Thursday, February 28, 2013

Easy #2

Same weather as yesterday and the same run. This time 39:29 for 9.5kms (4:09's) with the legs feeling a good bit better. That's it now, no more running until Saturday.

I watched the Premier league darts in the evening whilst indulging in one too many beers. Robert Thornton averaging 109 and change was very impressive in his win. Plus a great game between James Wade and Phil Taylor that ended in a 6-6 draw (both averaging 102).

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Easy #1

The longest run of no rain in Galway that I can remember. Still and cold - perfect running weather.

The legs were a bit sore after yesterday's 800s - so I took it really easy. Total 9.5kms in 42:13 (4:27's).

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

6 x 800 off 90 secs

I was really looking forward to this session. The conditions were perfect, and the aim was to run them around 2:25 or better and feel in control (get used to running quick whilst remaining relaxed/no straining).

Quite a long warm-up of 5.7km, then waited for the groups to form and we were off. I went straight to the front and that's how it stayed for the session. Again lots of traffic and a near miss on the 3rd rep as I almost had to stop to avoid runners on the start line as I was half way through my rep. All for the good as that gets the juices flowing in an effort to get the time back. Here are the times:


The 90 second recovery was a complete luxury. I would have been a few seconds slower each time off a minute. The coach (Matt) was running around offering words of advice and encouragement to all the runners and his one comment to me was to keep the feet in control. I forgot to ask what that meant at the end of the session. Perhaps when I plant my feet they don't remain stable and tend to move laterally a little. I'll follow up on that one.

A great session. I'd say that has to be my best set of 800's on record. All good now for Saturday with a couple of easy days to look forward to and a rest day on Friday. The course at Kinvara sounds tough but fair. Certainly a fair few hills to deal with. I hope I have some company as I want to lay down a good time marker.

All up 14.0kms with warm-down.

Monday, February 25, 2013

Start of an easy week

Rest day today.

Nothing too much to report except for a quick dash to A&E after the eldest decided to swallow a coin. Three hours and one X-Ray later we were good to go to let nature take its course. Paranoid about getting sick waiting in the hospital. I must have used the hand sanitisers at least a dozen times...

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Costa Del Galway

A lovely sunny day and a barmy 7 degrees. Great for running. I drove part way into town and started my run from the new junction which replaced the roundabout on the N17. Down to Terrylands, then on to Dangan via the river. Then joined the Cathedral route. Lots of pedestrian traffic running back into the city along the prom, and by the time I got to the Spanish Arch I was looking for the quickest route back to the car as I was spent. Up to Eyre Square and continuing straight back to my starting point. All up 23.9kms in 1:42:12 (4:17's). It felt like I was running 4:25's so similar to yesterday another pleasant surprise.

That's 105.2kms for the week. Another good week in the bag including 2 decent sessions. I feel like I'm making some good progress at the moment and just hope that translates into a good race on Saturday.

Saturday, February 23, 2013

6 x 4 mins

Off 1 minute recovery. Still bloody cold but very little breeze. Used my local course for this type of stuff and what breeze there was I was running into on the slight uphill outward leg. So a much easier return. Here are the paces per km for the 4 minute efforts:


Didn't look at the watch to see how I was doing speedwise until after the session. It felt like I was around the 3:15/km mark so pleasantly surprised by the results. Encouraging.

The Kinvara 10km is one week today so apart from a longer run tomorrow, and a track session on Tuesday, it will be easy running/rest for me. The aim will be to get back running sub 33 which I haven't managed since June of last year.

More Breaking Bad in the evening. Very addictive if you fancy watching some decent TV. Respect the chemistry.

Friday, February 22, 2013

When Aunty Ducky....

...danced with Donald Bradman, she said that was the best day of her life.....what was your best (sporting) day?

Today was another day where it felt easy. Total of 11.1kms in 45:25 (4:06's). Out in the evening with the family for some food then back to watch season 4 of Breaking Bad.

Gotta love John Williamson!

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Touch of winter

I thought we'd seen the back of the cold weather - well I was wrong. Today it was bloody freezing - the wind would cut straight through you. I struggled with my 16km run - the usual 4kms start running straight into the wind and the legs never got moving after that (probably due to frostbite). Run time of 1:10:22 which is a rather poor 4:25/km pace.

Watched the darts in the evening whilst camped in front of the fire. Love the new format of the Darts Premier League - great to see all the players every week. Wade looks to be coming back into form.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

State 3km

11km in 47:07 (4:15's).

I was reading one of the Aussie blogs I follow (Easy Tiger) and was reminded of the New South Wales State 3km at the Olympic park in Sydney back in 2009. Here is the video:

I ran 9:05 and put a few of the Mingara boys to the sword in the process who I used to train with. Namely Arnold, Bowd and Partridge! Ryan Gregson won the A grade race in 8 minutes flat...

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

4 x 400, 3 x 1600, 4 x 400

Another beast of a track session. I wanted to push myself tonight and conditions looked to be good tonight being dry and very cool.

A longish warm-up of 6km including a few strides then time to go. The first 400 was pathetic, then slowly got going. I reset my watch when I got home so all of these are from memory but it went something like:


Happy with those. I felt comfortable on the 4 lappers and the last one felt the easiest of the lot. A bit disappointed not to run a few sub 5's but I was running solo and with over 70 people on the track there was a fair bit of overtaking/running wide.

Nearly forgot to give you the recoveries - 30 secs between the 400's (blink and it's gone), 60 seconds between the 1600's (tough but fair) and 2 minutes between the sets (lovely).

Greaney was flying tonight. Suddenly he has found another gear and ran a much improved session. Christy also improving week on week and a big race is now due. Great to see.

All up 17.5kms with warm-down.

Monday, February 18, 2013


Felt great today. Not sure how that can happen after the poor run from yesterday. No logical explanation. Again windy but I managed 9.5kms in 38:16 (4:01's).

Forgot to mention last week's kilometer-age - 100.9kms. Since the New Year I've got into the routine of doing a couple of decent weeks training, then winding it back (freshening up) for a race. Firstly for Tuam (91/100/65kms), then for the Indoors/Maree (100/102/53). I'll continue that routine in the build-up for Kinvara 10km a week on Sat (another 100 this week, then easy next week). Then a couple more decent weeks of training before the Craughwell 10 miler on March 24th. Easy innit?

Sunday, February 17, 2013


Not so fresh after the gallon of Guinness from the previous night and eventually out of the door mid afternoon for a long solo wobble. Very windy again and I was feeling very tired from the get go. The first 4kms were straight into the wind and I was hardly moving. I didn't really get going at all after that but somehow managed to keep going for 21.1kms (half) in 1:33:05 (4:25's). Felt like a marathon mind...I overtook an old man riding a bike, 2 horses, lots of dogs, a couple of snails.....

Stephen Maguire won the Welsh Open in a very high standard final beating Stuart Bingham 9-8. Great viewing.

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Windy 10km tempo

I left the run late and didn't get out until 4:30pm. Today I was down for some quicker stuff and with the wind blowing a gale it wasn't going to be pretty. On my warm-up I decided to run a 10km tempo and similar to a few weeks back I decided to get a rolling start with the wind behind and the lovely downhill of the Rock Road.

I went through 5km in low 17 minutes and then it got a lot tougher as I hit the wind. I finished up running the 10kms in 34:56 and given the conditions I was happy enough with that.

All up 15.7kms in just over the hour.

Out in the evening for more darts with the next door neighbour. I started well (2nd leg 14 darts) and gradually faded as the night  wore on. I think that had more to do with the alcohol consumption...good night nonetheless.

Friday, February 15, 2013

Darts night

11.1kms in 47:01 (4:14's).

Out in the evening for darts. We were playing away at Keane's bar in Athenry. Lovely pub, nice throw, but my darts were very ordinary. Having said that I somehow managed to win both my singles and pairs 2-0. Overall another 7-2 win to consolidate our top of the table position.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Ten in old money

Squeezed in a bit of a longer run today. Total 16.0kms in 1:08:46 (4:18's). I suppose the next big target race-wise will be the Craughwell 10 miler at the end of March and I'd love to give my PB a rattle. The pace I need to target is 3:20/km. Three hopes of achieving that - Bob, Maurice and the Cape of Good....

Wednesday, February 13, 2013


The same run as Monday. A bit quicker tonight knocking off the 10kms in 43:18 (4:20's). Legs still feel tired. After blowing a gale most of the day the wind had eased off in the evening so quite nice and mild for running. Perhaps a touch of spring in the air?

Pyramid Session

Back to the track tonight. The intention was to take it handy enough as 3 tough sessions in 4 days is probably not recommended.

Tonight was a pyramid session. Here goes: 400/600/800/1000/1200/1200/1000/800/600/400. Total 8kms. The recovery was mainly 90 seconds, except after the first 400/before the last 400 where we got 60 seconds. And a generous 3 minutes at the top of the pyramid between the 1200's...

Here are the times:

400 - 1:16
600 - 1:53
800 - 2:34
1000 - 3:10
1200 - 3:50
1200 - 3:48
1000 - 3:11
800 - 2:28
600 - 1:47
400 - 1:08

I sat in with the lead group which included Scott, Christy, Owen and myself. Nice to run the second set quicker than the first, though by the end of the session I was toast. All up 17.0kms with a longish warm-up (5.5kms) and warm-down (3.5kms).
I almost forgot to mention the weather - damp and breezy! Typical Galway...

Monday, February 11, 2013

Recovery run

A late night run of 10.0kms to shake out the legs. Time 43:45 (4:23's). Great evening for running but the legs felt very tired. Early night to catch up on some sleep.

Thanks for all the comments from the weekend. The more I race the luckier I get and all that...

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Maree 8km

A double race weekend. This time only a short drive to Maree which is just near Oranmore. Conditions looked good - a bit of a breeze but nice and dry. A good chance to see what was left in the tank after yesterday's lung buster.

A good crowd in attendance of over 300. As always the organisation was very good and I was keen to try and win this race for the 3rd year on the trot. Around a 3km warm-up with Owen and then we changed into our racing gear and lined up at the start.

The gun sounded and I went straight to the front, swapping the lead with another runner who I didn't recognise a few times as we covered off the first 500m. I settled into my running and he soon dropped off leaving me running solo following the lead motorcycle. Through 1km and then a long gradual climb up to the 2km marker. Back down the hill the other side and then the long run out on the flat peninsular (into the breeze) until it was time to double back just before 4km. At the turnaround point I'd opened up close to a 30 second lead and with the legs feeling pretty tired I was wishing for the race to be over.

After about a km of running against the oncoming traffic it was time to take a right-hand turn tracing the waters edge until it was time to tackle another climb just after 5km. The road at this point wasn't great - more like a tractor track with a muddy/grassy median strip and lots of puddles either side. Just after 6km there was another nasty climb but with that behind me it was time to make the run for home.

The last section was much easier - fairly flat and once through 7km you were greeted with the countdown with every 200m marked until I had the final run up to the finishing line. I must have been struggling at this point as some young kids were running up to the finish just in front of me and I couldn't keep up with them! Anyway, I crossed the line for the win in a time of 26:19.

Happy with the time as it felt like I had run 26:40 - and it's a tough course. Just looking back I ran quicker than last year (26:22) so that's another good sign as my legs weren't right today.

I finished up with a 6km warm-down with Owen, Niall and Billy. I'll put that down as 17kms for the day.

A few photos courtesy of Francis at Eirefoto. The start:

The podium with Owen and Niall. I'm wearing my City of Norwich top as the GCH one was in the
wash from yesterday.....:

Here are the splits:

1km 3:08
2km 3:17
3km 3:16
4km 3:21 (13:02)
5km 3:16
6km 3:23
7km 3:20
8km 3:18 (13:17)

Total 26:19

A total of 53.5kms for the week. To top the weekend England won the rugby and so out in the evening for a few more celebratory beers and a game of darts!

Saturday, February 09, 2013

National Masters Indoors 3,000m

I grabbed a lift with Paul for the short drive to Athlone (around 40 minutes). Upon arrival we were greeted with this wonderful new facility - I have to admit to a few butterflies as I stepped out into the arena - it looked absolutely amazing.

I was scheduled to race around 2:50pm but with lots of races being split into heats to accommodate the numbers everything was running late. I eventually ran a bit of a warm-up outside with Paul and Gerry around 3:30pm - 5 laps of the outside track before moving indoors to the mezzanine level where there was a 100m section of track overlooking the main 200m track where you could run some strides.

Still a fair bit of hanging around and eventually we were all called to the track for some race details. Again with lots of runners the race was split into heats and I was lucky enough to get in heat 1 which looked to be the quickest heat. Somewhat strangely, each heat contained a mixture of age-groupers so we were faced with the unusual situation of people in my age group (40 to 44) being spread in heats 1, 2 and 3. So basically it was all going to come down to time - the quickest times of the day in each age group irrespective of what heat they were run in would determine the medals.

I lined up at the start with 7 other runners. The beep sounded and we were off. I used the first few laps to get a feel of the track. I'd never run one of the banked bends before so wanted to get used to these and I found myself in 5th position. The pace certainly wasn't slow mind - and I was working had to stay in touch with the runners in front.

I think I went through the 1,000m in about 2:57 and it was around this point that I moved up a couple of positions into 3rd place. I wasn't feeling comfortable and the lungs were already starting to burn. The good thing about the 200m track is that the laps click down really quickly - I was hanging on to 3rd place and settled in as best I could. I was getting some great support from the crowd and that helped and as we went through 2,000m I made my move on the back straight to take the lead. That was great but my immediate thought was that I was going to blow up as I had the best part of 5 laps still to run!

Funnily enough the last few laps seemed to tick by very quickly. I was hurting but I knew from the feedback I was getting that I had opened up a decent gap and I wasn't going to let it slide. I hit the bell and enjoyed the last lap as much as I could crossing the line in 8:53 for the heat victory.

I was delighted with the time as I couldn't see myself breaking 9 minutes. The track was superb and must be short - that's the only conclusion I can draw! I then watched the next couple of heats which were slower so it turned out that I posted the quickest time of the day - across all the age grades! Another national gold medal and a 5 second PB in the process!

A shortish warm-down of 1.6km so around 7kms for the day. I'd certainly recommend anyone to go along to Athlone to have a look at this facility - it's first class! It's open to the general public so everyone is welcome to go along and give it a try. I'll certainly be back!

Here are a few photos (Thanks Jane!). The start:

Taking the lead:

The finish:

A few celebratory beers in the evening!

Friday, February 08, 2013

Second rest

No running today.

Tried to get my new laptop working - no joy. Seems Windows 8 and my router don't like one that drove me to drink. Just the 3 beers to aid sleep. Looking forward to tomorrow...

Thursday, February 07, 2013

Done and dusted

Same run as yesterday. Felt great today and was ticking along very nicely without pushing it. Time 38:30 for 9.5kms (4:02's). That's it now, no more running until Saturday.

A few beers watching Breaking Bad in the evening.

Wednesday, February 06, 2013

Brazil nuts

Easy local loop of 9.5kms in 39:59 (4:13's).

England beat Brazil 2-1...

Tuesday, February 05, 2013

6 x 600 off a rolling 4 mins

Longish warm-up loop around the block then a few laps of the track. Conditions were cold and wet and the wind kept picking up making the last 50m of the back straight and the start of the final bend bloody tough.

The main group were doing 8 x 1km but myself and Gerry wanted to do s session more specific to the indoors and we were told to run some 600's. The target pace was 3km race pace (for me 9 mins equals 1:48/600m). Try and run nice and relaxed and if you can find a second or 2 then that's all for the good...

Here were the times:


I have to say they felt far from comfortable. I was working hard to get them down to near my target time. Okay conditions weren't great and there was a lot of traffic to dodge but tonight certainly didn't act as a confidence booster. Hopefully on race day it will all click on the new super quick Athlone track.

A short warm-down of 3 laps to give me 10.5kms for the day.

I raced home, had a quick shower, then out with the old man for his last night in Galway before he jets back to Blighty. He'll certainly have his tail between his legs after I whopped him 15-11 at darts scoring 4 x 180's in the process. I think I'd go better if it were a darts tournament in Athlone on Saturday...

Monday, February 04, 2013


No running today - been feeling a bit niggly the last week so a rest day was in order. Listen to the body and all that...

The plan this week is to do a light track session on Tuesday, then easy running for the rest of the week before the indoors on Saturday.

Sunday, February 03, 2013

Another ton

Planned to take it very easy today as I could feel the quad a bit. The plan was to run around 20kms to get me up above 100kms for the week - a stupid mentality really. I ran solo and local and covered parts of all the loops I run here in Claregalway. All up 20.9kms in 1:33:21 (4:28's). The leg seemed to behave so looks like I have dodged an injury bullet. I'll take a rest today tomorrow (planning an easy week anyway) just to be on the safe side.

102.1kms for the week.

Out in the evening for some more darts practise with the lads. Watched England retain the darts World Cup!

Saturday, February 02, 2013

15 mins and 3 x 3 mins

Perfect weather for running today - but feeling a little under the weather (self-inflicted) so that meant I delayed the session until late afternoon. I decided to copy the Harriers session which was a 15 minute tempo, then 2 mins 30 secs break, then 3 x 3 mins off 1 minute.

I used my normal route for this type of session. I ran the 15 minutes in one direction (slightly uphill), then turned and ran the 3 x 3 mins the other way. Stats as follows:

15:00 - 4.46kms - 3:22/km
3:00 - 0.93kms - 3:14/km
3:00 - 0.94kms - 3:11/km
3:00 - 0.93kms -  3:13/km

Finished up with a warm-down to give me 15.0kms for the day. Fairly happy with the session running solo but upon arrival home it seems like I have picked up a slight thigh strain. Nothing too serious I think - a couple of easy days and I'll be good.

Friday, February 01, 2013

Last of Christmas

10.8kms in 44:31 (4:07's). I lifted the pace on the final few kms to home with the wind on the back.

Legs generally a bit sore still after that track session  - especially the hammies. Will try and get a massage in before the indoors.

Out in the evening for our darts team's Christmas do. Lots of booze and home by 2am. Good fun had by all.