2012 4 Races for 4 PBs
A headcold settled in Friday and I was more than a little congested come Saturday morning. Antigens were reading negative. I spend a little time on the roller before heading to the Playing Fields for 6 miles at a little slower than threshold pace, so 4:12 [6:45] to 4:18 [6:55]. I was apprehensive as I haven't been hugely comfortable running around threshold pace these last weeks. Three and a bit laps of the Playing Fields, clockwise. The standard headwind is blowing this morning, from Acres Road to the Fort. I know from mile one that I would have to work this morning. Thankfully the effort levels felt on mile 1 didn't increase dramatically as the run progressed. I could recover a little on the Northern and Eastern sides of the lap. The headwind towards Acres was the most difficult part and I faced it 4 times. The last mile I was working but I wasn't hanging on desperate for the end.
Given the headcold and given the headwind I was relatively satisfied with my efforts. Legs were generally ok.
6.00M @ 6:55 (average 167 bpm)
Total 8.52M @ 7:38 (average 155 bpm)
Another Sunday another half-marathon. Back to my Southside loop this morning. Legs were ok and not feeling any ill effects from yesterday's run. Overall average pace was a little slower than the last two times out, but that's fine, I wasn't trying to push pace. Headcold persists. I spend the first half of the run spitting every 100m. Felt better on the second half of the run. Very pleased with the final heartrate for this one, fitness is improving.
Total 13.14 @ 8:22 (average 134 bpm)2
The final week (26th September to 2nd October) of this first physio prescribed 4 week block went mostly well.
8x800 @ 10K pace (off 90sec recovery)
A bit concerned on the warm-up of this opening run, the right hammer was tight and pinging more than usual. I did consider cancelling the session but decided I'd complete my warm-up and see how I felt. I did feel better and once I got into the intervals the hammer was mostly quiet. It pinged a little again on the cool-down. I underestimated the 800s. Sessions are always harder for me in the evening than in the morning, plus running these out and back on the Chapelizod Road meant I needed to contend with head-wind upstream intervals, the 2nd, 4th, 6th and 8th intervals were much trickier than the downstream 800s. I held 10K pace though, 3:13 / 3:17 / 3:15 / 3:16 / 3:14 / 3:16 / 3:17 / 3:18.
24 hours later I run an easy 10K in Athlone and the hammer is much better, a slight presence but no pain, no discomfort, no pinging nor stinging. Legs also felt lighter than expected, all in all a positive run.
Total 6.21M @ 8:35 (average 133 bpm)
Easy 6M + Steady 2M
I was out Thursday evening and so pushed this one forward to Friday. Into the Park at Parkgate and travelled on very stiff legs up behind the Zoo and out the North Road. As the profile changed around OS Road the legs started to come alive and they felt good tipping down the Glen Road. Not too many more evening Park runs available this year, lamps are on as I exit at Chapelizod Gate. I up the pace for the final 2 miles and it feels comfortable. Nice way to start the weekend. That's 183 miles for September.
Total 8.01M @ 8:29 (average 140 bpm)
Threshold 4 Miles
Enjoyed this one around the Playing Fields. A repeat of my opening Threshold run of 4 weeks ago, and this time it went much better. The final mile was not nearly as tricky as the final mile first time out. I felt more in control, I was running faster and with less effort. I finished the 4 Miles @ 6:42 mins/mile. I held 4:10 min/km pace with average 166 bpm, four weeks early I worked harder to hold 4:13 pace with average 169 bpm. Progress, slow progress, but progress all the same. A tiny presence from the right hammer on the cool-down but nothing to spoil my mood.
Total 7.21M @ 7:47 with 4M @ 6:42
Easy 13.1 Miles
I finish the week with my 4th consecutive Sunday Half Marathon. My Liffey Loop for this one, under blue skies. I get up to pace quickly enough and then I start to run a little too fast. Too many individual miles posting faster than target pace range, even if overall average pace is inside easy range, the faster end of easy pace. One or two pings from the right hammer but not strong and I'm not concerned.
Pleased with these last 4 weeks. It felt like I was training properly again and Strava progress and fitness charts were moving in the right direction again. Feeling cautiously hopeful. Next up is a step-back week (30 miles, one session, and no long run). I'll book in with the physio again to mention about hammer pings and determine what the next block will look like.
Total 13.11M @ 8:10 (average 139 bpm)2
So a quick update. My step back week went ok some right hammer presence. The stepback week session was 6x1K at 10K pace and it went better than the previous 6x1K session 5 weeks earlier. Ahead of a new training block I felt confident enough to knock 5 secs of my JD estimated 5K time. I met with physio ahead of the new block, mentioned that in general the legs had been good for the first block but that the right hammer still felt like the weak link. Hammer focused S&C prescribed.
While waiting for details of block 2 I opted to run 6x1K again, this was the opening session of first block. Hammer felt tight. Session went ok, though it always feels tougher on Chapelizod Road, and as usual the upstream intervals were harder than downstream.
Block 2 details arrive and the sessions were tougher than first time round, looked like fun though, I should have opened with 7x1K at 10K pace off 70 seconds recovery. The final session planned was a flat Parkrun to get a new 5K time.
Hammer had felt very tight on a Weds evening run in Athlone so I decided I'd restart block 2 the next week instead.
On Friday I went for any easy 4 mile and had to abandon after a mile. Hammer started tight, then tighter, then started pinging, then pinging more sharply and started hurting and affecting my stride.
Physio advised against starting the new block, focus on easy running and rehab instead.
Feeling deflated I didn't run at all and didn't do enough rehab. Tried an easy run yesterday, hammer was pinging and tight but not terribly so. Tried again this morning and had to abandon after 3K and walk home. Same as two Fridays ago, abandoned when pinging turned sharp and painful.
So back to square one again. What now? I think I'll stop running for 4 weeks. I'll focus honestly on rehab in those 4 weeks. Roller and core every second day, hammer S&C every other day. Walk more to keep blood in the hammer. Lose weight properly. Then try an easy run and see. I will contact physio to see what he recommends.
I made better progress with my own rebuild program but the prospect of another 50 week schedule is not hugely appealing. I enjoyed the physio prescibed training more and it deserves a second shot, maybe I was too optimistic setting 19:39 as my 5K time (ran 19:37 start of the summer not flat out). Maybe 19:59 was more realistic. By the time I get back from this hammer setback it'll probably be even slower, so be it.
This hammer strain feels more central and higher up than usual. Good news? Everything else feels fine, hips, glutes, knees, lower back, no issues.3
The last 2 and a half years.
I'm losing track of which injury followed which. Curiosity got the better of me and I trawled through Strava. It doesn't make for happy reading.
- July 4th 2020 - On a 10K PB attempt (targeting sub 38:38) around the Polo Grounds I pull up with a pain around the left knee.
- July 17th 2020 - After a handful of tester runs I DNF on an easy run around the Playing Fields. Limp home.
There follows a series of physio visits and prescribed rehab runs. The injury is hard to pinpoint and it could be several injuries, but prime suspects are left hammer and left IT band. I now call it my 'house of cards' injury and see it as a result of lockdown over-training, including too many PB attempts at short distances, the 2.04K loop around the block, a 1M TT. The rehab runs aren't really working. After around 5K in every second run the left knee starts to protest.
- September 11th 2020 - On another easy rehab run I pull up with a sore left knee and limp home. Over 2 months since my injury struck and I feel like I'm back to square one.
Based on word of mouth recommendations I visit a Physical Therapist. This is very hands-on, and lots of needles were involved, lots of sweating and some screaming, but physically and mentally I had found new optimism.
- October 11th 2020 - A month after pulling up on an easy run I step out for a 600m tester. It goes fine.
For the next month I continue to run these short rehab runs, adding 200m at a time. The knee has stopped protesting. I'm very apprehensive but slowly slowly some confidence is returning. The dry needling and heavy massage sessions continue. I hate needles, but if that's what is required then so be it.
- November 9th 2020 - I start an 8 week plan of easy running building up to a 30 mile week and an 8 mile long run. I complete this successfully. I may not be 100% but I feel ready to start a proper rebuild. Confident that I can keep the healing curve ahead of the training curve.
- January 25th 2021 - Over 6 months since my initial injury I kick off a cautious 10 block, 50 week rebuild program.
By the end of the program I want to be back running sub 40 for 10K, have logged some 20 mile long runs, and some 50+ mile weeks, together with logging some good MP and Sub3 pace sessions. It feels really really good to be back on a structured plan. A tempo session, a long run and a 10K pace session being the key ingredients of the week. A down week every fifth week. The legs are rarely without some dim ache or presence but nothing painful and nothing that causes huge concern. I manage 167 days of uninterrupted running. Progress is very slow, but steady.
- July 11th 2021 I abandon a 14 miler having hit a wall! Under fueling for 48 hours previous. The fatigue is likely to have affected my stride and the day after I am limping with a sore right achilles. I'd also recently changed runners. Back to the Physical Therapist. I'm out for 5 weeks, the gains of the previous months evaporating. I need to make a decision start back where I left off and risk the achilles at higher speeds, or bite the bullet and start the rebuild all over.
- September 6th 2021 - On a beautiful sunny evening I restart my 50 week rebuild program (some minor tweaks to ensure that on weeks with long runs with MP sections that I only do one other session). More patience required, but again I'm just happy to be back on structured running.
I have a 258 days of uninterrupted running (bar a week before Christmas, back strain (vaccine?) and a week after Christmas with covid) slowly, slowly, cautiously building up mileage and speed endurance. Working through the winter and into the spring. The legs rarely feeling light and good but at the same time, no pain nor significant discomfort. I had some glorious Sunday morning runs squinting against the sunlight as I ran around Clontarf and Dollymount, feeling good. I planned on running DCM22 at whatever pace felt right, just to get back to completing marathon distance. I ran sub 20 for 5K again (not flat out), no records being broke but it felt like such an important milestone. I worked up to 4M at 3:56 min/km pace. I was two thirds of the way back to a sub 40 10K. My long run reached 18 miles. I ran 8 miles in a 16 miler at Sub-3 pace. And then ...
- May 22nd 2022 - Week 34 of the plan and I run my 16 mile Sunday run with the guys at Donore. It's a little too snappy, a few too many 7:3X miles, coming 24 hours after my milestone 4M tempo run. The engine is good, the lungs are good, but the legs are not happy. Left hip/glute is really stiff afterwards, and is still stiff after a downweek of 0 miles.
- June 12th 2022 - I manage a week of easy runs in early June and then the right hammer starts to sting. Very sore after an easy run.
More physical therapy, more needles. I'm out for a month and a half. I also have two consecutive cancellations by the PT, not ideal and I eventually book with another physio.
- July 24th 2022 - I start some light easy runs and generally the hammer behaves.
- August 8th 2022 - an easy hill run in Italy provokes some heavy tightness from the right hammer. I'm sidelined for over a week.
- August 17th 2022 - a cautious return to easy running ahead of my first appointment with physio. Built up to a 30 mile week and a 12 mile Sunday run.
- September 6th 2022 - physio detects nothing of concern with the hammer and prescribes 4 weeks of training (he also coaches), the day after the visit I run 6x1K @ 10K pace (10k pace based on a predicted 5K race time of 19:39, over optimistic?). The hammer is fine.
I complete 4 weeks of structured training: a 10K interval session, a tempo/threshold session and a medium long run (13.1M) feature in every week, with weekly mileage of 40-45 miles. Some concerning hammer feedback ahead of my interval session on week 4, but the day after it felt fine. I hit all my targets, enjoyed the 4 weeks, and definitely noticed progress from week 1 to week 4. Fitness improving on Strava, weekly mileage creeping up. I was feeling good, new optimism.
- October 14th 2022 - I DNF on a easy 4 miler. Right hammer moving from tight to tighter to pinging to sharper pinging to painful. I stop and walk home.
- October 23rd 2022 - An easy tester run and the same as two Fridays ago. Tight, to tighter, to pinging to painful, I walk home.
And that's where I am at. I don't know how long this latest spell on the side-lines will last.
I think I'll try the PT again and hope he is available. Looking back over the last two and a half years the two sustained periods of running were the two attempts at a 50-week rebuild. They involved slow slow progress, but I was running week in week out.
Could I embark on a third rebuild attempt? I would change the 10K sessions, maybe into alternating 6x400 and 3x800 sessions aiming to build slowly to no faster than 5K pace and add an interval with each block or second block. The core of the week would be the sub 40min 10K session that went so well in both rebuild blocks to date.
Only after completing all 50 weeks of rebuild would I consider returning to the physio prescribed structure, and only with a Parkrun under my belt so I could plug in a real time to calculate training paces.
Hasn't been a great 2 and a half years. Let's get this right hammer sorted by year-end and then hopefully it will be third time lucky on a Rebuild plan.Post edited by outforarun on5
Plan is to lace up for a 20 mile easy week next week.0
Got out on Tuesday for my first run in 23 days. A gentle paced 2 laps of the block. I was very apprehensive ahead of this. During these 23 days the right hammer gradually felt better and better. The 7 days before running it was 90% quiet during the day.
I start running, the legs feel very light. I know not to read anything into the first 400m. I complete 400, 800, 1K, still all good. Still bracing for the hammer to tighten or ping. I complete one lap intact. Second lap and there is a very faint presence in the hammer, I might not even have noticed I hadn't been paying attention. I complete 2 laps, a little over 4K and I resist the urge to continue to 5K.
Overall very encouraging. It probably won't be a 20 mile week and it might be 3 weeks of easy running rather than 2, but so be it. I want to give myself the best chance to go third time lucky when I start Rebuild 3.6
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Jeez - that 2.5 year look back is stark!!
I admire your persistence.1
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Don't post much anymore but that 2.5 year recap deserves a "for f**k sake that sounds rough when I read it all in one go!!"
As Alan said, fair play for sticking it out.
Did you ever consider private coaching, take the management side out of it altogether and let someone else monitor your load?0
Thanks both. It is difficult at times to stick with it, I need to forget about the times I used run and just focus on the fact that I feel better out running than inside not running. Doesn't matter so much if the week is an uninteresting set of easy runs, or if the legs are completely tightness and niggle free for only a small portion of that week, nor if running marathon PB pace feels like tempo pace, the important thing is that I can stay running and observe progress week to week, no matter how slow that progress might be. I do enjoy the rebuild process, it's the sidelined process that is hard to navigate.
I have considered private coaching, and effectively I started that briefly with the physio at the club. But it might have been too much too soon. I would consider it again in two scenarios: if I successfully navigate Rebuild-3 and start to put races in my calendar again. Or if I fail Rebuild-3. Either way I won't be considering it until I see how Rebuild-3 works out.2
Preamble ahead of Rebuild-3
I'll keep this short. After the last tester run that I posted above I still wasn't convinced that the right hammer was ready. I ran one more short tester run which didn't go as well as the previous and so I opted to rest up another fortnight and focus on the roller, sliotar, powerband, etc.
The next restart was more encouraging. Soon afterwards I fell sick so effectively had an additional week of rest from running. From December 16th I have been slowly upping the weekly mileage and slowly upping my longest run. Last week was a 25 mile week with an 8 miler on Sunday. The legs are not perfect; the right hammer usually has a faint presence, but no pain. On just one run did it ping a little. The right hammer is now contending with what I think is left glute, to be my chief source of concern. The left glute feels tight, not painful but still an annoyance when running. I'm stretching before and after runs, doing some simple activations shown by the PT, doing some light core work (which I will gradually make less light as part of Rebuild-3), and using the roller more and more frequently. I've booked the PT for next week for a general check-in and will ask him to focus on right hammer and left glute.
Oh and sub 70 is an additional goal for Rebuild-3, one I hope to hit sooner rather than later, that's sub 70 kilos.6
Rebuild 3 - Block 1 Week 1 - Easy 6 Miles
A grim weather start to this rebuild. Grey and brown and wet and mucky.
I lace up in Hazelwood, wear gloves just to feel a little cozier, not because it was particularly cold. I run through Riverstown and Glanmire and alongside the Glashaboy to the Dunkettle roundabout. The right hammer is unusually quiet, but I don't read too much into that, it could start making noise at any moment, it'll take several consecutive weeks of no hammer feedback before I start to fully trust it again. I decided over the opening couple of miles to run a loop rather than an out-and-back so I veer left at the roundabout and follow the new cycle path and then the road down through the new Ballinglanna estate to the humpback bridge in Glanmire. I continue along the back road to Riverstown, passing the point where I pulled up injured on a 5K tester a couple of months ago. Up past Brooklodge school and back to where I started.
First run completed. I was happy with the right-hammer not so happy with the left-glute. Easy pace this morning was 8:31 min/mile. I'm going to try keep easy pace as 8:3X or 8:4X pace, and hope to see the easy-run bpm come down slowly over the next few weeks.
And so it begins. Run-1, on Week-1 of Block-1. A 50 week rebuild, with goals being: 50 mile weekly average, 20 mile long run, and sub 40min 10K. I'm not thinking of nor registering for races, the single objective for 2023 is to hit these goals and then maintain that level of fitness as my base fitness. Key is to stay injury free. In parallel focus will be on improving sleep, weight, diet, roller, stretching etc.
Lets see how it goes.
Total 6.00M @ 8:31 (average 149 bpm)5
Rebuild 3 - Block 1 Week 1 - 4x400 @ MP
This evening I moved away from easy pace for the first time in months. A simple 4x400 @ marathon PB pace. Marathon PB pace is a range covering a 3:05:00 finish to a 3:09:59 finish. This corresponds to 4:23 min/km to 4:30 min/km. Each 400 should be somewhere between 1:45 and 1:48. The objective is to see how the legs respond to the increase in pace.
I run out along the Chapelizod Road to the Chapelizod Gate. The right hammer is quiet, the left glute is tight. It seems to be a trend, as soon as one area starts to return to normal (touchwood) another area starts to act up.
I run the first two 400s downstream along the Chapelizod Road. The second two are run upstream. The first maybe 200m of the first 400 sees the left glute protest a little but then it settles down. Hard to judge pace and the first 400 is a little too fast, a 1:44, the remaining 400s are all on target: 1:47, 1:47, 1:47.
The first two were easy, tailwind, the second two less so, headwind. No exceptional protests from the legs during nor after. I complete a roller session later in the evening and the legs do feel better for it. Enjoyed this first minor diversion away from easy pace.
Just for the record the gentle goals of the first 4 week block of rebuild are:
- Hold average weekly mileage at 30M to 35M
- Increase longest run to 10M
- Run 2M @ Marathon PB pace
Tonight, Total 5.40M @ 8:39 (average 146 bpm)5
Rebuild 3 - Block 1 Week 1 - Easy 4 Miles
I keep thinking it's going to be cold outside, it is dark and it is early January after all. I wrap up accordingly, start running and then realise it's very mild. Wouldn't mind some crisper colder weather over the next few weeks.
So while pottering about, doing the school run and walking to the shops the right hammer has been 99.9% fine. The left glute has been mildly achy. I am booked in with my PT next Friday and this is looking like it will be the focus of the visit. I have been rolling and paying extra attention to the glute and I think it does provide some relief. Hopefully a few more weeks on the roller combined with this not-too- tasking block-1 of rebuild will see the glute loosen and the ache fade away. I'll be honest, I really hope the PT doesn't ask me to stop running, if he does he does and I'll follow instructions, but I hope he doesn't.
Four easy miles this evening. An out and back along the Chapelizod Road. The hammer was nearly 100% quiet, the left glute a little tight and a little achy. No pain. I'm keeping an eye on the Garmin with the intention of trying to keep easy pace between 8:30 and 8:49 min/mile.
Home, shower, and straight onto the mat with the roller. Legs feeling mostly ok as I type. Looking forward to tomorrow's planned 4x800 at marathon PB pace.
Total 4.01M @ 8:40 (average 143 bpm)2
Rebuild 3 - Block 1 Week 1 - 4x800 @ MP PB Pace
I absolutely need a hairband. Spent more or less the entire warm-up removing hair from my eyes. I got out later than planned and so missed the clear blue skies from earlier in the morning. Still nice conditions though, apart from some stiff headwinds blowing from the west. This was my first time back in the Park since I cannot remember when. Headed back to the Polo Grounds where the summer pavilion has been removed meaning no diversions onto grass and mud are required.
The left glute has been a little achy on the warm-up and protests a little on the opening 800m, but quietens down after that. Now as I type it feels generally ok. So a slightly uphill and headwind start makes MP pace initially feel quite tricky. The first two 800s don't have a very favourable profile, the second two 800s are more forgiving. Means the I felt better at the end of the intervals than at the start. I really do have a lot of fitness to regain. This felt more like sub-3 effort than PB effort, that said I had to mostly pay attention to ensure I wasn't running too fast, interval three fell outside the time range for the 800s (3:30 to 3:36). The 800 splits were: 3:31, 3:33, 3:27, 3:34.
Some faint presence from the right hammer during cool-down. Happy that this first block includes nothing faster than marathon PB pace.
Total 6.84M @ 8:13 (average 150 bpm)3
Rebuild 3 - Block 1 Week 1 - 8 Miles @ long run pace
I know I haven't been running a lot over the last couple of months and I know I wasn't hugely disciplined diet wise over the holiday period, but I was still surprised when stepping on the scales after yesterday's run for my post running week weigh-in. A whopping 76.2kg. Haven't been this heavy in a long while and so have a little more work than expected to go sub 70, probably won't happen as quickly as I'd hoped for. I have pretty much exactly a stone to try lose, around 6.4kg. It is encouraging though because shedding 6.4kg will surely take pressure off the legs.
Yesterday's run was generally ok. The right hammer was mostly quiet, some faint presence at moments. The left glute was better, not really aching, just a faint presence. I've decided to target Sunday long run pace on my Sunday runs, even if they are not long runs. I'm setting long run pace as 8:00 to 8:15 min/mile, approximately a minute a mile slower than my PB marathon pace.
Out after 8:15am for this one, still not fully bright at this time, not too much traffic about. Made the route up as I went. Into the park at Parkgate and run up the North Road. I turn left for the descent down the top half of Chesterfield and log a faster than planned mile (7:38). I apply the brakes to get the remaining miles back on track. Cut left at the Phoenix and rejoin the North Road, then turn right to retrace my steps back out Parkgate. The pace of the last mile is slow, probably due to a quick diversion to the supermarket.
Pace was utterly manageable and familiar.
That's week-1 of 50 completed. All boxes ticked. Legs still intact. Happy to have a PT visit lined up for Friday.
Total 8.02M @ 8:15 (average 145 bpm)3
Rebuild 3 - Block 1 Week 2 - Easy 5 Miles
The legs were heavy this evening. This nearly always happens after taking a day off. Wet and blustery conditions. I opt for my usual 5 mile loop, Kilmainham - Inchicore - Chapelizod - Islandbridge - Heuston - Kilmainham. I check pace after two miles and see I'm travelling slower than I'd like. I want to keep these easy runs at 8:3X or 8:4X pace. I increase the pace from mile 3 onwards glancing every so often at the Garmin to check that I was gradually arriving at target. Funny how a 7:38 mile on Sunday morning can feel easy and effortless and even slow, then two days later 8:4X pace takes some focus.
The right hammer was generally good, faint presence at points. The left glute wasn't achy but there was a light tightness there. I gave it some extra attention on the roller tonight.
All going well I should be back on the Chapelizod Road tomorrow night.
Total 5.06M @ 8:45 (average 144 bpm)4
Rebuild 3 - Block 1 Week 2 - 800+(2×400) @ MP
Uninviting conditions last night. Wet and cold and blustery. Gloves on. Headed out after work.
Slow jog to the Chapelizod Gate and then stay on the Chapelizod Road to complete the MP sections.
First up an 800, target time 3:30 to 3:36. Finish this in 3:31. This was slightly downhill and wind assisted. Felt ok. The 400s are done in the opposite direction, slightly uphill and wind resisted. Targeting 1:45 to 1:48 I completed both in 1:47. Effort a little harder because of the wind and incline. Sub 3:10 marathon pace feels more like sub 3:00 marathon pace right now. It's a slow process.
The positive from this run was a completely quiet right hammer. The left glute did feel a bit tight though.
Total 5.31M @ 8:56 (average 137 bpm)4
Rebuild 3 - Block 1 Week 2 - Easy 4 Miles
All about needles. I took today and next Friday off work, softens the post holiday re-entry. I cycled to my PT in the morning. Had a good session with him. He worked the hammer and the glute and the neglected quads. Fairly heavy going and definitely worked up a sweat. He initially opted to avoid needles but he couldn't resist when working the glute and asked if he could use just one. It would have been rude to refuse. I hate needles. I'll see him again next Friday, I need to work the hammers, quads and glutes some more, but overall he said I'm not in tooooo bad shape and key, he gives a green flag to continue with the rebuild plan.
Cycle home, quick pitstop for some porridge and then into town for more needles, my six monthly dental check-up. One old filling needed refilling so more needles produced. What else would you want to do on a day off. Some shopping and cycle home.
Straight into the gear and out the door while it was still bright for a 4 miler. My first ascent of the Khyber since that ill-fated long run on the Donore Bus last May. Legs felt sore from the PT session but also felt looser than of late. Still a light presence from the right hammer and left glute. Mile 3 was significant, it felt like an 8:3X mile but I logged an 8:03. Applied the brakes, happy that 8:03 felt that easy.
Oh and this was my first ever run with a headband. Worked well, 90% less hair-in-eyes interference, though some strands still escaped. Need practice.
Total 4.03M @ 8:34 (average 146 bpm)2
Rebuild 3 - Block 1 Week 2 - 1600+(2x800) @ MP
The legs are a bit battered after yesterday's PT session. The right hammer and the surrounding area is tender as if it were bruised and when running that was all I could feel, some tenderness. The left glute was very quiet today, easily the best it's been this year. Happy to be back at the PT next Friday for some more work on these key areas.
Out around lunchtime today, mostly blue skies but some really strong winds to deal with. As on nearly every Saturday I headed for the Polo Grounds. First up is 1600 at MP. This starts on a slight incline and into a very very stiff headwind. The Garmin beeping too slow alerts. Once I turn left onto the Chesterfield descent I drop into target range and soon after the Garmin is telling me to slow down. Swing left onto Lord's Walk, run a full ascent and complete 1600 shortly before the Pavilion. Target time for the 1600 was 7:00 to 7:12, I log a 7:04. That was fine really, any difficulty was courtesy of the weather. I'm running half distance recoveries.
Next up are the two 800s, target times 3:30 to 3:36. The first features another full ascent of Lords Walk (3:31), the second features a full descent on Chesterfield (3:31). In general I am travelling a little too fast or on the faster end of target pace. The effort is definitely greater than I would like but it is very very manageable and the prospect of completing 2M @ MP in this rebuild block is not concerning.
Total 7.05M @ 8:15 (average 146 bpm)5
Rebuild 3 - Block 1 Week 2 - 9 Miles @ long run pace
I finished my 10th run and 2nd week of Rebuild-3 yesterday. Just 48 weeks to go :)
The opening miles of Sunday's run were largely uphill. I enter the Park after an ascent of Infirmary Road and then follow the slight but steady incline along North Road all the way to the Mountjoy Roundabout. I then continue the slight climb into Farmleigh, it's been forever since I last ran in here.
I typically monitor my splits on Sunday runs, based on how many seconds up or down I am on a single target pace. So on Sundays I target 8:00 to 8:15 min/mile. I measure my splits against the slow end of target pace, 8:15. So on this run an opening mile of 8:31 means I am down 16 seconds on target, a second mile of 8:13 means I am now down 14 seconds on target, and so on. The goal is to finish somewhere up on target but not so far up that I run faster than the fast end of target. Keeps the brain engaged and keeps me focused on pacing and curious ahead of each split, I don't check the Garmin between splits.
With the uphill opening section and the mostly downhill second half of the run, yesterday's splitting read as follows: down-16 after 1M, down-14 after 2M, down-18 after 3M, down-20 after 4M, down-16 after 5M, down-4 after 6M, up-17 after 7M, up-39 after 8M, up-48 after 9M. The splits were a little slower than what I felt the effort should be producing on the opening miles, then they were faster than they felt over the closing miles.
The legs weren't quiet yesterday. The left glute felt a little tight again and the right hammer felt tender like on Saturday, I'm certain this tenderness is post PT bruising, but I'm fairly certain there was a ping or two from the hammer as well. And as I exit the park at Chapelizod Gate there were some pangs from the front of my left knee, only last 3 or 4 strides. I hope this latter is just one of those pangs that occur for few strides in a random run and then don't occur again. No pain or aches from left glute or right hammer, but just enough unwanted feedback to take some shine off this run.
The engine was fine and I have no concerns in that regard to stretching the Sunday run to 10 Miles next week.
The weighing scales are moving in the right direction, if maybe not as quickly as I'd like. The key thing is to shed weight regularly week by week until I'm back where I should be 70.X kg, and then to where I'd love to be, 68/69 kg. Last week I was a very heavy 76.2kg, this week a still very heavy 75.4kg.
Heartrate is also higher than I'd like. I don't think it will improve noticeably on these runs until I start introducing slightly faster paces from block 2 onwards. It read 149 yesterday, I look forward to knocking at least 10 bpm off that. My resting heartrate instead has improved over the last few weeks and is back where I like it to be, averaging around 46 bpm.
Total 9.02M @ 8:10 (average 149 bpm)3
Rebuild 3 - Block 1 Week 3 - Easy 5 Miles
I started Week 3 on Tuesday night. It was fairly chilly out there, Garmin said it felt like minus 4. Long sleeve underlayer, t-shirt, running jacket, two pairs of gloves and a wooly cap. By the last couple of miles I was feeling quite toasty. Wherever there was water it was rapidly turning to ice, needed to tread carefully.
Apprehensive for the left glute/hip, it had been achy during the day while doing the school runs etc. Once I got running though it wasn't too bad, not noticeably worse than any other run this year. The right hammer was 99.9% silent. I also felt a little stronger than expected on this one, legs weren't heavy and stride felt smooth. Lots of club runners up and down Chapelizod Road this evening. A text from the captain later confirms it was Donore, I'd been spotted. Without my glasses I struggle to recognize people in bright daylight, let alone a dark January evening.
On the roller later I opted not to give extra focus to the left glute area, just in case focusing too much on it might be counterproductive.
Total 5.07M @ 8:35 (average 145 bpm)2
Rebuild 3 - Block 1 Week 3 - 1200+400 @ MP
I had been planning on running this in the evening, then domestic logistics meant that might not be possible so I opted to get out at lunchtime.
Another wooly hat run. Headed out along the Chapelizod Road to the Chapelizod Gate turned around and started the MP bits. First up is 1200m, target time is 5:15 to 5:24. I log a 5:20. I ran 800 downstream, turned 180 and finished with 400 upstream. Pace felt easy. A 600m downstream recovery before another 400m upstream, this was a 1:48, slow end of target. Then cool down home. Again the right hammer was 99.9% silent, I only noticed the 0.1% because I'm paying attention. Left glute/hip not as achy as last night.
A short run but it ticked the midweek MP box. I most likely have over 48 hours off between this run and my next run. I'll likely also have a second PT visit in the legs before I lace up again.
Glad I got out at lunchtime, the domestic logistics worked out ok, but work logistics instead saw me working until gone 22:00.
Total 4.87M @ 8:21 (average 147 bpm)3
Rebuild 3 - Block 1 Week 3 - Easy 5+ Miles
For the second consecutive week I had Friday off work. I could easily get used to a 4 day week. Gorgeous blue skies all day long. The roads weren't as ice free as I would have liked so I left the bike at home and bused it to within a 25min walk of the PT. And walked home after the PT. While walking to the PT I could feel the left glute/hip achy a little. While walking home from the PT I completely forgot about the left glute/hip, didn't notice any feedback at all. Today's session was gentler than usual, focus was mostly on both hip flexors, elbow was used on hip glute, that did hurt and it's bruised a little today. Gentle hamstring massage. No new appointment deemed necessary but I reckon I will check in again if and when I complete block 2 of the rebuild.
Got out for a little over 5 miles later in the afternoon. Again the right hammer was almost completely silent. In fact the right leg felt good! The left hip/glute still ached a little, not as much as earlier in the week. Opening mile was as always slower than intended then the pace gradually picking up. A downhill mile 4 along Chesterfield was much quicker than target at 8:04. Happy to see a slightly improved heartrate for this run.
Watch Leicester Ospreys in the evening with the Garmin showing close on 30000 steps for the day. And continue to avoid focusing too much on the left hip/glute when I'm on the roller.
Total 5.39M @ 8:38 (average 141 bpm)2
Rebuild 3 - Block 1 Week 3 - 2400+800 @ MP
Ran later than planned today, out after 15:00. Wrapped up well again although it wasn't as cold as the last two days. First indications are that the right hammer is going to behave and the left hip/glute is going to grumble a little. I head for the Polo Grounds.
On Lord's Walk there are some hard to spot icy patches. With the ice and knowing that some of the road by the Pavilion is closed (again!) I opt to run today's MP bits on the grass Polo Grounds Loop. The going is fairly soft and there are some slightly slippy muddy patches to navigate, but better to fall on grass than on tarmac.
The MP sections are very manageable. I suspect the effort is slightly higher on the grass than on the road. I run 2400 covering two laps and a bit. Pace at first is a little too fast, I slow up a little and watch as the pace drops and settles mostly at 4:27. A generous 1200 half distance recovery before running another 800 at MP. Again this is very manageable. I have no concerns about stringing all of these bits together and running 2M at MP next Saturday.
Target time for the 2400 was 10:31 to 10:48, I logged a 10:41. Target time for the 800 was 3:30 to 3:36, I logged a 3:31.
Cool down home for some pre-run stretches and more rugby on the box. First double digit mile run planned for tomorrow morning.
Total 6.69M @ 8:22 (average 144 bpm)4
Rebuild 3 - Block 1 Week 3 - 10M @ long run pace
Yesterday I ran my first double digit mile run since the start of October. Grey and still and overcast, not really cold. I revisited some spots that I haven't run in far too long, the stretch of canal from Ashtown to Castleknock, and then a Tower Road descent. Tracking my splits I knew I was running a little faster than last weekend but not too fast.
Once the opening uphill miles were behind me the downhill section from Castleknock to Chapelizod saw some faster than target miles sneak in. The momentum gathered from coming down Knockmaroon saw me log a 7:48 along the Chapelizod Road, I apply the brakes immediately. The legs weren't too bad for this, the right hammer was once again 99.9% quiet, the left glute/hip a bit achy but definitely better than usual. Stamina wise 10 miles wasn't difficult. All the same, an average of 155 bpm to hold 8:06 min/mile pace was a little higher than I'd have liked.
I was almost happy to welcome back some stinging chaffing in the shower afterwards, it's been a while. Week 3 completed and one of Block-1's goals has been ticked off. Next week, the final week of block 4, will target 2M at MP and should see my weekly mileage for the last 4 weeks finally creep above 30M.
And better news on the weight front as I shed 1.2kg since last Sunday. That's 2kg in 2 weeks. Hopefully the next kilo will drop easily, but after that it becomes trickier, it's still winter afterall and the body still in fattening up mode.
Total 10.23M @ 8:06 (average 155 bpm)3
Rebuild 3 - Block 1 Week 4 - Easy 5 Miles
Started week 4 of Block-1 on Tuesday evening. Another Kilmainham-Inchicore-Chapelizod-Heuston-Kilmainham loop. Mild out. I recently bought a selection of headbands, tried out a skinny black Nike one. Fine for a mile or two then it gradually starts to lose grip before popping off. After two miles I take it off and continue with hair in eyes.
The opening miles of my easy run tend to be very slow and it takes a while to warm into it. Tuesday's opening mile was 9:36, it didn't feel that slow. I first check average pace after the 3M marker. Still slower than target 8:3X to 8:4X pace. I up the tempo a little over the last two miles, logging an 8:36 and an 8:07.
The right hammer continues to behave. The left hip/glute continues to ache a little but less than in previous weeks.
Total 5.04M @ 8:48 (average 142 bpm)2
Rebuild 3 - Block 1 Week 4 - 5 Miles with 1M @ MP
Worked later than planned and so I didn't have much motivation to head-out at gone 8pm. Runners are laced up before I get lazy and risk staying inside.
The legs had felt ok during the day and they didn't feel too bad on this evening's run. The only time I run without a specific target pace range is during and after the quick part of a session, so an uninterrupted 9:40 leisure pace brings me the two miles to Chapelizod Gate. As with all my other midweek MP runs in this block, I ran this up and down along the Chapelizod Road.
Downstream for half a mile then upstream for the second half. Without fail when running toward Chapelizod the effort levels go up. A combination of the slight uphill climb and the prevaling headwind. The first half-mile is very manageable, the second less so. Right now the thought of 26.2M at this pace is just crazy, it's so far away from me. I log a 7:12 with a heartrate of 157 bpm. I'm expecting the 2M at MP planned for this Saturday to feel easier.
Right hammer good, left hip/glute better than of late. I had 2 or 3 sharpish pangs from the left knee right at the start of MP. From the front of the knee rather than the outside. That's twice in 10 days that I've felt this, both times just for a handful of strides. Cause for concern? I note that I have over 420 miles on the Glycerins, I'll need to start rotating with a newer pair soon enough.
Total 5.02M @ 8:52 (average 134 bpm)3
Rebuild 3 - Block 1 Week 4 - 5 Miles with 1M @ MP
Short and easy this evening after another busy day at the desk. Clear sky overhead with moon and stars out, meant it felt chilly stepping outside. Run down to Islandbridge and out Chapelizod Road to just beyond the clubhouse. That brings up 2 miles on the Garmin. Turn around to retrace my steps. After 2 miles average pace is a very pedestrian 9:01. I increase the pace a little on mile 3 logging a too fast 8:10. Average pace is in the mid 8:4Xs now, hold that until I get home. Right hammer was quiet again. Left hip/glute providing the usual light ache, and left knee threatened to pang on one or two occasions.
Total 4.03M @ 8:46 (average 138 bpm)2
Rebuild 3 - Block 1 Week 4 - 7 Miles with 2M @ MP
Had appointments to keep on the other side of town early Saturday morning so this run was pushed out to the afternoon.
Wrapped up well and wore a bigger fabric Nike headband for this, much better than the skinny ones, this stays in place and I easily forget it's on. No ice any more so I stick with the Polo Grounds Road Loop (with a 100m grass diversion after the Pavilion). Overcast, damp and a little chilly. Run one recce lap and then hit start on the Garmin for 2M at marathon PB pace.
It goes fine, pace is comfortable to hold, right hammer is quiet for the whole run, not just the MP section, and though the left hip/glute was slightly achy, I forgot all about it during the 2M section. Funny how, without fail, pace on a Saturday afternoon feels much easier than the same pace for half the distance on a Wednesday evening on the Chapelizod Road. Both Lord's Walk ascents were manageable.
The 2M were completed in 14:19 @ 7:09 min/mile; pace for 3:07 marathon. Heartrate needs improving, it logged at 163 bpm for the 2 miles.
Pleased with this, that's the main 'fast' goal of Block-1 completed.
Total 7.16M @ 8:27 (average 144 bpm)2
Rebuild 3 - Block 1 Week 4 - 9+ Miles @ long run pace
Sunday morning I brought Block-1 of this Rebuild attempt to a close. Out shortly after 8:00am. Still not fully bright at this hour.
I run from home across to Inchicore and on to Chapelizod. Checking the Garmin only as it sounds my mile splits, mile 1 logs too slow and mile 2 logs too fast. I enter the Park at Chapelizod Gate and swing left up the Glen Road, thinking that the climb would see my pace drop into target range, instead I see another 7:5X flash up on the Garmin. Out the Knockmaroon Gate and Mile 4 is also too fast, another 7:5X. I actively try to slow down. Mile 5 near Castleknock is too slow. It's not until mile 7, descending Chesterfield that I finally log a mile inside target range. Miles 7, 8 and 9 are all on target.
For maybe 30 seconds between Castleknock and the Park there is a slight presence in the right hammer, but thankfully it passes. The left hip/glute, while continuing to ache, felt improved today.
Enjoyed this one. I need to try get out earlier for my Sunday runs, it was nice seeing rays of sunrise slanting through the trees at the top of the Glen Road, and it was nice sharing the Park with almost exclusively other runners and cyclists.
So that brought Block-1 to an end. I think the biggest positive is that the legs, while still not by any means perfect, feel better at the end of the block than they did at the start. I attribute this largely to the two PT sessions, but also to the cautious goals of these opening weeks. All goals were achieved: weekly mileage has held between 30/35 miles a week, longest run was increased to 10 miles, and I ran 2 miles at PB marathon pace. The legs did not respond negatively to MP and the engine felt largely comfortable. A little disappointed (but not wholly surprised) to see weight creep up 0.2kg this week, still though I end the block 1.8kg lighter than I started it. Hopefully I can say the same at the end of Block-2.
This week is a down-week between blocks where I will run 50% to 66% mileage of the block just finished. All easy running but I will include a run with some steady miles thrown in (7:3X pace) just to prevent the legs from falling asleep. Will probably kick-off Block-2 on the bank holiday Monday.
Total 9.26M @ 8:11 (average 147 bpm)4