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2012 4 Races for 4 PBs



  • Block 1 Week 2: Easy Hour

    Started week 2 of block 1 on Tuesday evening. On the menu was my usual Easy Hour Loop. Relaxed run, the legs deciding on a slower pace than normal. I finished the loop in about a minute over the hour. The legs mostly felt good. Bit of left hip/glute stiffness for first half mile or so, then some light right heel feedback over the closing mile or so. Nothing I would class as pain. Just have to continue believing that doing the PT prescribed exercises and keeping the training arc gentle and not aggressive will allow me navigate back to a good baseline fitness.

    Completed the first of this weeks S&C sessions after the run. Watching BT’s ‘around-the-grounds’ coverage of the first Champions League match-day.

     Total 6.94M @ 8:52

  • Block 1 Week 2: 800+(2x400) @ MP

    If the right heel pings it tends to be near the end of runs. It’s good that it’s not painful, but it’s annoying to realise that it hasn’t fully healed up yet. Further confirmation that I was wise to revert to the gentle starting block of this rebuild plan.

    Over to the Park after work. Using the playing fields path for this. Looks like some clubs are running sessions this evening. They’re moving anti-clockwise, I’m moving clockwise.

    MP pace was very manageable and the heel did not protest during the MP sections. Plan was 800+(2x400) @ MP, with half distance recoveries. A significant moment near the end of the first 400 section, when the Garmin started to beep the end of the 400 I had to think a moment to realise I would need to drop the pace not pick it up. Proof that MP was comfortable.

    Average MP pace tonight was the equivalent of a 3:06 marathon.

    Home in time to tune in to Anfield and hope for more Italian success, wasn’t to be, cracking game though.

     Total 5.58M @ 8:27

  • Block 1 Week 2: Easy 5K

    Heel was pinging more than usual today, maybe 0.5 on the pain scale. I do think there is some correlation between the amount of time I spend sitting at the desk and the feedback from the heel. More time up and about means less trouble from the heel. Happy to have some light rain falling for this one. Stayed very close to home and ran the guts of this inside the Royal Hospital grounds. Mostly just dog-walkers out this lunchtime. Didn’t check pace at all on this run (don’t check pace on most runs of late), I was a bit surprised afterwards to see just how slow I was moving, proper recovery pace of 9:14. Back home, quick shower, back to meetings. Looking forward to more MP tomorrow.

    Total 3.11M @ 9:14  

  • Block 1 Week 2: 1600+(2x800) @ MP

    Quite a few runners out running sessions around the Playing Fields last Saturday morning. Warm conditions. Heel is good on my warm-up. I start the MP pieces at the bottom of Acres. First stint is 1600m and takes me up Acres around the top of the Playing Fields, back down by the Fort and a few metres along the southern path. It went fine. MP pace is manageable and in ways more comfortable than easy pace. The 1600 was completed in 7:04 at 7:06 pace. Half distance recovery and then two 800s in 3:32 (7:06 pace) and 3:33 (7:08 pace). The former covered the full Acres ascent, the latter was more downhill. I finish the run by returning home along the S-bends. Heel a bit stiff on this return journey. Otherwise all good.

    Total 7.09M @ 8:09

  • Block 1 Week 2: Easy 9 Miles

    Absolutely gorgeous sunny September morning last Sunday. Very conscious that there may not be too many more of these in the year.

    I stick largely to trails. Polo Grounds up past Aras and eventually turning right to join the North Road perimeter trail. Legs feeling mostly good (they haven't felt entirely good in a long long time). Reach Knockmaroon and head down into the Glen. An unwise decision to climb the short steep dirt path out of the Glen and up to the 15 Acres. This involved a few paces on my toes. Heel didn't protest though. All the same I won't do that again for a while. Some grass trail 15 Acres running under the sun, before descending to the bottom of the Khyber via the Fort. Then an easy mile back home. All told the best run of Rebuild-2 so far, helped by the weather.

    Sunday weigh-in is more encouraging this week, down to 73.95 kilo.

    Total 9.08M @ 8:26

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  • Block 1 Week 3: Easy 5K

    Have to shuffle runs this week a bit. Monday is my 4th consecutive day running. Just an easy 5K to kick off the third week of block one. Stay with my neighbourhood 5K loop. Kilmainham to Inchicore then back to James along Emmet Road. Keep this very slow. Some heel pinging but again nothing I would class as painless. Heading to Athlone in the morning so early to bed.

    Total 3.12M @ 8:59

  • Block 1 Week 3: 1200+400 @ MP

    First run in Athlone in around 18 months. Staying with friends and a little tight for time. I run to the town end of the Greenway near the train station and run the MP sections in straight lines. Correctly detect that running away from town is on a slight uphill as I cannot relax too much on the 1200 section. The return 400 is easier to find MP pace. The 1200 is completed on target at 7:10, the 400 is a fraction too speedy at 7:02 pace. The heel pings a little but is mostly ok. Both legs instead feel quite heavy tonight. Weather feels quite heavy as well.

    Strange to be back running in Athlone, but also feels very familiar.

    Total 4.43M @ 8:25

  • Block 1 Week 3: Easy Hour

    Wake Friday morning and my first thought is that I won't be able to run today. My left leg is aching, glute, hammer, calf, hard to pinpoint exactly where the main source is from. This has come entirely out of the blue. I didn't run on Wednesday after Tuesday's Athlone run and the legs felt their usual 'mostly-ok' selves. Feeling very despondent that I would have to interrupt Rebuild-2 so early on.

    However I did the school drop in the morning and the leg didn't feel too bad. The ache passed as the day passed. On a lunchtime walk it felt better again. I took a decision to risk tonight's run. Maybe I just slept funny. I have had these aches on one or two occasions with my shoulder, lasting a single morning and then going as mysteriously as it arrived. I'd bail on the run if it became uncomfortable.

    The run goes generally ok. The left leg is fine for the first mile, heavy and a bit stiff for the next 2 or 3 uphill miles, and then fine for the mostly downhill remainder of the run. I think the source of the ache is from the glute and/or upper hammer. I finish the run happy that I decided to risk it. Since then there has been no repeat of the morning ache. An occasional small ache from around the glute/upper hammer if I stretch in a certain direction. Heel continues to slowly improve. I ease off a little on the next S&C session.

    Sleep - I need more sleep. I haven't been getting enough for the last while (2 years) not because I can't sleep, rather because I'm happy to burn the midnight oil. When I stop to think about it it may be no coincidence that the last two years have also been my most injury-ridden period. I think the reduced sleep started during our last big crazy work project, where for 14 months we worked silly hours and silly intensity and in the evenings I refused to go to bed simply because I wanted to dedicate some awake time to myself and not just to work. Late nights with a few hours of sofa-sleep before transferring to bed for a little more sleep.

    Going to really try hit 7 to 8 hours a night (in bed) for the next weeks and will note how I feel and how the muscles feel. Need to give them the best opportunity possible to recover and rebuild.

    Total 6.94M @ 8:55

    Post edited by outforarun on

  • Block 1 Week 3: 2400+800 @ MP

    After 399 days of no haircut I reverted to a 1 blade today. Should help with Sunday weigh-in. In the end I think I prefer hair long. Coincidentaly another 399 days without a haircut will get me to DCM weekend next year. Marathon with a hairband is the plan.

    Could feel air on my head and could hear air in my ears today as I ran this light MP session clockwise around the playing fields. MP pace was very manageable. Heel was mostly ok, left leg was mostly ok on another warm September day.

    The 2400 was run at 7:10 pace, the 800 was run at 7:06 pace. MP today the equivalent of a 3:08 marathon.

    Total 7.14M @ 8:04

  • Rebuild 2, Block 1 Week 3 – Easy 10 Miles

    Another beautiful warm and bright Sunday morning. How many more are left in the year? Stuck to the trails in the Park for this one. Starting wit the trail above Wellington Road, dashing across Chesterfield to run through the Polo Grounds and up past Aras, then a clockwise loop around the perimeter of the Visitor Centre before joining the North Road trail by Ratra House. Tip along in and out of the copses of trees towards Castleknock Gate. During a 200m stretch in this section I have half a dozen light twinges from the left knee. Not the same twinge as last year so alarm bells aren’t ringing. Twinges pass. From Castleknock I follow the trail down to Knockmaroon Gate but don’t go into the Glen instead I work my way back up towards Furze and out onto the 15 Acres. Run into and out of Oldtown Wood before descending across open grassland down to St Marys, left along the perimeter trail of the Hospital Grounds before heading back up Acres and clockwise around the Playing Fields to the south-west corner and exiting by Islandbridge Gate below the Fort.

    One of those runs that really makes me appreciate how lucky I am to have the Park on my doorstep.

    Total distance is 10.19 miles (I think I know what to cut out to make it an even 10, will try again soon enough). 

    The heel was generally ok. Still a presence in the right heel that is not in the left heel, but I don’t recall it pinging on this run. This was my longest run since that ill-fated ‘long’ run on the day of Euro20 final. The distance was very manageable today. That’s the target longest run for this block ticked off.

    I actually kind of missed having hair in my eyes for this one! I estimate that hair will be back in the eyes sometime next July. On the weigh-in I was very surprised to see 72.55 kilos. Well over a kilo lost since last week. Less bread, less snacks and less hair.

    Total 10.19M @ 8:27

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  • Rebuild 2, Block 1 Week 4 – Easy Hour

    Final week of block 1 started Tuesday last week on another pleasant late September evening. I stuck to my usual Easy Hour Loop. I could feel a light presence in my right heel, no pings and no pain though. Same with the left knee, a light presence but no pings nor pain. Feedback from the knee does not feel like it did last year, preceding my long lay-off injury. Otherwise the legs felt happily light.

    A bit of me expects pings and presences as effectively I am starting over and the legs are retraining again and getting used to stresses. Key concern is that I don’t push too hard.

    Murph_D above asked if I plan on doing anything different this time round. I remember on the first rebuild in block 4 I strayed from my 2 sessions a week rule. I was running a short 10K pace session midweek, a tempo session on Saturday and then on 2 successive Sundays I ran over HM distance with some marathon pace miles built in. Too much in a single week in the first half of a rebuilding project. I will insist this time round on no more than two sessions a week. I have adjusted plans accordingly.

    Finish my Tuesday loop just 45 seconds inside the hour, so a little faster than previous Tuesdays. I’m happy if I complete the loop inside a minute either side of the hour.

    Total 7.02M @ 8:33

  • Rebuild 2, Block 1 Week 4 – 4 Miles with 1M @ MP

    Out a little later than planned last Wednesday and it was noticeably less light out. I had expected to run round the Playing Fields but instead I switched to the Chapelizod Road for this one. Nothing complicated. I ran the riverside of the road out to the clubhouse, crossed the road and ran a marathon pace mile back toward town, starting at the 0 metre marker. Pace was easy to dial in and maintain and happily there were no heel pings this evening. Every run I do is preceded by some heel and calf strength exercises and it seems this is working, fingers-crossed. The MP mile is completed at 7:09 pace, equivalent of a 3:07 marathon.

    Total 3.98M @ 8:40

  • Rebuild 2, Block 1 Week 4 – Easy 5K

    Headed to Bray Friday evening for my first live sport since late 2019, so I squeezed this one in at lunchtime. A gentle 5K in mostly sunny conditions. I take the scenic route and run a lap around the War Memorial Gardens, before crossing back for a lap of IMMA. Heel was good, or at least I didn’t notice any feedback. Left hip/glute a little stiff, not painful. Knees were fine. I think that later, spending the evening on my feet in the Carlisle Grounds was good for the legs, they felt generally ok as I headed into the weekend.

    Total 3.11M @ 8:56

  • Rebuild 2, Block 1 Week 4 – 7M with 2M @ MP

    It rained overnight but the sun was out Saturday morning for this short MP session.

    Legs fairly heavy on the way from home to the Playing Fields. I run to my usual starting spot for any sort of faster than easy work on this path, the second bike lane marker. Up the pace and proceed up Acres. Josh jumps in for 3 mins, good to exchange some quick catch-ups. I continue alone and need to up the pace slightly to get back to MP. Finish a full lap of the Playing Fields and continue up Acres for the second time. Soon the Garmin sounds the end of the MP section. That was fine. No feedback from heel. The 2M were completed in 7:07 pace, equivalent of a 3:06 marathon.

    I stop awhile at the northeast corner of the lap to chat with Josh and scotindublin, cannot stay long as I’m on a timer to get home today. I continue on this lap but swing down Acres to the S-Bends and continue home this way. That was good, again some dull feedback from left hip/glute, otherwise all good.

    Total 7.05M @ 7:57

  • Rebuild 2, Block 1 Week 4 – Easy 9 Miles

    Finished Block 1 earlier this month. A pleasant 9 miler mostly on the trails in the Park. Windy and sunny. Encouragingly there was very little feedback from the right heel, nor from the legs in general.

    Total 9.01M @ 8:35. Happy now to step back for a week and let the body absorb the work completed across these four weeks.


    It’s nice to break free from running plans on every fifth week. No obligation to run, no pressure to find a running window during the day. No pressure to stay out long and tick off the miles. During the week easy 5Ks are the most I do. These come with some light right heel pings and some lighter pings from the left knee. Anything I feel from the left knee is not reminiscent of last summer’s injury, so I’m not overly concerned about this.

    On Saturday I run a short neighbourhood 4 miler, again with some right heel stiffness. This is taking a long time to fully pass. I end the week with a surprisingly light-legged 10K along the Chapelizod towpath and through the Park. This latter was probably the best run of the week.

    So Block 1 saw all goals ticked off successfully. I averaged between 30 and 35 miles a week, I ran 2 miles at marathon pace, I completed a 10 mile Sunday morning run. And I dropped my weight from 74.4 to 73.6. I expect the weight loss to increase as the mileage increases.

    Right heel continues to make its presence felt, sometimes stiff, sometimes pinging, never painful, never limp inducing. I’ve felt some pings from the left knee, rarely lasting more than 200ms or so and not similar to last year’s injury. Hip and glute have been aching though. Some runs have been feedback free, but the majority of runs have featured feedback from a mix of heel, knee and hip. When all three are involved I can’t say the run is enjoyable

  • Rebuild 2, Block 2 Week 1 – Easy Hour

    An unexpected trip to Cork this week. Didn’t expect to be running and didn’t pack to run. Then it turned out I could get some runs in after-all. I bought some running gear while there. And I have been wearing my Asterias as casualwear of late so I did have runners with me. I started Block-2 on Monday afternoon with a hilly 7 miles around Glanmire. First time in the Asterias since before the Euro2020 Final. The hip was fine as were the knees but the hills en route did provoke some right heel stiffness.

    Total 7.06M @ 8:30

    Rebuild 2, Block 2 Week 1 – 6M with 2M @ MP

    I don’t know if it is because of where I was sleeping or because of an impromptu uncomfortable desk arrangement or because of the first run in the Asterias for a while, but I develop some lower back stiffness this week, doesn’t really bother me while running.

    This one is run as an out and back on Wednesday evening. Run 2 miles of warm-up and then by the Vienna Woods Hotel I increase the pace to marathon pace. Run a mile to Dunkettle and onto the new bicycle path there, when I hit a mile I turn 180 and return back to the Vienna Woods at MP. Commuter traffic keeping me company. The faster pace is ok to hold. Average MP is 7:07, the equivalent of a 3:06 marathon. Some presence from the right heel but otherwise the legs feel ok.

    Total 6.04M @ 7:53

    Rebuild 2, Block 2 Week 1 – Easy 6 Miles

    Back in Dublin and back in the Park late afternoon on Friday. Aside from some continued right heel stiffness the legs feel generally good. More or less make up the route as I go. Take in a little bit of trail descending by Aras. Happy to see that the temporary pavilions that were in place by the Polo Grounds have been removed. They had been blocking by go-to Saturday morning tempo route.

    My lower back stiffness is not going away, but is still not impacting my runs. On a positive note the recent hip/glute stiffness seems to have gone. I think I might have been overly aggressive with the roller and the powerband, I’ve eased off accordingly.

    Total 6.01M @ 8:30

    Rebuild 2, Block 2 Week 1 – 4x800 @ Sub 3 Pace

    Happy to introduce sub-3 marathon pace on Saturday. For rebuild purposes, sub-3 pace is the equivalent of a 2:55:00 to a 2:59:59 marathon finishing time. It’s as fast as I will travel in this second block.

    Baby steps to begin with, a 4x800m session off 400m recovery. Stick with the same route I used for MP work in Block-1, clockwise around the Playing Fields, starting near the bottom of Acres. The 800s are ok. The legs are not unhappy with the pace but I notice the lungs have to work a little. Right now it is inconceivably far away the possibility of running 42195m at this pace. But these are the very first baby steps in that direction. Nice to complete these and I’m looking forward to tracking lung improvement as this pace becomes more familiar.

    Today’s 800 average pace was a tiny bit faster than target, at 3:18 per 800, equivalent of a 2:54 marathon. I bring up 7 miles for the day. Lower back stiffness continues to persist and irritate outside of running.

    Total 7.04M @ 7:55

    Rebuild 2, Block 2 Week 1 – Easy 10 Miles

    Lower back stiffness is bad this morning and it affects my run. For the opening 2 or 3 miles it feels achy and uncomfortable. The further I run the less uncomfortable it feels. I stick to trails and hope this is easier on the body. When the lower back feedback starts to fade the right heel starts to provide feedback and then left knee starts to ping. I’d be lying if I said this was an enjoyable run. Biggest concern now is lower back.

    It’s very frustrating, for weeks there has always been something, if it’s not the right heel, it’s the left-knee, then it was the left hip/glute (which fingers-crossed seems to have gone away), now the lower back joins the party. I hope the back goes the way of the hip, I hope the heel continues to slowly slowly improve and I hope the knees are just adjusting as I effectively start over with training, and I hope nothing else pops up, at least not until all the previous listed items have resolved. Hard to keep track.

    Seasons are changing, more oranges and yellows around the park, more muddy underfoot. Still warm when the sun breaks through though. Felt heavy today and so was genuinely surprised with a final pace of 8:05. Quite a few 7:XX miles slipping into this one.

    Monday off now and won’t lace up again until Tuesday evening, fingers crossed my back improves in that time. I’d pay for an ache free, ping-free, care-free, light legged run.

    Total 10.02M @ 8:05