Monday, May 28, 2012

Sunday Morning 5.

9am isn't early, but for a Sunday morning it's not too bad!  I was awake from 8 and sipping some coffee when I decided I'd get a good early run in.  My fear was that the day would become too hot for pale skins like me, so there was really only a small window for a decent run.  So out the door I went, down towards the lighthouse and then back around and up the village - 5miles in all, at about 8.40 pace.  I felt the heat even at that early time...  It took a wee while to get into any kind of stride at all but I eventually got accustomed to the day and began to enjoy myself.This was the first week in some time now that I've strung three runs together - albeit short distances (4, 2 and 5).  However, lob a 25k cycle into the mix and it hasn't really been too bad. 

The country goes to the polls on Friday next to vote on the EU Fiscal Stability Treaty.  What a joke.  If we vote no then we'll probably have to vote again in a few months time to see if we can deliver the answer our politicians want and if we vote yes then we will have solidified our role as the lapdogs of Europe.  I'm seriously toying with the idea of turning up to the voting booth and drawing a picture of an arse on my polling card.  Animation terrorism.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Here Comes the Sun!

Little Darling, it's been a mild, damp, overcast winter...

Yes folks, had George Harrison lived in Ireland in 2012 (and I have to say at this point that the great man had more than a wee dollop of Irish blood running through his veins), then for sure the verses of his classic song would have been spoilt by less dramatic adjectives than 'long, cold, lonely...'.  The chorus, however, would have led to the same conclusion, for here, my friends, comes the sun!  It is scorchingly hot in Ireland these days (some areas claiming up to 26 degree heat yesterday).  So we're getting out there cutting lawns, licking ice lollies, clipping hedges, and getting bogger tans*.  

Some of us are running.

Personally I can't run in the heat.  So my choices are:  get up very early in the morning (not happening these days), or else wait for the evening sun (same sun but without the attitude problem).  Let's face it, I'm a pale skinned, freckly faced, redheaded (slightly red, greying a bit) Irish man - I wasn't made for mediterannean heat, but I'll take a week of it if it's going.  

I haven't posted here as often as I would have wished lately - these past few weeks have been hectic with other things:  a family wedding in Louth and the sudden death of another friend (this is the third occasion this year - truly an annus horribilis).  Her passing took a lot out of us all, she was a very special, beautiful person.  It is time now to honour her memory and that of the others who have passed on by enjoying life in the way that she did.

I went for a 25k cycle with Mark on Monday - absolute heaven.  We circled Ros a Mhíl, looping back in to Carraroe.  This was my first real cycle of the year and I enjoyed it immensly.  This August I'll do my Conamara - Louth cycle again, and believe it or not I'll be joined by at least 20 others this year!

On Tuesday I went out after work to run four miles on the prom.  I hadn't run for nearly two weeks (longest gap for quite a long time) and if truth be known I was feeling the after effects of funeral and wedding drinkage (no such word but there should be), so I found this run tough.  All the same it was enjoyable - it's hard to beat the prom for an atmosperhic run.  

Yesterday, I resorted to interval training on the treadmill!  A sin, I know, in this fine weather, but I've been choc a bloc with house preparation (our students are coming in a week) so I felt it was the easiest thing to do (while trying to man the cooking station!).  A decent long run this weekend could complete an ideal week!

*Bogger Tan:  a tan, unique to the Irish male, which consists arms being burnt up to the point where a short sleve shirt would have been!  Particularly synonymous with the man who cuts turf(peat) on the bog!

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Feeling it on Seanadh Phéistín

Bog cotton on Seanadh Phéistín... from last summer.

Two things:  1) I need to change my runners, 2) I need to establish a better running routine. 

Not doing either of the above has seriously affected my running lately.  Now, I know there is no excuse for me not to change runners but lately domestic bills have been given priority over my pavement pounding, with the result that I'm practically running on the soles of my feet along the hard concrete grounds of Conamara.  I'm convinced that this is what gave me a sore hip two weeks ago, but idiotically I still haven't changed the bróga (Gaelic for shoes!).  So, I promise to get a brand swanking new pair tomorrow, it being 'pay day'.
Now, on the other front, I have even less excuse.  I haven't strung a three-day week session in well over a month.  In fact, for the past few weeks I have only run once.  At least this week I have done two sessions, so please God I'll get out for a third on the weekend (with my brand swanking new bróga).  
Yesterday, Conor and I got out to Seanadh Phéistín for a seven miler.  The man is flying!  He will complete his 100th marathon this August, with a 100 mile run in Conamara, and is darting down to Limerick this weekend to compete in marathon number 92.  I felt like a complete novice beside him as we climbed the gradiants of Seanadh Phéistín - him chatting away like an auld woman having tea and crumpets, while I grunted and groaned to the best of my ability!  The greatest indignity came after the halfway turn when Conor declared that he would do some 'strides'.  What are these strides I hear you ask?  Strides, my dear, are when one runner decides to completely take the mickey out of the other!!!  Yes, he literally took off at pace, sprinting four hundred yards or more, while I still jogged away in the distance behind him.  And then he would turn around, jog back to me, and run alongside again for awhile.  I had to pretend that I too could stride away like this if the notion took me... but the truth is that I was struggling to keep my snail pace going (I blame the bróga).  Conor must have broken away five times during the course of our run back to the cross - taking off like a jet each time.  'Jaysus, you're goin well now', was about all I could say!
Still... with new runners and a third session this week, I know I can get back some kind of dignity!

PS:  I also REALLY NEED A RACE!  No event yet this year...