Saturday, December 27, 2008

Christmas cheer and festive misery

Took Christmas day off as was partly expected due to the family festivities. However, the festivities were not like the Christmas turkey, and were competely overdone. So instead of yesterday spent running a charity 5k, it was instead spent in the foetal position on the couch, and in turn led to my first dry St. Stephen's day since I was 15. And it should be known that I love drinking on St. Stephen's day. 
After two successive days off you could be
 forgiven for thinking that I should have felt fanstastic on my first run back, but today was spent feeling like I was again hungover. But after about 15 mins, the run did become slightly more enjoyable, despite the cold wind that was raging about the place. Ran by the alcohol factory and since I knew better than to wear the HR monitor the pace was fairly snappy by fat bastard standards (46:22 for 6.55 miles).

Only other news for the holidays was the new
 arrival to the O'Connor clan. Jack is quickly establishing himself as a legend, and is likely to prove good company on more than a few runs.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Tis the season to be jolly

~7.1 miles, no time
Avg HR = 158, peak = 164
Rec after 1 min = 48

Not sure what the time on the run was as I accidentally turned off the watch about half way through. Was only looking at the HR on the watch display so the pace was nice and relaxed and the run was really enjoyable. Legs are feeling a lot better the last 2 days since I got my foam roller, I swear to God that thing is magic.
Intending on running tomorrow but since Christmas Eve night is always spent in Fitzers I'm never up too early, plus Christmas Day is always a little hectic around here. Not sweating it too much as I'm running a 5k fun run on St. Stephen's day. Good times. In case of a lack of posting tomorrow, a very Happy Christmas to anyone and everyone out there!!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

H. U. N. G. O. V. E. R.

5.7 miles, 40:00

Yesterday was a day off, during which I attended the O'Connor Roofing Christmas party. While I had a great day out, the fact that I had about 12 pints of Guinness and a massive dinner meant that I had to run today to burn off the calories despite being massively hungover. Once I got out the door I didn't feel as bad as I expected, and enjoyed the run on the soft surface. Still feeling some tightness all down the left side, but spent a good half hour on the foam roller after to try to get it sorted. Will stay on the grass tomorrow, and am going to do a slightly easier weeks training this week to make sure I get this sorted. 

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Days like this are the reason I still run

11.05 miles, 80:46 (7:18 pace)
Avg HR = 162, peak = 184
Rec after 1 min = 54bpm

Today's run was nothing short of fantastic. The weather was warm (around 50F), with a light breeze carrying a misty rain on it into my face for the first 50mins or so. Definitely my favourite type of weather conditions. Decided to ignore the clock completely, so fixed the watch so that only the HR was on the display. Ran completely according to the HR, with around 70mins of the run done with the HR between 160-166bpm, with a few up and down hills causing it to go above or below this range temporarily. Had no idea what pace I was running, but felt extremely relaxed and was thoroughly enjoyable. 
If there was a downside, there is some definite tightness down my left side, so am going to drive up to Dublin to get my foam roller as I don't want to be without it for another 2 weeks. Also going to try to find a chiropractor in the Dundalk area as the tightness is stemming from the hips. 

Not a bit happy with the football today, Spurs lost away to Newcastle to put me in a state of depression after a good start to the day. 

6 runs, 42.75 miles
Get in there

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Cometh the party, cometh daweeman

5.6 miles, 39:30
No HR - Guessing it was high

Ran without the HR monitor as I went for pints last night, and while I wasn't hungover I knew it wasn't going to be normal. Ran a little too fast again, but enjoyed the run. The legs felt really good given that it was the 5th day of running in a row, and for the first time in 3 days I didn't notice any tightness in the shin during the run, although I definitely found some tenderness there after the run while stretching. 

For those who intend on being in PVD for commencement this year, count daweeman in:
Fri May 15th: Depart Dublin 13:50, Arrive in Boston 16:45
Mon May 25th: Depart Boston 19:30, Arrive in Dublin 07:30 (goddam red eye!!)

Can't wait.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Bellurgan Run

6.6 miles, 48:50
Avg HR = 157, peak = 181
Rec after 1 min = 40

Ran early this morning as I had a big day of Christmas shopping. Run was nice and slow and very enjoyable. Kept everything in control, and the shin felt much better than yesterday. HR was quick to jump on the two uphills on the run but recovered quickly enough after cresting. 

Went shopping, and while it proved a completely tortuous event as usual, got some absolutely cracking deals in Newry as the value of Sterling is only on a par with the Euro at the minute. Saved the best for last, getting 54 bottles of Stella and 15 cans of Carlsberg for a grand total of €25. Christmas is sorted.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

easy does it

6.5 miles, 45:44
Avg HR = 155, peak = 166
Rec after 1 min = 40

This was another slightly strange one, as the HR data is almost identical on paper to yesterday but I am much, much happier with the numbers, as today the heart rate didn't really vary out of a 7-8 beat range whereas yesterday there was a ~10-15bpm range. It was also a little strange as the top half of my body felt fantastic in terms of breathing and relaxation, but the bottom half was not great, as the legs were flat and there was some definite tightness in the shin. Back home now, so should have time to stretch properly etc before going out tomorrow which should sort it out. If not, I'll take the day off. 

Wednesday, December 17, 2008


7 miles, 49:40
Avg HR = 157, peak = 169
Rec after 1 min = 39

I went out for the run this morning with the express goal of running to a target HR, as too often recently I've ran with the HR monitor on but failed to pay any heed to the increasingly higher numbers being thrown out. Therefore regardless of pace, I was to try and stick below 160bpm. On reflection, I would say I was about 65-70% successful, as there was a definite 20min spell in the middle where I was daydreaming and the pace picked up, and when I did ease off the HR sat on 160-161 but wouldn't drop below. However, I'm pretty sure if I hadn't eased off I'd have been looking at figures a good 10-15bpm higher, so was happy enough with the end result. Felt great on the run, although I discovered a little bit of tightness in my left shin while stretching post run that I need to keep my eye on. Thankfully at this stage it is definitely muscular and away from the bone. Just need to keep it that way.

Simplicity. Gone for this title based on my dinner just eaten. Stew. 
So ridiculously simple. Soup mix, some veg, spuds, bit of chicken. Let it stew. Throw in some of JMO'Bs Batch white sliced inch-thick heels smeared in butter and I've just had the dinner of champions. This has put me totally in the mood now for all things simple. Love it! 

Heading home tomorrow, finished all college-related stuff today, so the goal is now to get the shopping done. Definitely starting to feel the Christmas buzz after a longer-than-usual delay in getting there. Especially looking forward to having nothing to do besides run and have a few pints everynow and again over the next 2 weeks or so. Deadly!!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

It's getting really hard to think of funny titles

4.5 mile w/u - 31:23
Gym workout
1.5 mile c/d - 10:26

Was out the door at 6:30 despite collapsing back into the bed after shutting off the alarm to a 'fuck that', but after 5 mins guilt took over. Once I got going I actually felt great and really enjoyed the run. Not sure why I was quicker again than last week by ~30s on both portions of the run, only thing I can think is that the new shoes are doing my legs good, but I'm not complaining. Had one or two aches on the first part of the run, but once I loosened up everything felt cushtie. School is pretty much wound up for the semester, heading home from the big smoke Thursday or Friday, will try to get one more gym session in before then as it will be a couple of weeks of just running at home over the holidays. Well that and a few sessions of a different kind.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Lazy Monday

Surprisingly was not sore today after yesterdays long run, but was ready to go to bed about 2 mins after getting up this morning. Felt completely shattered all day, so decided to take the day off today and build off it to get a first 6 day week in. That's the plan anyway. 1 day in and no run. So far so good. If only the rest of the week would be that simple.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Slower, fatter, less productive

10.84 miles, 77:05
Avg HR = 167, peak = 184
rec after 1 min = 44

Don't really know what to make of this run; started out feeling flat and the HR was way too high, but went through the first 2 miles in 7 min pace which was too fast but felt like I was hardly moving. Once the run started to climb after 2.5/3 mile mark I really felt like shit, but recovered well on the downhill section around 6.5 miles and really enjoyed the last half hour of the run. The HR was too high across the board and the run was more work than it should have been. Definitely loving the new shoes, but think that I'll probably still be a little sore tomorrow. Ran a similar distance last Sunday, but am thinking that maybe I'm not fit enough to be running this long just yet. Either that or my legs just don't like carrying my fat ass around that long.

WEEKS TOTAL: 5 runs, 38 miles
45 mins on the bike

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Like pillows on my feet

6.5 miles, 45:05

Finally got my new Nimbus 10s on, and they were like pillows on my feet. Didn't realise how good it would feel to get into a new pair of shoes, which makes me think I've been lucky to get away pretty much problem-free with injuries running on shoes that probably have too many miles on them. Also helped to distract from the throbbing pain in my head from my hangover. Not sure why I only seem to run sub 7 pace when I am hungover, think its probably just that I want to get it over with...not taking it as a reason to drink more though, I do that too much as is. Looking forward to the long run tomorrow


4.5 miles, 31:50, Gym, 1.5 miles home 10:25

Was out the door at half 6 to get the run in before the conference and found it much easier to get going than I thought. Enjoyed the run and workout in general.

Christmas party was last night and I got absolutely mangled. Free wine with the meal was followed by the foolish decision to drink Erdinger for the rest of the night which means I got absolutely blottoed. Don't remember much of the end of the night other than I made the decision that I no longer needed/wanted my jacket so left it at the bar. Fantastic. Was a good nights craic though.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Wasted day

Spent the morning at a conference on gene expression that was waaaay over my head, and the afternoon at a presentation over an hour outside the city that was a total waste of time. Was planning on taking today off anyway, but would have had to given how the day played out. The consolation is knowing that the dep't christmas party is tomorrow night and I plan on getting into classic weeman drunk mode in front of a lot of people I don't know. Can't wait. 

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Defo going to hell

6 miles, 42:51 (22:07 out, 20:44 back)
Avg HR = 155, peak = 165
Rec after 1 min = 41

Absolutely 100% ditching the canal run during the week. It has steadily gone down in my estimation over the last few weeks, and this mornings run had way too many traffic stops to keep it in the schedule. Plus after today's run, I'm definitely going to hell. Was heading out on the water side of the path when I met a stream of about 6-7 people, all but one of whom moved to my right to allow me to pass. As I got closer I expected the last person to also move as he had the space to do so, so stayed my ground. In order to avoid a collision at the last minute, I nearly ended up in the canal by having to go off the path. 'Excuse me you fucking prick!' was exclaimed, and as I looked back to see did it have the desired effect, I realised that the recipient of my abuse was none other than a priest. Fan-fucking-tastic, the Big man's recruiting standards are definitely slipping if ignorant gits like this are what's on offer. 

Other news, got results of my blood test back, and despite Jokin's predictions, I'll have to cut back on the old meat products and all other good shit as the cholesterol levels are on the high side, including the bad LDL kind, HDL, not so high. Probably not a bad thing given that all Irish pork products are off the market. The good news was that my ferritin levels are 116, which is about more than double on their last count, and haemoglobin is a healthy, if not spectacular 14.3.  

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Bunged up head

7 miles, 50:09
Avg HR = 159, peak = 167
Rec after 1 min = 41

The legs felt pretty damn good going out this morning and really enjoyed the run. The only real complaint is that I still haven't shaken a head cold thats been bugging me for the guts of a week now, and during the day I'm a never ending river of snot. Yummy. Hope that I'm getting it out of the system, and the HR during the run would suggest that might be the case. 

Outside of running, finally handed in my lit review today, which has been about 90% of the work I've done since starting this PhD and damn it feels good. And since the ethics boad are being major cockbags and are still holding up my study approval, once I get this conference over with by next Tuesday, thats pretty much me on the Christmas holiday train. Niiiiiiiiiiiice.

Monday, December 8, 2008

And the Spurs go marching on!!

Gym, 45 min cycle (30 mins easy, HR ~ 135bpm; 15 mins steady, HR ~ 150bpm)
Weights and Core

Quads and left achilles were as tight as (insert inappropriate comment) so decided to hit the bike since it worked well for me last week, and given similar success this week might make this a permanent Monday fixture for the forseeable future (therefore making it not permanent). Did the trick though, as the legs feel much better for it and without the pounding of another run. Despite the general tightness was overall pretty happy with how the legs felt getting up today as the run yesterday is one of the more difficult ones I have. Looking forward to getting back to an actual run tomorrow morning though.

Just in from watching Spurs actually surprise me by putting in a great performance away from the Lane to pick up a fully deserved 3 points. I'm shocked, this is normally the type of game that has me shouting at the bartender for a pint of Guinness (or something stronger), but the lads were fully in control the whole night, which meant minimal swearing from me, even less resulting stares from the other punters, and a dry night in a pub. Happy days indeed.

In other news, Enda celebrated his 37th birthday today by renewing his library card. That is all.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

The aul' memory is not what it used to be...

10.5 miles, 78:35
Avg HR = 170, max = 189
Rec after 1 min = 47

So when I mentioned I was thinking about tackling the forest run yesterday, it was based on the memory that it was a 9 mile run. Given that the run is basically either up or downhill with very little on the flat, I figured that 9 miles was about as long as I'd be fit for. So I was a little frustrated when about 50 mins in I realised I still had the guts of a half hour to go. To be fair, the legs actually felt really good, and were recovering as soon as I'd crested any hill. The only problem with the run was that I still haven't fully shaken his headcold and was pretty phlegmy and wheezy the whole run, which contributed to a higher than normal heart rate when I wasn't climbing. Overall though I am really happy with the run as the legs felt good the majority of the time and coped with the hills really well.

5 runs, 35 miles
50 mins bike

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Hungover: Check

6.55 miles, 45:50 (6:59.76 pace - sub 7's, get in there!!)

After a very late night involving copious amounts of Guinness and Jameson last night, I was feeling, well, like shit. Didn't get out the door till about 3, and when I started the head felt very very fuzzy. However, the legs actually felt really good. After about 15 mins the head started to clear and the run was really enjoyable. The weather was cold but perfect for running with plenty of sunshine. Contemplating running up the mountain roads and through the forestry tomorrow if I feel as good, although given that run is about the toughest one I know I may hold off for another week or two.


4.5 mile w/u - 32:05, Gym, 1.5 c/d

Woke up with a really sore throat but once I started running I felt a lot better. However when I went into the gym I felt a bit weak and was sweating buckets. But the run definitely seemed to help clear this cold out of my system and the rest of the day was spent feeling pretty good. 

Having just read Keith's tribute to the virtues of coffee, I considered doing the same for Guinness,
 as I drank quite a lot of it last night, but given the fact that due to the Guinness I did drink I'm pretty hungover now and can't be bothered. Checking my gmail today, I also noticed a return to old habits, sent mail at 4:42am, but thankfully nothing of consequence to report. 

Thursday, December 4, 2008

And today...

Yeah I feel pretty shitty, so am taking the day off. Although I kind of wish now that I hadn't. 

Went to see Burn After Reading (finally) last night, and all I can say is that the Coen brothers have another fantastic film to their credit. Brad Pitt's character is one of the most outrageous and funny people I have seen in years, and can't really think anyone else would have gotten away with it. Plus the fact I was able to completely relate to the script due to an obscene (?) reliance on shit and fuck as a verb/noun/adjective. What a film.

A day late, a buck short

I'm a day late on yesterday's run, so sue me. Yesterday was a good run, hit Herbert park for a 7 miler, which felt great, although for some reason after about 35 mins my heartrate spiked from being around 150-155bpm to 165-170bpm for no apparent reason at the time, although I woke up with a headcold and a sore throat this morning, so I'm taking that as an explanation. The cold weather continues, yesterday's run was done at 3 below (about 28 in the F).

7 miles, 50:12
Avg HR = 160, max = 170
Rec after 1 min = 38

The afternoon had me back as guinea pig on the bike, but nothing worth talking about really, 6 mins on/off a bunch of times at 145bpm.

Outside of running, Spurs are getting my hopes again for another Wembley run with the win over Watford last night. Most fans will belittle the League cup as it is the least prestigious of the domestic trophies, but noticeably this happens after their team is knocked out. As Tarpy can attestify on his visit to Ireland last year, winning the Carling Cup last year meant a hell of a lot to me. Not sure if I want to get Utd in the semi-final in the hope they'll play a few of their kids or hope that someone can do us the favour and give Spurs the easier passage into the final. At this point, just waiting for the usual let down that comes with being a Spurs fan with his hopes up. 

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Early Jaunt

Was out for the run at a ridiculous time of 6:45 in the AM as I had an all day conference that started at 9, and since most know that I'm a ridiculously slow eater I need a good ~3.5 hours to get a proper breakfast. Ran a reasonable 5 miles at a fairly comfortable pace, and would liked to have gone on another 1-2 miles only for time contraints. Will try to go bit longer tomorrow all going well, although this scratchy throat I'm developing might say otherwise.

Quick note on the conference, generally a pretty reasonable insight into the level of obesity, diabetes and other lifestyle-related illnesses in Ireland, and basically how the current health system is inadequately organised to deal with them. From 9 to 4 every speaker basically ripped the government before the guest of honour, the Minister for Health, gave the key note speech. Needless to say she didn't take questions, as there were more than a few in the room with knives sharpening. I was a little disappointed as I would have loved to have seen Mary Harney get ripped a new one, but it wasnt to be.

I am also fighting a strong urge to go drinking, as I am now longer a dog owner. Balls.

5 miles, 35:22
Avg HR = 156, max = 164
Rec after 1 min = 38

Monday, December 1, 2008

Goddam it I am good sometimes

Now I'm not one for tooting my own horn, but goddam it I am good sometimes. Calf trouble, no problem. Alright, what the hell am I talking about? Well, despite having 2 reasonably good days running despite the problems with my calf, they were in a controlled setting where I could stop at the first sign of trouble. But back in Dublin today all my runs are either out and backs or loops, so if I did have a problem I was going to be in similar trouble to last Thursday. So I did something I don't think I've ever done before. Yes people, I showed RESTRAINT (I even had to look up the word in the dictionary for the spelling). Instead of risking it, I decided to hit the gym and get on the bike. Now I am no fan of the bike, in fact I friggin hate the thing, but got a certain sense of satisfaction from knowing that I was doing the sensible thing.

After a more enjoyable than expected ride (not that kind), I had something of an epiphany. Recalling that one of the ongoing studies in Physiology at the minute is involved cryo-therapy in post-exercise recovery (most of the titles are these kind of mouthfuls), I arranged for myself to have a whirlpool. Probably the first time in about 3 years in fact. And are my legs grateful, right now I feel 100 times better than after any day off could have done. It wasn't all fun and games though, as daweeman's wee man seems to have gone into hiding since. Sitting in it was maybe a little unnecessary. 

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Whats the story, Morning Glory?

Got bad news yesterday with the fact that our dog Dillon is being put down on Tuesday. We've had Dillon since 2001 but he hasn't been healthy for a while, so it was a somber house here yesterday evening. On top of this Ruth was voted off the X factor. Not that she was one of the best singers in the competition, but she has a great set of knockers. Fantasy football is not going great either with captain Ronaldo just sent off, feckin eejit!!

On the plus side, after an amazing 11 hour coma fest for a sleep, felt great this morning, and went back to the football fields for a 40 mins run. As tight as my soleus is during the day, there is no pain at all running which is great, but again I definitely feel the need to get a rub or something to loosen up the legs. Not really sure how I'll play out training this week as I have a few conferences to attend so time is a bit cramped. Might have a bit of a down week (is this even possible when I'm only running 30ish miles a week?) but will play it day by day.

Today: 5.75 miles, 40:14

Weekly total: 5 runs, 26.7 miles

Saturday, November 29, 2008

It's bloody Baltic!!!!

And by that I mean its cold as tits out here!! With the temperature not above freezing all day, plus a fair bit of moisture in the air meant that it was ridiculously cold here. Wasn't sure whether I was going to run based on my calf but it felt good enough that I thought a short trot on grass would do more good than harm. Initially planned on going for about 20 mins, but after 10 mins of everything feeling good I decided to stretch it out to a half hour. If anything my right soleus felt tighter than the left, and the left was pretty tender afterwards, probably the result of the icing and massage of the last couple of days. A bit concerned about how tight both my soleuseseseses are, and will keep it on the grass for another day or two.

30:30, 4.15 miles (thought I was being a bit antsy going with the 2 decimal places, but since JoKin's done it first, I'm ok with it)

Friday, November 28, 2008

Day Off

No run as planned today after yesterdays crampage-fest. Thankfully the calf is much improved today, and I'm able to walk gimp-free although it is still pretty damn tight. Also, my right calf is noticeably tight today too, so am obviously not taking good enough care of my calves. Part of this stems from having read this really good article on stretching in the New York Times (subscription needed - relax its free). While it addresses the warm-up only, I had been doing less post-run stretching based on the article, and had been relying on my new best friend, my foam roller. But given my recent problems, I may disregard the info, not sure yet.

One serious potential roadblock to my calf recovery is the Abu Dhabi reunion night tonight. Gettign hammered is surely not the proper approach, but I've never really been known for turning down a good excuse to get plastered. However, all going well, I'm planning on a short 3-4 mile jog on the grass tomorrow

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Gobble Gobble Gobble

Yes it's Turkey day in the US of A. I admit I miss the annual celebration of giving thanks for the pilgrim settlers wiping out a whole race of people, but only for the food. Plus it would have been nice to have the day off today. But we can't have it every which way. 

If you've detected a slightly narky tone to the blog thus far you'd be on the mark. Today was gym day, and I have to say I woke up feeling spectacular, and bounced out the door. No heaviness in the legs, feeling good, off on my way. No more from 100 yards from the gym my left soleus (lower calf muscle for the anatomically challenged) seized mid-stride, and it felt like I don't know what, but it hurt like a mofo. Thinking that I just needed to stretch it out I stopped, but when I went to start again I knew it wasn't happening. Because I'm such a man, I went to the gym anyway and did what I could, and then faced walking home. The turkey gods or someone was conspiring against me cos at this stage it was bucketing down. Facing a half hour limp in the rain, or a 10 min gimpy run, I chose the latter. I've iced the calf twice since then, but its still good and seized up. 

I've never had something like this happen mid-run, although I did have a similar cramp affect me in the pool yonks ago in the days of yore when I was fit, which with a bit of massage only resulted in a day or two off. Reflecting on it, its a pretty minor event in the grand scheme of things, and I'm thankful that in the 8-9 weeks I've been back running a bad cramp is the only note of complaint I have thus far. 

So, I'm off to make sure Tottenham seal the deal in Europe. To my American friends, those calories ain't gonna burn themselves!!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Just a quickie (That's what she said)

Herbert Park,
6 miles, 42:31
Avg HR = 155, max = 167
Rec After 1 min = 34

Early post today as I am seriously struggling with work and am using this to procrastinate. Really enjoyed today's run although legs were a wee bit on the heavy side (no fat jokes needed). Was pretty warm (about 50) and humid which after yesterdays coldness felt like it was summer. Think that my experiment to do the gym on my day off will not continue, as I think my legs will need a full days rest a week to keep training.

Irish team for Euro XC was announced today, looks like I just missed out again. Not even a phone call from selectors to justify the decision. Bureaucratic bullshit. Team is strong this year, looking forward to seeing them go and hopefully a top 5 finish (or higher) is on the cards. No Cragg though, otherwise I think a medal would be a serious possibility.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

It Should Have Been Me, Instead I'm Wallowing in Self Pity

It should have been me.. What am I referring to? Only Andrew Ledwith's 3rd place finish at NCAA's. Ok so of course it was never going to be me, but I can't hide my surprise and delight when I saw the result. The reason I make the comparison is that myself and Andrew both came up through the NACAI system in Ireland (of the two running organisations in Ireland before they unified in 2000, the NACAI was like the retarded stepcousin you never really want to admit that you have) before heading down to North Mon in Cork to train under Br. D for a year before heading states side. The similarity is a little uncanny, although of course, I'm better looking. But fair play to Andrew, and I can't wait to see him go now in the Euro XC. NC's was a great day for the Irish in the field (2 in the top 20, plus the 11th place finisher in the womens, although I admit, I haven't the foggiest idea who she is). 

The reason for wallowing in self pity has nothing to do with the NCAAs, more the realisation that I'm fighting a losing battle to get fit. I'm just up from the dinner table, and feeling like I'm about to give birth to a baby calf (is it baby calf, or should it be baby cow?). Having 'misjudged' the quantity of dinner to make, I decided I'd just can whatever I didn't eat. One busted gut later and the plate was empty. Really need to eat less. It's so bad I'm even resorting to scouring the web for things like this.

Believe it or not I did run today though. 6 whole miles. Ran along the Canal which was one of my favourite runs when I first moved to Dublin, but has gradually fallen out of favour for a couple of reasons. One is there are quite a lot of intersections, and between half 7 and 8 traffic is fairly heavy meaning quite a few stoppages. Secondly are the swans. I'm all for swans in the canal, but I don't get their toilet habits. I can understand they don't want to shit in the water, thats like us going twosies in the middle of the living room. But the swans here in Dublin (and I swear its deliberate) shit all over the footpath. I mean the grass either side is spotless. Someone needs to potty train those fuckers. 

6 miles in 42:57 (22:13 out, 20:44 back, which means I ran under 7 minute miles. I rock).
Avg HR = 156, max = 165
HR Rec after 1 min = 39. Good day today.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Bit of A Bleh Day

Day Off from running

Gym session

Normally I've been going to the gym in the mornings after doing a bit of a run and then running home, but decided to mix it up and see how the body feels doing it on my off day. Should probably do a bit more of a warm up than just 5 mins on the rowing ergometer as the workout felt much more difficult than normal despite being pretty much the same although I jacked up the weights on one or two of the machines, cos lets face it, I'm a goddam beast.

The weather is absolute muck, although compared to whats going on in PVD at the minute I'll refrain from too much complaining.

Generally a quiet day all round. Shout outs to Owen and Jim B on their day of birth. The new skin is to aid DeCoste who couldn't read my blog on his phone in its previous design. Normally I'd take this opportunity to get a good slagging in here, but since he's showing interest in actually reading my verbal garbage I won't complain just yet. Instead I'll just post an incriminating picture

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Hangovers will be the death of me

9.6 miles, 70:45
Avg HR = 169, max = 184
1 min HR recovery = 36

I'll never learn. About to leave Fitzers last night after a casual 3 pints to go home and get a good nights sleep, I got talked into staying on for another 1 or two. After about 8-9 pints, thoroughly drunk, ended up back at one of the lads drinking whiskey and watching Superbad till 3 in the morning. Needless to say, I was massively hungover this morning. Ran the Deerpark loop which I knew was slightly short of 10 but GMAPs confirmed it at 9.6 miles. Can't really think of words to describe the run although horrendous comes pretty close. It took a supreme effort to not just jack it in after about a mile. Once I reached the point where it was shorter to complete the loop than turn back and go home I relaxed a little and tried to enjoy the run but without much success. HR was waaay too high, and would probably have been better off just not wearing it today as I should have known it would be that high. I'd like to think I'll learn my lesson and not get that drunk, but since I have a reunion with the Abu Dhabi crew this Friday I think I may be putting up a similar post next week. Looking forward to a much needed good nights sleep tonight.

WEEKLY TOTAL: 5 runs, 32.2 miles

Saturday, November 22, 2008

I love Saturdays

Alcohol factory, 6.6 miles, 49:04 (I'm not giving splits, they're just too embarrassingly slow)
Avg HR = 157, max = 177 (goddam hills)

For not having gone out last night, only getting 7.5 hours sleep seems like a criminal offence. Was up at the ungodly hour for a Saturday morning of half 7, and out the door not long after. Nice little run, takes me by the local alcohol factory that is famous for its Tyrconnell whiskey. In a stereotypically Irish moment, ran past a house whose garden had been invaded by 30 sheep from the neighbouring field that were tearing the flower beds to pieces. The run itself put me in a great mood despite my legs feeling like absolute garbage. My right calf was like a brick (Legs with bricks? Doesn't quite have the same ring to it) but still enjoyed the run. 

On an economic note, went to buy a new pair of Nimbus last night. Now despite being an economics major, I would have thought that the current recession would result in price drops in an attempt to lure customers into spending. Apparently the logic in Dublin is to jack up the prices to compensate for the downturn in business. €140 for a pair of Nimbus?!?!? That's about $175, which is about 50 bucks over their retail price in the States. Internet shopping here I come.

Loving Saturdays for the fill of sport they provide. After getting a haircut (the days of long flowing locks left are gone), I'm heading to Fitzers for the Ireland vs. Argentina rugby, to watch Utd vs. Villa, and have a few well earned pints of the Black Stuff. Peace.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Where's the love?

Okay, so Jokin reckons I'm going to be injured in a matter of minutes (he may not be wrong), and Coste just sees this blog as a blackout accident waiting to happen (he too may not be wrong), but I'm taking positive action here people!! So on that note, today is a day off. After the craziness that was two workouts yesterday, I'm not going to encourage Jokin's wishes, and preserve my fat little legs for another day at least.

Heading home tonight to reunite myself with my proper running shoes (the lack of proper shoes also factored into taking the day off) and do feck all else. Running aside, my fantasy football team is causing me serious grief this week. The fact that I intensely dislike Chelsea is being compounded that they are providing next to zero info on whether Alex is fit to play, I mean come on, give a fantasy manager a break! A further two team members fallen by the wayside in the form of injuries and suspension means some serious transfer activity ahead!

A great weekend of sports ahead, with Ireland in action in the rugby, Spurs on the telly Sunday afternoon, and the usual football load in between means that my commitment levels to Sunday's run are going to be put to the test in the pub Sat afternoon. I'll keep you posted (hopefully in the most non-blackout manner possible)

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Doubles, Geeks, and Aldo

AM (thats right folks, 2 workouts today): 3.5 miles w/u in 25:25, gym session, 1.5 mile cool down.
This session has become a twice weekly staple since moving to Dublin. The benefits are that the resistance training should in theory help maintain my bone density and improve strength, and the mileage is low, stopping me from getting to carried away. Plus if there's any talent at the gym I get to have a good perve.

PM: I'll clarify, I am not doing doubles. But I did have an afternoon workout. Before I can start testing subjects for research, I need to know how to use the equipment etc involved in the research, as does the other 1st year PhD candidates. So it was my turn to be the guinea pig. The beauty of doing what I'm doing is that I can apply the data to my running. Here's where I get a little geeky, but its nothing an extra gigabyte of RAM can't fix (Under Siege, what a movie). I did an incremental test to exhaustion on the bike, starting at 60W and progressing 30W every 3 mins. I maxed out at the end of the 270W stage, with a HR at 196bpm. My VO2max was 49ml/min/kg, and my a-v O2 difference was 88%. What the fuck does that mean? I'll tell you, the heart rate was a little lower than I expected to get as I've often gone over 200bpm, but figure that was the effects of the gym this morning. The VO2max means that every kg of my lard-ass was consuming 49ml of O2 per minute. And the a-v O2 diff means that the working muscles were extracting 88% of the O2 available from the blood. The significance of this is it will give me a measure of my efficiency as a runner. For example, the last time I completed a proper VO2max test was way back in the days of yore, or 2000, when I had a VO2max of 72ml/min/kg. This tells me 2 things, that at present, part of the reason I'm down at 49ml is I'm a fattie, so there are more kg's to give O2 to. Additionally, I'm not as fit, so I'm not as efficient at using the O2 thats there. The fact that I'm extracting 88% of the available O2 is pretty good, which tells me I need to improve my aerobic capacity, which guess what, happens with running. Now there are a bunch of variables etc etc that I should consider, for example, this test was on a bike, not a treadmill like the last one, and I would be more efficient running, also that I was at the gym this morning so am not likely to have gotten to my max, but for where I am in my training right now, its a good starting point. Hopefully if all goes to plan between now and March I will do it again properly on the treadmill with a full lactate workup and design my marathon training program off the data. But for now, analysis of the data tomorrow will show me what HR I need to be running at to improve my aerobic capacity, and I'm guessing its in around the 150bpm that I've been trying to run at presently.

Also briefly, after reading DeCoste's blog, I spent way too much time procrastinating on GMAP measuring all my runs from home, and turns out they're pretty accurate for the most part, one or two of my longer ones from college (meaning I haven't run them in a few years) were a bit short, but in the main all's good in the hood.

Outside of running, read a great piece on the 'Irish' legend of John Aldridge. Didn't realise how totally underrated he was in general, if not just by me, although his best days were just a bit too early for me to appreciate. Still I think this was most definitely his greatest moment. 

That's all I got, peace.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Bandwagon: Check

Ok, so I'm on the bandwagon. Felt like I had something to contribute to society and just needed a forum for my views. Yeeeah ok so more like I need to start a training log but want to do something different, if even to prove that yes, I am still trying to run.

So, since those of you who are likely to read this (I know the number is small) haven't seen me since I last left the US of A, I'll fill in the blanks...I left the US in June'06, my last race having been the New Bedford half, after which I got injured and spent the rest of the time boozing it up in 308 Hope. I then went a little further east than Ireland, landing in Abu Dhabi on a teaching gig (yes its true, look at the pic), thinking going to a muslim country would help ease my transition of the booze. Turns out not so much, and I got wicked out of shape, to the point where a 4 mile trot with Coste or Tarpy on a brief hiatus back to Brown in June '07 proved to be the near death of me.
Last year saw me get back to my true roots, back in the college environs, surrounded by other fellow academics (avoiders of the real world). Run wise I also made a run to 'competitive' racing on Tarpy's visit to the motherland. I can (un)proudly state a most recent 5k time of 18:57, stunning I know.
After another injury, fitness at an all time low, I got my ass back in gear. And here we are. And it wouldn't truly be daweeman if I didn't have some ridiculous plan in training for my next injury. So here it is:
To maintain my present mileage for a period of ~4 months until I feel confident enough that I can increase the mileage safely (who has already started laughing?)
To run a autumn (thats the fall to my American friends) marathon in '09, most likely Berlin (Vorsprung Durst Technik and all that good stuff)
To be fit to race, yes race, the possible alumni mile in May, with a goal of sub 5:20 (way too ambitious), otherwise put in a respectable beer mile
To drop from my present behemoth size of 11st 9lbs (163lbs for those who prefer the bigger numbers) down to a more respectable size. To do this I am going to begin employing Ed's Secret weapon

So thats the plan. Am I fucked? Most likely. Will it work? Almost most definitely not. So I'll try and keep you entertained with anecdotal moments from daweeman's daily life to make it interesting. And I'll occasionally mention running

Enough to start with

Wed: 6 miles easy (42:48)
Avg HR (beat that DeCoste, I don't see you with HR readings) = 152, max = 165
Felt pretty good, given that my running shoes are in Dundalk and I am in Dublin, the pieces of shit I'm running in at the minute are treating me ok. My left achilles is pretty sore, but not when I run, my favourite type of niggle.

Will keep the posts shorter and sweeter from here on out, unless I have news/stories worthy of mentioning, like the time I visited Ed 2 weeks ago and got so drunk I canceled my credit card because I lost it, and I mean by lost it I put it in my wallet and was too drunk to see it, so was convinced I'd lost it. It was a good night, look, even Ed enjoyed it