Monday, July 29, 2013


Went to the docs. I have tonsillitis and conjunctivitis. Plenty of drugs to take and I should start to come good in a few days.

No running...

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Dublin to Galway

Woke up - throat on fire. Couldn't swallow any food at breakfast.

Uneventful day - travel to Galway on the coach and then out in the evening for a meal. By this stage I could at least swallow but that was because I'd dosed myself up on pain-killers.

No running. Total for the week 52.2kms. I'll take a few days rest from running until I start to feel better.

Saturday, July 27, 2013

National 10,000m

I woke up with a sore throat and was generally not feeling great. I took an early coach to Dublin - met up with my Dad and we were running a bit short of time so we took a taxi out to the Santry.

After registering, I had time for a warm-up. I bumped into Brian Furey and we ran a few laps around a small warm-up pitch for about 15 mins. The events were running a little late so back out for a bit more of a warm-up with Roger Barrett. A total of 20 mins or so (say 4kms).

Then into the call room, before being called onto the track. Lots of rules, officials, etc, up to this point and the nerves were starting to jangle a little. There were about 25 runners or so and we were split into 2 groups and I was in the group that had to run wide around the first bend to the right of the cones before breaking. The conditions were quite warm, around 20 degrees, and the breeze was coming across the track. Okay I suppose.

The gun sounded and I found myself behind Roger Barrett. I set into my running but felt very flat. Through the first km in 3:07 and I was already struggling. I decided to take one lap at a time but by the time I'd hit 4 laps (5:02) I was ready to stop. Roger had worked away from me leaving myself and a Raheny runner behind me. I was determined to give it my all until at least 5km but each lap was getting tougher and I knew I was slowing. Through 8 laps in about 10:12 so already off my target of 10:08 and that gap was only going to get bigger. As we approached half-way the guy from Raheny went past me leaving me in no mans land. I should add that at this point I had already been lapped by some of the front runners!

Through 5km in 16:12 and I was ready to step off the track. Shortly after Pauric McKinney went past me. I won't bore you with the detail but each lap got slower and by the time I got down to 10 laps remaining I knew I would finish but the time had gone. I was lapped again by the leader as I counted down the last 10. I reached 9km in 29:50 so I knew a sub 33 was looking unlikely as I simply had nothing in the tank. I went on to cross the line in 33:05 for 14th place.

The winner (Mark Kenneally) ran 29:22 and looked to be doing it easy so I can't blame the conditions. A very poor run from me and not too sure what went wrong. A few laps of the pitches as a warm-down/sulk to give me around 16kms for the day. Very disappointing.

Out in the evening for lots of fun. My Dad and I visited 8 or 9 pubs that we can remember around Dublin, mainly in the Temple Bar area. That was great. In bed by 11pm for a slumber...

Friday, July 26, 2013

Do the math

No ruining today. I watched the darts in the evening with a couple of beers whilst mulling over tomorrow's race.

Confidence isn't great. My recent times in training and racing have been slow due to the spell of hot weather (at least that's what I'm telling myself). I'll try and run 15:50 for the first 5km (76 second laps), and then try and hang on for the second half. I'll be very disappointed if I don't at least beat my long standing track PB of 32:35 set many moons ago at Mingara whilst racing (and beating!) the King. Here's hoping for a cool day but in looking at the forecast that doesn't look to be on the cards...

Alcohol will be the winner as its straight into the Temple Bar after the race for a long evening of fun and merriment with the old man. Have a great weekend and good luck to anyone else racing in the next few days.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Glen Hansard

Another easy paced run - 9.0kms in 39:36 (4:24's). That's it now until Saturday.

Out in the evening to see Glen Hansard play at the Big Top as part of the Galway Arts Festival. This man can do no wrong as far as I'm concerned - one of the most talented musicians on the planet. He played a great set that included songs from his latest solo album, from the soundtrack of the movie "Once", a few cover versions, plus a few Frames songs with members of the band supporting him throughout the night. A great finale finishing up with "The Auld Triangle" where the support act Damien Dempsey returned to the stage to help out with the vocals. A great show.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013


I squeezed in a quick run before tea. I got completely soaked as I got caught in some heavy showers but despite that it was quite pleasant to be out and about. Total 6.7kms in 30:50 (4:36's).

My first ever run wearing contact lenses. How interesting is that? As I'm long sighted I didn't really notice any difference...

A game of snooker in the evening. Total rubbish!

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

12 x 400 off 60 secs

My last proper hit-out before Saturday. The 400's were to be controlled as opposed to flat out and I thought that 70 seconds or thereabouts would be about right. It was a damp evening with heavy showers interrupting the warm-up (4.2kms), but despite a damp track the rain managed to hold off for the session itself.

I ran with Fintan and Paul and we took turns leading out the laps. I was knocking out the laps in very consistent times but I seemed to be working a fair bit harder than I would have liked - perhaps it was the slippery conditions. Here are the times:


Job done. A further 2.0kms warm-down to clock up 11.0kms for the day.

Monday, July 22, 2013

Claregalway 10km news

I ran my local 9.5km loop in 39:59 (4:13's). A sprint at the end to get me under 40 mins...

The Claregalway 10km in on August 24th at 6pm and the good news this year is that they are reverting back to the old course (as opposed to the 2 x 5km hilly loops that it has been the last few years). This course happens to be the loop that I ran today (plus a small section of the course between the school and the community centre that you run twice to get the 10km up). It's fairly flat and fast and will offer a good chance of a PB if you're in good shape. Well done to the organisers for changing the route as this course will be a lot more appealing. There, that's my bit of race promotion over with - it has to be done being in my home village.

Thoughts now turn to the 25 lapper on Saturday. I've covered the distance 4 times on the track - 2 times up on the Central Coast of New South Wales in times of 33:56 (Sep 2008) and 32:35 (Sep 2009). Then I ran in the state 10,000m at Homebush (Mar 2010) where I clocked 32:38. The most recent being in the county 10,000m at Dangan here in Ireland where I ran 32:45 (July 2010). It's a race that doesn't begin until you've covered 15 laps and then it's all about hanging in there for the final 10 lap countdown. I'm dreading it.

Sunday, July 21, 2013


Afternoon run with Fintan. The aim was to get somewhere near the 1hr 15 mark but it was hot and humid and we pulled the pin early covering 15.9kms in 1:08:32 (4:19's).

That's 89.9kms for the week. I'll wind it back next week to get the legs ready for the 10.

England are now 2-0 up in the Ashes after the Aussies rolled over and were bowled out in less than a day. Not sure where they can go from here - their batters are desperately out of form and some players look like they don't want to be there (Watson springs to mind). If this continues then England will win 5-0. I never thought I'd see that day...

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Joe Root

Out at 9am to try and get cooler conditions. Still well above 20 degrees and after having several beers the previous evening, and not much food, plus a lack of sleep I'd handicapped myself rather nicely for this session.

It was to be 6 x 4 mins off 60 secs, then 5 x 30 seconds (off 60) to finish with. I used my local 9.5km loop and after the first 4 minute effort I was struggling. I managed to pick things up a bit for 2,3,4 and 5 but during the last one I felt like giving up and had become a champion negative thought generator.

A 3 minute break and then the 30 second efforts. These were much easier as you just get going and they are over. I was toast at the end. I was running 5:15/km pace for the warm-down and that was hard work. So I ended up walking home. Which was nice. All up 16.5kms.

Here are the paces:

3:21/3:15/3:15/3:14/3:14/3:17 (per 4 minutes)

2:53/3:02/2:53/2:48/2:49 (per 30 seconds)

Basically not my greatest work. If it's a hot day in Dublin next Saturday for the 10,000m then I may as well forget the race and head straight to the Temple Bar.

Another day for England in the cricket. They batted all day long only losing a couple of wickets (one of which was Bresnan the night-watchman). Root batted beautifully and was 178 not out at the close. England with a 500 plus lead and I'm sure they'll give Root a quick dart at his double ton in the morning before putting the Aussies in to see how long they can last.

A poor decision by the third umpire not to give Bell out to a low catch taken by Smith. This series keeps throwing up these controversial decisions and England have certainly been very fortunate this far.

Watched a bit of the darts in the evening - the World Matchplay from Blackpool. Dad is back in town next week so I dare say I'll be back at the oche soon.

Friday, July 19, 2013

Graham Swann

11.1kms in 48:29 (4:22's). Another slog in the heat.

England posted a respectable 361 before bowling the Aussies out for 129. Swann took a 5 wicket haul on a pitch not renowned for taking spin. God knows what he'll do in the second innings...

The Aussies bounced back taking 3 quick wickets before the close leaving England 31-3. England still have a healthy lead and a couple of 50 partnerships tomorrow and we'll bat the Aussies out of the game.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Back to Thursday morning

7am start. A lovely morning and a good bit cooler running at that time of the day. Today's crowd included Conor, Gearoid and Owen but no Fintan who was busy with work.

Same route as normal and the pace gradually picked up to the point where we were running close to 4 minute clicks at the end. All up 15.0kms in 1:04:30 (4:18's).

The second test started today and it was another enthralling day. England were in all sorts of trouble at 28-3 before Bell an Trott steadied the ship with a 99 partnership. Then followed another great partnership between Bell and Bairstow with Belly recording his third Ashes ton on the spin. England got themselves into a strong position before losing 3 quick wickets just before close to leave them 7 down with 281 runs on the board. This match is still very much in the balance.

Highlight of the day: Bairstow being given out on 21 only to be overturned after Siddle had over-stepped the bowling mark.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013


Usual 9.5kms in 40:56 (4:19's). Legs a bit sore after track yesterday so that's a good sign that I pushed myself out of the comfort zone.

Lovely weather again for running. More topless action.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013


Track night - 22 degrees and only a slight breeze made for good conditions. A warm-up around the pitches and a lap of the track (4.3kms) to start off.

The session was a pyramid - a short sharp session where the recoveries were generous which meant the pace had to be upped a notch. I set myself some soft targets as I wanted to get the confidence back after not feeling like I'd done myself justice in my recent racing. I thought that sub 70 for the 400's, then 3:00/km pace for the remaining efforts would be good enough - especially as the legs still felt tired.

Here's how it panned out (recoveries in brackets):

400 - 67 (60)
600 - 1:42 (75)
800 - 2:19 (2 mins)
1000 - 2:55 (2 mins)
800 - 2:19 (75)
600 - 1:40 (60)
400 - 64

Very happy with that. I really attacked the reps tonight and posted some decent times and nice to finish with quicker times in the second half of the session compared to the first. Thanks to Eamon and Paul for helping with the pacing - it makes it so much easier to have someone to hang on to.

Warm-down of 3.5kms. Very tired at the end. All up 12.4kms for the day.

Easy running now until Saturday where I'll do another session of longer reps.

Monday, July 15, 2013

Turning the legs over

The legs were sore today. I ran my 9.5km loop in 40:30 (4:16's) and wasn't feeling great. I'll push on this week starting with a track session tomorrow. For the first time in a while the weather had cooled down a notch which it least made it a bit more bearable for running. It promises to get warm again though for the remainder of the week...

Sunday, July 14, 2013

National League Round 2 - Sligo

I caught the team bus at 8:15am for the 2 hour journey to Sligo. I wasn't running until around 4pm so plenty of time to watch the action. But my attention was elsewhere - listening to the climax of the first test at Trent Bridge. I was mentally drained when England eventually got that final wicket. More on this later.

Hot conditions and there was a nasty breeze on the back straight/start of the final bend. The gun sounded and I settled mid-pack. The front group of 5 runners quickly worked away - no surprise as they were running 3 minute/km pace and I wasn't able for that. There was a mini-pack of me and a couple of others in pursuit. That lasted for a couple of laps and I then made a move on the back straight to lead the chase group and in terms of positioning, that's how it remained for the rest of the race.

Through 1km in 3:04, through 2km in 6:10 and by this time it was another time trial. I was running solo and despite feeling quite strong, the 3rd km passed and with a disappointing split of 3:10 (time 9:20) I started to crumble. The next few laps were a real grind. I don't recall my 4km split but I continued on as best I could eventually crossing the line in 15:44 for 6th place overall (4th scorer in the Premier League).

The lead group all ran close to 15 minutes with the winner clocking 15:01. That group included Roger Barrett who must have only been a second or 2 behind the leader. So despite the hot condtions, it didn't seem to slow some people down! Great running Roger!

Personally I was very disappointed by that run. I felt like I could go sub 15:30 but come 3km that goal was gone and it was a long slog home. The sub 32 target for the 10km now seems like a pipe dream. The thought of running a 25 lapper at this moment in time seems like slow torture...

Some great performances for the team today. Peter O'Sullivan guested and was brilliant running 4:09 in the 1,500m, and then 2:01 in the 800m. Well done Peter.

All up 10.7kms for the day and 57.2kms for the week. I'll try and put in a decent week's training next week and then I'll wind it back for the 10,000m attempt the week after next.

Well back to the Ashes. What can I say? That match had everything. I had no nails left as the Aussies were closing in on the victory target. But King Jimmy managed to muster up another wicket getting the faintest of edges to dismiss Haddin. A few celebratory beers for the lads and then onto Lords for the second test on Thursday. More of the same please!

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Ian Bell

No running today. A rest day before another 5,000m slog in the afternoon sun tomorrow...

Went out and did a bit of shopping with the kids. Never take a cranky 3 year old into a large toy shop. A nightmare scenario.

Watched the Ashes. Another cracking day. Ian Bell played well to get his ton but I think England folded a bit too cheaply at the end. The Aussies got off to a blistering start, but England fought back well. Those late wickets put England in the box seat but I wouldn't be writing the Aussies off just yet (137 required with 4 wickets in hand). Whatever the result it has been a great test match to watch. I say watch, I'll have to listen to radio commentary tomorrow as I'll be up in Sligo. Hope the battery holds out on the phone...

Friday, July 12, 2013

Stuart Broad

Another evening run. Sill hot. Third topless run on the trot - good for saving on the washing. A total of 10.8kms in 46:11 (4:17's). I guess it's going to be hot on Sunday for the 5,000m so this is my way of acclimatising...

Wow, what a day of cricket. I thought that if England could bat out the day for the loss of 6 wickets (2 per session) then they'd get themselves into a strong position. Well they survived the day but only lost 4 wickets in the process. The lead is now 261 and if they can get that up above 300 then it's going to be very tough for the Aussies. Bell batted beautifully and deserves his ton. And Stuart Broad stood his ground after a blatant thick edge was not seen by umpire Dar. That was disappointing but anything that winds the Aussies up has got to be for the good!

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Dog attack

I ran around 7pm - still very hot. I decided to try and keep going for an hour by running the guts of my normal Thursday morning route. On the corner of Rockmount and the N17 a large puppy dog came hurtling at me straight over the top of a 5 foot fence. Once the dog realised how big I was he started to run away from me - that would have been fine but by now he was running up and down the busy N17 close to the traffic. Thankfully no damage was done as he eventually went into one of the fields where the owner could round him back up into the garden. Phew.

All up 13.7kms in 1:00:34 (4:25's). Hard going.

The cricket was incredible. England took early wickets but could not get the last man out. Agar eventually out for 98 batting at 11 on debut to give the Aussies a handy lead. Then England got off to a poor start with the bat losing a couple of quick wickets. Then down to Cook and Pietersen to steady the ship and see them through to the close. The Aussies are certainly favourites from this position and England need to bat really well tomorrow to get themselves back into the match.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

The Ashes

I ran at around 4:30pm. Very hot - the road was sticking to my shoes in places, Total 9.5kms in 40:47 (4:17's). The legs felt okay after yesterday but it was tough going in the heat.

I watched most of the Ashes today. England got off to a poor start getting bowled out cheaply but bounced back well with the ball to have the Aussies 75-4 at the close. A great day and at this rate the first test could be over inside 3 days. That nut from Anderson to bowl Clark was as good as any delivery I have ever seen.

Tuesday, July 09, 2013

Galway County 5,000m

Another cracking day - temperatures were around 29 degrees as I arrived at the track for the race. Not much activity with lots of people milling around trying to keep out of the sun. At about 7:15 I did a 10 minute warm-up with the guys, then another rest. Still no race and as the women's 3,000m race started myself and Owen went out again for another 10 minutes warm-up.

We were called to the start about 8pm. There were around 28 starters and after a few admin issues which caused a further delay, we eventually got underway. Two guys went straight to the front and I settled into third place. By 200m one of the guys had blown, leaving me in second. A few laps passed and I worked into the lead and then it was a question of trying to maintain the pace whilst in time trial mode.

I wasn't wearing a watch and to keep myself focused I tried to run 75 second laps as they were calling out the times at the 200m mark. I went through the first 4 laps in 4:59, through 8 laps in 10:02 or so, but I knew I was going to struggle home. The last 4 laps were a real grind and there was no attempt to lift the pace for the run home as the legs were heavy and unresponsive. I crossed the line in 15:53.67 (electronic timing!) for the win.

So another disappointing time but I'd say most times were way down due to the Galway heatwave. I've been very unlucky with conditions this year but I'll keep racing in the hope that I get lucky soon - starting with another 5,000m in Sligo this Sunday! Sub 15:30 would be nice!

A 3.5km warm-down to give me 12.5kms for the day.

Here's a photo (thanks Jane). Race number 90 - that's how old I felt...

Monday, July 08, 2013


Today was spent in Legoland. But not before my third full English breakfast on the trot...

An incredible place and great for the kids. Even better for the grown-ups (read me). Loved it.

No running today. Come 4:30pm it was time to leave for the drive to Stansted and then the flight back to Ireland.

Forgot to mention last week's tally. A massive 60.3kms.

Here are a few photos from Legoland:

Sunday, July 07, 2013


A token run at lunchtime in the midday sun - a blistering pace covering 6.6kms in just under 33 minutes. Sweat out some of last night and all that.

Lunch at my grans and then we moved on from Norwich to Windsor. Listened to the tennis in the car on the drive down and good to see Andy Murray finally do it.

Upon arrival I had a few pints with the old man, then we had a wander around. The castle there is something else - incredible. Something to eat and a few more pints.

Here's a few photo with old man and son:

Saturday, July 06, 2013

Lord Mayor's 5km

I woke up with my left eyelid welded shut - seems I may have some conjunctivitis, probably brought on by the new contact lenses...

I did some kid stuff in the morning, then spent the rest of the afternoon with the rellies. Then into the city at around 3:45pm to pick up my race pack. The temperatures were scorching hot - close to 30 degrees and after a quick chat with the race director who described the course to me, I had just about lost the will to live as it wasn't the pancake flat course I had hoped for...definitely not course and conditions for a PB. Paul Evans who holds the course record of 14:11 says he was in low 13 minute shape when he ran that time so that gives you an idea of the course...

For anyone who knows Norwich city centre the route itself was a 2 and a bit lapper. From the lowest point of the course down at the mini-roundabout outside the Maids Head Hotel there are 3 drags - up through Tombland, then another climb up onto Castle Meadow, then a long drag up St Stephens to the roundabout at the top. And being 2 laps you have the joy of experiencing these tough sections twice.

I walked the course as a sort of warm-up and had already worked up a good sweat. Then a quick change into race gear and about a 1km warm-up and it was time to start the race. Just over 100 people on the start line and with thousands of people lining the streets to watch the procession which immediately followed the race, it promised to be a unique experience.

Off and racing and I settled into my running. The first section had us running downhill through Tombland, then around the hairpin roundabout and the start of the 3 hills that I described. I was running solo with a few groups up front to chase. I wasn't paying any attention to the watch and by the time I had reached the top of the course on the first lap (approx 1.5km), I was already starting to struggle and the likes of Gemma Steel and another CoNAC runner were a good 20 to 30 metres in front of me.

The downhill sections were great, but I didn't have the energy to attack them and whilst the pace picked up, relative to the field I was simply maintaining my position. Back through Tombland for the second time and with a few cheers from some mates I really tried to attack on the second set of climbs. I was certainly closing on Gemma and by the time we reached the bottom of St Stephens I had caught her and cruised past. Then I caught the guy wearing the CoNAC vest and by the time I reached the top of the course at 4km, I pushed as hard as I could for the last downhill km. I think I overtook another couple of runners in this section, and at the same time one guy sped past me. I crossed the line with a time of 16:04 for 10th position (first V40).

Not the time I was after but I have to say I was pretty happy with the run. I took over 20 seconds out of Gemma in the last 1.5kms and certainly felt strong at the end. Nice to finish a race overtaking people and with the huge crowd support on the course it was a good day.

After the race I jogged straight back to where we were staying for a shower and change. Then out for some fun and merriment. Very enjoyable. A total of 9.7kms for the day and lots of beers...

Here are the splits:

1km 3:11
2km 3:08
4km 6:44 (I missed the 3km marker)
5km 3:01

Total 16:04 (7:59 first half, 8:05 second half)

Here are some photos courtesy of one of the CoNAC photographers (thanks Granville). The first one is just before passing Gemma. I don't recall the other two!

Friday, July 05, 2013


Up at 3:45am with the family for the drive/plane/drive to Norwich. Arrived with no major dramas.

Spent the rest of the day catching up with family. Eating plenty and out in the evening for a few beers and a game of snooker. The weather is scorching hot which is nice when you're not running...

Thursday, July 04, 2013


9.5kms in 39:48 (4:11's). A bit quicker than yesterday - legs starting to feel a lot better.

No running now until the race on Saturday.

Early start tomorrow morning...

Wednesday, July 03, 2013


Just catching up on the old blog....

9.5kms in 41:30 (4:22's). Can't remember anything else!

Tuesday, July 02, 2013

4 x 400, 3 x 1600, 4 x 400

Track session - a 5.0km warm-up and a few strides and we were faced with a tough old session. Conditions were damp as it had been raining on and off for most of the day, but the wind had dropped so it was a lot better than I had feared.

Numbers were a bit thin in the top group with only myself, Paddy and Conor for company. I set myself a target of 69 seconds for the 400's and 5:04's for the 4 lappers which was dream target 10km pace (31:40).

The session was a real struggle. I had the other lads helping out with my pacing - but I felt very heavy legged and couldn't wait to get it over with. Here are the times:


The 400's weren't great but at least I managed to crank out some decent 4 lappers. I forgot to mention the recoveries - 1 minute between all the efforts and 2 minutes between sets. It's bloody tough running those 4 lappers off only a minute...and to think I want to try and run at that pace for over 6 times the distance...

A short warm-down of 2.5kms to give me 15.5kms for the day. Easy running and rest now before Saturday.

Watched a bit of the England cricket warm-up game - a 4 day game against Essex. A bit of a joke as it started off as a first class game, then due to a couple of injuries to the Essex bowlers they drafted in some new players resulting in the loss of the first class status. I'd say Bresnan was a bit peeved as he hit a ton which will not now be part of his stats...

Australia going well in their 4 day game.

A great run by Cameron Page to run his first sub 4 minute mile in winning the mile race at Cork this evening (time 3:54.77). I think that puts him either 9th or 10th on the Australian all time list. I think Cam next races in Belgium on Saturday July 13th (KBC Nacht) where he will be chasing a world championship qualifier. If recent form is anything to go by he has a red hot chance.

Monday, July 01, 2013

Struggle St

9.5kms in 39:59 (4:13's). Felt very tired all day and that was reflected in the run - basically no energy. Upped the pace for the last couple of minutes just to dip under 40. I think that's a runners thing...

So started taking some iron supplements: Galfer syrup - awful sticky stuff. Will finish the bottle and see if I can get a Tigger like bounce...