Monday, November 29, 2010

Bizarrely Out of Results!

Not that it matters too much, but I went on to the Leenane 5 mile website to see what my actual result was, only to find out that I have been blotted from all records!  So has my running partner, Dara... I'm guessing that we are the two ?? at the 40minute mark, but since we finished together I wonder why there's a few seconds difference in the records?!

Monday, November 22, 2010

Leenane 5 Mile Run.

Finishing the Leenane run in fine spirits with Dara.
Leenane, or Líonán (as us speakers of Gaelic know it!), is the most picturesque of little Irish villages.  Situated at the foot of the Maam Turk Mountains in the west of Ireland, it boasts a view out over our country's one and only fjord - Killary.  Oscar winning films, such as 'The Field' and 'The Quiet Man' have been shot on location in or around this village, so, without any doubt it's offically a 'beautiful spot!'.  It can also be an isolated part of the country - a few years ago the main bridge connecting the village with it's nearest big town collapsed, a fate that meant ridiculously long journeys for the simplest of services (doctors etc). Thankfully the bridge was rebuilt and the community pulled together since to ensure that an ambulance service be provided in the area.  One of their fundraising drives is the annual Leenane 5 miler (annual since last year!) which took place yesterday!

Dara, myself, Setanta and Big Ron - a good day for all!
The day itself was gorgeous - one of those sunny winter days when a photo can subtract the cold and almost make it look like June.  There were over a hundred competitors and Rónán and I travelled out with our good wives to be amongst the great and the good.  A mate of Rónán's, Setanta, was parked and ready to go by the time we arrived.  Big Ron is seriously flying it these days and is actually in the hunt for honours whenever there is a small field such as this (he will humbly deny this fact but a fifth place finish yesterday exposes all humility methinks).  I didn't feel too great to start off with yesterday - bit of headache, but once I got going I was fine.  After mile one I caught up with a friend of mine, Dara, a fit man who was running his first ever race, and decided to run along with him for the remainder.  This turned out to be a very wise move, for as the saying goes 'giorraíonn beirt bóthar' (or to all you who still have to learn Irish:  two people shorten the road).  And boy, this road needed shortening....! Firstly we ran out of the village, heading towards Westport.  This part was fine, but a horseshoe loop of Glann, between miles 2-3.5, was very tough.  Thank God for Dara's company, for the stories kept our minds off the hill for sure!  I don't know what our finishing times were (had no watch), but all will be revealed on the local club's website next Wednesday.  I reckon we were in around the 40minutes.  As for Rónán, he finished in 31 minutes (5th, as mentioned earlier).  Setanta also ran a great race, finishing in 37minutes.  Now, I really should start running more than once a week again....
Route:  Leenane
Distance:  5 miles
Pace:  Around 8min or just sub.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Darver 4 Miler.

D bravely feeds a horse in the wee county!
I have been suffering from a dose of the post marathon blues these past two weeks, so getting back to the racing circuit was just what the doctor ordered.  Darver is a lovely little village in mid-County Louth, not far from where my wife hails.  Today's event was a cross-country four miler, on the grounds of the Louth County Football team's training pitches.  It was a tough route - with man made mucky hills, watery turns and sections of gravely path.  Worst of all, there were only about thirty competitors and they all seemed to be super athletes.  At the start we had to run up a steep hill - we went off like the hammers of hell. I realised half way up this hill that the pace was ridiculously fast for me, but I went with it for a while.  The course consisted of four one mile laps, and quite honestly I felt like quitting half way through the first one!  Sense prevailed, however, so I slowed up significantly and concentrated on my own pace.  Looking over my shoulder I could see about seven others behind me, and I was sure enough that I could stay ahead.  So I bedded in!  It turns out that I completed the run in 29.08mins - about 7.20min pace.  This was a bit of a shocker for me - I thought I was way slower during the run, but the field was so fast that it made any normal run feel like a plod!
Route:  Darver Cross Country
Pace:  7.20mins
Satisfaction:  6/10

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

T'was a sweet one...

There I am enjoying my 20th pint of the year, two weeks ago after the Dublin City Marathon... Four more pints left in this year!

I've been slack enough on the running front lately - my last trot was a three miler on Friday.  I hope to do a four mile run up in Darver in Louth this weekend and that might jumpstart things again...

Thursday, November 4, 2010

New Book Review

Just after reviewing 'Diary of a Bad Year' by J.M Coetzee in my reviews column on the right hand side of this blog....

Monday, November 1, 2010

First Run Since Marathon...

There I am, strutting my stuff in the Dublin City Marathon last week!
Got back on the horse today, well, back on the treadmill at least.  I had every intention to go for a real run in the fresh air this weekend but alas I caught a mild head cold so I waited for that to pass, and hopped up on my treadmill this evening.  I pressed some wrong button on the phoney road, so instead of running a nice and easy three miler I was propelled to a sprint every few minutes!  To be honest, I didn't mind...whatever way I got back to running was fine with me!  I'm still delighted with last Monday's marathon, and still clueless as to what the next challenge will be - though I think I'll look around for a short race somewhere local enough...
The sheer joy of crossing the line in Dublin - I was still unsure of my official time at that point, but I knew it was a good bit better than the race clock of 3.45.45 (it took us nearly two minutes to get from back of the pack to cross the start line).  As it happens, 3.43.57, was better than I ever imagined.

Distance: 3 miles
Route:  The False Road
Pace:  Quick, slow, quick, slow...
Satisfaction:  7/10 (just happy to be back at it...)