Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Merry Christmas

I have totally overindulged in food and booze over the hols, but it was a well earned break. Today was the first day back at the gym since last Wednesday, and I felt it. Only managed 30 mins on the bike and then hopped on the treadmill for 10 mins. Leg didn't feel too bad so am getting back (very slowly) to running this week while gym access is limited and will monitor the progress.

Had a follow up appointment with the consultant to go over the details of the MRI/X-rays/DEXA scans. There is no stress fracture which is a relief. The problem is the actual diagnosis. Apparently the radiologist called the consultant with some concern because the femur bone has a very high red bone marrow content. In short, 'long bones' like the femur should have yellow bone marrow with the hip, breast bone and smaller bones have red. The reason why this is a problem isn't entirely clear to me yet, other than the stem cells that differentiate into red and yellow marrow aren't working properly. Apparently it can indicate osteoporosis, which has already been ruled out by the DEXA scan, so I have to see a haematologist to try to get to the bottom of it.
On a sidenote, my alignment is way off. The plain of axis that should pass straight through the knee doesn't even hit the knee, but passes about 2-3 inches inside. But that issue is 'on hold' till we get the haematologist done first. But the good news is because the structure of the bone is sound, I can run as long as the leg is pain free, hence the 10 mins on the treadmill. Tomorrow we try for 15.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Still alive, still crocked

I gotta admit, only for Jokin's pretty sick run this weekend and Keith's surgery vids, my bloglist has been conspicuous in its boringness/lack of entries. But its hard to complain when I'm just as guilty. About 6 weeks since my last post. Shoddy.

Where am I at? Not quite suicidal, but definitely feel like I'm stuck in a 2003 timewarp, except this time I'm not drinking anywhere near the quantity of beer I was putting down then (if they sold PBR in Ireland that might change).

It's 7 weeks and a day since the marathon. Last Monday I ran 1 mile (that's not a typo) in 8:35 (that's not a typo either). By the end of the mile I was in about as much pain as I was post 12/26.2ths into the marathon (that's a legitimate fraction). That had me wallowing in self pity as I don't feel that the quad/hip is improving. I finally got to see a specialist yesterday, who when he got done financially ass-raping me thinks its a stress fracture to the femur and is driving down osteopenia highway with stops at endocrinologists etc etc, again, 2003 much? I have an MRI next Monday which should hopefully shed some light on the issue. Personally I am not in agreement in the stress fracture thing. Never had a stress fracture that was still sore to walk on 7 weeks after the fact, plus this is the 5th/6th time in the last 3-4 years in the same spot. My guess at this stage is something nerve related, but what do I know?

In the past 7 weeks I've done my best to keep up fitness and keep down booze consumption. I've had a consistent 6 weeks of 2 days of interval work rehashing Berg's old workouts in the pool, with 3 days on the bike for anywhere between 60-90mins. 2 weight sessions a week and some core work later and I'm still managing to keep the weight off. I've got a full XC race program starting mid February serving as motivation for training, but as the clock ticks on it looks a little less likely. Here's to Monday providing some answers.

Friday, November 6, 2009


So since last Monday I took a few days completely off pretty much due to the fact that I couldnt walk. Thursday & Friday I did some light x-training. Then spent the weekend boozing. I've been good since, and have put in a good week's cross training since. I even rehashed one of Berg's pool workouts yesterday, doing the 60second ladder. Given that we used to do that twice its not that great a workout, but baby steps.

I took a big step Wednesday night and joined a running club. The reason why this might be considered news is that I didn't rejoin my old club of my juvenile days Glenmore AC, but their 'rivals' Dunleer. I truthfully wish I could have been rejoining my old club, but the fact is that I would be their only senior runner, whereas at Dunleer, even in 2:36 shape (sadly this is hypothetical) I'm only around the no. 4/5 guy. I'm also good friends with 2 of the lads who are both my age, and already have a race goal set of the Irish Novice XC champs on Dec 6th. While I wont be in great shape, we should win the team title on the back of the top 3. This definitely has me motivated to lash out the x-training in the meantime.

This optimism was checked somewhat tonight after my visit to the physio clinic. Run by students, they did some great work trying to get me fit enough to make the marathon. However, given how my recovery is going and based on my medical history they feel that as students they can no longer treat me, recommending that I visit a qualified professional for treatment and visit my GP to arrange a bone scan and/or MRI, as they're concerned I may have another stress fracture. I don't personally feel I have a sf based on how it feels, but then I've felt that way in the past when it was the case. Either way its bummed me out a bit and put some doubts in my mind, but I'll be in the pool tomorrow giving it a lash again! Dec 6th remains the goal

Monday, October 26, 2009

Post Race Reflections

Result: DNF

Dropped out somewhere between 11.5 and 12. At that point I had been running quite well and was feeling extremely good. Until then my splits had been (approximately, mile markers were quite a bit off - only 5k markers seemed completely accurate):
5:40, 6:00, 6:02, 6:01, 5:59, 6:06, 6:02, 5:47, 6:03, 5:55, 6:01 + 4:05 before stopping. The leg starting out felt much better than I expected, as it did to run these splits. I had planned on going around 6:10-6:15s due to the training I missed but got locked into a very comfortable rhythm and just went with it. The problems began on the faster 8th mile. It was nearly all downhill, and straight away I knew the hip/quad wasn't happy with it. From 8-11 it was considerably tighter but felt that as long as it didnt get any worse I would be fine. Just beyond 11 miles we crossed the canal via probably the smallest bridge in the world. But the small decline off the bridge was enough to trigger the leg, and the hip just seized up on me completely. After stopping I had to drop my chip with the St. Johns ambulance crew who stuck me in the ambulance. Getting tired of waiting around, I decided I'd walk/jog home. As soon as I stood up the leg refused to take my weight. I wasn't going anywhere. Since then it's loosened up a little, but its pretty damn painful doing anything besides sitting.
To be honest, I'm obviously disappointed but not gutted. I knew there was a good chance that this would be the outcome, and I'm glad that I sacked up and decided to give it a go instead of waking up tomorrow wondering what if?
I'm also glad that in treating this injury I've gotten to the root cause of this and the majority of my recent injuries. Apparently I "significantly lack gluteal mass", meaning I gotta get some junk in my trunk. I know what needs to be done, and hopefully after it I'll come out of it a better runner. Gonna take a day or two off before beginning the rehab and some pool work. Given the lack of training the last few weeks I don't really feel the need to rest up, but I do need to get this injury fixed before getting back to workouts etc. The plan is to take on some sort of XC season, although the novice champs on Dec 5th are likely to come around a little too early. However there is plenty of 2010 action to look forward to.
Finally, a big thanks to those who donated to the charity I was running for, and for the wishes of support leading up to the race. Those that know me best know what a fat little wanker I was around 7-8 months ago, and of all the positives that I can take out of this campaign (and there are a few) the biggest is that I'm fit again and excited about running. For that I am very grateful.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Last pre-race run

4 miles, 27:02

Decided I wanted a preview of the pain I'm subjecting myself to on Monday and was relatively pleased with how this went. Did one mile at ~MP that turned out to be around 6:15 which will do grand given the lack of training the last 3 weeks. Felt fine with it, leg was tight obviously, the question is whether it can stand up to another 25 of them. Will hit the pool tomorrow for a light session and that will do it.
Got more physio this evening and more lined up tomorrow.
The last few sessions have really been helping loosen things out, but also getting down to the crux of my non-stress fracture injuries. Pretty much all of these have been problems with the left quad/groin. What I didnt know is that they are all stemming from a total lack of work by the left gluteal and piriformis muscles. So basically my left ass cheek doesn't do what its supposed to. What this causes, as I think the 2 pictures below demonstrate, is a compensatory roll of the femoral head in the hip after the leg makes contact with the ground, and the knee tracks inwards upon transition to toe off. This puts a lot of stress on the quad/groin as the pic in red shows, causing the problems I now have.

The advice from the physio (which you guys will love) is to run 'like John Wayne, pretend you've got a horse between your legs'; i.e. focus on keeping the knee outward. Tried this on the run today, and while it isn't too challenging in a physical sense, mentally like any stride adjustment it took a ton of concentration, and maybe difficult to maintain throughout the race on Monday.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Fuck it, lets go

I haven't posted in quite a while, pretty much because there' s been nothing to post except depressing news regarding the leg. Despite a ton of rest and physical therapy, it is not responding. It's quite painful walking around still, and I feel there is little chance of me completing the marathon. This had led my mind into a dark place, dwelling on the thoughts of not competing in the race I've been training for 6 months; and also its knock on effect on some of the XC races I had been hoping to do this winter. Added to that is a large amount of guilt having collected charitable donations with the likelihood of not running.

Last night I received an email from the charity I am raising for asking if anyone with a race number to donate it if they weren't planning on running to a team member who missed the application deadline. I slept on it, and decided to give up my number. Sent the email. Got a response. 2 people had beaten me to the punch. Is this a sign?? Got some more physio, felt some improvement, but given where the head was at I decided to see about deferring entry to next year. No dice. No refunds, no deferrals. Basically we've got your 100 yoyos, now fuck off.
This pissed me off to be honest. It's not my plan to be injured. I want to run. But €100 is a lot to me, and it annoyed me to think I'd pissed it up against a wall on a race I'm not running. I'd have been better pissing it up a wall getting, well, pissed. Now I'm thinking I have the number, lets use it.
The downsides.
Even if I am able to complete it, I'm looking at enduring (hopefully) almost 3 hours of quite severe pain.
I am likely to aggravate the injury further, risking participating in XC races.
Dropping out of a race is not something I want to do.

The upsides.
At least I can say I tried.
I may (delusional point coming up) 'get into my stride' and feel half decent/ride a 3 hour adrenaline kick and not feel the pain
Say a mental 'fuck you' to those bastards who wont let me defer.

Chances are I'm going to sway back and forth at least 4689 times between now and Monday. But right now the attitude is fuck it. In the words of Billy Crudup (a.k.a Pre) ' you don't know what it will do to me if I run, you know what it will do if I dont' or something like that, I havent seen the movie in about 8 years.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Back on the horse

~3.5 miles, 24:42

After a week of pool running I finally got back to the real thing today. Most importantly the weight-bearing pain in the hip that was afflicting me last week was gone, although there was some definite tightness/tenderness in the groin and quad area. After 5 mins or so till about 20 mins I felt I was moving pretty freely, although started to tighten up quite a bit after this, so called it a little short of the 4 mile target.
Did a good stretching session after and thankfully the leg is feeling pretty decent walking around post run. Am hoping to add about 20mins onto this for tomorrow, but early indications are that things are on the up.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Catch up post

Thurs: 1hr steady aqua jogging. Nothing really of note, didnt vary the pace much as the legs were a little tired and calves were threatening to cramp.

Fri: 45 mins aqua jogging with 4 x 6 lengths hard, 1 length easy, which boiled down to ~4 mins hard, 1:15 rec. Did the normal gym routine after.

Spent the evening getting various treatments. Spent 45mins at the physio which I didnt find as productive as the ones earlier in the week. Call me sexist if you want but I put it down to the fact that I had a female physio who wasn't strong enough physically to get deep enough into the muscle tissue. After travelling back to Dundalk then I went and saw my bone guy who cracked my hips for me and left me feeling quite a bit looser.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Light at the end of the tunnel

1hr aqua jogging

Broke up this bout in the pool with 8x4 lengths with 1 length recovery keeping the effort the same as for the 3 length bouts yesterday. Went well besides some pretty painful calf cramping on bouts 2,4,5, 7 and 8. And all during the cooldown. The lungs got the desired workout though, so all good.

This morning was the first morning in a week that the hip didn't hurt on getting out of bed or walking around. That said, it still does feel extremely tight, but the pain is thankfully gone. Had another good session with the physio this evening so am expecting some pain tomorrow morning, but after the pool should be much improved. Anticipating running ~ Friday, when I also plan on revisiting my midget horse bone guy, as I was told yet again that my hips are way out of alignment.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Stay Positive Fool!

Aquajog, 55 mins

Sticking with Coste's arbitrary distance theme, I broke this one up with 10 x 3 lengths medium/hard, 1 length recovery. The Trinity pool is a 25m pool, but only about half of that is actually deep enough for this guy to aqua jog in, so most normal heighted people would be even worse off. Timed a few of the intervals around 2-2:10, with 1-1:10 on the recovery. Not overly taxing, but gave the lungs a workout.
Waking up this morning the hip flexor was pretty darn sore which I'm guessing is in response to the physio treatment last night. However after the pool there was a considerable improvement which is a big positive, and has me hoping to be back out there in a few days. Even if not, then the pool is serving me nicely in keeping the lungs open and ready to roll in 13 days!

Monday, October 12, 2009

Dark Clouds brewing in my mind

Day off

Took today totally off. While the aqua jogging hasnt caused any discomfort, I'm not really seeing any improvement in the condition of the hip, and was not able to get to the pool during open hours anyway. Didn't want to risk biking or the like, so just went for complete rest. Had another session with the physio, which while doing a good job loosening up the hip joint, gluts and hammy, the hip flexor didnt really respond too much. Its only been 3 days since I ran, but it feels like a lot, lot longer. Trying to stay positive, but like pimpin', it ain't easy.

Sunday, October 11, 2009


55 mins aqua jogging

Unintentionally got after it early doors, and was going like the clappers so ended up dividing the workout into 2x~14 mins steady, 1 min rest, 2x~7 mins steady with 1 min rest and was about to attempt a few 3 min bouts but 30secs into the first one the calves crapped out on me. Got a good workout in, and while it never compares, was as good a substitute for the 3x3 mile I had on tap as I am going to get. Did a major strectch session after, and while the quad is still tight walking around, there is some noticeable improvement resulting from the time off. Lets hope it continues.

Weeks total:
4 runs, 23.25 miles
3 sessions of aquajogging for 135 mins

Balls to that!

Saturday, October 10, 2009

In need of Berg

50 mins aqua jog, inc:
4x2min w/ 30 sec rest, 10 mins easy, 4x1min with 20 sec rest

Don't know how I used to do some of Bergs workouts in the pool given that this would be a piece of piss in comparison but I was gassed after. Had hoped to get an hour in but the calves refused point blank to allow me to continue due to crampage. Also found the gym a lot harder than normal afterwards, but think that this was just because of the water resistance on the arms.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Shutting it down

30 mins aqua jog
40:51 easy jog

Got through the run ok, but it definitely wasn't the best outing I've ever had, and confirmed that I wouldn't be working out on Sunday. How and ever, went to a different physio this evening, and the difference was ridickerous. Yesterday I paid 40 yoyos for a 10 min rub, and was told I could keep running. Today I went to a student physical therapy clinic, paid 20euro for an hour and 20 min session and got way more info on the problem. Basically the quad is not only extremely tight, but full of junk that is most likely there from previous injuries I've had to the quad. As a result, no running for a few days besides aqua jogging. Plenty more physio in the meantime, and I should be good to go in a few days again. Not too worried as the pool will keep me ticking over in the meantime, but disappointed all the same. But given the quad has been the source of all my problems over the last few years, this could be a blessing.

Thursday, October 8, 2009


4 miles, 30:49

Went to the physio today, who went through the usual 15 min history lesson and only 15 mins of actual physio work, then charged me €40. Such a crock of shit. During the 15 mins he got paid for, he found that I have a lot less mobility in my left hip than the right, and the pain in the hip flexor is a result of tightness in the quads. I have been instructed to take it very easy for a few days, although I am allowed to supplement actual running with aqua jogging. Sorted out a belt for the Trinity pool and will do that which I swore never to do again tomorrow.
The run itself wasn't too bad. Kept it extremely pedestrian, and after 5-10mins there was some release in the quads. Going to a physical therapist tomorrow who should spend a lot more time on massage therapy than talking about it. Tentative plan at the minute is aqua jog followed by 40min run tomorrow, aqua + 50 mins on Sat, and all going well finally get my 3x3 mile workout in on Sunday.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Being sensible

8 miles, 54:18

After yesterday's day off, the hip flexor has improved, but not as much as I would like. It's a nuisance, and most noticeable when getting up from sitting. It feels weak, as if the leg doesn't want to take my weight, but once moving its not restrictive. The run didn't aggravate it any worse than before, and the weights if anything seemed to improve it weirdly. Am supposed to workout tomorrow, but unless there's a dramatic improvement by morning I shall be postponing that till the weekend. Left a VM for the physio who I shall hopefully see in the next day or two and nip this in the bud. The work is pretty much done at this stage. Between now and the 26th, the only runs I want to get in are two workouts and 2 runs of medium length. Plenty of time between now and then to get them in and still have a decent taper. It's hard being smart!

Monday, October 5, 2009


6 miles, 43:04

The slight tightness in the left hip flexor I felt during the long run yesterday has manifested itself into something rather painful. Its annoying, especially as the rest of the legs felt extremely fresh, despite coming off Friday's workout and yesterday's long run. The fitness is good right now, I just got to make sure that I keep the legs in one piece. Between this and the foot the novelty of having soft tissue injuries vs. stress fractures has fully worn off at this stage and I'm now frustrated.
Bumping the day off up from Wednesday to tomorrow.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Long Run/Week in Review

20.1 miles, 136:56

This was by far the easiest long run I have done yet. The pace was slow, but it was the most relaxed I've felt at the end of one of these runs yet, which is promising. The foot was a non-issue, and aside from a little tightne
ss in the left hip flexor the legs felt very very good. Very pleased with how the week ended up given the way it started. This is the last 2+ hour run before the marathon, so was pleased it was so easy on the body.

Total for the week: 5 runs, 60.1 miles. Was a little surprised to see I broke 60 given I missed an extra day this week but the race last Saturday meant I got more miles in on Monday than normal. A good workout and long run sets me up nicely for the rest of the training cycle. 3 weeks from tomorrow!

As can be seen from the photos, the O'Connor's had a great night at the wedding on Friday, with a little cross dressing, some rocking out, and a shitload of air guitar.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Easy jog

5 miles, 36:16

Nice easy run to follow yesterday. Despite only getting ~4 hours sleep, then having to drive 2+ hours back from Tullamore, the legs felt pretty good on this trot. But since then, I've started to crash and burn quite severely. I need some sleep. The important thing was that despite bouncing around a dancefloor in dress shoes all night last night the foot was feeling good and improved from yesterday. Pics tomorrow.

Friday, October 2, 2009


1.5 miles w/u
1.4 mile c/d; 17 mile total

Happy with this workout good workout. Didn't get too many splits, but went through 3 miles in 17:50; the half 'thon in 77:14 and the last 3 miles in 17:46, for a total time of 83:02 (5:54 avg). Felt very easy for the first 8 miles, but had a rough patch from 8.5-11, mainly due to the fact that this stretch was all uphill and into the wind. After the route levelled out for the last 3 recovered nicely and the rest of the run felt very comfortable. The foot was fine, the anti-inflammatories seem to be doing the trick nicely.

The uncle's wedding was a quite unbelievable night. I managed to stay 100% sober, but yet had some amazing times on the dancefloor, in particular doing air guitar with the family as my uncle (a pretty amazing singer; he's been called the songbird of his generation by those that have heard him, that good) belted out House of the Rising Sun. Antics got quite out of hand, pretty typical for an O'Connor wedding, and shall hopefully upload pics tomorrow.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Back at it

10 miles, 66:25

Was happy to get back out there this morning. Foot had improved sufficiently that I felt confident it would stand up to the rigours of a run. In general the run was incident free, although one sharp left turn in particular caused a little discomfort. However, post run the foot felt the same as pre-run, and walking around afterwards the foot felt better than yesterday. Started taking Neurofen, and think there is an anti-inflammatory gel floating around the house here that will be put to use.

My uncle is getting married tomorrow at the grand age of 61. Da is the best man. This should be interesting. In the meantime, Ireland shall hopefully vote Yes to Lisbon, and I'll have a good tempo tomorrow. Back posting Saturday

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Days off

Tues & Wed off

One of these was a scheduled day off, the other voluntary. The foot has improved considerably over the 2 days off. Can still give a twitch every now and again, and the Titleist massages and icing have reduced the soreness on the outside of the foot but left the foot very tight in general. Happy enough that its improved sufficiently to get back out there tomorrow without having lost anything. Going to maintain the icing/massaging routine, and beginning tomorrow a steady course of ibuprofen.
I've always tried to avoid ibuprofen, as well as Alka Seltzer when hungover/got headaches. Part of it is a weird thing I have about 'polluting' my body (which is massively hypocritical when I consider some of the binge sessions I've been on) and part of it is it feels like cheating. I tell myself that without it my body can't handle the training load (or booze in the case of a hangover), and to use a drug to fix it is cheating. I felt the same way about the Fosomax for the osteoporosis, and I feel the same way about Caffeine as a performance enhancer. Just because some dude in an office somewhere decides its legal doesnt make it ok in my mind. That being said, I'm too far down the road in the marathon program that I'm not letting the moral high ground screw me over now. Lets go legal drugs.

Monday, September 28, 2009


8 miles, 55:15

The foot wasn't much better today. While its definitely tolerable, its quite a bit worse than it was at the end of last week. It's at its worst on uneven surfaces and turning left, so did the laps of the park clockwise. Frustrated because if I hadn't had the race I felt like I had it kicked but at the same time, the race was worth a lot more than the couple of days I'm going to take off.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

My new best friend

6 miles, 44:00

Oh dear God this was slow. The legs, while not sore, were just beat. Enjoyed the relaxed jog as the fields are in great shape and it was a beautiful morning. The foot wasn't too bad, about the same as it was Friday prior to the race. I've been icing on and off all day and reckon it should be ok. Grabbed a Titleist (1 for those keeping track) to roll out the foot, and while it hurt like a bitch, it definitely helped. Will have to keep this going.
Total for the week: 6 runs, 53.5 miles
The highlight of the week was definitely the 1/2 yesterday. Really happy with the performance which exceeded my expectations. The mileage was a little down as it was a recovery week; so yesterday was probably aided by the mini-taper. The downside is the tendonitis in the foot, but hopefully I can work that out over the next few days.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Happy days

3 mile w/u
13.1 miles, 74:13
2 mile c/d

Conditions were pretty much perfect for this and after waking up knew I was feeling good. The foot felt good prior to the race, and I was looking to run about 75 mins (5:43 pace).

Splits: 5:26, 5:36, 5:27, 5:52, 5:42 (28:04 5 mile), 5:30, 5:31, 5:42, 5:45, 5:38 (56:12 10 mile), 5:48, 5:58, 5:38 + 36secs.

I had a feeling I might have been out a bit too quick when I was 3rd after about 400m. Given that I'd finished ~25th in the first 2 races of the series I backed off a little. After about 2 miles, a group was forming but given my splits I decided to let them go. Mistake as I ended up running the rest of the race alone about 10secs behind this group. Think the 3 mile mark was 10secs too early as I was running consistently. Had a bit of a panic at the fact that I was running quite a bit quicker than planned, but was feeling good and trying to get back in contact. The course for the first 7 miles was quick, with the 8th mile the first one uphill. Was glad to see I was still on pace up the hill. Passed through the 10 mile mark 1:20 faster than I ran in the race 6 weeks ago and knew I was on a good one. The 11th mile was uphill again, and was happy to keep relatively on pace. I paid for this big time on the 12th mile. I rigged badly, and was convinced I was going to see about 6:30. Really died and was struggling for 400-500mtrs, but recovered a little, and got a lift going into the last mile seeing that I'd still broken 6 mins. Ran strong in, but felt like absolute toast at the finish.
Ended up in 13th place with €50 of vouchers in prize money. Delighted with the day as a whole, Spurs are 2-0 up as I type, all looks rosy except for the fact that right now my foot hurts quite a lot. Thanks to Jokin, I'm pretty sure its peroneal tendonitis. Glad to feel confidant in what it is. Now I just have to get it sorted.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Easy day

6 miles, 40:20

The rest day had the desired effect on the legs as I was feeling super today with the exception of my foot. The foot actually felt worse today than it did yesterday despite the day off, with it starting to hurt walking around. Running actually felt better than when I was walking. Afterwards the foot was better than it had been beforehand, so hopefully it'll improve with treatment. Looking forward to tomorrow.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

To Martha!

8 miles, 53:27

Threw on a new pair of kicks for this one, and saw a definite improvement in the condition of the foot. With a day off tomorrow and an easy run on tap for Friday I hope to have this nipped in the bud come the weekend. The run itself was good, started out at the usual pedestrian pace, but got into my running as the lap times around the park dropped from 6:45 to 6:10's over the duration (lap is about 15-20secs short of a mile).

Tomorrow is Arthur's day. 250 years of the best beer in the world. Would love to be able to raise the glass at 17:59 but will be at the hospital, so no joy for me. Still, it will taste all the sweeter on the 26th.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Bullit Bitten

5 miles, 35:08

Just a shake out run after taking the red eye back to Dublin last night. Overall legs felt pretty good, and the tiredness isn't bad at all as I got a couple of hours sleep on the plane and back to the apartment at 7am for 5 hours of unconsciousness.
Bit the bullet and finally entered the marathon. I'd been postponing this out of fear of jinxing myself and having something go wrong, but since deadline is Oct 5th, there isn't any point to hanging around. €97.20 seems like a lot to inflict massive amounts of torture on myself, but hopefully it proves to be worth it.

Monday, September 21, 2009


10.5 miles, 72:47

This was supposed to be 8 miles, but despite Coste giving me instructions on where to run to, I botched both the turnaround point and then the route back, failing to recognise the street I had run not an hour before. Despite this the run was extremely enjoyable, with the conditions just about perfect. Clear blue skies, no wind, and a crispness in the air in the shade. Perfect autumn weather for running. Started out pretty leisurely (7:30 1st mile, 7:15 2nd) and clocked the last mile at 6:35. All in all, a pretty easy run, with the legs feeling surprisingly good. The foot was good during the run, but took a trip into town during the afternoon, during which the foot got quite sore walking around. Need to be careful. Unlike the previous 2 days where I jumped in the water post-run, I wasn't about to jump in the Charles today. Flying back home tonight, and just hoping to get over the jet-lag ASAP so that this weekend's race isn't screwed with too much. Feeling good though.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Better than expected

~6.25 miles, 44:35 total running

I crashed and burned pretty early last night (blame the jetlag, not the booze), and was up and feeling surprisingly chipper around 7am. After helping with the clean-up operation from last night me, Owen, Tarpy and Church hit up the beach and coast road for about a half hour with a little tack-on towards the end. The legs felt very good considering although the right foot is still a little cause for concern. Need to do a better job taking care of it from here on out.
Some nice running by the Brown Alums today, with Enda running 2:37 in Berlin, and Jokin making the Ekiden team for a 2nd(?) time.

Totals for the week: 6 runs, 61.9 miles

While this was a little down on last week, given that I was travelling I'm still pleased as I got in a quality workout and a good steady-paced long run despite the distractions and festivities on offer. Next week is a slight downweek in mileage terms, with the Dublin half-marathon on Saturday.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Another good man gone

~20 miles, 134:06 total running.

Did the long run today as with the wedding this evening I didn't fancy doing it tomorrow. The first half hour of this run was very pedestrian as we were jogging back and forth to the house picking up different crew members taking part in the run, including in no particular order, Churchnuts, O-face, Bren-bren, Kim and Tarpy. After the half hour or so, one member of the group who shall remain nameless (I'll give you a clue, the only blonde/female/Olympian in the group) decided to make the pace a little more honest. From here on out, the run was a straight out and back, with the out portion into a fairly strong headwind. The run was good, and was glad to have Tarpy for company the whole way, otherwise this would have been a bit of a struggle. Finished up the run with a dip in the Atlantic.
The evening was spent commiserating the loss of another good man from the gang. In all seriousness, the wedding was pretty spectacular, and a truly enjoyable night's craic. Congrats to Easy and Danielle

Friday, September 18, 2009

Posting: Jokin Style

5 mile, Gym session, 1.1 mile
43:44 total running.

Going to do these like Jordan and post 4 days in the one go. Nothing of note from this one, easy day after the workout. Flew out to Boston that afternoon. Alls good in the hood.

Thursday, September 17, 2009


2.5 mile w/u
Goal: 3x 3 mile @ 10 mile race pace (5:40-5:45), 3 min rec
3 mile c/d

1. 16:59 (5:38, 5:37, 5:44), 2:59;
2. 16:50 (5:34, 5:37, 5:39, 2:59;
3. 16:35 (5:32, 5:33, 5:30).

Running for the bus on the way out to the park I was knew I was feeling good. However the workout was nearly derailed by the need to go 2'sies. Thankfully there was a John in hospitable condition, and we were good to go. Still, amateur mistake to be making at this stage.

The loop was good, first mile flat, 2nd slightly downhill, and 3rd making up the gain from the 2nd. Was not keen on this workout a few weeks back as I didnt trust my pace judgement but was very pleased with todays effort. At no point was I strained in the run (shouldnt be at 10 mile pace), and decided to try to open up on the last mile but stay relaxed. Was very happy with the results, and recovered pretty much immediately afterwards. Feeling good going into the half next weekend and more importantly the big one itself in 5 weeks. First things first though, I've got to go and pay my last respects to Matt 'Chewy/Easy/Rhino' Emond. Another good man gone after this weekend.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

3 days till Boston

10 miles, 68:54 (35:11 1st 5)

Expected to be very sore today from Sunday (2 days after etc etc) but wasn't too bad. Started out nice and easy for the run, and was surprised to see I'd dropped to 6:45s for the 2nd half of the run. Had a good session with the weights in the gym, but finishing up I definitely was tired, and am grateful for tomorrow's day off. Have some soreness on the outside of the right foot. Nothing major, but need to keep an eye on it. Icing this evening definitely seemed to help. I think I'll keep doing that.
PS. Very excited for this weekend.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Monday Blues

5.5 miles, 40:57

Ran home from the gym veeeeeeeery slowly, but have to say didn't have any soreness from yesterday, but at the same time the legs didn't feel on the money during the run. Really starting to dislike this run as its all concrete, always follows a long run on a Monday and its at the end of the day so I'm always tired doing it. Still, positive about how the legs felt after yesterday's effort.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Long 'Un/Week In Review

22.65 miles, 152:11

Days like this make me glad I ever took up running. It was absolutely gorgeous out. Temps about 65-70, slight breeze coming in off the sea, pure blue skies. Pure class. The run was great, used some different gels today but no problems, taste slightly better than the ones I had been using, so not really fussed which I'll go with on the day. Had no problems with the time on my feet, some heaviness in the legs about 90mins in but the stretch of road from 15.5 to 16.5 is a pretty much dirt road and the change in surface led to a nice response from the legs. Clocked the last 3 miles in 19:30 and felt strong finishing. Happy days.

For the week: 6 runs: 68.85 miles
That's the biggest week yet, and is the biggest week of the training schedule. Long runs from now on will only be 18-20 in length, but very happy with how the legs feel after this week. One more hard week in this cycle, before a down week in the build up to the half marathon.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Deadliest Catch: Annaloughan Style

8 miles, 55:20

Nice easy run on an unbelievably beautiful day here in the motherland. Legs were a little heavy for the first 3 miles or so, but after that felt great.
Spent the rest of the day enjoying the sun and doing Annaloughan's version of Deadliest Catch with the brother, Ricey and Turlough. Can take a look at the 'action' below. Was a great way to spend the afternoon before watching a dire Spurs performance against Utd. Don't understand why managers change a winning team, but that seemed to be a theme for the weekend.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Dilemmas dilemmas

2 mile w/u
12.3 mile @ thon pace (1st lap 36:51, 2nd 36:15; 73:06)
~1.7 mile c/d

This was pleasing.....took occasional splits, passing through 2 miles in 12:13, 6th mile was 6:00, 1st two miles of the 2nd loop in 12:08, and the last mile in 5:45. Did this same workout 3 weeks ago in 73:52 with the difference being pretty much all on the 1st lap, but today was so much easier than that day. Partly due to better conditions, partly because I was coming off the 10 mile race the last time, but overall just felt very smooth and relaxed. Didn't push the last few miles too much as I knew I was running faster than race pace by a few seconds (5:57 average today is not going to be repeated in October) but was happy with the last mile as it didnt feel hard yet was my race pace in that 10 miler from 4 weeks ago. Felt I could have comfortably kept going for another few miles at same tempo. Took on a gel during the run but without water its not to be repeated as it did cause some stomach cramps. Overall though good day.

Having serious issues with my fantasy football team which is causing my dilemmas. Played the transfer wild card last night but since then the midweek internationals have caused injury havoc with my squad. Will have to continue to tinker between now and Saturday. I love football.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

The goggles, they do nothing!

10 miles, 67:24

Starting out, the legs had some real spring in them after not running yesterday, but felt a little tired towards the end of the run, I'm guessing a combo of Sunday's long run and 15 hours in the lab yesterday. College ain't supposed to be like that.
Hittin the park tomorrow for a longer effort, getting 8-10 miles at 'thon pace with a few tacked on a little quicker at the end. Hopefully the weather's as good as it was today, cos it was fantastic. Haven't said that too often this 'summer'.

Monday, September 7, 2009


6 miles, 43:33

Apparently my attempt at humour in my comment on yesterday's post was lost on poor Jokin. But the reason why I haven't explicitly stated any updated time goals for the race is a) not to get too wrapped up in running a certain time, b) I'm not too sure what that time should be, and c) I'm too used to disappointment to be getting overly worked up about the race when it's still 6.5 weeks away. But to completely contradict everything I've just said, yes I am thinking I can do something around the 2:40-2:42 range but am waiting to get through the half on the 26th before putting it in stone.

For the run today, the legs were surprisingly good. The right hammy was a bit tight again in the first 2 miles or so, but after that was spot on. Taking tomorrow off instead of Wednesday as collage is kicking my ass at the minute. Feck all else to report.

PS Happy Labour day Americanos

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Week in Review

6 runs, 64.8 miles

A pretty solid week. Had a decent workout on Thursday, and a very good long run today. Got a good week's sleep as well despite having a lot of shit going on with college. Just gotta keep trying to do the right things. Only 7 weeks to D-day.

Winner Winner Chicken Dinner

21 miles (well 20.8); 140:43

This was a little over the 20 miles I had on tap but I took a wrong turn (again........Cooley's a dangerous place). Took on 100g of gel, 500ml of isotonic drink, and about 400ml of water over the course of the run, so felt great pretty much the whole way, although did have to make a couple of pitstops during the first hour. Other than that the run was pretty much uneventful, although the weather was pretty much perfect, and just keeping my fingers crossed for similar conditions on the day.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Simple run

8 miles, 54:31

Ran nice and easy; hamstring was much improved on yesterday, only really noticeable on the two uphill portions of the run. Long 'un tomorrow.
Ireland vs. Cyprus @ 8pm tonight. It's a big one.

Friday, September 4, 2009

Oh No he's pulled a hammy!!

6 miles, 43:22

For the first time in a while I had to deal with some real discomfort on the early stages of the run. The right hammy and in particular the semi-tendinous insertion were very sore after the first half mile or so. I didn't feel like I was running freely and was having to compensate. Debated cutting it short but around 2 miles in, stopped to fully stretch out the hammy, the calf and the quad before deciding whether or not to continue. Thankfully, the stretch did the trick and was able to continue on. After that it was a totally uneventful run & gym session.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

You think W had it bad?

2.5 mile w/u
4 x 2 mile with 2.5 min rec
3+ mile c/d

This was a repeat of a workout done 4 weeks ago. However, I wanted to see how much my aerobic capacity had improved since then, so dropped the recovery from 3 to 2.5 mins and had planned on doing a 5th interval. That was until I got through 4 in the following splits:

11:07 (5:47, 5:20), 2:28;
11:01 (5:45, 5:16), 2:28;
10:56 (5:40, 5:16), 2:27;
10:52 (5:35, 5:17).

Needless to say, I was running into a very strong headwind from 200 to 2k, which lead to some crazy splits. Coming into the workout, I was willing to run the intervals a little slower than I had previously in an attempt to get 5 in. While my splits were pretty much the same for the 2nd mile as the previous effort, I did have a tailwind today for the last 3/4 of a mile. I still thought I was up to 5 finishing the 3rd one, but definitely didn't feel as recovered starting the 4th as the previous ones, then ran the first mile of the 4th too hard. As a result I completely rigged on the last mile and was tapped finishing. Overall I'm still pretty pleased with this as without the wind I think my splits would have matched the workout from a month ago (10:36-10:40) on less recovery. Just gotta keep on trucking.

My title is a reference to the recent opinion polls judging the Irish government and in particular our Taoiseach 'The Lip' Brian Cowen. He's got an approval rating right now of, wait for it: 15%. W had it easy.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Where's the time going?

~8.9 miles, 58:29
~1.1 miles, 8:19 (66:48 for 10)

The run was enjoyable, despite being another early morning jaunt. I'd been going most days around lunch time, so not finding it easy to get out of bed to run first thing. Felt strong in the gym which was the first time in a while, as the arms had been feeling pretty tired the last week or two. Having a slight problem with my eye, as sweat has caused the skin on my eyelid to become inflamed/irritated, and in turn, rubbing that is not good for the eye itself. While not a problem for running, its a serious pain in the ass
Today marked 1 year into my PhD program. This thought literally makes me crap myself (figuratively). Can't see myself finishing in time despite the fact I'm busting my ass. Fuck.
In good news today, Spurs snapped up Niko Kranjcar for an absolute steal today (Tarpy take note). Happy days.

Monday, August 31, 2009

Mundee bloos

6 miles, 41:54

Had to run in the early morning as I was testing all day and struggled to get out of bed to get the week started. Once I was going though, the body felt good and ready to go. Definitely sucked trying to get motivated for work knowing that those that bow to the queen had the day off today. And sweet feck all else to report!

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Sunday run/Week In Review

14.67 miles, 97:50

The run wasn't bad, the humidity was high, but starting out the easy week had put a nice spring in my step. But probably ran a bit too quick as a result, and the 2nd half of the run was into the wind and kinda took it out of me a bit. Other than that, all's good.

For the week: 6 runs, 49.82 miles

Easy week, the legs felt a little flat for the most part, but today had a bit of spark back in the legs. 12 weeks into the 20 week program and well on target. Next 3 weeks sees the bulk of the hard work being done, so have to make sure to do the proper things right.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Seriously? No one is questioning this

8 miles, 53:46

The run was fine. What I can't get over is that everyone is all about Ritz in Zurich. I can't buy that just 10 weeks in an altitude tent and being coached by Salazar means that he can all of a sudden go from a PB of 13:16 and a seasons best of 13:34 to 12:56. The last time this type of improvement was seen was with Cathal Lombard, and we all know how that ended. I mean, his last mile has got to be the same as his PB. Call me a hater, but I'm now skeptical of anything happening with Salazar's group.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Need some excitement in life

5 miles, Gym, 1.15 miles home

Ran to and from the gym with some miles on the pristene surface of the college green. The run was fine, but there was a massive drop in temperature and it was noticeably cold, with the thermopolis donned for the first time in August.
Otherwise, I literally have nothing exciting to report. Life is dull. Possibly not a bad thing, except for the content of this blog.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Morning jaunt

8 miles, no time

Ran early, weather was joyous. JOYOUS I tell ya. Felt good although there is still some tiredness in the legs. Am absolutely shattered now, its been a long week. And I shouldn't but I will:

When Caster Semenya was told she would have to undergo gender testing, apparently she replied, I will on my bollocks! I'm going to hell for that one.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Raisin in the sun

8 miles, no time

Crimmin reckons that's what I must look like these days given the HUGE miles I'm knockin out. It was actually a point of discussion this weekend, and when the maths were done, I have dropped over 20lbs in the old money since I started training well, and about 10 since commencement. Losing the 20lbs didnt surprise me that much, what did was the realisation that I'd been a huge 175lbs. Thats a huge bitch. The not as fat guy is below (the one on the left, before you ask).
The run was great, the legs were better than expected, but some tiredness was there. The weather was great. Given the easy nature of the week, dropped the gym work to 3 sets of 8. Off tomorrow.
Also gettin very excited for the Chewy-Danielle wedding festivities. 3 weeks from Friday I hit the US once more.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Beginning of an easy week

5 miles, no time
HR 144-54

This week is the down week in this month's cycle, so nothing but easy running. Left the watch at home, but threw on the HR monitor just to make sure I kept it easy. Was in the 140's for 90% of the run, but on a few occasions I let the mind wander and when I came to I'd let the pace quicken and the HR had climbed into the 150s. Legs felt very good after yesterday's longer effort, with no soreness at all. Happy days.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Week in Review/Catch Up

Behind on blogging due to hosting Erik and Enda this weekend in Dublin and Dundalk. Erik is now the 4th non-Irish Brown grad to visit me here in the homeland. The rest of you should now bow your heads in shame.

Thursday: Hit the Phoenix Park for a long run intended to be done at marathon pace. Instead I ran too hard despite feeling pretty crappy, and was at tempo effort. Warmed up for a half mile, then did 2 loops of the park for 12.25 miles in 73:52 (37:34 first lap, 36:18 second). Annoyed with myself for the faster 2nd loop as the pace on the first was good, and I rigged pretty hard on the 11th mile into the wind which was not the aim for this run. Cooled down for 10 mins for a 14 mile total.

Friday: 5.1 miles, 37:31 + Gym. Slow easy run. Thankfully no soreness in the legs but are a bit flat. Dropped the weights on the upper body as the arms felt very heavy and tired on the tempo yesterday.

Sat: Hit the Pats fields at home with Churchill. Ran 8 miles easy, no time. Was a beautiful morning and a really enjoyable run. Easy pace meant I was feeling good about the long run on tap for Sunday.

Sunday: 19 miles, 128:58. Oops, thought this was 20. Ran with Enda and despite a slightly late night out which cost me a car window we both felt great until about a mile to go, and with 800m left I definitely got a little lightheaded, so was happy to wrap it up. Good success with gels/liquids on board, and legs feel good now.

Weeks total: 6 runs, 64.1 miles
Very happy with the long run although wish I'd gotten 20 in, messed up the loop. As for lifestyle, not a good week. Had a couple of pints Wed, more than a couple on Thursday, Fri and Sat. Sleep was down. However, was more than happy to give this up in order to spend time with Churchill and Enda. You can sleep when you're dead. Have a down week next week which I intend to take advantage of.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Oh dear god

10 miles, 67:45

If I was suffering from delayed onset muscle syndrome (DOMS) from Saturday, I'm not anymore. The delay is gone, and boy did I feel like ass today. First ten mins I actually thought my ass cheeks had swapped places with my quads. Then it just felt like each leg was like lifting a passed out drunk for a good 40 mins, before finally starting to come around the last 20 or so. Why not run slower? If I had run any slower I literally would not have been able to lift my legs enough to even run, so this was the only pace I could legitimately get one leg in front of the other. No soreness anywhere, just dead flat.
Looking forward to a day off tomorrow, and then a reunion with Churchill, who I haven't seen in about 5 years. Then Ed's in for the weekend. Will fit running in somewhere.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Catch up post

8 miles, 54:17

Legs felt pretty good today. The pain in the left foot subsided for the most part, although threatened to rear its head around 15 mins in. Did some work on it after which helped. Generally felt that the recovery from Saturday is progressing nicely.
Very pissed off to be unable to find a working internet feed for the World champs, meaning I missed the mens 10k final. Having got a blow by blow account as it happened from Jilane and reading the reports after, I was delighted to see that Tadesse was so happy with his medal. The guy is a legend, and I love watching him run as he just gets after it, but is nearly always beaten by Bekele. Nice to see him truly pleased despite being beaten for gold. "I was not really kicking you know" Showoff.

Sunday, August 16, 2009


6.25 miles, 46:05

Seriously, does anyone give a shit about this run when the ridiculousness that is Usain Bolt has just occurred? I thought 9.65 based on his semi-final. That just blew my mind. Even my 'don't have a clue about running' brothers thought that this was one of the most ridiculous things they had ever seen. Unbelievable.

For the week:

6 runs, 55.5 miles

Mileage was a couple of miles down on the target, but largely because I had scheduled too much for today. Ran easy, as I needed the recovery after yesterdays race/mileage. Legs responded ok to yesterday, although the left foot hurt for the first 20 mins (plantar fascia). Otherwise felt pretty good. Felt even better after Spurs beat Liverpool, felt like I was dreaming after seeing Usain Bolt. Crazy.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Somewhere between satisfied and pleased

3 mile w/u
10 mile race, 57:33 (5:33, 5:38, 6:00, 5:58, 11:32 for 5 & 6, 5:40, 5:57, 5:54, 5:18)
6.5 mile c/d

Where to start? If you'd told me beforehand that would be the time I'd run I'd be pissed, but conditions were poor. Took Tarpy's advice and went out slow picking up 2 runners as markers. First guy was a Dundalk runner David Carrie who beat me by 40secs in the 5 mile last month so went out 5-10secs slower at the mile, and Maria McCambridge as a) I didn't want to lose to a chick, b) she ran 58 low here last year and c) she ran 2:36 in the Paris 'thon in May. Was at the back of her group for the first two miles which were very slightly downhill and wind at the back for the first 1.5 miles or so. After the 2 mile marker we hit the uphills and the wind. I ended up leaving the group bar 1 guy and settled into what I thought was a good rhythm for the 3rd mile. Nearly shat myself when I saw the split of 6 mins, and immediately started to hammer. Mistake. I was a little too obsessed with splits and not giving credit to the conditions which were rough as besides the wind, the temp was high (for Ireland) and humidity in the 90s. From 2-4.5 was all uphill and into the wind, but the panic to the slow split led to me getting a side stitch around 5 mile. Had a guy come up on me around this point so latched on through here. 7th mile was a steep downhill for the 1st half, steep up for the 2nd half. Caught a guy at the top of the hill and tucked in for a 1/4 mile despite him running a touch slower as the wind was howling and we were still climbing. This helped a lot as when I got to 8 mile I'd lost the stitch and was ready to try and hammer the last 2. Thought I'd overdone it on the 9th as I was feeling really rough here, so have no clue where the 5:18 came from besides that I was chasing a guy that I eventually got with 250 to go. Despite the strong finish I don't think I left any time out there, and was only 35 seconds behind Carrie today over 10, after being 40 behind over 5 a month ago, and talking to him after he was very pleased, so gave me some perspective.
Did not plan on running so long after. Ran back to the apt, knowing it was 4 mile from the exit of the park, didnt realise it would take me 2.5 miles to get to the exit. At least it means an easy day tomorrow. Despite being 'off the beer', I'm treating myself to a couple of pints tonight. Now for the footie and WCs!

PS I beat all the chicks!

Friday, August 14, 2009

Come on already

6 miles, 41:31

I have to admit I'm pretty nervous/excited about tomorrow. The run today was a typical pre-race run; pace was relaxed, felt like I had tons of energy and at the same time a heaviness in the legs solely due to nerves. Not sure why I'm that much more nervous about this one than the 5 miler. Think its primarily because I'm aware how much 10 miles could suck if I get the pace wrong early. Definitely more positive now than I was earlier, and feel like I can crank out a decent run. If not, then there's plenty of time to get things in order, and a lot more on tap for the weekend to look forward to.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Gettin Excited

8 miles, 56:06
Gym (only 2 sets)

Run was great. The legs had some real pop back in them, but managed to control the pace and finish feeling very good. Did 2 sets in the gym partly with Saturday in mind, and partly cos I was going to be late getting out to the Diabetes clinic in the afternoon.

Excited? Absolutely. Not just because of the race, but because it marks the start of possibly the greatest sporting weekend of the year. After the race Saturday morning I'm racing back to Dundalk to get on the couch in time for Soccer Saturday and the return of the Premiership. I'm more excited this year than most for the return of the football cos a) I've managed despite constant failings in the past to convince myself that Spurs are in for a big year, and b) my fantasy football team is dynamite. After that, its all about Berlin. Sunday sees Berlin action including Bolt vs. Gay, GAA action, Spurs vs Liverpool on the telly and (hopefully) Harrington in with a shout at Hazeltine. Needless to say I'll be 'working' from home on Monday as no TV in Dublin means staying in Dundalk Sunday night. Savage.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Half & Half

10 miles - 5 easy, 5 steady
64:29 (34:29, 30:00)

With the race on Saturday I had been a little overzealous in my training plan and had a 5 mile tempo on tap for today. Quickly ditched that idea given that I was still a little sore from Sunday and want to be as fresh as I can for Saturday. Decided to do the 2nd half at a steady clip figuring I'd be in and around 6 min pace. Can't get much better than that. Also very pleased with how easy 6 min pace felt as I've been nervous about screwing up the early pace on Saturday. Haven't done a great deal of work varying paces, so was nice to be on target here. Hoping to set out at 5:40s on Saturday and see how I am through 5/6 miles. Feeling better about doing that after this today.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Down Day

5.75 miles, 41:04

Ran home from supervising at the gym nice and easy to get a little more out of the day, but would have preferred to do the lot on grass. C'est la vie. Was trying to cram work in as I stayed home last night to to watch Padraig Harrington implode on the 16th to hand Woods the inevitable victory. Should have come back to Dublin.

Wondering what the hell has happened to the Blog brigade?? I figure Jokin is going to do the usual and post 10 days at once, Tarpy's been cutting the same k's for about 3 months now, Coste has yet to give us the Falmouth report, Owen's on the detail lacking long road route (remember the glory days of the misty mountain hop, now that was a blog). WTF??!?!?

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Week in Review

6 runs, 61.1 miles

First time in about 5 years that I've cracked the 60 mile barrier, and am very pleased with how the week panned out. Thursday's workout was the best I've done in a few years and the long run today was very comfortable with some practice taking on gels and water. Have the 10 mile road race next Saturday to test where the fitness is at.

Are you gellin'?

18 miles, 122:20

This was a very enjoyable run. The weather was very mild, and the legs felt good. Used the gels during the run for the first time. Took the gel and water on at 9 and 14 miles, and definitely made a huge difference as this run felt no more difficult than the 8 miler yesterday. Compared to the long run last week this was a walk in the park. Only thing I may need to spend more time on is taking on more water during the run, as I drank feck all during the run. Overall very pleased.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Neighbourly run

8 miles, 55:23

Was running along nice and easy when about halfway through the run met a new neighbour running a few laps of the field. Decided to run in tow and despite slowing the pace, was only able to keep the company for about 10 mins before fears the guy would have a heart attack. Got back to normal running for the last 2.5 miles or so. Body felt good, looking forward to the long run tomorrow.

Friday, August 7, 2009


6 miles, 43:06

Ran nice and slow today, and the legs weren't sore, but definitely did not have much life in them. By the end of the run though, everything was feeling good and enjoyed the run. Managed to atone for Tuesday's embarrassment in the gym afterward.

Went to the midget horse guy this evening, although he didn't touch the bones this evening. Apparently my quad was 'a little twisted' and he found a wicked knot in the right calf. Altogether I was there for about 5 mins, but everything is feeling good and ready to roll for the weekend.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Ooii that's a good one

Target: 4 x 2 miles, 3 min rec.

Splits: 10:37 (5:21, 5:16), 10:36 (5:21, 5:15), 10:38 (5:22, 5:16), 10:40 (5:23, 5:17).

This was a good 'un. Was debating between this and 3x3 mile for the workout. Went for this because
a) Didn't trust my pacemaking to do the 3x3 properly
b) Longest workout so far had 6 miles of work, so thought this was a better transition
c) I'm a pussy

Going through the first mile, I thought I'd made a balls of it, and was very surprised to see that I'd negative split. However, the last 2/3 of the loop is a slight downhill, that I was very grateful for later in the workout. Struggled mentally after 2, thinking that I wouldn't get through 4 but the 3rd one was a good strong outing that made starting the 4th easy, and felt great through 3/4 of a mile. However, the wind got up coming to the mile marker, and I was rigging badly on the next half mile. But thankfully the sun went behind some cloud cover and I hit the downhill for the last 1000 or so, and managed to get through it ok.
While I was definitely in the hurt locker by the end of the last one, the workout in general was very solid, and am very pleased. Was much quicker than I was expecting (goal was just sub 11's), and at this stage I can say I'm well ahead of where I was anticipating in training. Am not revising any marathon goals until at least after the half in September, just going to keep taking it day by day. But its easily the best shape I've been in for a number of years, and am just hopeful I can keep it going. Seeing the midget horse guy tomorrow for a hip cracking, and already looking forward to getting a long one in on Sunday.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Like a wheel, I'm tired

10 miles, 66:32

Wore the new kicks for the first time today and had no idea how beat down the old pair were because these felt like clouds on my feet. Put me in a great mood for the run, which was going swimmingly until about 50mins, when the legs decided they were pretty knackered. I guess Sunday's effort not quite out of the legs yet, but to be expected. Finished up nice and relaxed before hitting the gym. The gym was like freshman year all over, i.e. a bit of an embarrassment. Really struggled with the weights today, managing to put up a set of 3, yes 3, on the final set of bench which is usually pretty easy. That aside, got through it and am happy to have the day off tomorrow to recover for Thursday's workout.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Easy Like Monday Morning

5.6 miles, 40:00

Had a nice easy trot around the fields at home today as it was a bank holiday here in Ireland. Legs felt surprisingly decent after the long haul yesterday, and enjoyed the run quite a bit. Spent the rest of the day watching Kerry tear Dublin apart in the GAA before returning to the big schmoke. Very relaxing weekend comes to an end.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

12 Weeks to go

6 runs, 55.1 miles

Pretty easy week the long run aside. Was due to be a down week but given the shenanigans of last weekend made the long run up today. Will be interested to see how the legs respond tomorrow. Feeling pretty good in general, but need to get my hips sorted as left quad is very tight and get twinges in the right hammy going uphill. A visit to the midget horse guy could be on the cards tomorrow evening.

Our Father, who art in heaven

19.1 (ish) miles, 127:02

Fucking GMAPs. A look at the map will show that instead of looping around the roads around 10-11 miles, I doubled back. The reason being is that the road on the map doesn't exist. The hybrid view shows that the so-called road apparently runs through the middle of 10 fields of farmland. The consequence was that this run was quite a bit longer than I had planned on. Also, the hybrid image shows that the roads on the map image don't line up with the roads on the satellite image, meaning that the distances are not quite right. Doesn't necessarily mean that the runs are measuring short, but I've had that suspicion on a few occasions. Using mile markers I know to be accurate, passed through 3 miles in 21:03, 9 miles in 61:10, and ran the last 3 in 19:15.

Around the 1:45 mark I started to feel a little light headed due to dehydration. Lost the shirt which helped cool me down a lot as the humidity was high. But having not taken on any fluids/gels at any stage I was afraid of bonking big time. As if sensing my discomfort, the da magically appeared around 17.5 miles in the car, providing a bottle of cold water. Between drinking some and dousing the head, I felt a ton better finishing up the run. Won't be going this long again without arranging for water/gels enroute. Longest ever run, and the first time over 2 hours. Pretty happy.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Livin for the weekend

Fri: 6 miles + Gym
Sat: 8 miles easy

No time for either run. Going back to the watch tomorrow for the long run. Will either go 16 or 18 tomorrow depending on the condition of the legs. Starting to feel some aches and pains in the left quad/right hammy which suggests my hips need cracking again. Also due to get into a new pair of shoes as having tallied the miles I'm at about 475 and am regretting leaving the new kicks in Dublin. Will have to wait till Tuesday.
Otherwise its a holiday weekend here in Ireland. Nothing to really get excited about. Glad its August as it officially rained every single day during July. August isn't off to a much better start so far.

Thursday, July 30, 2009


8 miles, no time

Continuing with the no time deal for the week, I have to say I'm enjoying it. I have more than once caught myself trying to check the time on the non-existant watch, which is pretty pathetic. First 200m of the run I had some real soreness in the left achilles/soleus, which was a little surprising given yesterday's off day. Didnt take long for it to work out though, and after that I have to say I felt pretty darn good. Contemplating going 18 for the first time on Sunday, but we'll cross that bridge when we come to it.

Recruiting for the study has gone pretty terribly the past couple of weeks. I got 5 straight no's today just asking if I could talk to them about the study, let alone ask them if they wanted to take part. Times like this make me wonder whether its worth it, and more importantly, am I ever going to finish? Dilemmas........

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Non-Hungover recap

After another night of the cold sweats, I'm feeling pretty close to normal, although it still glows when I pee, no matter how much water I drink. Either someone put some neon dye in whatever I was drinking, or I still have some serious toxins in my body. No matter.
Last week I should have hit 56 miles on 6 runs. Given my social life interfered with this, I only ended up with 40. Disappointing, but this coming week was a recovery week anyway, so a reversal of last Sunday's run with this coming Sunday and I'm pretty much back on track. Every run between now and this Sunday is slated as an easy run, so I'm ditching the watch for the week. While this means that the pace might not necessarily be 'recovery pace', its so relaxing not to be a slave to the watch that the mental break is key. Today I did an easy 6 around Ringsend park, before finishing in the gym. Only did 2 sets of everything in the gym as opposed to the usual 3 in keeping with the 'recovery theme' but to be honest this felt like a bit of a waste of time and probably won't be repeated.

Before a quick recap of the concert, I have my laptop back from its life-saving surgery. There are some definite quirks that are pissing me off. For example, thus far any press of the 'i' key mutes the speakers, the 'k' key freezes the mouse pad, while this afternoon I had the pleasure of discovering that the ',' key increases the volume. Therefore typing anything involves periodic losses of music with periodic moments of deafness, during which the mouse typically won't respond to violent thrusts towards the volume control. But at least I have my baby back.

The concert. Holy batshit was it good. Post is too long already to go into mad detail, but the setlist is here. Link also has a brief video of Larry coming onto the stage and showing how friggin cool it must be to be him. 23 songs from 8 different albums. The show had everything, not to mention the greatest stage/lights I've ever seen. Will have a ton of pics on facebook that I'm currently uploading to the pc. Wish I had tickets to more than one night, and urge anyone in the US to look for tour dates in Sept/Oct and get your asses out to see it for yourselves.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Alive? Damn Swine Flu is a bitch

I however, have been suffering with nothing more than a hangover since, um Saturday morning.
Note to self: Jameson and training do NOT mix in anyway shape or form.
Sat: 5 miles, 36:40
Sun: Near death, no run
Mon: Not much better, 8 miles, no time
Mon night. Still hungover, debating whether I'll ever recover.

Will return to legitimate posting hopefully tomorrow, along with pics from the concert. Right now I'm going to try and sleep, as opposed just having cold sweats, f*cked up dreams and visions of rats climbing the walls. Someday I'll follow through on my threats to quit drinking.

Friday, July 24, 2009


8 miles, 55:56

Ran a bit longer today and will go shorter tomorrow instead for reasons I'll outline below. The run was good, felt fresh for the most part; although on occasion I did feel some tiredness in the legs. The gym was the gym. Moseyed round, posed in the mirror for 20 mins and called it a day. The usual.
Tonight there is a lot going on. The London grand prix promises to be a sick meet, and unfortunately its the first time in years I won't be watching. Additionally Spurs are taking on Barcelona. While its only a pre-season friendly, it's not often your team gets to play the (legitimately) best team in the world. However, I'll not be watching this either.
Instead I'm going to check out this band, don't know much about them, think they're an up and coming group. Doubt there'll be many at the gig. U2, ever heard of them?? Nah me either.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Not what was planned

On tap: 8 mile tempo

Reality: 4 mile tempo, 5 min jog, 8x400 w/ 1 min rec

Splits: 5:35, 5:42, 6:00 (uphill), 5:42 - 22:59
72.96 (59.96), 71.06 (61.2), 73.92 (59.6), 70.5 (59.7), 72.04 (58.3), 70.98 (59.9), 71.69 (58.3), 70.1.

The combination of work, lack of sleep and training caught up to me today. Had a perfect 4 mile loop plotted in the park taking in most of the route from the race on Saturday with the intention of doing 2 loops somewhere between 46-46:20. However, after the uphill 3rd mile my legs were totally gassed. A pity because for the first time in a tempo my breathing was so comfortable and relaxed, but the legs just weren't there. No point trying to force it. So after a few mins jog I did some 400s on the finishing straight for the race last week as the 400 to go and finish line were still on the roadside. All the odd ones were done into the wind, which is pretty evident given they're all 1-2 secs slower. Surprised and pleased with the 400 splits, as I didn't expect them to be this quick at all. Definitely glad I did them as it gave me some pleasure from a poor workout. But had you told me a month or two ago I would have done this I'd probably have thought you were high, so all in all things aren't bad.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009


It's late, I'm hungry and tired. No details today.

Mon: 5 miles, 34:56

Tue: 10 miles, 65:44, followed by the gym.

Legs have some pop, the rest of me is just poop. In desperate need of sleep. Day off tomorrow should aid with this.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Week 6

6 runs, 55.8 miles

Very pleased again, primarily as I got in the required miles while also making a solid return to competitive running. The legs recovered well, although I need to make sure to take the next day or two very easy to ensure no lasting side effects. Excited to give the course in the Park another crack in 4 weeks with the Adidas 10 miler.

Easy trot

13.25 miles, 97:48

Woke up this morning a little hazy after a nights boozing with Enda that was cut a little short as I was refused entry to our last destination for being 'too under the influence'. This was definitely beneficial to this mornings run, although I didn't quite agree at the time. I was also sporting a nice little gash down the front of my shin courtesy of a little concrete wall that came out of nowhere on me last night.
The pace early doors was extremely easy as myself and Enda were accompanied by his brother John whose training for Berlin. Headed out along the canal for the Park. After ~40 mins with John we continued up on a shortened loop through the park before returning home.
The run was a little longer than I intended, but the pace was so gentle that the legs felt good pretty much the whole way, with little to no side effects from yesterday.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Most Impressive Performance by a recent Brown Grad this weekend goes to....

Not this guy, but I'm pretty chuffed

3 mile w/u
5 mile race, 27:28
5 mile c/d

Splits: 5:09, 5:26, 5:36, 5:44, 5:32

If you were to judge this race only by the splits, and not knowing the course, you'd think I'd run like a complete arse. However, the effort was pretty consistent, and after the first half mile I picked up 20-25 places over the course of the run without getting passed by anyone. The first mile had about a 1km straightaway which was pretty flat, possibly a slight decline. A right turn took us towards the mile marker with that 600m gradually downhill. In truth the first mile was too quick, but only by about 5-10 secs, nothing major. Just past the mile marker we had a steep half mile downhill, before a sharp right turn into a steep half mile uphill and into the wind. I tried to conserve as much energy as possible on the downhill and really attacked the uphill, with this section being the area of the race I made up the most ground. The third mile was predominantly flat for the first 1200 before starting to climb, so was pleased to see that the split for this mile was my target pace. The fourth mile was all uphill, although the gradient wasn't too steep. As I was running I did think I had slowed to a greater extent than I actually did and was pleased to get to 4 miles in under 22 mins. At this point however, I was fucked with that capital F, with a pretty severe side stitch. Despite the last mile being flat, I did think I was going to struggle to get home in the 6 mins I needed to break 28. However, drawing on the spirit of Frank the Tank, I managed to keep my composure, not freak out, and realise that the 2 guys ~10 yards ahead of me weren't pulling away despite my struggles. Made a reall effort to make the ground up on them, getting there with about 500 to go, and despite having absolutely no kick at all managed to pass the 2 goys to get in.

I'm very happy with this run as I got in ~30secs quicker than I was hoping for, but the most pleasing thing about it was how quickly I recovered afterwards, and the 5 miles after the run was really pretty easy. The base is there, I'm definitely lacking quality work in training, but I'm not changing the plan. If I can keep doing what I'm doing for the next 14 weeks till Marathon Monday then I'm going to have a great base to start thinking about running this type of distance more competitively in the future. Definitely great to be back competing though. I was sitting on the can this morning (Sharing too much??) wondering what the hell I had gotten myself into, when I realised that that type of feeling was what I had missed about running. Definitely helped with the nerves, and totally enjoyed the day.

Ridiculously long post I know, but final point, was there was 5800 people in the race. Surprised but happy that so many people are making an effort to improve their health. Given what I do, I spend a lot of time around out of shape, overweight/obese diabetics who totally abuse their bodies. It's pretty inspiring to see people make the effort to improve themselves.

Friday, July 17, 2009

oh boy

6 miles, 41:53

Thank god that the race wasn't today because I would have been fucked with a capital F. I felt flatter than Keira Knightley's chest (I still so would), which can entirely be attributed to a lack of sleep last night (~5 hours). Still, have plenty of time for recovery before tomorrow, and am getting pretty excited about the race. I'm very curious to see what I run, and have never been so unsure of what to expect, but I'm going to play the ballsy card and say that I'm aiming to run 28mins. I would be pleased with sub 28:30 though, but we'll see what happens. The course is set up tough, and if I don't get the pace right in the first two miles I'm proper fucked.

Went to the Porterhouse last night for the first time, and will definitely be back. Quality establishment, with some savagely good beers. Drank the fantastically named Galway Hooker last night, which tasted as good as the name sounds. Happy days.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

So little time.........

8 miles, 56:06

Had intended on doing 10 today, but didn't have the time to get 'er done before I was due back in for testing, so cut it a wee bit short in order to keep the gym session. Legs felt spectacular due to the day off yesterday, although I'm severely questioning the accuracy of the run length as it felt a bit quicker than 7 min pace. Maybe I'm just doing badger miles.
Really looking forward to the race on Saturday, some nerves setting in, but mainly on account of the fact that all going well I'm going to run 2 mins slower than I was running 3-4 years ago and actually be pleased with myself. This sucks.
Taking the Jeff T/Tarpy rule of having a few beers the night before the night before tonight. Not thrilled about the prospect to be honest, but has to be done, and if I race well, I may just keep it up.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009


10.1 miles, 71:09

Felt pretty knackered on the run today, legs still a bit beat up from the long run. Combined with the fact that the weather was shite it was making for a pretty miserable run. Ran into Orla O'Mahony on the run and the company definitely made the run pass by a lot quicker.
Gym session was good, feeling strong on the weights.
School is doing its best to get me down at the minute, and loss of sleep is a definite factor in the tiredness going on at the minute. Tomorrow is a welcome day of from running, but given that I'm looking at a 14 hour day means I'll still probably feel pretty shagged on Thursday. College isnt supposed to be like this!

Monday, July 13, 2009

Hot damn thats a slow one

5.5 miles, 39:30

Very much a recovery run today after the long run yesterday. Could tell the pace was 'leisurely' but was enjoying it as I had some definite creakiness in the joints after yesterday. No specific pains/aches but felt very much out of sync. Spent some quality time with the trigger wheel and foam roller afterwards and feel pretty good right about now. Bout to sit down to finish watching Old School and polish of a half pint of Phish food. Happy days!

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Week 5: Check

6 runs, 55 miles

A very good weeks training. Got in a good tempo run, 2 gym sessions, and my longest run to date. The shin issue that caused me some concern last week in the right shin was a total non-issue this week. Today's long run had some hip/IT tightness on the left side that I need to pay some attention to, but otherwise I'm in pretty good nick. This week should allow me to recover nicely as I've nothing but mileage till Saturday when the weeman makes his return to competition. Prepare for embarrassing slowness over 5 miles!!

More wrong turns

15.75 miles, 109 mins

Was hoping for 16 today but took a wrong turn just past the 11 mile mark, going right when I should have gone left, but my memory of the map failed me. Very enjoyable run, and managed to keep the pace very easy and relaxed bar the couple of occasions some dogs took a liking to my ankles and I had to pick it up. Did notice some tightness in the left hip/IT band, nothing major, but just something I need to pay a bit more attention to. In terms of distance, it felt pretty easy to be out this long, however I'll need every bit of training in between now and October to get fit enough to be out there an hour more than today.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

No dramatics today

8.15 miles, 57:06

Had a fairly massive hangover this morning after a few pints of the Black stuff in Fitzers turned into many pints later in the night. Had a very rough first 10 mins of this run but felt grand after that. Right hammy was a bit tight but no major issues aside. Looking forward to the long run tomorrow

Friday, July 10, 2009

Tap that ass

6 miles, 42:26

Had to get out early today cos of work, so was a little out of it at the start of the run. Ran from the gym and not 30 seconds into the run I ran past some random dude who, I shit you not, smacked me on the ass as I went past. Between shock and the fact that it was 7am it took me a few strides to register what happened. I turned round trying to come up with something to say but as soon as I faced the guy he blew me a kiss. Seriously disturbed, all I could think to do was flip the bird and keep going. It was a gorgeous morning for a run and the tide was out so decided to run on the beach. Legs felt very good on the run after yesterday, and I got a good weight session in after.

Thursday, July 9, 2009


2.5 mile w/u (18:05)
6.15 mile tempo (35:18)
2.4 mile c/d (18:32)

HR during tempo = 177 - 189

Very happy with this workout. Was 53 seconds faster than when I did the same thing two weeks ago. 3 reasons why are a) I had the day off yesterday whereas last time out it was the 8th day in a row out; b) I'm a bit fitter; c) I ran a bit too hard today early on. Was about 20-25 seconds quicker through the 1st two miles which are the hardest two on the run being uphill and today into the wind. As a result I started to rig pretty bad on the 3rd mile, but after about 2.75 the park starts to work downhill and I used the downhills very well to recover from the first couple of miles. Last time out I kept a pretty even pace through 5 but rigged pretty on the last mile. Today after the downhill recovery I felt very strong and would guess that the last mile was the fastest which is encouraging. Recovered very quickly afterwards and the legs have felt good all day since.

Got the race number and course map for the 5 miler in the park Saturday week. Of course the course runs in the opposite direction to what I've been running, with the first 2 miles downhill and from 2-4.5 uphill. Going to be tough going. Also the timing chip is attached to the number which has to be the dumbest thing ever. What the hell is wrong with just lacing it into the shoe like the good old days???

Tuesday, July 7, 2009


~7 miles, 49:06
1.15 miles, 8:19

Woke up early this morning to run before Coll-ege! only to be in such a tired daze I couldn't remember what day it was and what run I was supposed to do for a good 5 mins. Once I got out I felt pretty good, although the calves are tight still. Tried to hit up the usual pre-gym run at Ringsend park but some lazy bastard hadn't opened up yet, so went down to Irishtown, and the nature park, meaning I got a good half of the run on grass. Had a great sesh in the gym, and a nice comfy trot back to the aportement. Day off tomorrow.

Monday, July 6, 2009


6 miles easy, 43:10
HR = 143 - 149

Kept this nice and slow, but was happy to find that the soreness/tightness in the soleuses abated after a couple of hundred yards leaving me a nice easy run in the sun. Surprised at the lack of soreness from yesterday, and think it might be waiting to creep up on me tomorrow. Left off the gym an extra day too, when you look this good, its easy to lay off waxing the guns a day or so.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Month 1: Check

Weeks total: 53 miles, 6 runs

Very pleased with this week given the events of last weekend/travelling back and the occasional twinges/niggles in the shin which seems to have worked itself out (fingers crossed). Finished the week very well with an excellent long run today. To get through the first month of the training program on track and with a 100% record for runs is very satisfying. Only got to do that 4 more times and we'll see what happens on race day.


15 miles, 98:50

Had the perfect 14 mile route mapped out last night on Gmaps in preparation for this morning. However, because I live out in Boggerland, I can't zoom in enough on the satellite image to get landmarks, which resulted in me taking a wrong turn. Once I realised my error I took a chance on changing the route around Cooley, but this resulted in the run being longer than I planned. Didn't have splits for the majority of the run, but clocked the last 3 miles in 18:50. Didn't realise I was moving at that kind of tempo but delighted as it felt easy. Definitely need to pay more attention to pace as the whole point to these long runs is to maximise the amount of time I spend on my feet. More importantly I had zero issues with the right shin/calf, and the legs felt great. Very, very pleased with this run.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Hangover, followed by The Hangover

8 miles, 53:33

Had the day off yesterday, and the legs were very grateful. Last night was an Abu Dhabi reunion night, and unsurprisingly was messy. Had a savage nights craic, which of course meant that I was savagely hungover this morning. Missed the early bus back to Dundalk, and got home later than planned. Ventured out the door around 5pm, which was much later than planned, but felt better for it and enjoyed the run. Legs were feeling good, but after about 5 miles a little tightness crept into the shin, still not on the bone but a nuisance all the same. I desperately need to get a massage. I'm due a long run tomorrow, and will see how the leg responds. If its not positive, I'll crosstrain for the first few days of next week as I want to get on top of it early.
Just back from watching the Hangover (finally). It's all been said about it already, so awesome will suffice as a recap.

Thursday, July 2, 2009


~10 miles, 68:08

Shit got crazy in Dublin last night. Got woken at 4am by a mofo of a thunderstorm the likes of which I hadn't seen since, well, last Friday in DC. Apparently we got 2 weeks of rain in a single hour. And it kept raining the night through. Needless to say, everywhere was wet this morning, which made me decide to avoid running in the parks. Decide to hit the canal as it bends south towards Tallaght around the 3 mile mark and I hadn't ventured down there yet. I should have known better. Tallaght, or Tallafornia, is not known for its wonderful scenery, but rather pie-bald ponies wandering around housing estates and the like. So despite mapping out my run on Gmap with a clearly visible path on the satellite images, I ventured about 4.25 miles down to discover the path had been fenced off, and what looked like a series of petrol bombs set off the far side of it. Ran on the other side of the canal along a (wet) grass bank and passed some of said ponies and horses. Didn't manage to get to the 5 mile turnaround as someone had barricaded one of the through passes on the opposite side of the canal as well. Added on some at the end to get roughly 10, although Gmap suggests its closer to 9.75. I'm all about the whole numbers game.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009


6 miles, 43:06

Wasn't particularly enthused about running today as Wednesday is my usual day off and my legs were pretty gassed yesterday. However I'm not going to get a chance to run Friday so got my ass out the door. Legs were still tired and very stiff/sore in the soleus muscles, which was evident from the 7:30 first mile, followed by a 7:20. After this the legs loosened up considerably and I even managed to duck under 7 min pace on the last mile or two. Hit the Ice cup up last night and again tonight and the shins are very receptive. Looking forward to running a respectable length run tomorrow.

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Tired legs

6 miles, 42:39

The run was fine for the most part except for the fact that I felt pretty tired the whole time. The calves are tight, and both shins were a bit tight during the run too, so need to get in some ice cup action as soon as this post is done. I think it is nothing more than getting over the weekends activities and travel, but need to play it safe. Gym workout was good, increased the weights on some of the reps without any repurcussions, other than the resulting increase in the guns!

School is busy now due to making up for lost time and finally having some diabetic volunteers to begin testing. Didnt get home tonight till 10:30 which is unheard of, and am going to have to rearrange some runs this week and next to allow for some tests to occur. Surprisingly I'm pretty pleased at this turn of events as I had some (and still do) doubts as to how this study was progressing. As long as I get the miles in then I'm not too bothered.

Monday, June 29, 2009

Return to normality

8 miles, 53:02

After getting home late this morning, and feeling pretty tired/crappy, only went into college for the bare minimum today to set myself up for a busy rest of the week. Got out the door to run around 6ish, and was happy to feel that the legs were feeling good, but given the paucity of the weekend mileage that's understandable. Did have some tightness in the right shin that was due to doing nothing preventative over the weekend, but this gradually worked itself into tightness in the right calf by the runs end. Run overall was relaxed and enjoyable. Looking to get back into a routine of normal day to day activity from here on in.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Week 3 review

6 runs, 43.35 miles

Fell well short of the anticipated 52 miles in the end, the discrepancies due to the runs in DC being well short of what was planned, but given the weekend that was in it I'm not a) surprised or b) disappointed. Next week was a scheduled down week in which I was only supposed to hit 41 anyway so I'll just flip flop a little and get the 50 odd in this week. Was delighted with the early part of this weeks run though, and the tempo/long run in particular. The legs are holding up and I'm pleased with the progress thus far. Only 17 weeks till race day. Not like I'm counting or anything.

DC Action

Fri: Flew into Dulles early Friday afternoon, and despite Jilane's best attempts to blame me for not running, I had intended on a scheduled day off. The combo of 90 degree heat and humidity swiftly followed by a ridickerous hail/thunderstorm definitely killed any ambition to sneak in an easy 4-5 miler.

Sat: Rock Creek park, ~5 miles, 40 mins run. The XC reunion run in memory of Landon Schmitt. Beautiful morning in the district, running with 18 of my favourite people in the world. Only disappointment was the brevity of the run. Fantastic trails despite the bitching of some, but a very enjoyable run given the company and the weather.

Sun: Bike path by Chad's place, ~4 miles, 30 mins. While this weekends running was, well, shit, I am considering this run a success given the ridickerous amounts of alcohol consumed Saturday, the lateness of the wake up Sunday, and the throbbing in my head. Pace was thankfully very relaxed despite Ed trying to engage us in a sprint for the finish. I didn't do that shit in college, not about to start now mate.

Travel back from DC was a nightmare. Went for pints at the airport (do not do this often but I wanted to pass out as soon as I sat down on the plane). Got chatting first to the BBC's European correspondant who is house hunting in DC as he is soon to become the BBC's American correspondant, and then got hit on by a 37 year old single English mother. Never in my life was I so glad to hear the words "Can Eamonn O'Connor please report to gate B24 as the flight is ready for departure" (I will also point out that I still had 30 mins till take off). A quick sprint down the terminal, last person on the plane, on the verge of passing out when the engine on the left side beats me to it. Leads to a 3 hour delay prior to take off, and a very grumpy wee man arriving back in Ireland at noon instead of 9. At least its not like I had anywhere to be.

Thursday, June 25, 2009


14 miles, 91:23

3.95 miles w/u, 28:26; HR range = 149 - 56
6.1 mile tempo, 36:03; Avg HR = 179, range = 174-187, rec after 1 min =41
3.95 mile c/d, 26:52; HR range = 151-58

Combined the long run with the workout on account of this weekends travelling. Warmed up by running to the park along the Canal, which like the rest of the run, breezed by in no time. I hadn't run in the park since an XC race the winter before I went to Brown, so didn't have too much idea of the lay of the land following the road around the perimeter. The first and last mile were the hardest due to being into the wind and predominantly uphill, with the quicker miles being between 2-4. Think I slowed a bit on the last mile but overall very pleased to average sub 6's. It's a long way from the tempo's of college, but then again, I'm a long way from the fitness of college. Recovered very quickly both in terms of HR and the legs, and was surprised to see that the cooldown home from the park was quicker than the recovery as the pace was pedestrian and the aim was to just let the legs get home in one piece. Also very pleased with the distance covered too as it didn't prove taxing to go 14. A good days running.