Spurs get shellacked. Not good. I've consoled myself with beer and Easter eggs...I think I need to race tomorrow to pick up my spirits...

Monday, April 04, 2011

Easy 10km

The poor run of weather continues. I was out the door at 8:30pm and it was cold, wet and windy. Then some 41 minutes and 19 seconds later I had completed my run. Glad to get home for a hot shower then a bowl of cornflakes (crunchy nut).

Sunday, April 03, 2011


Time to cancel out the night before...the same run as last Sunday. A 17.6km run in 1:14:50 which works out to 4:15/km. That's not bad but nearly 4 minutes slower than last week! Can't think why?

A total of 74.5km for the week.

Saturday, April 02, 2011

A divil for the sup

Woke up feeling ordinary. I decided to head out and get 2 x 12 minute efforts under the belt. After a 3.4km warm-up, I was straight into it. I was using the same course I've used in the past for this session. I have a 3.6km route marked out, and anything more than that distance in the 12 minutes means you are going alright.

The outward section is probably tougher than the return as it's a little more uphill. But today I had the benefit of a strong wind on my back and it felt so easy. I reached my 3.6km safety point in 11:30 (new PB - 3:12/km) and ran on for the full 12 minutes. Then after 3 minutes or wobbling around, it was time to do it in reverse. Wow, suddenly very tough. It felt so slow and there was at least a dozen points when I thought about stopping. But I soldiered on and after 12 minutes of pain I still hadn't reached the 3.6km point. So I decided to keep going and finally knocked off the 3.6km in 12:07 (3:22/km). So 37 seconds slower for the same point-to-point effort. I finished up with a 2.3km warm-down so 13km for the day.

Then in the evening it was into Galway for a pub crawl. Too much fun to be had and finished up in true style in Supermacs. Solid training.

Friday, April 01, 2011

Mum's home

No running today. Pub and food instead. Lovely.