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2012 4 Races for 4 PBs

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Comments



  • How in Gods name can you only have half a glass or red.

    Unless its the end of a bottle, then its a question of why would you leave half a glass of red??

    :) Yip end of bottle. Thought there was more left. Resisted the urge to pop a new bottle. Next time I'll be sure to finish the job first time round.




  • 5 Miles and a Segment Crown

    Out Tuesday evening for a pre Tuesday pints run (all of a sudden it's all booze).

    Just 4 laps tonight. Ran anti-clockwise and had decided in advance I'd run one fast lap doing just enough to claim the crown for the anti-clockwise loop. The current leader had run a lap at 6:45 pace, I'd planned on targeting high 6:3X pace.

    Two laps of warm-up then I continue in the third lap to the segment starting point. Its green flag is close to the Eir building steps, a few metres along St Johns. Its chequered flag is near the big number 1 outside the Eir entrance, so it's not a full lap. Measures 1.93K as opposed to my 2.04K Royal Oak Loop.

    Legs felt a little heavy on the opening laps so I was not very enthused about this faster lap. But once I got going I was flying. Started at the 60K speed sign just round the corner from Military Road. Powered up St Johns. I check the Garmin and see 5:4X pace showing. Ok ease off. The drag isn't as bad as I'd imagined it would be, helps I guess that it comes at the start of the lap. Pace is 6:1X pace as I turn onto SCR and dash 100m up to The Patriot. Onto Kilmainham Lane now, and the pace starts to quicken. I don't feel like I'm pushing but the average pace has dropped into 6:0X.

    The descent is fast and I know I'm not shaving off too much speed. Still 6:0X pace as I turn left at Bow Bridge. A short sharp climb then dash down Military Road and back onto St Johns. Hit lap button at the 60K sign. A 7:56 on the Garmin for the full lap, a 7:32 for the segment. Very encouraging run, I don't recall very many runs where 6:0X pace felt as comfortable as it felt this evening.

    Feels good to be top of the leader-board in both directions around my home-turf loop.

    Home, shower and virtual pints.

    Tuesday Food
    • breakfast - rice milk porridge with honey
    • lunch - salad of spinach, cherry tomatos, garlic, olives, olive tapenade, dressing of olive oil
    • dinner - Tuesday night frozen pizza, vegan with added cherry tomatoes and cajun spicing
    • snacks - apple, pears, cashews, emmental and crackers
    • alcohol - 2 Guinness original extra stout.




  • 8 Miles with 4 Mile Tempo

    Two good runs in a row. Maybe this hilly loop is starting to pay reward. The last tempo I ran was back in the first week of April. It was tough then and so I was a little worried ahead of this evening's run. Clockwise today. I run a lap of warm-up and continue to my 'start-session' signpost near the start of St Johns.

    Hit lap on the Garmin. A few early Garmin glances show I'm moving too quickly. Ease back a little but not too much as I know Military Road and the Lane will shave off speed for me. 6:24 pace showing by SuperValu. I resolve not to check the watch until I'm back at the tempo starting point.

    I've changed my Garmin display screen this week and now it just shows lap pace and lap distance (screen 2 shows average pace and total distance), for some reason I left pace in imperial, feels weird to be running fast in imperial.

    Up the Lane and continue round to complete my first lap, glance shows 6:19 pace. Great that's fast side of target pace (6:18 to 6:24). Relax down St Johns. Onto my second set of ascents. The climbs are ok tonight I feel I can attack them, the legs feel strong.

    At the end of the second tempo lap I again see 6:19 pace showing. Just hold things steady for one more lap and I'll be done (nearly). Third time up Military Road and Kilmainham Lane, I'm not struggling. It's not easy for sure, but tonight effort is squarely in the comfortably uncomfortable bucket.

    I finish three laps (6:19 still showing) and continue for another 0.16 miles to hit 4 miles.

    That was a huge improvement on last time out, back on 2 April. Back then it felt much tougher and I finished with a 6:24 average. This evening I could have kept going for a while longer. I've decided I'm going to give the credit to the hills.

    Very please with this run. Will try 4M once more at tempo before shifting up to 5M.

    2.72K @ 5:33 [1.69M @ 8:56]
    6.45K @ 3:56 [4.01M @ 6:19
    3.83k @ 5:02 [2.38M @ 8:06]

    Total 8.08M @ 7:23 [13.00K @ 4:36]

    Wednesday Food
    • breakfast - rice milk porridge with honey
    • lunch - salad of cherry tomato, cheddar, carrot, garlic, green olives, spinach, dressing of olive oil and olive tapenade
    • dinner - red lentils with garlic and roast potato and cauliflower, cumin and red chilli.
    • snacks - apple, pear, mandarin, emmental, soya mango and peach yoghurt with milled linseed
    • alcohol - none




  • No running Thursday. Instead I hopped on the bike for a little cross-training. Stick to my loop, anticlockwise so it's all left hand turns. Leisurely pace for 6 laps. Feel the quads a bit as I cycle up the St.Johns drag, into a light head wind. Need to cycle some more. I literally dusted down the bike before heading out.

    Thursday Food
    • breakfast - rice milk porridge with honey
    • lunch - wholemeal wrap with olive tapenade, cheddar and red pepper
    • dinner - shop bought veg burgers (strong roots) with salad of little gem lettuce, boiled egg, walnuts, hazelnuts, garlic, dressing of olive oil and some light soya sauce
    • snacks - some plain biscuits, apple, pear
    • alcohol - none

    Easy 6+ Miles

    Open my account for May with 5 easy anti-clockwise laps. Legs not really in the mood this evening, they rarely are after a day spent sitting at the desk. The five laps felt long. The weather helped break up the monotony, switching from sunshine, to rain, to hail, back to sunshine and a few breezes to deal with as well. Streets are mostly quiet this evening. Even though the days have blended into each other, Friday evening still has that Friday feeling.

    See that the 2K radius will be extended to 5k from next week. I will start to venture beyond my loop but I'll still run it a few days a week. I hope the 5K extension isn't premature, fear the parks will be thronged again.

    Total 6.46M @ 8:27

    Friday Food (I wasn't good today, snack-wise)
    • breakfast - rice milk porridge with honey
    • lunch - wholemeal wrap with cheddar, tuna and dred majoram
    • dinner - wholewheat pasta with garlic, anchovy, red chilli and tomato passata paste. Small piece of bread to mop
    • snacks - plain biscuits, some crisps, some dark chocolate, some emmental, madarin
    • alcohol - none




  • Easy 7 Miles

    A fabulous sunny Saturday morning. Five laps didn't drag, enjoyed just tipping around on the quiet roads. Added on a little out and back after the fifth lap just to bring up 7 for the morning.

    Total 7.00M @ 8:26

    Unexpected lasagna Saturday evening, I was convinced we were having it Sunday. Not what I'd planned the evening before a time-trial, but happy to eat it all the same.

    Saturday Food
    • breakfast - rice milk porridge with honey
    • lunch - small salad of cherry tomatos, cheddar, garlic and one hard boiled egg
    • dinner - homemade wholewheat lasagna
    • snacks - some dark chocolate, blueberry soya yoghurt with milled linseed
    • alcohol - 2 glasses of red with the lasagna


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  • Royal Oak Loop TT

    Slept in Sunday morning. This meant I got out around an hour later than planned. With warm sunshine and cloudless skies, this was arguably the best morning of the year to date. I was concerned that with the weather and the later hour I might not get a clean run this morning. I run my two laps of warm-up. The second of these is always the most apprehensive lap of the week. Shortly into lap three I arrive at my starting-manhole and hit lap on the Garmin. Sub 7:20 attempt two is underway.

    I've set the Garmin screen to show only the lap timer so I can glance quickly at my approximated 500m markers. I'd calculated 7:19 splits as 1:47, 3:34, 5:21, 7:08, plus a 40m dash.

    I pass my first checkpoint near the start of the St Johns descent. Garmin shows 1:47. Spot on target. Hope now is that I will gain a second or two along St Johns. There is a light headwind to navigate and maybe this costs me a little time. I think ideal conditions for this loop include a St Johns tailwind, because the Kilmainham Lane climb is usually quite sheltered.

    Second checkpoint and I'm a little disappointed to see 3:37 showing. Three seconds down. But this has the desired effect, instead of hoping I'm travelling at the correct pace I start pushing. Take the turn wide and fast onto Military Road. I've had no issues with sunny morning traffic. Push up the hill and pick out my racing line ahead. I glance at the Garmin as I pass my third checkpoint a little before the crest of the hill, 5:22. Good I've recovered. This gives me an extra incentive to put in an honest effort over the next 500.

    Dash down to Bow Bridge then swing right onto Kilmainham Lane. I attack the ascent. It feels like I'm travelling quicker than last time. Thigh burn as I near the crest. I'm reluctant to check my split at the 4th checkpoint, I glance and see 7:12. Ok I'm 4 seconds down. Given the loop profile I really need to be sub 5:20 at checkpoint 3, as the Kilmainham Lane climb will almost inevitably cost me some seconds.

    I push over the final 40m. The segment analysis shows me hitting 4:58 min/mile pace along here. I pass the manhole cover and keep running for a few seconds more, hit stop.

    On the watch I see 7:29. I can usually drop 4 or 5 seconds off this time to estimate my segment time. I did press stop maybe a second or two earlier than normal though. So by my estimates I definitely don't have a sub 7:20. Potentially I have a PB, but I certainly have a new second best time. If I had to guess I'd say I logged a 7:25.

    Cue disappointment when I get home and see a 7:30 time. Not even a 7:2X.
    There are two more Sundays before this lockdown phase is over. I will try again, at least once. When setting it I never realised the 7:23 would be so tricky to better.

    On the watch:

    4.25K @ 5:50 [2.64M @ 9:24]
    2.05K @ 3:39 [1.27M @ 5:54]
    4.95K @ 5:17 [3.07M @ 8:32]

    Total 11.24K @ 5:12 [6.99M @ 8:22]




  • Bit of catch-up to do on here. Taking a bit of a down week.

    Last comments on last Sunday's TT attempt. I used Strava's compare efforts tool to match my 7:30 against my 7:23 PB. I could see that I overtook my PB on the short SCR descent from the Patriot to St Johns. I was 2 seconds ahead as I swung right. But then I threw that lead away as I ran along St Johns, when I turned onto Military Road I was 8 seconds off my PB, I was 11 seconds off near the IMMA gates. But over the last 500ms or so I managed to reduce that gap to 6 seconds at one point.

    Next time out (Sunday week) I need to be more aggressive along St Johns, I need to hurt a little more along here.

    Monday - 5 Easy Miles

    Debuted my new Glycerin 17s. Love that new runner bounce. Just ran 4 anticlockwise laps. Warm sunshine to soak in along St Johns, then a chill breeze along Kilmainham Lane. Final run of the 2K radius restriction.

    As the radius increases and as I don't see brief exercise mentioned anymore, I'm going to gradually increase my weekly mileage. Just adding 2 miles a week until I hit 50 and then hold it there.

    Total 5.18M @ 8:17

    Tuesday - 8 Mile Gentle Progression

    I really like this run. Six clockwise laps, 7:4X pace to 7:3X pace to 7:2X pace etc. Wear the G17s again. They feel better tonight more bounce and a very smooth ride. The runs down St Johns are a pleasure. Slick tarmac and new runners. Felt I was gliding. Each lap the pace feels comfortable and I think the next lap won't feel as comfortable, but each time it's fine. Day 1 of the 5K radius and for the first time since I started running this loop I need to pause the watch and step in to leave traffic pass.

    Total 8.05M @ 7:17

    Easy 10 Miles

    On Wednesday evening I cycled a lap of the park. Felt good to be back there. But it felt even better to be back there this evening in runners. A warm muggy evening. Conditions that seemed a world away back in the storms of February.

    Park is busy, but people are staying apart, and the roads being free of traffic makes it so much easier to social distance. I made a point of running it the exact middle of the road. I'd love it if they decided to permanently close the Park to traffic. I enter at Islandbridge and turn left for a clockwise lap. Find a nice relaxed cadence and just enjoy the weather, the park, the birdsong and the fact it's Friday. Hectic day at work yesterday, working from 9am to half past midnight, with a break at 9pm for some grub. No window to get out for a run. Wrecked. I feared today could go the same way, but thankfully things went smoothly.

    Cut through the zoo and run past the Polo Grounds and onto Chesterfield, turn at the Phoenix and head down Acres, skirt along the path to the Fort, exit at Islandbridge. Join my Royal Oak Loop at St Johns and finish a clockwise lap of it to bring up exactly 10.00 miles on the Garmin. Liking the G17s. First double digit mile run in a long time.

    Total 10.00M @ 7:52

    And next?

    I'll switch to race-week mode again from Monday as I target a 6th TT around my Royal Oak Loop on Sunday 17th May. Target remains the same, a sub 7:20. Would be a fitting way to close out this phase of the lockdown. I'll keep the loop as part of my weekly diet however.

    Then it's two weeks of prep for the boards 1M TT. I'm putting down 5:39 as target. On the recent TTs I've been going through 1500m in low 5:20s. True I'm pacing for 1.26 miles on these TTs, but also true that the first 1500m feature a full descent of St Johns.

    Ok then, I better pop across to the main forum and sign up officially.




  • Ok, falling behind on here again.

    Last Saturday - Easy 7 Miles @ 8:24
    Went mile route hunting in the Park. Tried a loop from top of Khyber round the Phoenix roundabout, down Chesterfield and back to Kyber via the cycle path triangle. Came up shorter than I thought. Instead scotindublin's Polo Grounds road loop looks a real contender.

    Sunday - MLR 12 Miles
    Longest run in a long long time. Over to the Park again and test the Polo Grounds loop again - 0ft net elevation. It has to be here. Half-heartedly try a few more options. But my mind is made up. It's where I'm already picturing the mind and muscles battling, it'll be anti-clockwise on the road around the Polo Grounds. Head for home via Chapelizod, Ballyfermot and HSQ. I could feel the miles in the legs for the rest of the day.

    Monday - Mile route measuring.

    Start the week planning to put the seal of approval on my chosen loop for the end of month TT. Beautiful evening. I tip over to the Polo Grounds. I have a workout featuring one single stage, 'Run 1 Mile'. Behind the Pavilion I trigger the work-out and run a test lap. I finish and then I repeat. On the second run I start a few metres further back.

    One lap shows net elevation of 0ft, the other +1ft. The loop is around 10 to 15 metres shy of a closed loop, more or less the length of the Pavilion. Cutting off Chesterfield a little early helps bring the start and the end of the loop a little closer together. I want to start and finish at the Pavilion, it seems only proper to have a grandstand finish. I like my starting line by the western rear door, a thin strip of slicker tarmac and I think i'll stick to it. There is potentially a problem pinch point right at the finish as I will need to aim at sprint speed to pass between two bollards. I'll take the risk.

    Tip back home from the Polo grounds, job done.

    Tuesday - Gentle Progression 8 Miles

    A firm favourite this run. Not very stressing but still need to focus. Six laps of the block, each lap a little faster than the previous. Beautiful evening. G17s again providing a comfortable ride. Happy to see a Garda checkpoint in action tonight, been a while since I saw one. As I swung onto Kilmainham Lane on lap 5 I merged with another runner, running a tiny bit faster than me. I up my pace ever so slightly to ease ahead of him. I carry this extra speed into the final lap. Finish feeling strong. I run a little bit out and back on a 7th lap just to tick off 8 miles for the evening.

    1.26M @ 7:45
    1.29M @ 7:32
    1.28M @ 7:22
    1.28M @ 7:12
    1.27M @ 7:03
    1.28M @ 6:38

    Total 8.09M @ 7:13




  • Fartlek Double Ladder

    Legs haven't worked at speed in a while.

    Got out a little later than planned and so missed most of the bright sunshine. Headed for the Polo Grounds. I'd decided to run my recent Double Ladder Fartlek tis evening, and I'd run it not on the Royal Oak Loop but instead on the Polo Grounds Road Loop. I'd get some experience of what sections of the loop felt like at speed.

    The way the fast bits fell across the profile of the loop was far more forgiving than on the Royal Oak Loop. The opening dash from the Pavilion toward Chesterfield feels speedy. I'll probably be swinging wide onto Chesterfield, good feeling of speed as I make this turn.

    The descent is long, if the wind doesn't co-operate on the morning then this stretch could be very tricky, downhill or no downhill.

    The closing section along Lord's Walk is going to be tough. The drag will be significant on already tiring legs. The speed bumps will not be welcome and will not encourage a steady stride, but they will act as a convenient countdown.

    The Fartlek session goes fine. It ends around 100m shy of a full 4 laps (goal next time out will be to reach full 4 laps over the session). Better splits than on The Royal Oak Loop but that is due to the easier profile.

    I brief excursion onto the grass perimeter of the Polo Grounds and then I head for home. The sun back out now on yet another good weather day.

    Tonight's Splits

    300m @ 3:19 (0m)
    580m @ 3:25 (-4m)
    870m @ 3:26 (-4m)
    570m @ 3:29 (0m)
    290m @ 3:27 (-4m)
    560m @ 3:36 (4m)
    850m @ 3:33 (0m)
    580m @ 3:28 (-5m)
    280m @ 3:37 (5m)

    In 17:00 covered 4.88K @ 3:29 [5:36]
    In 33:00 covered 8.03K @ 4:06 [6:35]




  • I think I hate the Lords Walk section of the park more than anything!!

    Its a bit like the Terenure Road on the Sportsworld 5m - the hilliest flattest road there is.


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  • :) For me it's the stretch from ParkGate up to the first roundabout. It's always a thankless chore.




  • That section is worse than the Kyber on the Sunday Long Run!

    outforarun wrote: »
    :) For me it's the stretch from ParkGate up to the first roundabout. It's always a thankless chore.




  • outforarun wrote: »
    :) For me it's the stretch from ParkGate up to the first roundabout. It's always a thankless chore.
    That section is worse than the Kyber on the Sunday Long Run!

    Quite right - I'd blanked that one out - hate that bit as much as any.




  • Busy at work means another late night catch-up on here.

    Last Friday - Easy 8 Miles
    Another weekend starts with a leisurely run in the Park. Followed Chapelizod Road to Chapelizod Gate and entered there. Headed up to Furze for the first time in forever. Then cut straight across Chesterfield and followed a trail around the main gate of the visitor centre until I was back on North Road again. I think I'll continue that trail next time out as it circles further around the tourist centre and back toward Chesterfield. I head down North Road on the white line in the middle of the road before turning in for a quick diversion via the Polo Grounds. Then head for home out Islandbridge Gate.

    Total 8.17M @ 8:21

    Last Saturday - Easy 10K
    Another easy run. Another sunny run. Continue to revisit old routes. This time I cut through the Memorial Gardens and follow the tow-path to Chapelizod. Enter the Park by the pedestrian Gate in the village and run up Acres. Perfect running conditions as the sun shines along Acres, I'm on the tarmac in the middle of the road with only birdsong keeping me company to my left and right. One of those snapshot running moments. I swing down the Khyber. One of the guys from Donore advises me to get a haircut! So good to see a familiar face :) stop to chat a while. Then continue home.

    Some cycling in the afternoon and some windy badminton over the GAA crossbar by the Memorial Gardens. Next up, my sixth TT attempt on the Royal Oak Loop.

    Total 6.24M @ 8:15




  • Royal Oak TT New PB 7:14 :)

    I wasn't hugely motivated ahead of this.

    I said I'd run a TT this morning so I was going to stick to my word. But I wasn't chomping at the bit, I was feeling nonplussed about the task at hand. Completing my warm-up I was conscious that this wasn't the right frame of mind in which to be approaching a short, sharp, 2.04K hilly TT.

    I noted that the wind was blowing down Kilmainham Lane. This I prefer, it means a tailwind on St Johns. A headwind on St Johns is a death knell for this TT. The headwind on the Lane instead is, I think, less influential. I think here the hill itself is the main factor determining how fast you travel.

    I hit lap as I pass the last manhole before the Royal Oak and the anticipation is over, game is on.

    Into the wind for the dash to the Patriot. Cut as tight as I can onto SCR to speed down the 100m to St Johns. I'm not checking the Garmin this morning. This morning I want to try push more and feel more discomfort, not completely reckless but I definitely didn't want to find myself traveling comfortably. Along St Johns is where I lost my lead last time out so today I focus on keeping a strong stride, no relenting, no ease-off-now-speed-up-later deals with myself.

    I try the occasional surge, maybe just for 10m, it doesn't kill me. I think I'm moving faster than last time. I think I'm in contention for a PB.

    Once you've commited to this TT the first real mental hurdle arrives when St Johns levels out. The legs miss the descent immediately, it's like someone has turned up the gravity dial by a notch or two. The temptation is to take a breather in anticipation of the hills ahead. This morning instead I inject a surge. I'm going to hurt on the hills anyway.

    I turn wide onto Military Road and start the climb. There's a crosswind that must be hitting the far side of the road and turning down the hill as a headwind. This is tough. But I do a good job of telling myself not to wilt. Forget the hurt and concentrate on hitting the summit on the best possible racing line.

    I crest the hill. There is the short sharp drop down Irwin Street. The switch from climb to sudden drop is jarring on the legs, they don't have time to start enjoying the descent, because in an instant I'm swinging right onto Kilmainham Lane for the final TT deciding climb.

    I don't notice the headwind, all I notice is that my thighs are starting to burn at the base of the climb. Normally the burn kicks in near the top of this climb. This means that either I am pushing harder today than on previous attempts, or it means I've lost a lot of fitness since my last attempt. I'm quietly confident that it is the former.

    I push up the hill. Tell myself not to relent, I'm nearly there. A growing optimism ensures that I keep pushing. I get to the top of the climb and the road gradually flattens. It's the last 150m or so. I don't look at the watch I just push and push. I pass the manhole, but I ensure I keep pushing until I pass the door of the Royal Oak, only then do I hit stop on the Garmin.

    I check the split. A 7:20. A fist-pump. I know I have a PB. Barring any cruel Strava segment algorithms I should also have a sub 7:20. When I get home I manage a second fist-pump, I've dipped under 7:15. Brilliant. Like the first few attempts, by sprinting to the pub I can expect to drop 5 or 6 seconds off the Garmin lap time. (knowing the context is key in that last sentence :))

    So phase 1 of the lockdown is over and touchwood it won't come back. This simple segment has kept me focused, motivated and rewarded over the last few weeks. The fact that it is a a hilly loop makes it trickier but much more interesting than a flat TT. The Garmin lap was 1.28M @ 5:42, but with GAP adjustment this becomes 5:40 pace. So I'll need to pop back to the mile TT tread and remove a sandbag.

    Can I go better than 7:14? Probably. If i can knock 9 seconds off a PB like I did yesterday then I probably am in contention to knock a few seconds more off. Sub 7:00? Would need dedicated speed training I think. Don't know if it's in me.

    2.63M @ 9:13 [4.23K @ 5:44]
    1.28M @ 5:42 [2.07K @ 3:32]
    2.85M @ 8:30 [4.58K @ 5:15]

    Total 6.76M @ 8:15 [10.88K @ 5:08]




  • Monday Easy 6+ Miles (mostly grass)

    Another gorgeous evening. Headed out a little later than normal and tipped across to the Park in the Dynafits, first time wearing these since the Faugh-a-Ballagh Cup race. Expect I left a trail of dry caked mud behind me for the first 200m or so.

    In at Islandbridge and straight up the grassy bank to the Fort. Head along the ridge past the Fort on the Khyber side. Turn by the sandy puddle and head down the length of one gully and back up the next gully to Acres before following the wide grassy verge back down to the Fort and around the south wall before starting into another lap. I run 5 laps in total and could happily have continued lapping for another hour. Quiet, no sound of footfall, legs feeling trim. Warm mild air and once again a constant soundtrack of birdsong.

    Do eventually drag myself out of the Park and back home. Really enjoyed that one. Mustn't leave the Dynafits idle for so long.

    Total 6.46M @ 8:26

    Wednesday - Tempo 4.15M (plus a fast Polo lap)

    Happily surprised to spot a pair of Asteria in my size online. Ordered them Monday evening. They arrived this morning. I was hoping they'd arrive before the TT, didn't expect them to arrive so soon. Bologna - Milan - Leipzig - East Midlands - Dublin - Kilmainham. Well done DHL!

    Spent the day at work aware of the fabulous conditions outside. Decided I'd give the new runners a proper baptism and run a 4M Tempo. Out the door at an earlier than usual 18:30. I instantly notice a bounce that had long gone from the retiring pair. The latter had covered 520 miles and brought home a marathon PB.

    In at Islandbridge and skirt pass the cricket grounds and along Lord's Walk to the Pavilion. Plan was for 4 laps of the mile TT loop, so I knew it would be a little over 4 miles in total. I have only lap pace showing on the Garmin and want to hold it between 3:55 [6:18] and 4:00 [6:24].

    First lap and I travel a little faster than target, spend most of the lap trying to ease off a little. As I complete the first loop I see 3:54 [6:16] pace showing. I still need to ease off some more.

    From the Pavilion to Chesterfield there is a slight headwind to manage. Then in an instant I'm descending Chesterfield and the pace starts to quicken again. I like the turn onto the Lords Walk. The further I advance along here the more I turn in toward the wind. After two, average pace is quickening, now 3:53 [6:14].

    Lap 3. Even though Chesterfield is descending, it feels at the start of the descent that a subtle convex bump has first to be navigated before you can properly enjoy the downhill. Might just be my imagination. At the end of lap 3 average pace is still showing as 3:53 [6:14].

    Final Lap - legs feeling the effort now but I'm at worst comfortably uncomfortable. I'm certain that if I had to I could have held this pace for 10K. I think a 10K Tempo is only a few weeks away. Average pace has increased to 3:52 [6:14] by the time I finish the 4th lap.

    That was very encouraging. Much easier than two tempos ago on the Royal Oak Loop. I think I'm seeing some of the benefits of the recent hilly speedwork on that segment.

    In total I covered 4.15M @ 6:14. Don't think 6:14 pace has ever felt so comfortable.

    I enter the Polo Grounds proper and I stray off-script. Instead of heading straight for home I decide to run a fast lap. The sun is out, it's warm, I'm in new runners, I couldn't resist.

    A good evening's work

    1.89M @ 8:53 [3.05K @ 5:30]
    4.15M @ 6:14 [6.69K @ 3:52]
    0.39M @ 8:26 [0.64K @ 5:15]
    0.60M @ 5:42 [0.97K @ 3:33]
    1.75M @ 7:55 [2.82K @ 4:55]

    Total 8.79M @ 7:12 [14.16K @ 4:29]




  • Must be almost time to update that table in the TT thread.




  • Must be almost time to update that table in the TT thread.

    Any moment now ....




  • April Review

    So April was a peculiar month of running.

    Every single run was completed on the 1.26 mile loop of Kilmainham Lane, SCR, St Johns Road, Military Road and Irwin Street. It started to feel like my own outdoor treadmill after a while. I could have wandered further afield but I warmed to the challenge of running every run on the same short route.

    I still ensured I injected a lot of variety into the runs, this included:
    • two tempo runs
    • three TTs
    • three Fartlek runs
    • two progression runs
    • a 2:54 marathon pace evening

    Easy miles were run anti-clockwise, not as easy to hop on and off the footpath for social distancing in this direction.

    Threw in a few laps on the bike as well.

    The highlights were definitely the TT runs. I've said it before but it really is amazing how the anticipation of 7:XX minutes of hard running can dominate your thoughts during the week. Then the feeling of relief when it is over, irrespective of how the TT went. I set two consecutive PBs of 7:31 and then 7:23. Sub 7:20 would become a mini-obsession after I failed to PB and logged a 7:28 in the third and final TT of the month.

    I love the quiet abandoned road on TT Sunday mornings.

    The hills on the loop are building leg strength. The first 4 mile tempo (6:24 min/mile) at the start of the month felt far tougher than the second 4 mile tempo (6:19 min/mile) at the end of the month. Very pleased with this second tempo.

    Kept every week to 40 miles, so April is my lowest mileage month of 2020 to date.

    Month | Monthly Miles | Daily mileage for month | Weekly Mileage for month | Daily mileage for year | Weekly mileage for year | Predicted yearly mileage
    January | 203.31 | 6.56 | 45.91 | 6.56 | 45.91 | 2400
    February | 226.40 | 7.81 | 54.65 | 7.16 | 50.13 | 2621
    March | 222.74 | 7.19 | 50.30 | 7.17 | 50.19 | 2624
    April | 170.06 | 5.67 | 39.68 | 6.80 | 47.58 | 2488
    May | | | | | |
    June | | | | | |
    July | | | | | |
    August | | | | | |
    September | | | | | |
    October | | | | | |
    November | | | | | |
    December | | | | | |




  • Last Thursday

    Wasn't properly in the mood Thursday evening. Made sure I got out all the same even if was just for a little over 4 miles in the end. Stuck to the Royal Oak loop, running it anticlockwise. Very muggy out, lending to a general feeling of heaviness. Probably some tiredness in the legs following Wednesday's tempo and fast polo lap.

    Total 4.24M @ 8:35

    Last Friday

    I took two Mondays off at work, one either side of the bank holiday. So I'll be living the 4-day week dream for the next three weeks. In good spirits as I kick off the first of these long weekends. Fairly blustery outside, the weather on Strava says it's 26.2 miles an hour - marathon wind.

    I enter the Park at Islandbridge Gate up the grassy gully and cut across the 15 Acres until I hit Furze Road. Onto Chesterfield and this evening I do the full perimeter loop of the visitor centre. A nice copse of trees to travel through on the north-western part of the loop. I need to explore some lesser travelled parts of the Park this summer.

    I head down to the Polos skirting the edge of Aras. Warm sunshine on my skin and simultaneously cold rain hitting it. Turn right for the cricket grounds and head for home. A pleasant easy hour of running, legs feeling more lively than Thursday.

    Total 7.38M @ 8:14

    Last Saturday

    I guess it's good that Saturday morning's very strong winds fell one week ahead of TT day, hopefully come next Saturday they will be long gone. Headed over to the Polo TT Mile for some more speed recce. Opted for a 12x400 session. This is the most 400s I've ever tried on my own, I had no appetite for a solo 16x400 session.

    I started the 400s at my TT start line. Didn't check the watch at any point and just ran to effort. The wind was a big factor, down Chesterfield was made easier, but from the top half of Lords Walk behind the pavilion and back to Chesterfield was really hard work. Lean in straining, wind loud in my ears.
    I wasn't hanging on at the end so I suspect I wasn't pushing like I would have been with the pack at the club. Bit disappointed to see 86 average at the end, but the wind shoved some of the 400s over the 90 second mark.

    Still a solid morning's work. New Asterias are feeling good.

    89, 85, 88, 85, 83, 88, 83, 85, 93, 83, 88, 91

    Total 8.33M @ 7:31

    Yesterday

    I'm slowly building mileage back up to 50 a week. Last week's target was 46 miles, so I needed just 11 come Sunday. Weather was smashing again. I wore the Glycerins but maybe should have used the Dynafits again. I was sticking off-road and while the Glycerins offer a very smooth ride they don't offer that feel of the terrain that the Dynafits do. It's a mile from home to the carpark at the bottom of the Khyber. Task myself to find a non-repeating 9 mile trail to bring me back to the car-park at the end of mile 10.

    Turn right and up the steep climb after the bridge. Trail along Wellington and then left for the zoo. Grassy verge to Polo Grounds, up the Aras trail and a near full clockwise lap of the tourist centre loop, onto North Road trail and follow it to Knockmaroon, into the Furry Glen along the lake and up onto the Acres, to Furze and back with a loop of Old Wood and then straight down through the Acres to the boundry wall of St Marys, turn left and follow the wall until start of Acres Road. Up the wide grass verge and after a small diversion I follow the Faugh-a-Ballagh route back down to the car park. A couple of short switchbacks and I arrive in the car park after 10 miles.

    Enjoyed that. Need to finish differently, maybe incorporating the Fort somehow.
    So 46 miles posted for the week. Job done.

    Total 11.10M @ 8:18

    Today

    Another stunning sunny morning. Great to have a day off today. I enjoyed last Monday's gentle laps around the Fort and up and down the gullies so decided it would be more of the same this morning. Wore the Dynafits even though there is no need for grip at the moment. I just want to keep them active. Today I run six laps of the Fort and gullies loop. It measures 0.88M. As I'm running I thinking about sessions on this. I like the idea of maybe 4x(1 lap off + 1 lap on), targeting tempo pace. Think I'll give it a try soon enough, I might prefer it in wet conditions.

    I also think I need to order size UK10 in Dynafits next time. These are 9.5 and just a little too tight.

    Total 7.68M @ 8:25


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  • Tuesday - Moneghetti

    Wanted something short and snappy to fire the legs but nothing that might induce any lingering fatigue ahead of Saturday's TT. Headed to the Polo Grounds after work on yet another beautiful evening. Plan is to run the Moneghetti Fartlek session, 2x90s + 4x60s + 4x30s + 4x15s, equal time recovery after each fast bit.

    The fact that it is 2x90s and not 4x90s bugs me a little, next time out it'll be 4x90s. Idea is that average pace should increase as the intervals grow smaller, typically starting at 5K pace.

    I meet scotindublin and a couple of others from Donore, they're running K repeats and suddenly my Moneghetti session feels a lot more inviting. I get started and set the bar high by averaging 3:31 pace [5:39] for the 2x90s.
    So nice doing these on the Polo Grounds, even if the Asterias carry more zip on tarmac.

    Into the 4x60s. I'm not looking at the watch at all during the session and I try to gauge the effort at just a little higher than the 90s. Tricky enough to do, I don't want to make the final sets unattainable. I hit 3:30 pace [5:37],success but a little too close, not enough of a gear shift.

    For the 4x30s I start to focus on my stride, trying to lengthen it and keep it fluid. Feels good, at least for the first half of each interval. The shift in gear here is better and I average 3:22 [5:25] pace.

    Not much time to think now as the recovery time shortens. Into the 4x15s and treat them as a set of strides, trying to accelerate and hold top speed (not all out sprint, I'm not on my toes). Average on the Garmin shows 3:17 pace [5:17].

    And that's it. Done now until Saturday. Chat again with the guys for a while before heading for home. Run some of my cool-down with scotindublin, our chat focusing very much on the rapidly approaching TT.

    Wednesday - The 1000th Mile

    Hard to focus on work with a glorious summer backdrop outside your window. Logged off more or less on time and laced up. I knew I was on 991 miles for the year. The weather is smashing, it's time to hit that milestone.

    Stick mostly to the Park Roads this evening, aiming to finish mile 9 near the Fort. An ascent of the Khyber, North Road and head down to Knockmaroon Gate, down and up through the Furry Glen, up Acres, and a lap of the Playing Fields, the S-Bends and then swing left off road by the Fort.

    I hit the 1000 mile mark on the crest of the Fort overlooking the Khyber carpark. Stop for a few minutes. Take a photo to mark the occasion. Touch wood, I am well on track to shattering my calendar year mileage record. I've never hit 1000 miles this early in the year. After soaking in the moment I restart the Garmin and head for home.

    I was bitten by something earlier this week, and on this 1000 mile evening I ran with a very hot swollen and slightly sore left knee, lower inner thigh also sore to touch. I'm hoping this dies down soon, it won't stop me for the TT but it would add an additional discomfort to the task.

    Total 10.08M @ 8:09

    Easy 5+ Miles

    Knee much better. Friday evening I start the long weekend with a final recce of the TT loop. Another warm evening. Park is busy. I have the watch set to beep at 400m intervals from when I hit start at my TT starting line. However because it's busy I cannot run on the roadside (which has officially become a bicycle lane since I started running this loop) and need to stick to the grassy verge. This definitely affects the end point of the loop, forcing me to navigate the narrow bollards at the end. Means the 400m markers I take become very approximate.

    The first one is a little before the the first milestone on the right hand side of Chesterfield. The second one is, unsurprisingly, a little before the second milestone marker on the right hand side. The milestones are set every quarter of a mile. The 1K mark is by the first tree on the right hand side of Lords Walk. The 1200 marker is by the speed bump immediately before the vehicle entrance to the zoo car park. Then it's 409 metres back to the rear of the Pavilion. Tomorrow I'll run on the road so all these markers will fall earlier.

    Tip back home. Getting anxious now.

    Total 5.50M @ 8:33




  • 1 Mile TT in 5:24.08 :)

    Dread in my footfall as I head back to the Polo Grounds this morning. It's only around 9:00 in the morning but it's warm. Thankfully there is only a light breeze blowing, which might help with keeping cool.

    I know it's not good when I'm not looking forward to the fast bits of warm-up.

    Run a warm-up lap of the loop and include 200m and 3x100m dashes. Arrive back behind the pavilion. There follows around 5 minutes of nervous pacing. I get a text from scotindublin wishing me good luck. Helps me focus, also I'm really jealous that he's done and dusted.

    Ok the coast is clear lets get it over with. Shuffle to my starting line and hit start.

    Uhhh. Do I really want to be doing this? The opening 400 should feel 'ok' on the legs and I guess it does, but the muscles feel a bit jelly like (some residual nerves?) and I'm not calm thinking of what lies ahead. Checking for bikes as I approach Chesterfield, all good none arriving and the road is empty of traffic. I swing right and start the descent. Note the first mile marker on the right hand side. The wind is technically against me but its effect is negligible.

    Legs are behaving ok the jelliness is starting to disappear. But I don't feel fast. I don't feel like I'm on pace and I convince myself that this is going to be a bit of a fail. Too many thoughts, but I'm past the 800m point now and quickly approaching the turn onto Lord's Walk.

    Swing off Chesterfield. I remind myself that this is shorter than The Royal Oak loop. Try stay strong. I grow a little more positive because I'm already approaching the 1200m mark. The jelliness is gone and now I feel some burn, which I interpret as a good sign, mean the effort is more honest than I thought. This drag is not as energy sapping as the climbs at the end of the Royal Oak Loop.

    I move wide to overtake a family of cyclists, this provides some welcome distraction. Keep strong, every second counts. This will be over soon, it's flying in! I turn off Lords Walk for the final push back to the Pavilion. Every second counts. C'mon Garmin start beeping, I don't want to have to navigate the bollards. The beeps arrive, a last lean and it's over.

    Look at the watch, 5:24 pace, wow. Doesn't immediately register that this means a 5:24 mile. When it does I'm really surprised. Over the closing 400 I honestly wasn't sure if I was going to get a 5:3X. Buzzed already. And the relief is overwhelming.

    The joy of moving to the front of the Pavilion and just collapsing flat on my back on the grass to bask in the sun, in the relief and the glow of a job well done.

    Watch some more cracking times coming in from the morning before running a very relaxed cool-down back home.

    At 5 seconds a sandbag that's two sandbags (but everyone is allowed one sandbag right?). Could I go faster? I think so. Probably shouldn't dread the Lord's Walk as much as I did.

    Thanks Guys for arranging this on here. Really generated a race day feeling.




  • Super run.

    I'd say that route cost you a few seconds? tough little incline (at that pace) to the carpark.




  • Super run.

    I'd say that route cost you a few seconds? tough little incline (at that pace) to the carpark.

    Thanks. I guess the Chesterfield descent allows you to brace yourself for it. Then mentally you know you are nearly on the home straight so it is easier to stay strong. Will have another crack a it in a few weeks. Might sign-up for the 10K TT.




  • Sunday MLR 11.22M @ 8:02

    Another scorcher to bring May to a close. Headed for the trails again, running a repeat of last Sunday's 9 mile trail/grass loop but with a variation near the end to try to finish exactly on 9 miles back at the base of the Khyber. Still don't quite have it.

    The legs felt fine after Saturday's TT. As I'm running I'm thinking I might have dodged a bullet by not having to race a Half Marathon down in Cork in this weather. I don't see how it could have played out well. Still strange to not be in Cork on marathon weekend, first time not being there in 10 years. My registration rolls into 2021 so hopefully for the half it'll be fourth time lucky (2018 - tooth, 2019 - hammer, 2020 - pandemic)

    Meet one of the DH guys near the end of this run, good to catch up.

    Monday Fort Laps 7.68M @ 7:58

    June takes up where May left off. A scorchingly hot blue sky Monday. Dynafits go on, I'm trying to keep them alive. Over to the Fort for 6 laps of my 0.88M up and down loop. I detect the pace increasing as I progress so I go with it and try run each lap just a little faster than the previous. Final lap is run at 6:4X pace and this dips under 6:00 mins. A good steady session here would be to string 10 sub 6:00 loops together, one to put in the calendar.

    Wednesday 5.15M Tempo @ 6:15 min/mile :)

    A very satisfying tempo run. Wasn't hugely in the mood for this after work on Wednesday (had originally planned it for Tuesday but I hate running sessions in heavy muggy weather). The Polo Road Loop is my go-to spot for faster stuff at the moment. I set up an open-ended tempo on the Garmin, with a pace range of 3:55 [6:18] to 4:00 [6:26], and planned on running 5 anticlockwise loops.

    Started at my official starting line. Instantly felt fluid, pace felt slow but Garmin was telling me I was moving too fast. Hard to ease up going down Chesterfield, but Lords Walk takes care of the pace and on each lap it shaves off a few seconds average pace off the same effort. The laps fly by. I hear a few 'too fast' alerts and everytime I glance at the Garmin (which isn't often) I see 3:54 or 3:55 showing. All the time I feel very comfortable, legs are good lungs are good, footfall feels good and sounds light. I'm enjoying this.

    I have to work a bit on the Lords Walk drag but otherwise I'm happy to daydream my way around. When I complete the final lap I see I have 5.15 miles done, another lap and a bit would bring up 10K and at this pace I'd log a 38:5X. I need to actively decide not to continue. I'll save it for next time out.

    Very happy that 6:15 pace felt so comfortable this evening. I'm thinking that maybe 3:50 to 3:55 might be a truer tempo pace than 3:55 to 4:00 right now. But I'm not going to force it, I'll let the legs decide, like they did tonight.

    A diversion of a cool-down to go double figures for the day.

    Easy 6 Miles

    Just had total distance showing earlier this evening as I headed out for a sunny and easy 6 miler. Took it easy through the Memorial Gardens and along the towpath to Chapelizod. Into the Park via the village pedestrian entrance and then work my way up Acres and onto Chesterfield. Down the old cycle path and out at Islandbridge before heading for home. Legs felt heavy tonight so clearly yesterday's tempo took something out of me.

    6.20M @ 8:10




  • Last Saturday - 12x400m Hills

    Bowl of porridge to help me stall a while longer before eventually lacing up the Asterias and heading for the Khyber. I was still buoyed a bit from Wednesday night's tempo but the Khyber brought me back to earth in a hurry.

    Twelve times from the bollards up to the 400 marker, with a jog recovery back down. Hills always end up imposing the pace. I start out too fast for the first 2 or 3 climbs but then I forget about pace and focus just on keeping the effort consistent.

    This was tough work I was already starting to count down how many climbs were remaining after I had completed just 5 ascents. As is the case with nearly all sessions I've run since joining Donore I don't check pace on the Garmin anymore, I can sense I'm slowing as the session proceeds.

    It helps if there is a cyclist or other runners to reel in. Sometimes even the 100m marker seems to take an age to arrive! To add to the fun, as I approach the 300m marker I turn into a head-wind, not very very strong, but definitely an added challenge when trying to stay honest on a 400m uphill dash.

    Once I hit double figure intervals it becomes easier mentally and the last two climbs are quickly put to bed. No diversions this morning, I turn downhill at the 400m marker and head straight for home. Legs feeling very exercised for the rest of the day.

    Intervals were: 91, 91, 91, 92, 93, 91*, 92, 95, 94, 93, 91, 94
    (*button fumble at bollards, ran 4 extra strides after 400m to compensate)

    Last Sunday - MLR 12 Miles

    I've been adding 2 miles to my weekly total over the last few weeks to move from 40 back to 50 miles a week. Sunday I targeted a 12 miler. Next Sunday will be a 14 miler, then a 16 miler and so on. Need to get the legs used to long Sunday mornings again. Stuck to the roads today, towpath to Chapelizod, a Knockmaroon ascent, Furry Glen and a 180 turn back to OS Road, turn up Chesterfield to Castleknock Gate and follow the Donore Sunday morning route down North Road, Infirmary Road, Park Gate, once more up the Khyber and then divert for home from the Fort.

    Solid week's running with two good sessions. The legs feel it.

    Total 12.26M @ 7:55

    Monday Easy 7+ Miles, Fort Laps

    For the fourth consecutive Monday I run laps of my 0.88M Magazine Fort Loop. I took 2 Mondays off work, one either side of the bank holiday, definitely a tactic I'll employ again, probably either side of the August bank holiday.

    Each Monday has brought glorious sunshine. Ideally I'd like the going to be a little softer but it is so nice running under blue sky and warm sun. The descent down the grassy gully is without a hint of a breeze and has a soundtrack of just busy birdsong - fabulous. I decide that next Saturday I'll try a challenging steady run on this loop, 10 laps hopefully running each lap in under 6 minutes, but certainly trying to keep the average lap time under 6 minutes.

    Take a few moments to just sit on the grass after this before heading for home. Great way to kick off the week.

    Total 7.71M @ 8:37

    Tuesday Easy 4 Miles

    Wasn't in the mood Tuesday evening. Still got out. Kept it short and kept it close to home. I revisited my lockdown loop. Certainly more traffic now and far less running on the road. There are somethings I will miss about lockdown, running on the white line is one of them.

    I just did three laps and ran as much of a fourth as was needed to bring up 4 miles, turn 180 for home.

    Total 4.18M @ 8:32

    Wednesday Moneghetti +

    Grey sky and a threat of rain as I head to the Polo Grounds on Wednesday evening. Busy enough up there, some club sessions happening. Donore Tuesday sessions are back with capped numbers, staggered starts, social distancing etc. I'm happy enough to continue flying solo for the next 3 weeks or so. I'll reassess in early July.

    As mentioned here a couple of weeks ago, the prescribed Moneghetti session bothered my OTC a little, it calls for 2x90s, 4x60s, 4x30s and 4x15s. On Wednesday I scratched that OTC itch and ran the session with 4x90s.

    I don't look at the Garmin and try to judge the pace naturally. In theory I should start at 5K pace for the 4x90s and then shift up a gear for each subsequent block. I misjudge 5K pace, I knew it was probably faster than it should have been but afterwards I see that I ran these at 3:29 [5:36] pace. Much too fast. I jumped up a gear without problem for the 4x60s, averaging 3:18 [5:18] pace. I find I start to feel the pinch during this set, you start to notice the decrease in recovery time.

    Into the 4x30s and it's harder now to naturally find a quicker pace. It helps if you start to up the pace a little before the Garmin sounds the start of each 30 second interval. I just about hit my mark with this set, averaging 3:17 [5:17] pace.

    For the 4x15s set I felt sure I was running at my fastest pace of the evening but the Garmin disagreed, it gave me an average of 3:22 [5:25]. Not going to get too hung up over how the Garmin paces a 15s interval.

    I like this session a lot and I prefer it with 4x90s rather than 2x90s. Not looking at the Garmin makes it much more interesting. Aim to try again over the next few weeks.

    Total 8.63M @ 7:24

    Right time to sign-up for the 10K TT ....




  • Not doing a great job of staying up to date on here. Closed out last week in solid fashion.

    Friday 8.03 @ 7:47

    A skinny loop. Up and down the full length of Chesterfield. I join Chesterfield at the top of Wellington Road, dash down to Park Gate. Out the gate, cross the road and back in the other side. Run up to Castleknock Gate. Out the gate, cross the road and back in the other side. Then freewheel back down to Wellington. I run up and down in the new 'running' lane. I cannot quite relax and keep looking out for cyclists. Back home gone 9pm.

    Saturday Steady Run with Steady XC 8.93M @ 6:33

    This is definitely a run I will repeat. 10 laps of my short Fort loop. Measures 0.88 or 0.89 miles depending on what mood the Garmin is in. Targeting loops of less than 6 mins means completing 10 laps in just shy of an hour. It's a lumpy loop and features a full gully ascent from the Khyber up to the path around the Playing Fields.

    I tried to run the first lap on feel and hoped to dial in the effort correctly, nope, log a 6:11. I'll need to work a bit hard. I up the effort on lap 2, and log a 5:46. Ok slow up just a little. I'm already feeling settled though and the next three laps are all 5:4X laps.

    When I started I had the hills mostly to myself, but as I progress more and more runners arrive. Groups are training. Our paths don't cross too often. I'm enjoying this. I need to stay concentrated so I don't drop off the pace but it is manageable. Legs feeling the effort rise gradually at each gully ascent. I complete all remaining laps within 6 minutes for a final 10 lap time of 58:32. That is an average of 5:51 a lap, average pace 6:33 min/mile.

    When I consider that over the 6 miles of the Faugh-a-Ballagh Cup race back in January I covered 6 miles of XC at 6:50 pace, my 8.93 miles at 6:33 pace looks very healthy. Yes it was windy in February and yes parts of the February course were quagmire. But I can't help thinking that if I make this run a regular feature then I will see a much better Faugh-a-Ballagh performance next year.

    Worse thing about these Fort runs is the 'clak-clak-clak' of the Dynafits when running from home to the Park and back.

    Sunday MLR 14.02M @ 7:43

    I'd been looking forward to this one for a while. I wanted to see the sea again for the first time since I don't remember when. Decided on Dollymount. Turns out it is just shy of 7 miles from home to Dollymount sand. I run along the Luas tracks from Heuston to Connolly and continue out past Fairview to Clontarf.

    I haven't been through the City Centre in so long. It's a different world. The underbelly is very visible at the moment. Good to arrive at Clontarf and a greater sense of normality. Sunny morning, I'm lucky as the day will turn for the worse in the afternoon. Pass 6 miles as arrive on the woody section of the bridge out to Bull Island. Arrive on the sand at around 6.9 miles. Run along the beach until the Garmin sounds for 7 miles. I stop, breathe in the air, pick up a shell for junior outforarun, look out at Howth and back toward Pigeon House. After a few minutes I hit resume on the Garmin and retrace my steps back toward home.

    As happens when I run the Luas tracks, I get into a race with a tram. I'm calling it a draw. We both left Busarus at the same time, and we both arrived to the top of Steeven's Lane after Heuston at the same time. I leave the tracks here and I'm home a few minutes later.

    A good solid week's running, with the XC Steady run the highlight I think. Sunday's 14 was my longest run since February 23rd. Next Sunday the plan is for 16.




  • Sitting outside in the sun with a West Indies Porter, hoping those black clouds rolling in don't force me inside. Time to reflect on the week's running.

    Monday Easy 6.01M @ 8:54

    Monday means laps by the Fort. First working Monday for me in 4 weeks. Finish up later than expected and it's almost 20:00 before I get out. It is very warm, very muggy. I opt for the Glycerins ahead of the Dynafits this evening. Just run 4 laps. Very relaxed zero effort style. By the Fort two climbers have laid mattresses and are trying to scale the Fort wall free climbing. Each lap I check their progress but I don't see them reach the top of the wall. That's the week underway, legs feeling good.

    Tuesday Easy 3.01M @ 8:56

    Hadn't planned on running today. But I needed a shower. It feels too odd to have a shower without having run beforehand so I lace up for a very short and very easy wander around the neighbourhood. Run across to inchicore, swing left at The Black Lion and follow Emmet Road back to Kilmainham. I keep running straight until the Luas tracks then down the hill to Heuston, up Military Road and home to a justifiable shower.

    Wednesday 10x600m @ 10K pace with 200m recovery

    Club were running this session on Tuesday night (I plan on running with the group again from next month) so I adopted it for Wednesday evening. I wanted to run it at 10K pace just to get a feel for 10K pace ahead of the July 4th TT.

    The club seniors were prescribed 10x600, and you were allowed 12x600 if you were very fit. I was a bit too scared of the 200m recovery and I was running solo so I played it safe and programmed just 10 repeats in the Garmin. Headed over to the Polo Grounds, I'd run this around the Polo Road Loop, anticlockwise and using the new running path on Chesterfield. Conditions were good. Start at my usual starting line.

    I set a wide target pace because not sure where my 10K pace falls right now. I set it at 3:47 (6:07) to 3:51 (6:13). This would bring me home somewhere between PB (currently 38:38) and sub 38.

    I'd fit in two 600s each lap. The odd 600s start with mostly downhill, the even 600s mostly uphill. But as the session progressed there was less and less downhill on the odd 600s and less and less uphill on the even 600s. The opening two laps were probably the toughest as they featured full Lords Walk ascents at speed, but as the session progressed and as I found my pace and as the elevation distribution became more balanced, the session became easier. I should have run 12x600, the 200m recovery was sufficient as the 600s weren't super fast.

    In the end I average low 3:47 pace for the 600s, which equates to a 37:50 10K. Not convinced I'm in sub 38 shape but I will be disappointed if I don't log a PB time on July 4th.

    Friday Easy 8.33M @ 8:16

    Finish work more or less on time on Friday!! Log off quickly before I'm dragged back in and I get out before 17:45 for this one. Legs are heavy this evening. They are not in the mood. I decide on a repeat of last Friday's skinny Chesterfield Loop. Park Gate to Castleknock Gate and back down. Takes maybe 6 miles before the legs start to demonstrate some degree of enthusiasm. Some concern for my right knee, on more than one occasion while running downhill it twinged, each time maybe for 100m or so.

    Saturday Easy Hour 7.47M @ 8:05

    A gorgeous Saturday morning as the sun makes an unexpected return. I have a long progression run planned for Sunday so for the second time this week I opt on the side of caution and decide against a Saturday session. Head out for a make up the route as I go easy hour. Start on some lesser visited streets, Montpellier Hill, up Infirmary Road and a bit of NCR, then Black Horse Avenue to Ashtown Gate. Follow the trails to Ratra House, The Phoenix, down past Aras until the Polo Grounds. Get a shout-out from scotindublin here. Hit pause for a chat. The DH group is running a 3K TT today as their Saturday session. Loops of the Polo Grounds, measured on the morning with a roller and with flags laid down. Kind of regret not turning up for this one, but I'm sticking with my plan to return to group running only from July.

    While we chat we watch some of the guys finishing their TTs. I still have a deep fear of 3K TTs ever since those two lonely 3000m attempts on the track in Athlone a few winters back. I've forgotten that some of the crew haven't seen me since February so at first I can't figure why they are looking at me a bit strange, the hair, of course! Good to see the familiar faces. We see j.o.s.h. drop flat on his back at the finishing line, you know if he does that then it's fast (9:21) and just coming back from injury.

    I run a mile and a bit with scotindublin. Looking forward to getting back to club running next month (after the 10K TT is the plan).

    Sunday Progression 16.12 @ 7:28

    Longest run since February. I was fairly sure that the distance wouldn't present any issues so I wanted to make this interesting. I set up the run on the Garmin so that the first mile targeted 8:4X pace, the second 8:3X pace, the third 8:2X and so on. This would mean that I'd be running mile 16 at 6:1X pace.

    The first half is fine, the trickiest mile is maybe the first as the legs wake up, then it's all about not running too fast. Gingerbread man starts knocking around mile 5, I decide I'll change my route to head back via home on mile 8. 5 minute pitstop and I continue on my way, more relaxed mentally and physically now. Head for the Polo Grounds while tackling Infirmary Hill at 7:2X pace.

    I start looping here. And the work starts here. Mostly because of a strong wind from the top of Lords Walk to the exit for Chesterfield. Started to feel like a little interval session, where I'd recover on the Chesterfield descents. Run almost 5 full laps and then start heading for home at 6:2X pace. The descent down Wellington helps make this feel comfortable. Then lap 16 starts with the steep climb up from Islandbridge to St John's Road. I turn left down Saint John's and the last high effort of the morning is an ascent of Military Road at 6:1X pace.

    Protein drink straight from the fridge then into the shower. That was fun. Nice to run long again. I'll move up to 18 next Sunday, it'll be vanilla though so will probably run urban and revisit some long unvisited streets, just to keep it more interesting.

    I've promised I'd run a rainbow themed 5K for virtual 5K run that a Maryland based friend's club is running this month. So that will be next Saturday. Don't think I'll treat it as a TT, but I will target sub 19. Then the weekend after it's the 10K TT. If it's not windy then I'll run 6 Polo Road laps, but if it's like this morning I might try elsewhere.

    Those dark clouds never arrived. Chilled afternoon in the sun on the balcony catching up here. On cooking duty now.




  • Key run this week is due to be a sub 19:00 5K run on Saturday. Not treating it as a TT, but I do want to assess what the effort levels feel like to dip under 19:00. It'll also serve as a sharpener one week out from the 10K TT.

    Monday Easy 6.05M @ 8:47

    Legs are bit tired after yesterday's long progression run. Happy to keep the pace pedestrian for this one. Wear the Glycerins simply because I reckon they're kinder to the legs. It was very very muggy out. And a moderate headwind was blowing from the Fort up toward the Khyber. I just do 4 laps before heading for home. Had to take evasive action twice this evening as someone was running fast hill repeats up the middle gully as I was trotting down it.

    Tuesday Very Easy 5K

    Session planned for tomorrow evening so just an easy easy wander about the neighbourhood, people-watching. Into the Memorial Gardens, a little stretch along the river, back out alongside the GAA pitches. Then down St Johns and home via Military Road. IMMA isn't open yet but when it is I must piece together a 5K route that incorporates both the IMMA grounds and the Memorial Gardens. Ideal for a relaxed recovery run on a summer evening.

    Total 3.12M @ 9:05

    Moneghetti +

    A repeat of the session I ran 2 weeks ago. Very very warm tonight. Ideal weather for lounging on the grass, not so ideal for running 3K pace and faster.
    I'm used to the drill now with this session and as always the challenge involves not looking at the Garmin and trying to dial in the paces naturally.

    4x90s + 4x60s + 4x30s + 4x15s (all off same-time recovery)

    Realistically I reckon my 5K pace is somewhere between 3:40 [5:54] and 3:45 [6:02]. I misjudge this completely this evening, running at 3:33 [5:43]. If I could hold 3:33 for 3K I'd be happy. The consolation I guess is that 3:33 pace didn't feel terribly hard. Gives me a little more confidence ahead of Saturday.

    I get to run past some training groups on the 4x60s so this helps distract me. Checking the splits afterwards I see I judged the increase in pace well, running these at 3:23 [5:27]. Effort levels rising now.

    In the 4x30s set I can tell my stride is naturally increasing. I try to accelerate through these. Legs and lungs are working but at 30s an interval you're never really in hanging-on territory. They pass quickly. Average 3:22 [5:25] pace, not a great leap forward pace wise. How did I run a mile faster than this!

    And the 4 sets of 15s strides to finish. Not much time to catch your breath between strides. Again theses average slightly slower than the 30s, I log 3:22 [5:26]. I don't take the 15s splits very seriously, and the 30s splits can be taken with a pinch of salt as well.

    Ideally I'd like to dial in set averages of 3:43, 3:33, 3:23 and 3:1X for this session. I'll keep trying.

    Finish with a long cool down on a glorious Phoenix Park evening. My left knee twinging quite a bit when going up steps and stairs after this one. Hopefully a thing of nothing. Rest day tomorrow, easy on Friday, then a sub 19:00 5K on Saturday. That's the plan.


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  • May Review

    Looking back at May as June draws to a close.

    Two runs stand-out from May. Both are short TTs. The first was run on the last day of the hard-lockdown. My 6th and final TT around my Royal Oak Loop. I complete the 2.04K loop in 7:14. Knocking 9 seconds off my previous PB. I don't look at the Garmin as I run this and base the TT on effort. Determined not to slack off goind down St Johns. Thrilled with this. It provides neat closure to the life of my lock-down loop.

    The second stand-out run was the Boards 1M TT. I think the 6 Royal Oak Loop TTs provided good preparation for this, not least because I could remind myself that the Royal Oak TTs were 0.26M longer than a 1M effort. I ran the TT anti-clockwise on the Polo Grounds road loop, starting and finishing on a gorgeous Saturday morning, behind The Pavilion. Nervous ahead of this. Didn't feel confident while running the TT, was thrilled to shatter my 5:34 prediction and run 10 seconds quicker with a 5:24. Bask on the Polo grass afterwards.

    There was one other TT in May, my 5th Royal Oak attempt, a disappointing 7:30. Two other speed sessions worth mentioning were a 12x400 session on the 1M TT route, this is the most 400s I've ever tackled on a solo run. And I ran a very encouraging 4.15M tempo at 6:14 pace, again on the 1M loop. I don't remember 6:14 pace ever feeling so 'comfortable'.

    With the beginning of the easing of restrictions I started to up my weekly mileage. I started to run double digit miles again, and I started to move away from my lockdown loop. Back in Phoenix again. I hit 1000 miles on 27 May, the quickest I've ever hit this milestone in a calendar year. I log over 200 miles for May.

    I explore some new trail stretches in the Park, around the Visitor Centre and behind St Marys. I also establish a new short loop around the Fort and gullies. Just 0.88M but such a pleasure in gorgeous May weather. I wear the Dynafits on this loop, lacing them up for the first time since February.

    I give debuts to a pair of bright blue Glycerin 17s and to a pair of yellow Asterias. The latter I use to set my 1M TT time.

    That's it for May.

    Month | Monthly Miles | Daily mileage for month | Weekly Mileage for month | Daily mileage for year | Weekly mileage for year | Predicted yearly mileage
    January | 203.31 | 6.56 | 45.91 | 6.56 | 45.91 | 2400
    February | 226.40 | 7.81 | 54.65 | 7.16 | 50.13 | 2621
    March | 222.74 | 7.19 | 50.30 | 7.17 | 50.19 | 2624
    April | 170.06 | 5.67 | 39.68 | 6.80 | 47.58 | 2488
    May | 201.37 | 6.50 | 45.47 | 6.74 | 47.15 | 2465
    June | | | | | |
    July | | | | | |
    August | | | | | |
    September | | | | | |
    October | | | | | |
    November | | | | | |
    December | | | | | |


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