Monday, February 27, 2012

A chocolate bar in the middle of a long run?

Five miles into an eight mile run I decided to stop at a shop and buy a mars bar and a bottle of water.  I slugged them both back and then trotted on home.  Weird, I know.  The new mars bar approach to running came about due to some bad preparation earlier!  I had the day off, and had an inkling that I would do my 20 miler run, so I had a bowl of porridge at 10, fully intent on heading off on my run two hours later.  But, following a cup of coffee up at the local café, and a cup of tea with Big Ron, I kept putting this mammoth run off.  Eventually, I got out the door at 3pm - with pangs of hunger!  Lesson one from today:  if you don't fuel up properly you will weaken quickly!  My route was basicially just around the village - from one tip of the peninsula to the other and back again.  At Dóilín beach I decided to trek along the strand to where the old pier is, rather than double back  up the road again.  This route brings you to a raggedy old road that is serious incline from the old pier back to the main road again.  I had brought a few quid along for fear that I might need to buy water somewhere during the long run but, as I trekked up that incline, I decided on two things:  1)  I will not run 20 miles, nor near it!  2)  I NEED CHOCOLATE!  So, back to the village, into the local shop and, mars bar and bottle of water later, I'm on the last leg home... Still a very enjoyable run, and I'll live to fight another day on the old 20mile front.   This, coupled with an interval on Saturday makes for a good enough past few days.
The picture above is of a little whale that washed up on our local beach.  The poor thing.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Wild Seas at Salthill...

I haven't been feeling the best these past few days, so I've reluctantly cancelled running appointments with Conor in the hope that I'd shake back into top gear.  However, I couldn't afford to wait too long (marathon on the horizon), so I went for a run on the Salthill prom after work this evening.  Just over five miles.  The weather was wild and the seas were very rough (I have exaggerated with this pic but, not far off!).  I headed west against the wind on my way out.  It's hard to describe this to non runners, but nothing, and I mean nothing, beats these kind of runs.  On my way from work a colleague said 'better you than me - I wouldn't go outside the door in this weather!'... The only tough part is the getting out there, being out there is just fantastic.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Five and Half Miles of Lactic Loosening!

Following Thursday's 18miler I took a break on Friday and got back into the saddle (well, into my runners) for a 5.5 mile jaunt up and down the local village.  This was TOUGH.  My legs clearly have a mind of their own and they did not want to be out on the road yesterday, so soon after the 18 mile run.  At every step they were screaming 'nnnoooo',  On the other hand, my brain was well up for a run yesterday.  It was a bright and beautiful February day - a real Spring day.  For once Ireland seems to be getting the very best of Europe's weather.  The big rugby match in Paris between Ireland and France was called off, while the English and Italians played on a snow covered pitch.  Meanwhile, on this island I was running around An Cheathru Rua in bright sunshine!  Now, why would the legs have any complaint about that?

Thursday, February 9, 2012

18 Miles!

I'm not long back from a great 18 mile run - legs are sore, belly is slightly uncomfortable, fatigue is setting in but ooooooooooooooohhhhhhhhhhhhhh my God I feel great.  Can you beat that feeling of actually conquering a long distance run?  
Just as I did for my last long run (16 miles a few weeks ago) I just togged from work and ran out of the city towards Bearna.  This evening was a little drizzly and there was a slight wind in my face on the way out, but nothing too drastic.  Strange for me to say this - but I've actually been listening to an ipod on some of my solo runs lately, and for a man who never listened to music while running, well, I'm warming to it.  There was a specific reason for the ipod though - I don't have one of those garmins, so I've been judging my distance by time and checking it back on an ipod related measuring tool after!  I'm normally bang on with time - my pace was 8.30ish so 18 miles would clock in between 2h 35 mins and 2h 40.  And so it was!
Anyway - back to the ipod... I listened to a few Gillian Welch albums, one after the other, when all of a sudden one earphone went kaput, quickly followed by the other (cheap earphones).  It didn't bother me at all though - I'm still a no-earphone man in general.  
I was steady and strong for most of this run, though I did find it more difficult than the previous long run.  The Barcelona marathon is a month and a half away - I've still got a good bit of time to strengthen the legs.  There was nothing left in them by the time I reached my car this evening!

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Five Miles Interval.

My idea was to head off after work for a long run.  See where the road would lead me.  Only two weeks ago I did a 16 mile run using this very tactic - but it's been short distances since.  So time for another long run.  However, much to my annoyance I discovered that I had left my gear at home!  My work is a long oul commute so by the time I finally reached home it was dark and definitely not long distance running time.  Weighing it all up, I decided to swop a long session with an interval!  So five miles of hard threadmill running was the order of the evening.  And I did fine - survived anyway.  The great thing about interval running (or repeats as some call them) is that they break the monotony of the threadmill.  A straight run on that yoke is just sheer hell.  Another big benefit of the intervals is that you do feel a different kind of buzz after these runs, and they certainly bring your fitness on a good bit. So, box ticked on the interval front - and the long road will live for another day!