Friday, November 30, 2012

Toy Show

Squeezed in a local loop just as it was getting dark (read pitch black). 9.5kms in 39:45 (4:11's).

Darts match in the evening. A top of the table clash and which we managed to win 6-3. I won both my singles and pairs but didn't play that well. Home at 2am.

And another dart tournament started today - the Players Championship at Minehead. It's being shown on ITV4 if you're that way inclined.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

More of the same

Same conditions as yesterday. Almost the same run. This time 10.0kms in 42:16 (4:13's).

Wednesday, November 28, 2012


A bit of a cold snap here in Galway. I ran around 6pm and the pavement at the start of the run was already a little icy. I finished up running up and down the N17 to give me 12.6kms in 54:26 (4:19's).

Thought it would be easy after a nice break but didn't feel that way. Oh well, it least it's a start.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Back to Galway

The long journey back to Galway today.

No running (again). Seems to be a bit of a habit lately. Only 1 run in 5 days...

Nothing really planned for the rest of the year. I'm sure I'll pop up for the odd race here and there but nothing I'm targeting. Perhaps I'll focus on the darts for a while...

Monday, November 26, 2012


A few beers last night with the old man. More darts and I lost 8-7. Crap.

Here are the mile splits from yesterday's race.

1 - 5:33
2 - 5:42
3 - 6:04
4 - 5:30
5 - 5:19
6 - 5:31
7 - 6:00
8 - 5:52
9 - 6:37
10 - 5:52
11 - 5:31
12 - 5:49
13.1 - 6:41

Total 1:16:01

No running today - no clean gear with me. That was my excuse anyway...

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Norwich Half Marathon 2012

It was cold and dry but the wind was blowing a gale. During the warm-up (2.4kms) it was obvious that times were out of the window - it was going to be bloody tough run.

The gun sounded and I settled into the lead group. We ran a small loop around the showground before hitting the main road running directly into the wind. Four runners broke away leaving 4 of us chasing. The mile splits were pretty ugly and the lead group were about 10 seconds up the road by the time we finally got some respite from the wind after 3 miles or so.

With the wind on the back it felt a lot easier. Strangely we started to reduce the gap on the lead group. By the time we were climbing back into the showground at the conclusion of the first lap we had caught them and there was now a group of 6 of us taking turns leading out the race. I wasn't feeling comfortable and I had the feeling that others in the group had plenty in reserve.

As we ran through the showground the group remained together but as soon as we hit the road for the start of the second lap four runners again went off the front leaving me and another City of Norwich runner in pursuit. This section was now very tough. The wind was blowing so hard that at times it felt like you weren't even moving - made all the tougher now as I had nobody to share the workload as I was running clear in 5th place.

I recall one point where the wind was coming across me and even though I was trying to run down the centre of the road, I kept getting blown into the ditch. A split of 6:37 for that mile shows just how tough it was. The second half of the lap was a lot easier but I was by now going through the motions. I tried to keep it going the last 3 miles but with nobody around me I had let the pace slide. Back into the showground for the last time and one final short grind in the win and I jog/walked the last 100m down the finish completing the race in 1:16:04 for 5th place (first O40).

Obviously not happy with the time but quick times were not going to happen today. I can't recall ever running a race where conditions were so difficult. I still enjoyed it though and it was nice mixing it with the leaders for a few miles even if that was short-lived.

All up 23.5kms for the day. Here's a photo at the start of the first lap:

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Double rest

No running again today - I couldn't see the point.

A good look around the city centre during the day and an early night.

Friday, November 23, 2012


The long trip to Norwich today. Car/plane/train/taxi. No running. A few pints.

Thursday, November 22, 2012


9.5kms in 39:39 (4:10's).

Another trip to the boozer for more darts. This time I won 12-10...

Wednesday, November 21, 2012


11.1kms in 47:16 (4:15's).

Pub in the evening for a game of darts with the old man. I lost 16-15...

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Bottled it

Weather not good so took the decision to run on the treadmill instead of my normal track session.

I ran some mile reps off 90 seconds. The 90 seconds included the speeding up and slowing down of the treadmill to and from 13kms/hour. So the recovery was still at a fair pace...

I ran the first 2 miles at 3:10/km pace and the last 2 at 3:09/km pace. That works out around 5:05 for the miles. I worked up a very good sweat in the process.

With warm-up and warm-down I totalled 14kms for the day. No more quick stuff now before the half on Sunday.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Race week

9.5kms in 40:50 (4:18's).

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Muddy puddles

With the half marathon only a week away I decided that 75 minutes was sufficient for today. I met a few lads at the Cathedral in town and ran to Dangan where we did multiple loops of the pitches and trails. Pace was slow but that didn't matter - good to give the legs a rest from the roads. Covered in mud by the end.

All up 16.7kms in 1:14:00 (4:26's). I'll take it easy next week - I'll do a track session on Tuesday and then easy running/rest before the race on Sunday.

That's 100.2kms for the week. First time I've cracked 3 figures in about 3 months.

I watched the darts in the evening. Raymond Van Barneveld beating Michael Van Gerwen 16-14 in a very entertaining final. Great to see Barney back to his best winning his first major final in over 5 years. Then a quick trip to the pub with the old man to try and replicate what we had just seen. No chance. Still played alright and missed double 8 for a 13 dart leg (ended up 15 darts). Three more 180's to the yearly tally (now stands at 160).

Saturday, November 17, 2012

4 x 5km

I got the call from my international training wingman (Fintan) and he was planning on running 4 x 5kms. Sounded manageable so that's what I did.

Warm-up of 2.5kms. Then 20km continuous - with target paces per km of 3:54/3:36/3:54/3:36 for each 5km block. Today it felt pretty comfortable - the start of the last 5km was tough as we were running into the wind into an icy shower but when that passed it became a lot easier. Actual paces were 3:52/3:34/3:53/3:34 so pretty much spot on (albeit a tiny bit quicker than target).

Finished up with a warm-down of 1.2kms to give me 23.7kms for the day. A good run - enjoyed that one.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Running and darts

11.1kms today in 45:13 (4:04's). Easy going.

Darts match in the evening. We won 9-0. I practised for half an hour during the day and hit 5 x 180's. I didn't play like that in the match though...but still won both my games.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

2 x 12 minutes

Some more speed work. A repeat of the session I did 4 weeks ago - this time with 2.5 minutes recovery.

Warm-up of 2.2kms and the usual local road for this type of stuff. I felt out of sorts during the first 12 minute effort and without realising it I had the benefit of the breeze and was disappointed to cover 3.61kms (3:20/km pace). The return leg felt even harder and I was really struggling. Lack of sleep might be a factor - lots of thoughts of pulling the pin mid effort but I finished covering 3.65kms (3:17/km pace). I should be able to run 3:15/km pace but that was never going to happen today.

Probably being a little hard on myself. I don't suppose it was too bad considering I wasn't feeling right (especially as the second effort was better feeling shite). All up 14.4kms with warm-down.

A brilliant game of darts in the evening at the Grand Slam of Darts. Michael Van Gerwen turning off the Power (Phil Taylor) defeating him 10-5. Both averaging over 105....incredible.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012


More local running today. A total of 13.6kms in 56:23 (4:09's). Very drizzly conditions for running but not too bad once (if?) you warm up...

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

8 x 800 off 75 seconds

Track night - very damp underfoot but it had just about stopped raining and the wind wasn't really a factor. A 2.8km 7 lap warm-up so get things rolling.

The session was 800's off 90 seconds - until we were just about to start and it was revised down to 75 seconds. My usual sparring partners were not in attendance so it was just me against the clock. I decided I'd try and keep them around 2:30 and was pleasantly surprised to run them a little quicker than that. Here are the times:


I tried running the penultimate one running really relaxed as I tend to tense up too much in the upper body and judging by the time that experiment failed. I had a slower group to target on the last rep and that helped get me back on track.

Happy enough with that. All my track sessions of late seem to suggest I'm in decent form so I just need to transfer that form to a race (not drinking heavily beforehand will definitely be a good start).

A quick 2km warm-down to give me 11.2kms for the day.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Lets try for a better week

An easy run today to shake out the legs after the race yesterday. Despite being wet and miserable I felt great knocking out 9.5kms in 38:15 (4:02's).

I think I'm still benefiting from the 3 day rest I had last week. I've probably neglected to have these easy weeks in the past but after last week I can really feel the benefit. Hopefully a decent week's training ahead and then wind back for the half the following week. I'd still love to run a sub 72 half this year and this will probably be my last opportunity.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Hollymount 10km

Not your textbook preparation for this race. It was a case of turning up, hitting a pace that felt hard but not red-line, and hanging on for 10kms in around 35 minutes. That should be more than enough to secure the Mayo league and defend my title from last year.

It was a short enough drive to Hollymount of around 45 minutes. Conditions looked to be very good - cold and only a light breeze. I ran a couple of kms warm-up with John Byrne and Gerry Carty and it was time to line up at the start. Again a very poor turn-out for the race - looking round Gerry Ryan was the stand-out runner making his umpteenth comeback. Great to see. Then the rest of the podium looked to be there for the taking.

The race started and Gerry Ryan hit the lead. I decided not to even bother to try and go with him and stick to my race plan. Surprisingly I felt quite good - by the time we hit the first km I was in second position and the legs felt great. That pretty much set the tone for the race. Gerry gradually worked his way up the road, I seemed to have consolidated second place, and took the opportunity to enjoy the race as much as I could. The course itself is a 3 lap affair - not to everyones liking but it didn't really bother me today. We basically ran up the main street 4 times and that gave you a good boost every time you ran through the town with the small crowd that had gathered (including my old man and my son).

Not much to report. I kept the pace even and it felt more like a tempo run than a race. Soon I was completing the last lap and having a few back markers to overtake again added a bit more motivation to keep the legs ticking over. I crossed the line finishing second in a time of 33:23 and it was job done.

Congratulation to Gerry who had a fine run of 32:07 on his comeback. This is a man who I think I'm right in saying is now 49 years of age. He will be well under 32 minutes in is next 10km for sure. Super stuff.

Another lap of the course as a warm-down to give me around 14.6kms for the day.

Here are the splits using the km markers. Clearly they were a bit dodgy as my speed felt constant throughout:

1km 3:32
2km 3:00
3km 3:38
4km 3:07
5km 3:24 (16:41)
6km 3:21
7km 3:19
8km 3:17
9km 3:16
10km 3:29 (16:42)

Total 33:23

Only 45.2kms this week. A very good week for beer consumption though which continued today with another visit to the pub in the evening for some more darts...

Saturday, November 10, 2012

And there's more

Back to Galway at lunchtime and straight out for a run. My usual bog standard loop and despite feeling like shite I ran okay running the 9.5kms in 39:03 (4:07's).

The wedding celebrations continued at the in-laws in the evening. I pulled the pin around 11pm after 8 cans of Guinness and took the kids home to bed.

Friday, November 09, 2012


Today was my first experience of an Irish wedding. The wedding was early afternoon then on to the reception where the alcohol started to flow. By 5am the next morning the bar had shut so it was time to hit the sack...

A great day and a big congratulations to Johnny and Aine. Obviously no time for running so that's now 3 complete rest days on the bounce...

Here's my caricature from the wedding:

Thursday, November 08, 2012


Toe already feeling a good bit better. I was tempted to have a run but best listen to the doctor...

I can't recall the last time I had 2 complete rest days (just checked - it was mid-September just before the Round Norfolk Relay).

Wednesday, November 07, 2012

Doctor Shuffhausen

Infection in big toe. No running for a few days whilst it settles down. I have anti-biotics to take and my first question was "I have a wedding on Friday and will I be able to drink?". Thankfully I'm okay to blow the froth off a couple...

So a good opportunity to freshen up a bit. Not ideal but in the grand scheme of things I have been very lucky with injuries for the last few years and this is only a minor thing.

Tuesday, November 06, 2012

12 x 400 off 35 seconds

A quick track session tonight. An 8 lap warm-up, then straight into it. Conditions were pretty good - dry with a touch of a breeze but nothing to worry about.

An unusual recovery time of 35 seconds and the goal was to run them a couple of seconds slower than the 400's from the previous week. I thought 72 second laps would be a nice target so that's what I aimed for. The session called for 16 reps but as I was racing on Sunday I decided to cut it short at 12. Here are the times:


I was taking turns leading out the laps with Fintan. After a sluggish start the times were very consistent. Despite the short recovery I felt in complete control and could have continued on no problem.

A 3.5km warm-down around the block to give me 11.5kms for the day.

The Old Man is back in town as of today. That gives me more time to train but any benefit is cancelled out by extra visits to the pub. That has already started with me winning comfortably at our first game of darts in the local. That's despite a big toe which I could hardly walk on after tonight's reps. Time to visit the doctor...

Monday, November 05, 2012

Night Run

First night run of the winter. Up and down the N17. Ended up with 9.6kms in 41:31 (4:20's). Pace a lot slower than yesterday's longer run for the same effort. Strange how it can fluctuate so much.

Left big toe sore after a mosh injury on Friday night. It seems to be getting progressively worse...

Sunday, November 04, 2012

The Wedding Present - Cork

Well I failed to complete the hat-trick in Cork. Next time, next time...

I ran just after lunch. Conditions were a lot better today - very little breeze and nice and cool. You tend to know how a run is going to go early doors and when I clocked 4:05 for the first km feeling very good, I knew it was going to be a good 'un. I ended up running 20.9kms in 1:24:34 (4:02/km) feeling very comfortable the whole way. Strange how 2 late 2am nights and numerous beers results in you having a good run...

That's 87.1kms for the week. Only 2 speed sessions this week but still feel like I'm moving in the right direction. Race next Sunday at Hollymount.

Saturday, November 03, 2012

The Wedding Present - Galway

I managed to squeeze in a run in the afternoon. I wanted to do some quicker stuff so decided to run a 10km tempo effort. Conditions were horrendous - running in hail and rain with a strong wind to boot. It was a weird sort of run as with the wind behind I was running at 3:22/km pace feeling very comfortable; then into the wind it was 3:40/km flat stick. I completed the 10km in 34:28 which I was extremely happy with. All up 15.9kms with warm-up/down.

Out to the Roisin Dubh in the evening for TWP take #2. Basically the same set as the night before with 3 or 4 different songs. A much better venue being much smaller and more intimate than the Button Factory. I was pretty much front and centre for the entire gig and there was even a bit of moshing during the quicker songs. Absolutely brilliant.

Friday, November 02, 2012

The Wedding Present - Dublin

Rest day today - long overdue after 19 consecutive running days.

Out to Dublin the in the evening for the first instalment of watching The Wedding Present. It was at the Button Factory which is right in the heart of Temple Bar. A fantastic night and it was wedged full of middle aged balding men. I felt right at home. They played the iconic Seamonsters album in its entirety in the middle of the set. Superb stuff.

Thursday, November 01, 2012

Claregalway Group Training

An early start today at 7:15am with Fintan and Gearoid (3 makes a group right?). I wasn't sure what the session was to be but when Fintan called an easy hour that was a welcome relief.

The same route as Monday. This time the 14.8kms took 1:03:14 (4:16's). I think we started pretty slow and gradually worked the pace up.

A lovely morning for running. Bloody cold but dry and hardly a breath of wind.