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.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Non Day off

5.2 miles, 37:05
1.15 miles, 8:20

Ran to the gym from home today as I only got back to Dublin this morning. Normally would be off today but decided to run to save myself running on Friday when I'm travelling. Kept the pace nice and easy but the legs felt good. Weather was hot and humid so was sweating buckets, and calves felt a little tight on the short run home, but otherwise felt pretty fresh so was happy with the run.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Oh its a deep burn

8 miles, 52:35

Was in a rush today as I had to get home today to pick up this ghetto ass laptop I'm writing on (Windows 2000, 568mb of RAM, its a beast) so ran after not eating for 7 hours or so as I got held up at the hospital. Big mistake. All kinds of gassy shenanigans started happening in the intestinal regions leading to some spectacular sound effects and no small amount of clenching to get home in the proverbial one piece. Not a fun feeling. Sharing too much? Most likely.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Monday blues

6 miles, 43:22

Had my hopes falsely built up that the death of my laptop wasn't really so but that it was just the AC adaptor that had had it. Alas not to be. It's the motherboard, the motherboard!! So its either €300 to replace it here, hope that I can get it done this weekend in DC under the soon to expire warranty or buy a new one. F me in the A hole.....

The run was fine, slow, recovery, feel good etc. I'm a total beast in the gym.

Week In review

6 runs, 50 miles

Another solid week in which the legs feel good about what I'm doing, and the fitness continues to improve. The big difference from last week was how I felt after the long run. This week the 12 miles took much less out of me than last week. Waking up today I didn't feel like I'd done anything other than a normal run yesterday, while after last weeks long run I was a bit sore and stiff after the 12. Will be interesting to see how this weeks longer effort plays out.

Went to see transformers yesterday. Megan Fox's boobies are spectacular. You don't need any other reason to watch this film besides that.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

F*cking June!

This shitty month continues to go from bad to worse. My laptop has died, meaning a) no internet access on a regular basis, b) I can't do half the work I need to be doing, and c) I'm too broke to buy a new one. a + b + c = I'm up shit creek. Quick recap on the rest of last week.

Fri: Did the run/gym routine. 6 miles, 42:23. Felt good, but didn't necessarily feel like the effort correlated with running 7+ minute miles (felt like I was running faster despite easy running). Had my commencement ceremony for the diploma I did last year Fri night, so went for pints after and an early rise to head back to Dundalk Saturday morning made for a tired Wee man.

Sat. 8 miles + strides, 54:28. This was better. Despite the tiredness and mildly throbbing head, the run was very relaxed and easy. The tightness in my right calf seems to be dissipating somewhat to become a tightness down the whole right side, as the hammy was a little tight today too. Slept for 10+ hours Sat night. Love it.

Sun: 12 miles 80:59. Did the same run as last Sunday, and ran the exact same splits for the first 8 miles. Decided on the last 4 to guesstimate what marathon pace would be like and run at it for the last few miles. About 3.5 miles into it I regretted it, as I'm not fit enough for this type of craic yet. However, recovered very quickly and didn't feel too bad. Need to try to avoid being stupid though.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Back at it

10 miles, 66:58

I am not enjoying my days off. The legs were definitely thankful for it this morning as I felt very good today, but yesterday was a mindf*ck of a boring day, I felt useless. As for this mornings run, felt good, ran relaxed and easy, and just enjoyed it. It's been a quiet week all round outside of training. I've done f*ck all work as my equipments broke, no clinic for the diabetics today, and struggling for anything else to do. Putting the kettle on and the feet up. Happy days.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009


8 miles, 52:38

Calves are still toight today, but improved from yesterday. All the same, I'm glad of the day off tomorrow. Took a couple of miles to get going, but felt good. Took some restraint to keep it easy as some goy was lapping the field in the opposite direction but taking about 10-15secs out of me each time around which I didn't like, but thoughts of October kept me pacified.
Feck all else to comment on, so I'll just leave it there.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Easy does it

6 miles, 43:43

This was in every essence of the word(s) a recovery run. Woke up this morning with some pretty toight soleuseseses/soleuii(?)/calf muscles. However, as soon as I started the run the legs surprised me by feeling a ton better than I expected them too. Forced myself to keep it very easy, which I succeeded in doing. Had a good weights/stretch routine post run. Thankfully the odd tweak in the shin I had during the run yesterday was totally absent today, and any apprehension about how the legs would respond to coming off the concrete yesterday unfounded. Hooray for me.

Yesterday, after 4 years of owning, and 3 prior failed attempts, I finally completed James Joyce's Ulysses. Apparently this is the most lied about book worldwide in terms of readership. I can't understand why people would want to claim to read it. If they actually attempted it they would quickly realise it's terrible. I want the 4-5 months I just spent slogging through it back. It's verbal spew. I kept telling myself to perservere in the expectancy that untold knowledge and wisdom would be bestowed upon me in its final pages. Nuh uh. Apparently people were as/more sexually active in Dublin in 1904 than now. And that's about as good as it gets. Give me Lord of the Rings anyday.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

1 of 20

6 runs, 48 miles

I'm 5% through marathon training. Big whoop. Besides my weeks taper, this is the easiest week on tap in the program. But I'm very glad to come through it feeling pretty much a-ok despite one or two minor issues with the right calf. It is also my best weeks mileage in 3+ years, so I'm pretty pleased with myself. Onto week 2.

Up and at them

12 miles, 81:44

Was out the door this Sunday morning bright and early (7:15am on a Sunday is practically unheard of for this guy) as I had the 1 year anniversary mass for my Grandpa this morning and knew the day would be a family one. The weather was glorious during the run, and was the best part of the day, so was all the more able to enjoy the run. It was also my first proper outing on the roads in a while as I'm a whore for grass/soft surfaces. Overall the legs responded to the hard surfaces pretty well, a little tightness developed in the right shin midway through, but eased off as I progressed. Will continue to be careful and do the things I need to try to keep right!

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Switch off

8 miles, 53:43 + strides

Got home to Dundalk late last night due to missed buses/traffic, and was very happy to get to bed and get a great nights sleep in. Left the laptop in Dublin as I need to switch off this weekend and recharge the batteries. Slept late, woke up, watched some tv before heading out for a nice wee jog. Ran over to the footie fields, did a few laps, threw some strides in before running home. Calf was a little better today, probably as I iced and did what I should have been doing all week. Looking forward to the long run tomorrow.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Easy day

6 miles, 41:28

The bad news this week keeps piling up. The sooner the month of June ends the better. The only real high points in my days are when I get out for a run, which is not a great thing to rely on as I know as well as anyone it could come crashing down around my ears at any point. 
The run was very relaxed and enjoyable, despite some continued tightness at the semi-tendinous insertion of the right calf. This has been on/off for a while, but had thought it was past. No big deal, just need to start taking better care of myself.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Morning saunter

8 miles, 53:24

So got a little crazy this morning and ran the same run as Tuesday, BACKWARDS. Crazy shit I know. Felt a little tightness in the calves on the first couple of miles, not to be unexpected since I rolled out of the bed and into the run, but after about 15-20 mins I was feeling good and finished the run strong and relaxed.
Writing this post from the hospital library, which feels a little weird, as I kill time before peacing out. I also dislike the fact that I'm on the internet and can't access gmail. What type of horseshit is that?
And Ronaldo is off to Real Madrid. Delighted. Not because the the worlds biggest ponce won't be diving around on the grounds of the Premiership, but because my unwavering belief that he was going to score a bagful last year saw me lose my fantasy football league to the Lampard/Gerrard combo. Without him, team selection is a whole lot easier, and cheaper. Happy days.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Simplicity needed

8 miles, 51:33

There are days I am very thankful that my Dad introduced me to running years ago. Without a doubt its caused me some upsets down the line, but all are extremely trivial when compared to the events of the last couple of days. However, running does offer me the chance to clear my mind more than any other activity, and without it I'd probably have gotten lost somewhere along life's paths long ago.
Todays run was maybe a little quick, but yesterday's run was a solemn slow recovery run and the legs benefited from it, and were feeling good today.
Yesterday was 20 weeks till marathon day. I'm finally going to practice what I preach and follow some of the information I've gleaned from my studies, and implement five 4 week cycles or 3 weeks on, 1 week recovery. I've got 3 races of increasing distance (5, 10, 13.1) interspersed nicely throughout, and am basically working on the following general idea:

Mon: Slow recovery run, 5-6 miles + weights/core
Tue: Easy run, 8 miles increasing in distance to 10-12 as I advance through training
Wed: Day off
Thur: 'Workout day' although not for another 3-4 weeks or so. Workouts will be tempo runs at slightly faster than marathon pace (~6:00pace) of 5-6 miles increasing to 12-14 miles in length or 3x3 miles (Jokin, I like your style)
Fri: Recovery run of 5-6 miles + weights /core
Sat: Easy run, 8 miles increasing to no more than 10
Sun: Long run, starting at 12 miles, and increasing to 20-22 miles, with the last of these 3 weeks out from the 'thon.

The recovery weeks will not include workouts, and mileage will be about 75% of the previous weeks work. Obviously given my body's love of all things stress related, there will be a great deal of variation to allow for recovery from niggles/injuries and will use this as a general guideline that is open to day to day interpretation. I am excited however, to have gotten to this point. As many times as I've thought/bluffed about the marathon, I'm at a point where its a realistic possibility, and feel that the above program can get me round in sub 2:50 despite the relatively low mileage volume. Thoughts, undoubted criticisms all welcome.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Brothers in Arms

6 miles, 43:41
Weights & Core

Recovery run.

Landon Schmitt RIP

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Week in Review

6 runs, 44.5 miles

Very happy with this weeks running, not only in terms of the actual running, but the way the body has felt doing it. Legs feel fresh, the runs feel easy, and I
don't have any real aches or pains to speak of. I'm looking forward to getting stuck into a proper training program with the end goal of the marathon, but am conscious of the fact that the legs could go to pieces at any given time, so need to stay focused on doing the important things and listening to the body. But for this week, I am giving myself the Letsrun Thumbs Up.

Phase 1: Completed

10.5 miles, 69:17 (35:12 first half)

Ran over to the fields, ran 6 laps to get through half way, swapped direction and did the same coming home. Felt very good. The weather had improved on yesterday as it had warmed up to 12C (60F) and dried out nicely, although the strong breeze was still in play. Felt very strong and relaxed and had no trouble at all with the slightly longer length.

The goal all along for training to this point was to get in good enough shape to train properly for the marathon. Tomorrow marks 20 weeks to race day and I definitely think I've achieved that target. I've had a few ups and downs, notably the time I missed in January and again in March/April, but at this point I feel very good about my running and am looking forward to giving the marathon training a proper go. Am going to spend some time today mapping out a rough training program, which I'll post tomorrow, but am keen to try and reinforce the idea that I need to take it one day at a time.

Went to see Terminator: Salvation last night. Thought that the story line was pretty weak, but the action sequences more than make up for it. It's literally mile a minute stuff with an explosion of some sort every 7.8 seconds I reckon. Great film to not make you think, stayed true to the original Terminator storyline, and definitely feel its one that could be watched numerous times without getting old (Gone in 60 seconds type mould there).

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Blowin In The Wind

6.25 miles, 43:04
Avg HR = 157, 149 - 161
Rec after 1 min = 44

The weather finally broke, and it was a pretty drastic change. The temp had dropped to 7C (about 45F), with strong winds, and heavy rain/sleet. And I have to admit I was loving the conditions. Felt good on the run despite a late night last night. Threw on the HR monitor for the first time in a while and was very happy with the results, as I was about 10bpm lower on average than about 6 weeks ago despite the fact that I am running about 20 secs a mile faster. Happy days.

Friday, June 5, 2009


7 miles, 46:56

Had to squeeze in the run and workout in order to catch the bus back to Dundalk so had no time to stretch pre- and post-run, and the body wasn't grateful for it. Had some residual soreness from the squatting yesterday which took a good 2-3 miles to work out, but after that opened up a little and felt good finishing. Shin was a little tight on the right side, but again, due to squats and lack of stretching. NBD. 
Got the bus home tonight as opposed to tomorrow morning as its election day today, both local and for members of the European parliament. I am not a fan in anyway shape or form of Irish politics as the politicians are as engaging as dried shite, and the parties are not drawn on policy lines but throwbacks to the civil war 80+ years ago. This is the first election I've actually dedicated myself to finding out more about the party lines on policy and despite some raging disparities in party definitions and policy (for example, Fianna Fail are declared centre right but advocate gov't spending to boost the economy?) I was happy to vote Labour and their socialist views. Let's turn Ireland into the next Sweden! Hot blondes included!

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Still In One Piece

7.25 miles, 49:34

Had some paranoid delusions that because I took a day off yesterday that when I stepped out the door today everything was going to hurt, having screwed up my body's karma by not running yesterday. Thankfully, my body isn't as stupid as my brain sometimes and everything felt good. Warmed up for the run by doing 18mins of dynamic squatting as my final requirement for an experiment I volunteered for, so starting out the quads were a little tired but having run easy for the first couple of miles all felt good on the second half of the run and the stride opened up a little. 
Thankfully some semblance of fitness and stride length are returning so that my patented fat bastard shuffle is now a little closer to resembling a stride of an actual runner. About time too.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Lovin the Sun

7.1 miles, 49:26
Weights & Core

Today was another glorious  day weather-wise. These types of days don't hit Ireland too often, however, a look at the 10-day forecast would have Coste creaming in his pants. Was way too depressed at being inside so went running at 1 this afternoon despite it being the hottest time of day, although given that its now half 7 and still 23 (73) I didn't really lose out. Plus the park offered some nice shade and a sweet breeze, so it definitely didn't feel like the 25 (75) it actually was. Ran nice and easy, and got a good gym set in after.

The week review can be deceptive just doing a Mon-Sun gig. For the last 7 days I've logged 7 runs and just a tick under 47 miles. For this guy, thats kind of a big deal. So despite the fact that the legs feel good, I'm taking tomorrow off as a rest day, as I've got a lot going on and don't fancy putting miles on the legs just for the sake of it at 9pm tomorrow. 

Monday, June 1, 2009

Who's a clever boy then?

6.4 miles, 45 mins + strides

After yesterday's excesses (too much food, too much beer, too much sun) I felt surprisingly good today (the ~11 hour sleep can do that I hear). Hit the fields again because I'm such a whore for soft surfaces. After the really good run yesterday I was determined not to overdo it/ruin the good run by going harder today. Kept it very easy, opening with a 5 min first lap, but kept the pace very controlled with the quickest lap only at 4:51. Very very pleased that I was able to show some discipline and pace judgement and keep the run very easy, a recovery run in every sense. The weather remained spectacular today, tying off the holiday weekend in style. Back to the grind tomorrow