Saturday, November 30, 2013


Rest day today.

Work and then out in Galway for the evening for a nice meal and a few beers.

Friday, November 29, 2013

I see your 6 and raise you to 8

My training wingman arrived bang on time for this threshold session. I'd geared myself up for 6 x 5 mins but in mentioning that to Fintan it was quickly raised to 8 x 5 mins (by him not me). Bugger. A 2.2km warm-up and then straight into it off the bog standard 60 seconds recovery. The first one felt okay, but the next 3 I was feeling very flat and was hanging on. Then we turned to run the course in reverse and I started to feel much better. I'm not sure how that can happen - I must have started burning some good petrol or something. Anyway, I was running like a changed man and instead of hanging on, I was now holding back. Here are the paces per km for each of the 5 minute efforts:

3:22 / 3:23 / 3:21 / 3:23 / 3:20 / 3:20 / 3:18 / 3:20

All up 18.3kms with a 3.6km warm-down. I have to say I love this session - I really think it's starting to bring on my running and it's a session that's tough but manageable.

Later in the day and my legs were in bits - both calves were screaming. I clearly haven't recovered from the half. A few Guinness in the evening should loosen them off a bit...

Thursday, November 28, 2013

The 6:35 from Claregalway

Another early start of 6:35am with Fintan, Sean and Gearoid for company. Lovely conditions for running but very dark and to be honest it still wasn't that light when the run was over. The biggest shock of the day was that there were no pitstops. All up 14.8kms in 1:06:46 (4:31's).

I've agreed to run some 5 minute reps tomorrow with Fintan. The legs still don't feel right after the half so not sure if that was the best of ideas.

Talking of the half, here's a photo of me finishing the race - I think I was quite happy!

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Gone to pot

I was planning to meet John at the track for a session but thankfully he had already done his session so I took the easy option to run locally with a 10.8km trot at 4:25/km pace. The knee feels really good at the moment - the knee behaved during the half and the 2 rest days either side of that have helped with recovery no end.

A game of snooker after that. Played well and hit lots of 20 odd breaks but couldn't string together a biggie. In the last frame I hit a 40, then missed a tricky black, before returning for a 30 break and then missing a sitter in the middle...

Early run with the lads planned tomorrow.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Chu Beers

Another rest day - that's 4 in 5 days now. I'll try and get back into it starting tomorrow.

Instead it was work, then home, then some catch-up TV, then bed. There were 2 beers in there somewhere also (just to ensure a good nights sleep).

Monday, November 25, 2013


Legs quite sore today - no running!

A bit of pottering around today. Back to the snooker hall in the afternoon for more fun with the youngster. On the table next to us was the local Norwich snooker professional Barry Pinches. I had a brief chat with him but Conor was too shy to have his picture taken. Talking of snooker, as I suspected ROS won the Champion of Champions tournament yesterday evening. He didn't have it all his own way - beating both Ding and Neil Robertson in the deciding frame in the quarters and semis, before overturning a 5-3 deficit against Stuart Bingham to go on to win 10-8. That said, I reckon Ronnie was only at about 80% of his game so watch out if he hits full form.

A bit more shopping and then the long journey back to Galway in the evening. Home by 1:30am and in bed by 2. Knackered.

Sunday, November 24, 2013

City of Norwich Half Marathon

I arrived at the venue with just over 30 minutes to the start of the race. A big crowd in attendance having been sold out of the maximum 3,000 entrants 6 weeks before the race. The conditions were okay - wet and quite breezy - but compared to the 2 previous years you'd take them. I did a few kms warm-up and bumped into Piers Arnold a fellow CoNACer and as we were both targeting similar times we decided to try and stick together in the race.

With a few minutes to go I lined up having shed my extra layers. A guy called Ben Russell was the stand-out runner, with a few others that I recognised that would be there or thereabouts. At 11am on the knocker we were underway.

Ben immediately took up the running leaving me in a group of 3 that included Wayne Lincoln and Piers who were all in the red and yellow vests. We were a bit undecided as to whether we should go with Ben, or stick to our own pace and the latter was decided upon until we had the feedback of the first mile. Upon exiting the showground we passed the first marker in 5:29 and that being target pace it seemed sensible for Ben to run his own race and for us to settle into the group.

The 2 lap course today was definitely easier on the first half of each loop. We had the benefit of the wind and the profile of the course means that there is more downhill and flat sections compared to the second half of the loop where you gradually climb back up to the showground. Race-wise not much was happening - I was doing most of the front-running with Piers and Wayne behind me. The next few miles were all around 5:20 and Ben was slowly disappearing up the road in front of us.

The pace certainly slowed when we hit the drags and wind. We were now running 6 minute miles - some of that might have been tactical as none of us wanted to push this part of the course. As we ran through the showground we were getting some great support and at one point I almost took a wrong turn before adjusting my line. I was enjoying this and knew that I still had plenty of running in my legs.

Upon exiting the showground I was quite surprised to find that another runner had latched on to our group - Dominic Blake from Reepham Road Runners. So now there was 4 of us - with me still leading them out. My plan was a simple one - I was going to push the first half of the loop and see what happened. Sure enough I tried a few surges but Piers was sticking with me - but I had at least opened up a small gap on Dominic and Wayne.

Through Easton and the left-hand turn to be greeted with a long gradual climb. I again pushed hard and decided to surge up the hill. Sure enough this time I got away from Piers and I ran hard for the next mile. That move was all well and good but I still had the guts of over 4 miles to run for home. I was sensible and would attack the quick parts of the course, and then sit back and cruise for a while. I knew from the gaps in the crowd support that I probably had a 15 to 20 second break and I maintained that through to 11 miles where I suddenly started to struggle.

I suppose it was inevitable as I hadn't done the proper training - the legs were feeling heavy and it was on the toughest part of the course at the business end of the race. It was a case of gritting it out. By this stage I was lapping a few back markers so there support helped me to remain focused and I was breaking the remaining run down into segments of 1 minute - I knew that with around 12 x 1 minutes of discomfort and I was home.

Again good support on entering the showground. I knew from the first lap that the last 800m were going to be course and wind friendly so if I could keep second spot until that point I was fairly confident that I could hold my position. I was all over the place and was looking round at every opportunity to see the gap behind me. Basically it was bloody obvious that I was struggling. Through the grassy/muddy 50m section for the third time and then into the wind. Somehow I managed to hold on and when I took a left hand turn for the final 800m I knew I was okay. I ran as hard as I could and tried to lap up the finishing line atmosphere as much as I could. Another left hand turn, another glance behind, then the final run in down the finishing chute. I eased up approaching the line and threw the arms in the air like I had won the race. In my mind I had!

The time was 1:13:11 so okay. I'd say the conditions were worth a minute plus so that makes it look a little more respectable. Delighted with the position - my previous placings in the last 3 years were 5th, 3rd and 5th. Great to run well in front of family and friends, plus all the support from the CoNAC club around the course. Couldn't have been happier. The standard was a little soft this year - but you can only race against the ones that show up...

All up 25.1kms with warm-up and down. Here are the splits:

1m 5:29
2m 5:23
3m 5:30
4m 5:22
5m 5:41 (27:25)
6m 5:52
7m 5:54
8m 5:30
9m 5:19
10m 5:23 (27:58 / 55:23)
11m 5:34
12m 5:56
13.1m 6:18

Total 1:13:11

A few thank yous - firstly to CoNAC and RP for the invite to run. I dare say I'll be back again next year. Thanks for all the support on the course. Thanks to Jason and Ian for the massages that have kept me on the road. Thanks to AK for the new racing flats. Thanks to the wife for letting me disappear for the weekend. Thanks to my training partners - plus to anyone else I've forgotten.

That's just over 70kms for the week - not bad with 3 rest days!

Out in the evening for a few more real ales. Finishing on the 6 per cent stuff this time. My mate went to the bar and said he wanted something strong and cheap and came back with something you could fuel industrial machines on. Which was nice. Plus a pork pie for the cab ride home.

Saturday, November 23, 2013

That's how it starts

Another day of passing time. Couldn't see the point in running for 30 minutes so that's 2 complete rest days before the race tomorrow.

I took the young lad up the city with the old man and he had his first experience of a proper snooker hall (where I used to cut my teeth). Being only 5 he isn't quite ready for the full size tables but we spent an hour on the pool table. He's got a fair bit of talent for it - must have got that from his mother.

A meal in town and a bit of shopping and that was that. I declined the invite to go drinking in the evening and instead stayed in to watch the snooker. I've turned sensible in my old age.

Cricket is now a disaster. England will lose this test and now have to fight back in the city of churches. Talking of Adelaide, I could murder a few Coopers...

Friday, November 22, 2013

Travel and pub crawl

Up at 4am for the trek to Norwich. Just over 6 hours later and I had arrived A bit of catching up with the family in the afternoon and then a pub crawl in the evening. The real ale scene in Norwich is brilliant and after sampling a few 3% ales, I then moved up on to the 4% stuff, and then finished on the head wrecking 5% plus stuff. Woke up with a bit of a sore head the next day...

Ronnie playing well in the Champion of Champions tournament. I can't see anyone touching him.

The cricket has turned ugly...

Thursday, November 21, 2013


Early morning run with Fintan and Owen. All good and ran our usual course in mostly darkness. All up 15.0kms in 1:06:56 (4:27's).

That's it now until the race on Sunday. I'm targeting 1hr 12 or thereabouts and for once the weather forecast doesn't look too bad.

England made an okay start to the Ashes...

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Final speed session

Mid-morning session on the treadmill. Having done 10 x 800 last week I thought I'd do something similar so decided on 800's again but with a tapered down number of reps of 6. After a 4km warm-up and some stretching I went straight into it. Felt comfortable throughout - perhaps not as good as last week but I think the treadmill I was on was performing at more honest levels. I was running at 3:04/km pace so around 2:27ish for each 800 then repeating the effort off a rolling 3.5 minutes (so 63 seconds rest to be exact). A warm-down of 4.0kms to give me 12.8kms.

After changing I then head to walk home as the car was being serviced. Well the walk turned into a bit of a run as I had to pick up the daughter and I probably slow jogged at least another 3kms. Not a good luck fully clothed and was ready for another shower when I got home.

Cricket starts tonight but I won't be watching much as I have a 6:35am run booked in the morning. I may get up a bit earlier and watch a few overs before the run - we'll see. My prediction for the series is a 3-0 England win (the same as the last series in England). Barmy Army!

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Random thoughts

No running today - rest day and all that.

As I suspected, Taylor won the darts on the weekend. He was in simply sensational from and not even Lewis averaging 110.9 in the semis could challenge him. On this form he's looking odds on for another world title.

In snooker news Selby beat O'Sullivan in the final of the Antwerp Open. The Rocket was 3-1 up in the final but lost the deciding frame to go down 4-3 to the Jester. Ronnie didn't even look like he was trying and was playing it more like an exhibition match so when he clicks into matchplay mode, there isn't going to be anyway who can touch him. I certainly wouldn't bet against him getting his 6th world title.

And the cricket starts tomorrow evening. I can only see one winner - the Aussies seem to have put all their energy in hyping up the series and I dare say they'll flop come the first test at the Gabba. They certainly talk a good game, especially their retired pundits, but they don't seem to be able to do it on the field of play. I can't wait for it and to think it was 6 years ago when I did 4 of the 5 test matches in Australia. Now let me tell you there was some proper drinking done on that liver is twitching just thinking about it.

Monday, November 18, 2013

Start of an easy week

The plan was to run for an hour at 4 minute/km pace but quickly realised that the legs weren't up to much after the race yesterday so that wasn't going to happen. Instead settled into a slightly slower pace and ran for 70 minutes. Total 16.5kms at 4:15/km.

A few pictures from the race yesterday thanks to the excellent 77edenhill. I have to share some of these beauties - they capture me at my absolute best....

Here's me dribbling just after the finish:

The pain etched on my face approaching the finish line (note several chins):

And here's one of me looking almost normal as I aquaplane along:

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Abbeyknockmoy 4 Miler

A classic soft day - in other words very, very, wet. After the 20 minute drive to Abbeyknockmoy, I did the pre-race stuff and headed out for a warm-up with Jason Broderick. Back to the club-house to change into my racing flats and with about 10 minutes to go we worked our way up to the start still donning numerous layers. As we were called to the start I dumped my jacket and long-sleeve top and was lining up ready for the off.

The race started and I settled into my running quickly leading out a group of 5. I had been pre-warned that this was to be a race of 2 halves - lots of drags in the first half including what was described as a mile long hill, then some lovely downhills and flat sections to finish with. That proved to be pretty accurate - but the tough start of the race was made worse by the fact that we were also running into the breeze, plus the road was quite narrow, especially after the first right-hand turn where there was the grass median strip, and lots of puddles either side. Anyway, back to the race...

We took the first turn right and I was still leading. Through the first mile in 5:32 and shortly after the group of 5 had been whittled down to 3. Myself, Jason and John took various turns at the front, but nobody was prepared to make any moves on the long uphill mile. To be honest I wasn't feeling great at this point, made worse when John decided to try a surge about halfway up the hill. We all stuck together and normal cat and mouse service was resumed.

Upon reaching the top of the hill we were greeted with the next mile marker (a 6:00 split!). Then another turn right and as soon as we hit the main road the pace was on. Jason took up the running with me in quick pursuit and John fell off the back. I suddenly felt great - I tried a surge which Jason responded to, then another surge with the same result. This was the first time in a long time that it felt like I had a few gears to play with and with another surge I hit the lead and I seized the opportunity to really put the foot down. There followed a lovely downhill section that seemed to go on and on and I continued to run strongly. Through the third mile in 4:57 and still using the hill I was running full tilt. As the hill ended I had a moment of panic as I still probably had the guts of a km to run but luckily the remaining terrain was as flat as you could hope for. I really pushed for home and after a few more turns I could see the finish and with a final mile split of 4:42 I had crossed the line in 21:11 for the win. Jason was back in 2nd about 10 seconds behind with John snatching 3rd.

I'm taking a lot of positives out of this race. Firstly, the quick finish - a 4:42 last mile is sub 3:00/km pace and my Garmin recorded my quickest ever km of 2:54 as part of that mile. Okay it was course and wind assisted but still a nice way to finish. Secondly, the fact that I felt like I had more - I was cruising at the end and would have gone quicker if pushed. Okay the overall time wasn't great but it was a very tough first 2 miles and when the race did spark into life, I had plenty in the tank.

A warm-down of 3.3kms to give me 11.7kms for the day. Absolutely piss wet through by this stage, and then the long wait at the presentation for prizes which I eventually gave up on. Not to worry, a long hot shower when I got home and all was well in the world.

That's 89.4kms for the week. A couple of decent sessions in there plus a good race hit-out so I'm now ready for the half. I'm going to give it a real dig and probably regret that at around the 15km mark but at least I won't die wondering.

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Race Prep

I stretched out the legs with a run after work. The knee was at me again - nightmare - not sure how I've gone backwards as I thought I was over the worst of it. Anyway, a total of 8.0kms in 35:31 (4:26's).

Feeling sorry for myself I headed to the local to throw some darts. It wasn't that pretty, it's one of those games that you need to practice regularly at if not you soon lose your touch. Four pints later I was feeling a bit better so headed home for bed.

A bit of poking and prodding at the left quad also - I'll be okay to race buy not nice to be running in discomfort. Time for another proper massage.

Friday, November 15, 2013

8 x 5 mins off 60 secs

A repeat of the session from last week. This week I managed to recruit Fintan for company who was doing his first speed session in many months. Before we started Fintan had the fore-thought to use the toilet and hey presto, no problems during the session!

A 2.2km warm-up and straight into it. Four efforts going one way, then turned and ran the next 4 in the opposite direction finishing up back at the start. Conditions were very good and I was cruising along nicely running low 3:20/km pace without ever feeling the pinch. I could have run a good bit quicker but I resisted the temptation and stayed at my threshold pace. Here are the paces per km for each 5 minute effort:


I really feel like I'm progressing nicely at the moment and I certainly feel like I'm coming into some form. A good way to put that to the test will be to race on Sunday so we shall see. Fintan ran a very solid session and good to see him back.

All up 18.2kms with warm-down. Fintan can't understand how I can do these sessions by myself but I guess I've just got used to it over the years. Don't get me wrong it's much easier when you have company, but I don't have any problem doing the sessions solo.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

And then there were 4

Early run with Fintan, Owen and new recruit Sean. We had only just got out of the close and Fintan had to take his first comfort break (new PB - must have been less than 2 minutes running by this stage). Lots of chat and after about 30 minutes the darkness had just about cleared. More double-backs later in the run to cater for the incontinent runners - not mentioning names but myself and Sean were in the clear. All up 15.0kms in 1:05:07 (4:20's). Enjoyable stuff.

Our group seems to be swelling and if we can get Gearoid and Conor back then we may yet get the numbers up to 6.

Nothing else to report - had a few beers in the evening whilst watching the darts. Wade gave Nicholson a real towelling beating him 10-1 finishing with a brilliant 125 checkout (bull/semi-bull/bull). Good to see Lewis beat MVG with the sort of scoring that could yet win him more world titles.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

10 x 800 off 60 secs

I had to cancel my planned track session (apologies John) and instead it was a quick dash to the local gym. I initially wanted to run 8 x 800 but I ended up doing 10 as the session didn't seem to be taking anything out of me. I had the treadmill set at 3:05/km pace so the 800's were taking 2:28, and after the first couple it felt way too easy so I moved to another treadmill and that still felt the same. So hence I went from 8 to 10 efforts. Sweating like you wouldn't believe but the breathing and legs felt great. Certainly getting a few strange looks humming along at that pace in a packed gym. Thud, thud, thud, thud - like an elephant.

So either I'm in the shape of my life, or the treadmill isn't to be trusted. I think I know the answer to that. All up 14.0kms with warm-up and down.

Snooker in the evening. Played okay in patches but kept missing the key balls to go on and make the big breaks. Frustrating. Mike played well and hit his highest break of 30.

Spotify is great for anyone who hasn't tried it. I've been listening to some decent new albums from the likes of Arcade Fire, The National, Moby and Gary Numan (of course). And the basic version is free which is great if you're a tight-arse like me. Talking of music, I head back to Norwich the weekend after next and The Wedding Present are playing on the Thursday night. All being well I may just be able to wangle that...

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

A nowt day

No run. Work, home, fry-up. That's about all.

Monday, November 11, 2013

90 minutes

A solo long run today. Perfect conditions for running and my plan was to run for 90 minutes and get that pace up towards my easy run pace of 4 minute clicks. Felt great from the off and I was ticking over very nicely going through 10km in 40:18, then 39:50 for the next 10km. Then added a bit extra on at the end to give me 22.5kms all up in 1:30:01 (4:00/km). Felt fresh which is to be expected when I've being doing bugger all volume.

The knee is still behaving - probably around a 2 out of 10 on the pain scale which is way down on where I was at only a week and a half ago. Gotta be happy with that.

The plan is to run my track session on Wednesday this week (due to a change in work hours). Then I'll have a look to see if there are any races about on Sunday. Hopefully I can find something and have a bit of a blow-out before the Norwich half.

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Mileage Down

An easy run of an hour today. I was going to go longer but I plan a long run tomorrow so no point doubling up. Total 14.3kms in 1:00:01 (4:12's). Ticking over nicely and the knee is still as good as it has been lately.

Only 69.6kms to report this week. That's fairly pathetic to be honest. I haven't got above 75kms in the last 3 weeks. Be interesting to see what time I can run in the half off such low mileage...

Saturday, November 09, 2013


Another day of no running - I'm in the habit of taking 2 rest days per week at the moment. That's not a bad thing, especially as I have more time to eat and drink...

No races on the local calendar tomorrow so I'll give it a miss this week. It would be nice if I could squeeze in one more race before the half in a couple of weeks time.

Darts on the TV to watch. The Grand Slam of Darts. I can't see anybody beating Taylor at the moment.

Friday, November 08, 2013

8 x 5 mins off 60 secs

I had every intention of doing this session on the treadmill - but awoke to a crisp clear day so decided to run the session on the road. A warm-up of 2.2kms, then straight into it. I was cruising quite nicely running 3:23/km pace for most of the efforts - and I think it was during the third one that I was run off the road by a guy driving a car who clearly wasn't paying any attention to the road. I clipped his wing mirror and had to jump into the hedgerow to avoid being completely swiped. The guy didn't even realise what had happened until he was a bit further down the road then he stopped to see if I was alright. What followed was a short conversation containing lots of expletives. Luckily I was okay and I resumed the session with the heart rate going through the roof...

I only started to feel a little tired during the last couple of 5 minutes, and I had to work hard to bring the last rep in on target pace (even though it was downhill). A warm-down of 3.6kms to give me 18.4kms for the day. I'll do this session again next week and that will be my 2 specific half marathon sessions done! I certainly enjoy these tempo sessions and will stick with them for the remainder of the year to see what impact it has on my running.

Later in the evening I was in Dublin to see Gary Numan at the Button Factory. A cracking gig - only a small venue but was wedged full and the stage was overflowing with equipment and instruments. There were 6 people in the band, plus 2 technicians on stage, and Gary and the band put on a great show. Super stuff.

Thursday, November 07, 2013

I used to run a bit...

Early morning run with Fintan and Owen. Total 15.0kms in 1:06:54 (4:28's). Felt quicker than that but must have been early morning syndrome again.

Had a good conversation with one of the reps in the shop today. He mentioned he used to do a bit of running and I nearly fell over when he mentioned he'd ran a 2:15 London marathon. Said he'd no talent, but just had to work hard at it (120 mile weeks...). He was stuck running 32 minutes for 10km and his big breakthrough was starting a weekly tempo session of 45 minutes on the treadmill. From then on all his times improved and he went on to break 29 for 10km, 64 for the half and 2:15 for the full. Perhaps there's hope for us all!

More on the 50 races, looking through the list I may have to discount one of them as it was a relay stage of a longer race...

Wednesday, November 06, 2013


My mid-week rest day from running.

Instead it was down the snooker hall still searching for that elusive big break. I managed to get my contacts in properly tonight which was a good start. The first few frames were hit and miss, but in the last frame I had a gilt-edged chance for a biggie. It all comes down to bottle and I missed on 40 attempting a long pink which goes to prove I have none. Definitely improving though and it won't be long before something goes my way.

And in other news. just checked through my road race/fun race/call them what you want races and Sunday's win in Corofin was my 50th win since moving to Ireland. So I'll raise my bat to the pavilion and keep plodding away in the attempt to bring up the ton. To put that into context, in 10 years racing in Oz I never won a single race. In fact, I think I only ever made the podium once. Different size pond and all that...

Here are the 50 races:

Tuesday, November 05, 2013

12 x 400 off 30 secs

The weather is starting to get a bit grim but I didn't want to miss out on another track session so off to Dangan I did travel. After a 3.8km warm-up around the roads I went down to the track for the 400's off a short/sharp 30 second recovery. A good group at the front with myself leading, Cian, Donal, John and a few other guys from the University. My plan was not to try and run them eyeballs out, but instead to feel nice and comfortable with the words ringing in my ears from Paul McNamara about distance runners trying to run their speed sessions too quick. I thought 72ish would be fair game so that was my target.

The first one felt grand, and from there on in I was feeling pretty good. About halfway through I increased my recovery to 33 seconds to allow the other runners to fully regroup. The weather was getting worse and it was juicing down for the remaining few laps but by then the countdown was on. Here are the times:


A warm-down with Sean - good to see him back after a 5 month lay-off through injury. My knee behaved nicely and I'm certainly heading in the right direction now. All up 12.4kms.

It felt good tonight - perhaps it was the Argi that young Timmie has me trying - tonight being the first use. Apparently a few of the top tri-guys use it so worth giving it a shot. Mix a spoon with 240ml of water and off you go. And it's legal!

Monday, November 04, 2013


No long run today as I was called in to work. Instead it was a shuffle in the evening to see how the knee was. I knew it had improved as I wasn't getting the pain climbing in and out of the car, getting out of the bath, picking something up off the floor,etc. But the real test is to try a run - I started off tentatively and the discomfort level was way down - not pain free by any stretch of the imagination, but a huge improvement. I gradually ratcheted up the pace and I was soon ticking over nicely. Despite the typical Irish conditions, you couldn't wipe the smile off my face. Finally! Total 9.5kms in 40:27 (4:15's).

So assuming I can keep on top of this, I plan to run the Norwich Half Marathon on Nov 24th. The last couple of years the conditions have been absolutely horrendous, so I'm hoping it will be third time lucky. I won't be in great half shape, but should still be able to run sub 1:14 and in the process try and keep some of the younger lads honest.

I forgot to mention my weekly kms for last week - a whopping 73.5. I know that's low but I've always been able to run some decent times for 5km and 10km off that volume of training. My plan is to try and be a little healthier in the lead up to the half and I may even try to drop a few kgs.

Here were my splits from Corofin:

1km 3:12
2km 3:14
3km 3:21
4km 3:19 (13:06)
5km 3:14
6km 3:19
7km 3:23
8km 3:09 (13:05)

Total 26:11

And here's a photo of me approaching the finish line (courtesy of Edenhill):

Sunday, November 03, 2013

Corofin 8km

Arrived in time to quickly register and run a mile as warm-up. Conditions were as good as you could wish for - hardly and breeze and a nice, fresh, crisp day. Shared a few jokes at the start line and soon we were off and running. I immediately hit the lead as we ran in a straight line for the first 3km. There were a few ups and downs, but the course was predominantly flat and I was ticking along nicely at well under sub 3:20/km pace.

The knee felt good which was odd as I'm definitely limping a tiny bit walking on it. It must be the adrenaline rush of racing at full whack. I had nobody for company and by the time I made the first left-hand turn just through 3km I could see the lead car just up the road waiting for me so that gave me something to focus on.

At halfway I was still running well and I even entertained the fact of breaking 26 minutes with a strong run home. I had been pre-warned that the section from 4 to 5kms was the toughest, but my split of 3:14 indicated that I can actually run the long drags when I put my mind to it. After rounding the next left-hand turn it was all about remaining focused for the last 3km.

Sure enough at 6km I started to wobble. The legs were feeling a little heavier and a disappointing split of 3:22 through to 7km meant that the sub 26 was gone. The last km is a real gem and as I ran back into the village, there is a slight right-hand turn, followed by a lovely downhill run home.I really pushed the last 600m and I was a little perplexed when a supporter mentioned that I should just dip under 27. Sure enough I crossed the line with 26:48 showing on the clock Vs my watch time of 26:11. I know which one I prefer so I'm not sure what happened there!

A good solid run, especially with nobody for company. As mentioned conditions were perfect so there were pros and cons. I think that at least indicates I'm back in sub 33 10km shape which is where I want to be. After the race I did a warm-down with Ian who had to listen to my knee woes. A total of 4.4km later I was done - 14.0kms for the day.

More on the knee - I convinced Ian to call into my house on the way back to Claregalway to have a look at the you know what (Ian is a qualified deep tissue massager). My exact words were "Go as hard as you can (fnarr, fnarr....)". Anyway, after putting a minuscule amount of pressure on the inside of my left quad I was already on the ceiling crying like a baby. Man, that pain was something else. Anyway, after 15 minutes of rubbing and pressing the muscle had let off a good bit. It was almost like letting off a pressure valve and I could notice an immediate improvement on the knee. I have a few things to do now to try and keep on top of it - foam rolling, ice rolling, self-massage on the sore spots, anti-inflamms, etc. Hopefully I can get back to running in less pain in the coming weeks. Thanks Ian - the beers are waiting for you when you return from the volcano marathon!

Saturday, November 02, 2013

Beer and curry

I took another rest day today. Just didn't have it in me to go for a run. Instead it was a takeaway curry and 5 beers. Now you won't find that race preparation in many copybooks as I'm planning to give the 8km out at Corofin a go tomorrow. No idea how I'll go and it's sure to give the knee a real test...

Just looking through a few photos from the terrific Edenhill this evening. Here's one from the recent 10km in Loughrea with Freya Murray in the background:

Friday, November 01, 2013


Squeezed in a few kms after work in the dark. A total of 8.4kms in 36:50 (4:23's). Left knee giving me a fair bit of pain - I haven't run pain-free now in several months. Something has to give...