Sunday, August 22, 2010

Worst race ever

Mon: 40 mins easy aquajogging
Tue: Day off
Wed: 1 hr in pool with pyramid workout to 80secs
Thu: 8 miles, 54:08
Fri: 6 miles w/ 3 x ~200m strides, 41:24
Sat: 3 mile w/u, 10 mile race, 5.5 mile c/d
Sun: 6.25 miles, no time.

Total: 4 runs, 38.75 miles

Couldn't bring myself to blog about the race for a few days as I stank the place out. Went into the race with the realistic goal of PR'ing (56:12) and the optimistic goal of breaking 55 mins. The PR was set during the first 10 miles of the half 'thon I ran last year and workouts etc have been going similar bar the few days in the pool. I also knew based on the race last year (22nd in 57:31) and from the 5 miler in July that those times would put me in the top 20. Got off the line well but after about 400 yards I was trying to settle into my pace but just had wave after wave of people pass me and was thrown a little by it. Couldn't settle as I kept trying to latch onto groups but nothing doing. Legs felt flat from the get-go and guys were just going away from me. Hit the mile in 5:14 which is about where I'd planned on being so tried to calm down and tell myself they'd come back to me later. Was still having a hard time getting into my running though. Ran the 2nd mile mark in 5:38, so tried to pick up the tempo slightly to get onto 5:30s but could tell I was on for a rough day. Missed the 3 mile mark due to some fat dude blocking the sign, but hit the 4 mile with an 11:37 for the previous 2 miles. It was into the wind for the 4th mile, but ouch. Not good and struggling at this point. Right around this point a group came up on me so made sure to just latch on and tuck in. Managed to stay with them for the 5th mile in 5:35 giving me a half way split of 28:07. I told myself that if I got a 2nd wind etc that a PR at least was still on but was dropped from the group around this point and basically knew I was lying to myself. I held it together for a 5:36 on the 6th mile which was a gradual downhill but around 6.5 we hit the hills and I was done. 5:56 for the 7th mile, 5:54 for the 8th, and 5:56 for 9 and 10 and a finishing time of 57:30. Not pretty.

I've had a hard time putting my finger on where it went wrong. Given the legs felt dead from the get-go I think the resistance of the water in the pool may have fatigued the legs more than I thought. Additionally I was out maybe 10 seconds too quick over the first mile due to panicking slightly about the numbers that passed me early on instead of running my own race; this on top of the fact that I didn't feel good led to me gassing it on the 2nd half. On the brightside, even when totally spent on the last 4 miles I was able to run marathon pace, so I at least somewhat created a feeling no doubt similar to what the last 6 is going to feel like in October. Also my interpretation of where I should have been was correct. The guy who finished one place behind me in the 5 mile race in July finished 20th in 56:09. So on a better day I know where I'm at.

The shins have been ok since. I've been working them and the left has improved a lot. Since this is the one I had most of the stress fractures in I'm happy about this, but the right needs a lot of work as it's still pretty tight. But overall I'm happy enough to get back into running normally again this week. Just need to get some life back in the legs and stay focused on the goal for October.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Week in Review

Fri: 40 mins aquajog + Gym
Sat: 8 miles, 54:20; avg HR = 151
Sun: 19 miles, 130:18; avg HR = 155

Weeks total: 4 runs, 51 miles, + 80 mins in pool

Got in the pool on Friday as planned despite the shins feeling great all day, 'cos I'm like all smart and shit. Glad I did too because come the run on Saturday they were feeling pretty tight. Sunday didn't start out too much better, with both shins very tight early on. After about an hour they did loosen up and felt good by the end, but still not happy that it's not nipped in the bud yet. So getting back in the pool for the next 2 days, and not running until Thursday. Still happy that it's not a bone-related issue, but know that if I continue to push it it won't be too long until it does become one. Pleased with the fitness levels though, and the 10 mile race in the Phoenix Park next Saturday should give me a good indication of where I'm at.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Shins 17, This guy 1?

Mon: 40 mins aquajogging
Tue: Day off
Wed: 8 miles, 55:48
Thu: 2 mile w/u, 12.3 mile tempo. 1.7 mile c/d

Despite the shins feeling pretty decent on Sunday's long run, I was sufficiently concerned by a sore point on the shin when icing afterwards to get back in the pool for Monday's effort. And might actually maintain this routine for a couple of weeks at least as I got a better aerobic effort than running 7:45's for a recovery run and zero pounding.
Moved the day off to Tuesday from Wednesday a) because of the shins and b) I was getting a bone marrow aspiration that morning and didn't feel like attempting to run afterwards.
Wednesday was a test to see how training would progress over the next couple of weeks. A positive result from the shins would mean getting back in the saddle while any pain would mean at least a week of no running and no 10 miler next week. Thankfully the shins were fine; a couple of niggles and barks out of them occasionally during the run but nothing to worry about. Felt pretty happy about this and feel comfortable enough to continue training.
This morning I headed out to the park for a 2-lap tempo. Forgot to steal borrow the HR monitor from the lab on my way out last night but knew the pace I was looking for. Last year did this run in 73:47 which was bang on 6 minute pace, but had a bit of a struggle with it late on (mainly due to pints the night before as Churchill was in Ireland that week). Starting out today I could tell the legs felt good. Felt very relaxed in my running and was clicking off the miles nice and steadily. Passed through the 1st lap in 36:15 (5:55 pace) and felt very good. Probably pushed the 1st two miles of the 2nd lap a bit too hard up the hill as it was the only stage I really had any tiredness in the legs. Picked up 5 seconds on the 1st 2 miles compared to the first lap, another 5 seconds from 2-4 but then lost about 5 on the 5th mile. Finished nice and strong though with a ~5:40 last mile for a 35:58 2nd lap and 72:13 overall. Very pleased with how this felt as it was as relaxed as marathon pace should be, and the shins were fine throughout. They tightened up a bit during the cool down, but since finishing the run and ice-cupping they're feeling fine. Might this be the first time I get it right? Not getting ahead of myself but feeling confident. Going to aquajog again tomorrow just to be safe, but feeling content right now.

In other slightly-running related news, while at the hospital on Tuesday I decided it might be a good idea to get my cholesterol checked along with the other tests I was getting done. Last time I did was 2 years ago just after I got back from Abu Dhabi with a huge beer gut and zero fitness. Then it was on the high side at 5.2, but figured since the diet has improved and I'm back running it should have come down. Uh uh. 5.4. Shitballs, need to revamp the diet as this is pretty shocking (normal range is 3-5). Breakfast fries at the weekend are the first to go, and will be trimming the fat (literally) from the diet over the next few days.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Week In Review

Fri: 6 miles, 45:29 + core
Sat: 8 miles, 55:14
Sun: 18 miles, 125:26 (avg HR = 152)

Total for the week: 6 runs, 60 miles

Pleased with the week's training although Thursday's workout reaggravated the shins. They haven't been too bad, and on the long run for Sunday they were pretty non-specific in the area of tightness, and after about an hour's running they didn't bother me at all. However, working on them after the run with the ice-cup I found one area of pretty specific soreness that is very close to (if not on) the bone. Into full blown treatment, ice cups, aquajogging and physio tomorrow, sleeping in compression socks, massaging bottom of foot with golf ball, praying to anyone who'll listen that they let this not be a thing. Also bumping the day off from Wed to Tuesday partly due to the shin and partly due to the fact that I'm in for my 3 monthly bone marrow biopsy and am probably going to be too sore to run afterwards. However, in good CML-related news, the last one was totally clear, and if I have another all-clear from Tuesday's I don't need to go through it again for 12 months. Fingers crossed. Now just hoping that 2 days rest sorts the shin out......

Thursday, August 5, 2010

4 x 2 mile effort

Target: 4 x 2 miles in 10:40-10:45 w/ 3 mins recovery.

1) 10:54 (5:38, 5:16; HR = 185), 2:57 (HR = 133);
2) 11:00 (5:40, 5:20; HR = 185), 2:57 (HR = 143);
3) 10:49 (5:34, 5:15; HR = 189), 2:57 (HR = 146);
4) 10:50 (5:34, 5:16; HR = 190), HR after 1 min = 145.

Overall I'm pretty satisfied with this effort. This workout last year was probably the best I had during the training program for the marathon. That day I had pretty much perfect conditions, whereas today the breeze was blowing and from 200m to 2k I had a pretty strong headwind that is evident in the splits. The 2nd time I did this workout last year I had a similar breeze blowing and the splits were even a bit slower than today, although off 30 seconds less rest but an extra month's training. Looking back at the older workouts, there is a roughly 6-8 second difference between the first (slower) and second mile due to the gradient, so estimate I was losing between 10-15 seconds due to the wind, which would put the effort in the range I was hoping for.
Pleased because the HR and the breathing were pretty much under control for the majority of the workout. Felt a bit limited by the legs, as the tiredness of the last 2 weeks was still present. Only interval I wasn't happy with was the 2nd one, as I was a little too much into 'tempo' type effort and not pushing myself quite hard enough. Definitely did not have that problem on the last one, really took some mental verbal abuse to push through that one as the legs were filling with lactic very early on. Got a nice lift from seeing the split from the first mile of the interval, and was able to hold it together down the remainder of the interval.
Since ending the workout, did a lot of work on stretching, especially the calves, and no adverse reactions in the shins/anywhere else since. Legs feel decent, although tomorrow may be a different story.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Catch Up post

Thu 29th: 8 miles along the canal, 53:53 (27:55 out, 25:58 back)
Fri: 6 miles on the grass, 43:04
Sat: Day off
Sun: 13 miles over in Sligo, 88:56
Mon: 4 miles, ~30 mins
Tue: 10 miles, 67:38; Avg HR = 147bpm, max = 161bpm.
Wed: Day off

I'm sucking pretty good at keeping track of the training in the blogosphere format. Mon-Sun of last week formed the downweek of the monthly cycle, hence no workouts last week, plus a slightly shorter Sunday run. Despite the easier week, the legs have felt pretty gassed since the previous week. Highlight of the week was definitely the few days in Sligo for the long weekend. Rotated the day off from Wed to Saturday to allow for travelling etc. Got in a great run on Sunday along some amazing scenery followed by about 2 hours of surfing for the first time. Surfing rocks. That night, Enda, his brother and a couple of lads were heading to Leonard Cohen. Since I didn't have a ticket, I found a nice high bar stool and kicked back with some of the Sligo natives. Little did I realise that Leonard puts on quite a show. By the time the lads got back I was full as a boot, and as a result the run on Monday was both short and very slow. Bit like myself. A dip in the Atlantic followed by some more surfing that afternoon rounded out the trip.
Tuesday's run was the first time in almost two weeks the legs felt like they had some life in them. Let's hope so, workout tomorrow.
The shins have been bothersome at worst this week, with some improvement after the day off on Saturday. Hoping that I've nipped it in the bud, but will be keeping an eye on it for a few days more.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

A week of Chinese PR's

Fri: 6.15 miles, 45:11 + Core work
Sat: 8 miles, 55:31 + Gym work
Sun: 16.1 miles, 109:23, avg HR = 156
Mon: 5 miles, 37:51
Tue: 8 miles, 53:34 + Core, avg HR = 148
Wed: 5.1 miles, 36:31 + Gym

Overdue on the blogging, but it's safe to say that I'm taking my recovery runs to a whole new level of slowness. Friday and Monday's run take some beating. However, I'm enjoying the more leisurely runs, and they're badly needed. By week's end on Sunday (57.25 miles on 6 runs) the legs were on the sorer side. Felt beat up, and starting to feel the onset of some shin splints in both legs. Thankfully this week is a down week (no workouts, reduced mileage) which should allow them to recover sufficiently. Tuesday's run was a positive, shins were better (though not 100%) following the physio the previous evening and running with Ed made time fly effortlessly, with the HR as good as its been all year.
Been watching the Europeans since Tuesday. The highlight for me thus far has to Chris Thompson in the 10k. I ran against him in high school (as in I was in the same race as him) a couple of times and he was a class act. A better junior coming through than Farah, he's had shit luck (which I can relate to) so it was great to see him persevere and get some hardware on a big stage. Also a big highlight was the 1st round of the men's 800 with Ireland's David McCarthy. Watch the video below and wait for the race to get to 250 to go. There's two things I hate in this world; those who are ignorant of other people's cultures, and the Dutch.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Tempo fun

2.5 mile w/u
8 mile tempo
2.5 mile c/d

Waited till last night before settling on this workout as attempted the same thing last year and sandbagged half way through as the legs hadn't recovered from the Saturday race fully. Wasn't anticipating the same thing happening but would have been annoyed if I hadn't learned the lesson from last year. Those fears were baseless as the run went extremely well. Did the loop in 45:49, with the HR in much better shape than the last tempo a couple of weeks back (avg HR = 179, peak = 186). Didn't get too many splits along the way but ran a consistent pace, always felt strong and in control, and despite a little bit of heaviness in the legs felt like I had another gear or two in reserve. Pretty much how a tempo should feel really. Very pleased with the last couple of week's running; fingers crossed I can keep it going.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Post-race slogs

Sun: 10.2 miles, 74:31
Mon: 6 miles, 43:52
Tue AM: 8 miles + Gym; PM: Incremental test on the bike, ~30mins
Wed: off

Sunday was a very gentle effort, not necessarily because the legs were gassed, they weren't; but it was 10am and I hadn't gotten till bed till 4. Despite the lateness of the previous night, I had been pretty good/tame by college standards, but getting up to run at 10 sucked just as bad as I remembered it used to. Still once out, things started to improve, and enjoyed the craic with Enda while we ran. Hit up the war memorial gardens (which were lovely) and a previously unknown bike path on the banks of the Liffey out by Chapelizod to keep the run flat and scenic.
Monday was another recovery run. Could feel the race in the legs still so was happy to just donder along. Was a little surprised at quite how leisurely the pace was but not too bothered, it was a hectic day and was glad for the relaxation time.
Tuesday I had a 10 on tap, but hadn't the time to do the gym on Monday and knew I was on the bike in the afternoon as the guinea pig for a lab demonstration for some medical students. The run was fine but the bike was the last thing I wanted, the legs still haven't fully gotten Saturday out of them, and with a tempo on Thursday I didn't want to be choking them up with lactic acid. Went to about 80-90% of max (VO2 was 60ml/kg/min and HR was ~185) and bagged it. The students had seen enough and the legs were knackered. Might do a proper VO2 max test somewhere down the line, but on the treadmill, not the bike.
New routine for Wednesday: 20 mins in the steam room at the pool. Physio recommended it and tried it for the first time last week. Had a positive impact last week so will likely keep it going

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Umm what just happened?

Thu: 8 miles w/ 3 x ~200-250m strides mixed in, 53:31; some light core
Fri: 6 miles, 42:50
Sat: 3 mile w/u, 20:48; 5 mile race, 26:06; 5 mile c/d, 39:02; 1.5 mile jog to bus ~15 mins.

Difficult to explain this race, came in having done pretty much the same training/times in tempo's as I did prior to the same race last year (27:28). About the only differences this time around were that a) I wore flats this year, and b) it was less humid. Aside from that I have no idea how I just ran that time. Definitely think the mile markers were off (not a chance I ran 4:37 to open, even if it was downhill). In terms of how the race felt, I got out steady, in and around 25th place or so. Following the downhill stretch I was a little isolated, but once we turned up the hill around 1.5 miles and into the wind I started to pull in some of the guys in front of me. Pushed up the hill and hit the 2nd mile in ~5:27. 3rd mile was all uphill and into the wind so just tucked in and felt I recovered somewhat (5:43 - think this was a bit long but not by much). Pushed on the 4th mile as the group Enda was in was about 10secs in front of me. Passed through the 4th mile in 4:57 (again, don't think this is right) and closed pretty strong, although the watch said 5:20 for the last one. Felt pretty strong the whole way round, didn't really have a bad patch, although tucking in the 3rd mile allowed me to regather and finish strong. Very pleased and very very surprised with the time, although it seems everyone had a big improvement on last year (top 5 all under 24 vs. winning time of 24:14 last year), so maybe the conditions were a lot more favourable.
Got in a nice easy cooldown despite the onset of a downpour midway through. Happy with the day's work I was getting the shuttle bus back to town afterwards, but after moving a grand total of 25 yards in 20 mins decided to run out of the park despite the rain for the extra 1.5 miles at the end.
After that run and the birthday during the week, I think I deserve a couple of pints tonight. Happy days!

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

It's my party and I'll cry if I want to

Fri: 5.1 miles, 37:04 + core work
Sat: 8 miles, 56:16
Sun: 15.8 miles, 108:29
Weeks total, 7 runs, 63.3 miles
Mon: 6 miles, 43:15
Tue: 10 miles, 66:52 + weights

Last week was a great week's training, although caution is the word of the day as it represents a significant jump on my mileage thus far this year so making sure I look after the legs. But following on from the drunkenness the previous week it was a good rebound.
Wore the HR monitor the last 3 days. Sunday I averaged 159bpm for the long run which was pleasing, although from 9 miles on it didn't really drop below 160 on account of a very strong headwind the rest of the way home.
Monday I went out with the intention of keeping the HR under 150bpm, which ended up being easier to do than expected (average = 145). Today's run the HR was again surprisingly low (avg =153bpm) even though I was moving at a good clip. Despite the bump in mileage the legs feel good and I'm looking forward to the first race of the season (5 miles) this Saturday. That said, the physio found some wicked sore points last night that need further work, but all in all I'm pretty excited with how things are going.

Friday, July 9, 2010

The nolongerdrunksobacktoreality post

Mon: 8 miles, 55:04
Tue: 10 miles, 65:38
Wed: 5 miles, 36:30 + Gym
Thu: 11.3 miles total (72:53); 6.15 mile tempo in 35.28

Spent the first couple of days of this week getting over the weekends festivities. Came back to Dublin on Tuesday after dropping the newlyweds at the airport. Was only out on the run about 5 mins when I ran into Mary Cullen who's working her way back after injury, although you wouldn't know it given the pace she was running. Ran with Mary for about 3 miles before continuing on at a similar pace, although faster than normal. The Monday & Tuesday runs were slightly longer than was scheduled, and just did a few junk miles on Wed to make up for the weekend off instead of the usual day off.
Had the physio work me over Wed night and apparently my IT bands are like bricks and need some serious work over the next couple of weeks to prevent anything developing. Fun.
Last night hit the Phoenix Park for my tempo. The previous time out I'd run 35:45 but had run harder than I should have for a tempo. Brought the HR monitor along this time to keep the effort more under control. Passed through the mile in 5:45 before hitting the uphill 2 miles, which were run in 11:48, before the last 3 and change in 17:56. Was happy with the run as I was in much more control of myself than last time out although the equivalent tempo last year was run slightly faster (35:15) which I was hoping to match.
The HR is causing me some concern due to the effect the meds for the CML are having. One of the side effects of the meds is a slowing of the QT interval of the heartbeat. The result is that my resting BP has dropped from 120/75 to 120/65. I'm not sure what's happening to the BP during the run, but the drop in the diastolic BP means less tension in the arteries which is resulting in the heart beating more frequently to ensure blood flow through the body. My average HR during the tempo was 189bpm, varying between 184-193, compared to 177-189 last year. What surprised me wasn't how high the HR was as I was expecting that, but how little it varied especially on the downhills/uphills section. Usually the HR profile during the run would match the terrain, but not with this one. It wasn't really coming down on the downhills, and I wasn't seeing the usual spike on the uphill. The pretty shitty graph below shows the HR from start to finish.

One of the cooler aspects of the run was the w/u and c/d. It's fawning season for the deer in the park, and the herds (?) were packed together. Grabbed the iphone for the cooldown and took a few pics which aren't all that clear since I can't zoom on the iphone.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Great week's drinking

Tues: 4 pints & 2 cans following wedding rehearsal
Wed: Stumbled out of Fitzpatricks at 4:30am
Thu: Pre-wedding night cans at home
Fri: Wedding day drinking concluded at 7:30am
Sat: Back on the hooch around noon, wrapped up the festivities around 2am
Sun: Felt like I was dying a slow horrible death.

Following on from my best weeks training I probably had my worst week this past week. Hardly surprising given the activities listed above. Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday were the only days I actually got any running in during the week. Not what I had planned but wasn't much different than I expected unfortunately. It's not everyday your brother gets married.
The happy couple!

Looking a little worse for wear  back in the residence bar ~3am

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Week in review/training update/other such trivialities

Fri: 6 miles easy, no time + Gym
Sat: 8.25 miles, 56:33 + strides
Sun: 14 miles, 94:57
Weeks total: 6 runs, 56.25 miles

Mon: 5 miles, 36:45
Tue: 7.1 miles, 51:45 + Gym

Last week was the best weeks training thus far. Coming off the tempo on Thursday the legs felt good. Sunday's long run was ok but would have been better only for the fact I was drinking till 4am in pre-wedding celebrations. Was glad to get it done though and definitely felt better for it.

This week is the 4th week of the month which means a recovery week. Mileage will drop to mid-40s and no workout. Probably for the best as the brother's wedding on Friday means lots of drinking in the days before and after. Thankfully as of last night I'm off work for the week, so looking forward to doing 2 of my 3 favourite things, drinking and running. Happy days.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

1st Workout

Mon: 8 miles, 55:00
Tue: 9.2 miles, 66:30
Wed: Day off
Thu: 2.6 mile w/u, 6.15 mile tempo, 2.25 mile c/d; 70:26 total

Nothing much to note from the early week runs. Today was the first tempo of the marathon program, with which I'm reasonably satisfied. Was a little bit faster than the same tempo last year (35:45 today vs. 36:03 last year). The problem today was I was almost 30 seconds quicker today through two miles. As a result I started to rig pretty bad through the 3rd mile, and had to back off the rest of the run. It took a lot of "You're a f*cking pussy, man up"'s to not stop after 4, but once I had backed off a little I recovered sufficiently by the 5th and 6th mile to feel a little better by the end. Was still pretty spent though. Meant to take the HR monitor from the lab yesterday but forgot, but definitely have the feeling I was pushing too hard early on to call this a legitimate tempo effort. Better pace control and I'm confident I would have been another ~20secs faster than I was today, but such is life. Looking forward to the next one.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Overdue update

Last week: 5 runs, 42 miles

Mon = 6 miles, 43 mins or so
Tue = 8 miles, 53:39
Thu = 10.6 miles, 73:36; Avg HR = 163
Fri = 6 miles, 43:33
Sat = 11.5 miles, 81:17; Avg HR = 155
Sun = hungover misery

Was all set for a 6 day week of 50 miles until Saturday afternoon hit. Shaun is getting married a week from Friday so Saturday was decided on as the 'home leg' of his stag after the trip to Liverpool back in April. After getting the long run in for the week a day early having decided the risk of not running on Sunday was quite high, we went paintballing. First time doing it, and had great craic, although the numerous contusions and bruises incurred would put me off doing it again for quite a while. The weather has been unbelievably good this past week, so from 5pm Saturday we were in Fitzers beer garden getting after it. Silliness led to Jameson + 7up by around 10pm, and Jaegerbombs by about 11. I was savagely hungover, and unable to get out the door for a run despite the continuing great weather. Not exactly the highest level of dedication to training ever, but its not like my brother is getting married every day either.

The lack of posts is also partially due to the fact the laptop is totally on its last legs. It has developed the annoying habit of just shutting off whenever it feels like it which makes work a huge pain. Thought it was a goner yesterday, but a new power adaptor has restored it to life a little. Although the fact that its generating as much heat now as a miniature sun kinda has me a little worried for its long term health. Never buying HP again.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

World Cup = No Work

Wed: 6 miles, 41:08
Thu: 8 miles, 53:37
Fri: 6 miles 42:12
Sat: 8 miles + strides, 55:03
Sun: 12.3 miles, 84:46

Weeks total, 6 runs, 48.3 miles

After a poor start to the week missing Monday to go drinking, the rest of the week panned out pretty well. Bar some residual tightness in the left quad/IT band the legs feel good and fresh. Pretty much all the runs this week started out nice and easy and by the end was running between 6:10-6:30 pace and feeling comfortable.

The World Cup has started and since it has I've done jack shit work wise. I think I'm in for a very unproductive month. Enjoyed pretty much all the games so far, having only missed the Slovenia Algeria game thus far (not missing much from reports). Been pretty much spot on with predictions so far, and while I called a draw with the US and England even I was surprised by the dross football served up by England. Can't see them progressing too far with football like that. Was impressed with the US, and think a QF placing is not beyond their reach with similar performances later in the tournament.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

So far for June

Tues 1st: 7 miles, 49 mins
Wed: Day off
Thurs: 6.15 miles, 42:23 (22:12 out, 20:09 back)
Fri: 8 miles, 55:26
Sat: 5.5 miles, 39:22
Sun: 9.6 miles, 63:57
Mon: Off
Tues: 8 miles, 53:57.

Where to start? Runs that stick in the mind are the 6 on the Thursday as I felt like total crap and decided I needed to end this asap, so started to push, after running a bit quicker things improved so 'hammered' (I use that term very loosely) the last 1.5 or so back.
Sunday's was a great run. Weather was a little humid, warm, with reasonably heavy rain fall with zero wind. My favourite type of weather for running. Was running nice and easy until some fat dude on a bike passed me. Retook him on a hill, and then tried to hold him off as long as possible. Ended up clocking some miles towards the end at 6:10 pace and was feeling good, until about a half a mile from home when the lack of fitness caught up to me.
Monday was not a planned day off. Indeed, it was supposed to mark the start of 'official' marathon training (20 weeks out). So instead of running, I went on the lash. Sunday night the Pats had a charity boxing night, which was one of the best nights ever. Monday then we were celebrating the victories of Annaloughan's finest. Training could wait a day or two. The entrance to the fight of the night can be seen here  (I'm the little undertaker on the left, hence the coffin tilting towards me).
Tuesday as a day was a total wash until getting out for a run around 6pm and renegotiating my rent (an extra 40 yoyos a month in my pocket, happy days).

Monday, May 31, 2010

In the Hurt Locker

Thu: Off
Fri: 7 miles, no time
Sat: 5 miles; 34:37 + a few strides
Sun: ~12 miles, 82 mins  (Weeks total: 6 runs, 41 miles)
Mon: 5 miles, 38:16 (seriously)

A good few days running (except today). Legs felt great Friday after physio on Wednesday and day of rest on Thursday. Kept it easy Saturday, and then had a great run with Kim and Tarpy on Sunday. Was longer than the planned 10, but felt good and enjoyed the run. Stiffened up quite a bit after though, and combined with the roughly 10 beers during the rest of the day the body is not feeling too good today. The run this morning was a pure slog.
Had a great weekend with Tarpy doing the 5 year thing here in Dublin. Had good craic Saturday evening with the PC crew over for the Jonesy/Quinn wedding, and then a great Sunday with Tarpy and Ed. Got some good running, good beers and good craic. Definitely not as aggressive as the weekends of yesteryear might have been but did the best we could. Feeling happy with the progress made running wise over the last few weeks, and am pretty confident I am fit enough to begin following last years schedule leading into the marathon. The 20 week training program starts next Monday.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Reunion memories

Mon: 5.45 miles, 38:57
Tue: 6.1 miles, no time
Wed: 6.15 miles, 43:32 (22.18 out, 21:14 back)

Monday ran home from Monkstown. Despite this being one of my least favourite runs it went by extremely quickly and was pretty enjoyable. Tuesday, hit up Ringsend park for a few laps but forgot the watch, while Wednesday did an out and back on Sandymount strand. Legs were a little tired on this run but had physio after which loosened things up quite a bit.
Was looking at my old blog posts from this time last year to see how my mileage compares at present to last year and thankfully there isn't too much difference. Interestingly this week last year saw me trying to emerge from post-reunion alcohol withdrawal symptoms. Having done the '04 reunion bit last year, time to do the '05 bit this year. While I won't make it to PVD, Tarpy is in Ireland this weekend for the Quinn/Jonesy wedding, so 50% of the men's XC '05 teammates will be getting shitty together this weekend. Definitely drinking some Danny Tanner's and Tiger bombs to celebrate.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Race recap/week review

Tues: 8 miles total (2 w/u, 5 mile race, 1 c/d).
17th place in 29:12*

From a running point of view I was pleased with this. The aim was to break 29:30 which I did pretty comfortably. The reason for the asterisk is that the start to this race was a shambles. A field of 2500 were corralled into a one-lane road; there was no announcement regarding when the race would begin; and they started the race 4 minutes ahead of the scheduled time. As a result, I ended up towards the back of the field when the gun went as I was only working my way to the start line at the time (amateur mistake, I should have been in position already). I started the watch when I actually began running and came out with a time of 28:04. That wasn't for a full 8k/5 miles as I was walking prior to this, but estimate that the run was roughly worth a 28:45 which I'm very pleased with for this time of year. It's hard to gauge as there were no splits/mile markers anywhere on the course which was frustrating.
But there were a lot of pluses from this. The effort was controlled, and never really harder than a tempo besides the last 3-4 minutes maybe. Not knowing splits and the fiasco at the start allowed me to relax and just enjoy the run. And the legs felt good both during and after the run. Happy days. Also absolutely love the Katana. What a shoe.

Wed: Day off. Not too sore today, although the physio gave me a good going over that evening.
Thu: Some serious DOMS in the right calf this morning. Did a very easy 5 miles in the morning (37:00).
Fri: 6.1 miles, 41:30. Felt good on this run. Sun was out, legs were fresh, very relaxed and enjoyable.
Sat: Off
Sun: 8.25 miles, 56:03. Ridiculously hot day by Irish standards (80+). Felt good on the run despite a late one last night and the heat. Didn't put sun cream on. Bad mistake, I'm like a scalded cat now. But happy with the legs so far.

Weeks total: 5 runs (high for the year), 32.8 miles (also a high for the year).

Monday, May 17, 2010

Gettin' in on the action

5.45 miles, 39:22

Ran home from the gym as it was the only way I was getting a run in today. Bit longer than I wanted with the 'race' tomorrow, but did a stellar job running ass slow.
Seeing as Coste generated more hits on his blog than MCK's ass in the shower with his time predictions for the 5k, I'll go down the same route. Tomorrow: 8k on the roads. Top weekly mileage for the year = 25 or so. According to Strands (which I've kept updated when I've been running, so it is accurate), I've run for 36 out of the 137 days of the year so far (or 26.28%) with an average distance of 3.14 miles. Stellar training I'm sure you'll agree.
When I signed up the intention was to try to run 6 min miles (or marathon pace), trying to break 30. So I'll set the over/under on 29:30 to make it a more realistic bet. Like Coste, I'm breaking out the big guns and sporting the Nike Katana racers, whose only previous appearance was (I shit you not) a 14 min beer mile in 2006. The course is pretty much pancake flat with only one or two minor climbs, and barring the wind not blowing should be conducive to fast running. Enda has also offered to pace, but given that most of his training runs are about my race pace I don't see that happening.
Alrighty then, let the bidding begin

Sunday, May 16, 2010

I'm a Hitter!

Since DeCoste has successfully achieved his aim to break 16:44, I have for some reason been promoted to the hitters section of Jokin's bloglist. Not sure why I get the bump but I'll take it. And since I'm in there I figure I better post a training update.

Sunday: 5 miles in 33:55
Monday: 5.8 miles in 41:16
Tuesday & Wednesday: Off
Thursday: 4.2 miles in 28:44
Friday: 6.15 miles in 42:53
Saturday: Off
Sunday: 6.5 miles in 45:50

After Sunday and Monday's run at the beginning of the week I was suffering with some tightness in the left quad again. Took Tuesday and Wednesday off partly due to this and also I had my tri-monthly bone marrow biopsy Tuesday morning and was a little tender, so things worked out pretty good in terms of timing.
Had the physio beat the quad to a pulp Wednesday which helped work out a lot of the tightness, so the running for the rest of the week felt quite a bit better.
Like DeCoste, getting back into the racing gear this Tuesday night with an 8k fun run. Hoping to run sub 30, which will hopefully translate to being equivalent to marathon pace come October. Possibly have Enda as a pacemaker, although given that he just ran 10.4km in 34:30 yesterday and is clearly in good shape that could prove more of a hindrance than a help. Time shall tell the full tale.
Also my attempt to stay booze free for a month ended 2 weeks prematurely as I was in Fitzers till 4am on Friday. Coste, no need to worry about me growing up anytime soon.

Friday, May 7, 2010


So I've been a bit shit at keeping this thing updated. You'll forgive me, but seeing as my training is also a bit shit these days I'm not exactly inspired to keep sharing. Not even sure when I last updated this but in a nutshell:

Thurs & Fri: 2 runs just short of a half hour.
Sun: 5 miles with the dog
Tues: Another half hour
Thurs: About 4.5 miles
Fri: About 5.75 miles

The only thing of note about these runs is that the physio has me incorporating DIM into the run. DIM stands for Drawing In Manoeuvre. Sounds pretty DUM if you ask me but its supposed to help strengthen my back. Basically you just suck your tummy up and in and try to keep running with a normal breathing rhythm while maintaining this position. The restriction on the diaphragm means your breathing gets quite shallow so even an easy pace can leave you quite breathless fairly sharpish. Not too easy to maintain but been making sure to do it every 5 mins or so and hold for as long as possible. Also am supposed to do it during strengthening exercises etc which isn't as easy. Did some upper body weights today while doing it but until I get comfortable breathing with the belly tucked in its not much fun.
Yesterday and today I also had a kind of a fartlek exercise during the run. Yesterday I had seven ~30-35 second strides with ~60-90secs steady jog in between. Today's effort was a bit tamer, with five ~20-25sec strides. Again at the request of the physio, who wants to see if the pace variation causes the muscles to react, as she thinks just constantly running at the same easy pace is contributing to the hypertonicity of the muscles (tightness to you and me).

Outside running, the week started on an absolutely awful note as I was recovering from a massive drinking binge over the holiday weekend that left me in pieces. But then there was Wednesday night. Wednesday night was when Tottenham guaranteed 4th spot in the Premiership with a pretty damn fantastic win away to the uber-rich uber-shite Manchester City. Love beating on the rich kids.

Also going off the booze for a month. Overdid it the last 2 weekends with the stag and this past weekend. Have felt like crap since. Also back in for my monthly check up on Tuesday which includes liver function tests that I'm not so confident in getting good results in. I need to grow up.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Ahhh Joey!!!

Quick update:

Thursday & Friday (in the AM) ran 4 miles and felt pretty decent during both runs.

Friday (later in the AM) through till Sunday evening was on the lash in Liverpool on the brother's stag. Ridiculous times were had, with the height of exercise being part of a scrum that drove an English stag from one end of Concert Square to the other.

Monday and today ran 4 miles. Yesterday felt like I had a red hot poker stuck down my windpipe during the run, but felt pretty close to normal by today.

Coste, I was trying to get all reflective and deep with the new pic, but since the message is perseverance, I'll leave you with this one instead.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Back in action

Long time no see.

Today marked the first day I was allowed to do a complete run without having to take 'walking breaks'. I have been working off the Sardella progressive walk/run plan for the past 2 months or so and have made sufficient progress that I'm now upto a half hour complete run every other day. Not exactly anything to write home about but progress none the less.
Have already signed up for the adidas race series this summer and also the Dublin marathon. The marathon is more out of hope than expectation, but its nice to have the goal to aim for.
There are a couple of road races in the immediate few weeks that are tempting to take part in. Mightn't sound like the smartest plan in the world, and being honest, its not. But I'm also keen to find a balance between doing what's right and what's fun. The first is a 10k & half-marathon in the hometown of Dundalk on May 5th. Definitely considering the 10k as a fun run to show support, and then on the 18th there is an 8k here in Dublin to raise money for Unicef.
As for the CML, things are progressing well. The blood counts have improved nicely since beginning the treatment 2 months ago, and side effects have been negligible/non-existant. Having another bone-marrow biopsy on the 11th, which will give a better indication of how things are going.
Of more immediate importance is the fact that flights for the brother's stag weekend have been cancelled, leaving plans in tatters, and also getting my new tattoo on Thursday. Fun times.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

revamped and ready to go. wee man back in action (sort of) and back on track. stay tuned.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Dreams are answers to questions we don't know how to ask....

It's been a while since I updated this thing. In the meantime a lot has happened, but unfortunately none of it is positive with regards to running. Because it's late and I'm tired, I've taken the liberty of just copying and pasting an email I've just sent:

As most of you know this past October my first attempt at a marathon failed miserably due to a leg injury. Subsequent scans/tests/MRI's etc showed some things that shouldn't be expected in a supposedly healthy 28 year old male. 2 weeks ago I had some blood work done which revealed an abnormal white cell count which resulted in me undergoing a bone marrow biopsy this past Monday. This test revealed that I am currently suffering from chronic myeloid leukaemia (which you can read more about here). While this sounds dramatic (and obviously is a serious condition), I've been very lucky in that the condition has been diagnosed extremely early and with drug treatment I can expect to live a long and healthy life. Unfortunately the diagnosis of CML doesn't explain the leg pain, so as of yet I still cannot run, but you can expect to receive in the next few months a solicitation for donations as I have a new charity to run for! Unless something changes in the meantime, I can expect to maintain my normal day to day routine without any major repercussions. In the meantime, I am heading to Glasgow first thing tomorrow morning for the weekend (as I said, life goes on!) so if it takes me a while to get in touch with everyone please forgive me. The purpose of this email is to keep you informed of what is happening, not to look for sympathy. As I said, life goes on, if you want to email/call etc please do, but I hope the reason why is to let me know how you are doing, not to express condolences.Truly wishing each and everyone the very best.

Hoping to get back running soon, in the meantime, much love

wee man/yank/sprout/Eamonn

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Whoop de doo VO2

Did a VO2max test on the bike today for shits and giggles and was pretty pleased with the results. Had a peak VO2 of 5.13L/min or 75ml/min/kg. Peak HR was 199. Overall was pretty pleased as the numbers are about the same as when I was 19 and in pretty good shape.
The bad news is that the physio told me that I need to take a week off to see if the leg will respond to the treatment, as she thinks that the lack of improvement following treatment is due to me overdoing it in the gym. So we'll give it a go. Its not like I'm training for anything in particular now that XC is passing me by.
Get the results of the blood tests in the morning too, so hopefully getting somewhere, however slowly

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Not promising

So after about 10 days running the leg started giving me pain again, so I've stopped running again and am back cross training. Had the blood tests done today which I'll get the results of next Thursday, and see the haemotologist Feb 9th to try to get to the bottom of this.

Last summer Tarpy referred me to a blog run by a doctor in New Zealand as he had written a number of articles regarding the negative effects of fosamax. I emailed him a week or so ago describing my symptoms etc. The feedback wasn't exactly encouraging:

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Oi its freezing!

The weather here in Ireland lately has been absolutely baltic. My nuts have gone into hibernation. Feels as cold as it ever got in PVD, but with the moisture in the air its hard to ever get warm. Plus since we never usually get a snow/ice build up, the gov't doesn't have the facilities to grit/salt the roads/foot paths and now everywhere is a sheet of ice. Managed to make it home without spilling onto the concrete. Score one for this guy.

Quick running update:
Rounded out '09 with a 20 min jog around the football fields at home feeling good. New Years Eve saw me get belligerent, therefore didn't run in 2010/'10 (are we going 20-10/'010/twothousand(and?)ten?) until the 2nd. The run on the 2nd, added an extra lap onto the fields at home for a 24 min outing, before repeating the next day a little slower. Off on the 4th. Yesterday and today ran for a half hour finishing off with weights on the latter and core on the former. Leg has felt decent, not spectacular, but no problems. Been working on my stride and keeping my hips lower to the ground with the pelvis tucked in to keep in line with the shoulders. Feels ok running like this but its mentally pretty taxing, and the gluts/hamstrings get knackered pretty quick since they're not used to doing this due to my previous crappy stride. Found it very difficult to maintain the form today as I was out in a sleet/snow storm without gloves/hat. Pretty miserable stuff. Ok, thats just a running update, nothing quick about it. Sorry.