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.