Sunday, July 31, 2011

A Good Week!

The Run a Month Club from our April Days... Kevin (Centre) and I cycled a fair distance today, in training for our cross-Ireland cycling adventure...!

Today I was accompanied by brother Kevin on a 50kish cycle (I need to consult google maps for an exact km figure) from Pointe to Leitir Mealláin and back, for what was the end of a great week of training.  Yesterday I went off to Seanféistín for an 11 mile run all by my lonesome on a windy and rainy July afternoon (do we get any other kind of day around here!).  I felt great during yesterday's run - I took it at a steady pace, around 8.30mins, but never felt weak.  This has been my best week of training for some time - including intervals on Tuesday, a tough tempo on Wednesday, a long cycle on Thursday and another today.  I'm beginning to get in good shape again - thank God!  Today's cycle had the dual effect of being A) a good bit of cross training and B) a major psychological plus as we head into the two week countdown for our cross-Ireland cycling adventure!

Friday, July 29, 2011

Tough Tempo and Twenty Five Mile Cycle.

A good start to the tempo season with Conor in Seanféistín

I went out to Seanféistín on Wednesday evening with Conor, with a tempo run in mind:  1 mile easy, 4 miles fast and 1 mile slow.  We chatted merrily for mile one and then Conor turned to me and said; 'do whatever pace you feel like for the tempo and I'll follow'.  So off I went, like the clappers.  Seanféistín is an unforgiving road which goes from one uphill climb to another and I was like a fool for a mile and a half running at a pace I had no hope to maintain.  By the time I reached the end of the first 1.5 mile my pace dropped dramatically.  I picked it up again at the turn, but then had to stop completely!  The shame!  I didn't stop for too long though and was off again, but at a steadier pace.  I finished the the tempo with a strong mile - thanks to a prolonged downhill stretch...On Thursday I took to the bike with my legs still aching from Wednesday's run... I cycled for two hours and covered a distance of 40km - which I'm happy enough about... however, I'll need to be covering three times that each day just to get to Louth for my planned epic holiday adventure!

Monday, July 25, 2011

First Intervals of the Year...

Started interval training this evening:  10 min warm up, followed by 5 by 1km reps at pace, with short break between each.  Now I really feel like I'm training!

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Run A Month Club: VICTORY!!!!

Victory in Cuigéal 5mile Run!  Kevin came third - so a great result for the 'Run a  Month Club'!

Well, well, well... just when we were in danger of running out of racing opportunities to fulfill our July commitment to the run-a-month club, up pops a race that I actually win!  And Kevin came third - two O Hara boys in the top three!  Yes, the Cuigéal 5mile Race may have been low on competitors but a win is a win!  It was an extremely tough race - flat for the first mile and full of hills from then on!  I found myself out in front from about the two mile mark and extended my lead between that and mile 3.  Then, however, I became a paranoid android - wondering how far behind me my nearest competitor was!  This paranoia pushed me to produce my quickest run for some time - I attacked all the hills with gusto and really felt knackered on the home stretch... it was lovely to come in 1st and great to see Kevin come third.  Well done to everyone involved in organising this race - I'll be back next year to defend the title!  On another matter:  I brought the bike for a test cycle today, just an hour and a half... I know now that I'll need to do a fair bit of bike training before I can cycle across Ireland... 3 weeks to the deadline!

Friday, July 22, 2011

Four Miles and a Wicked Plan.

On a warm but breezy day I did a  nice four miler in Seanféistín with Conor.  He's quite a character... several years ago he took to running in a big way and is now within nearly a year of completing 100 marathons... so far, he's at number 70, and just trotted out five marathons in five days last week!  I felt a little embarrassed restricting the man to a four mile run, but as it happens the short distance suited us both this evening. I'm within three weeks now of my annual 'big' holiday, and I've hatched a wicked plan:  I intend to cycle across Ireland in three days, from An Cheathrú Rua to County Louth, from where my good wife hails.  I made my plans known last night and to my pleasant surprise brother Kevin said he'd join me - so good laughs ahead, though it will be one hell of a challenge!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

And Just Like That...

Blue sky day for the prodigal son...

as if nothing had ever happened.  As if no void had ever existed, no gap to close, no long pause to reset... As if nothing... the road arises to forgive it's prodigal son.  'You've been away, but I'm glad you're back... run on, I'll keep wind and rain away and I'll clear your lungs and rattle the rust out of your chest... go on, run five miles easy'.  And so I did... out the door, down towards the lighthouse, turning towards the village... I hoped for three miles, but soon settled in to five.  It was fantastic to be back, after over a week off - first through work, then flu, then work again.  Running into all kinds of excuses, I could have dodged this evening's run, 'not yet right, still tired, another evening's rest, working too late...'  But God spared me sense and up I got.  Loved every minute.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Cut Down in the Prime of My Running Summer.

To those many thousands of you who have wondered this past week 'where has the Connemara Bullet gone?', I say this:  fear not, I have not retired, or died, or gone to prison for grand theft and larceny, or run off with another woman for a simpler life in the Faroe Islands... plainly and simply, I have been cut down in the prime of my running summer, by a achy summer flu/cold (insert appropriate term depending on sex - male: flu, female: cold).  I've had this nasty yoke for the past four days now and feel it's finally clearing, though I'll stay away from running until Monday at least.  So ends the Connemara Bullet-in.

Friday, July 8, 2011

3 Miles Wednesday, 5 Miles Today...

'An tOileáinín' (the little island) - my grandfather had seaweed rights on this  Atlantean paradise!

I ran but didn't blog on Wednesday - nothing too hectic, just a three mile jaunt up and down the road.  I stretched the same route to 5 miles today and felt strong enough.  At the bottom of the road, just before the turn, I could get a clear view of the little island just off the shore at Pointe.  The tide was out so far that you could walk to this island - as I'm told my grandfather did in days of yore to gather seaweed.  In them days every house had seaweed rights along the shore and our's would have been on the little island.  How times have changed!  I decided to run the hills hard this evening - a sure sign that the pace of training is picking up a bit!  Felt good, probably looked awful!

Sunday, July 3, 2011

8 Miles with Conor in Seanféistín...

After my run I went for a walk to the rock, where angler's, like Rhona, were looking for supper...

It's been about 8 months since I've had the pleasure of Conor's company on the plains of Seanféistín, but, it being that time of year, I was glad to meet up with him on Ros a mhíl cross this evening, for what would turn out to be a tough 8 miler for me (and 12 for him).  Conor is way ahead fitness-wise, and intends to run 5 marathons in 5 days next week.  This evening's 8 miler was the longest run I've had for some time.  We started off brightly and I felt good for about 3 miles.  Seanféistín is a real test - the first 2 miles are all up hill, and while there are some downs the course puts you through your paces.  I had only intended to run 6, but decided to go another 2 miles, so I said my goodbyes to Conor and turned at the four mile mark to head back for base.  On the turn I hit a 'wobbly' - my legs were like jelly beneath me and I slowed to a tortoise jog.  I had hoped for a second wind but it was a struggle all the way back.  Truth be told, I even stopped to walk at the hardest of climbs, with only 2 miles to go.  Mind won over matter though and I quickly picked myself up and ran the rest of  the way home - glad to have completed an 8 miler, but with the clear knowledge that I NEED TO DISCIPLINE MY TRAINING!