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The Windy Road to Nowhere

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  • Weds 9th Dec: 4.8 miles in 33:27 (6:58)
    Speedy run home from school

    Thursday 10th: 4.8 miles in 33:14 (6:56)

    Fri 11th: 4.8 miles in 33:09 (6:54)
    Really attacking the hills lately. If Connemara goes ahead, I’ll be well prepared. It’s 500 feet elevation gain from school to home. Good strength building.

    Mon 14th: 4.8 miles in 34:45 (7:15)
    Tuesday 15th: 4.8 miles in 34:13 (7:08)
    Weds 16th: 4.8 miles in 33:41 (7:01)

    Fri 18th: 3k in 10:55 (5:46) and 400m in 65. Handicap chase with school kids on the 3k, then a 4x100 vs 400 race. Delighted with how the students are progressing with athletics.

    Tuesday 22nd: 6 miles in 40:40 (6:47)
    The young fella tracked me on the bike on this run. Ended up running fairly rapid as a result.




  • Sat 26th Dec: 7.5 miles in 52:16 (6:58)
    Sun 27th: 7.5 miles in 51:39 (6:53)
    Same route both days down to Sandpit. Tough with hills and breeze, but felt strong.

    Monday 29th: 6 miles in 43:56 (7:19)
    Tuesday 30th: 4.1 miles in 31:39 (7:43)
    Took it easy Tuesday as I felt a cold coming on and the road was like an ice rink!

    Was a bit dosed for a couple of days then. Feeling nearly better now, but I’ll take an extra few days off. In years gone past, I’ve tried to run through coughs and colds, and the risk isn’t really worth it. Much better to lose a week of running than forcing the issue and being sick for the month. There’s a wild amount of covid in our area, so we’re going nowhere and doing nothing.

    2020 was a strange year, without a single normal race. However, I ended up running more mileage than I had done since 2014. Running 2:56 virtual marathon was proof that there really is no substitute for a solid block of decent mileage, something I’ve always known.

    Looking forward to 2021, I’m hopeful that the Connemarathon will go ahead in April. If it does, I feel well placed to put in a decent couple of months, and again aim for sub3. If the race doesn’t happen, I’ll keep solid training going, and be ready to tackle Cologne marathon in October. Surely, the world will be back to some degree of normality by then!

    Other targets are to get back to club sessions this year. I’ve always had a strange approach to being a member of the club. Marathons have always, and will always be my focus. Very few people in the club have any interest in marathon, and I’ve become more antisocial in my running life in recent years. Most of the lads in the club have very focused training plans, geared towards similar goals. My goals never align with these, and as such, I tend to do my own thing.

    However, the kids are unlikely to take part in gymnastics or swimming this year, so we’ll all get back to the club. Hopefully there’ll be races later in the year to give a bit of structure to the season.




  • I sat out the first week and a half of the year, with a cold and very dangerous weather conditions. Too often in winter, I rush back to training and end up losing more weeks, so conservative approach better.

    Sunday 10th Jan: 4.1 miles in 31:50 (7:46)
    Nice and easy. Weather just starting to thaw out, still a few icy patches.

    Monday-Friday 11-15th: 6 miles each day in 44-45 minutes (7:30ish)
    Same run every day, taking it easy. Nothing to report.




  • Sat 16th Jan: 4.1 miles in 30:56 (7:33)
    Sun 17th: 6 miles in 43:39 (7:17)
    Mon 18th: 6 miles in 45:11 (7:31)
    Weds 20th: 6 miles in 44:15 7:23)
    Thurs 21st: 6 miles in 45:27 (7:35)
    Fri 22nd: 7.5 miles in 56:51 (7:35)
    Sat 23rd: 6 miles in 45:32 (7:35)
    Sun 24th: 10 miles in 73:44 (7:22)
    Mon 25th: 6 miles in 43:20 (7:13)
    Tues 26th: 6 miles in 44:42 (7:27)
    Weds 27th: 6 miles in 44:55 (7:29)
    Thurs 28th: 6 miles in 44:46 (7:28)

    Not much to say about the past couple of weeks. Groundhog Day springs to mind. The snow and ice made for a bit of a challenge to break the monotony for a while.

    Connemarathon cancelled for 2021. I don’t really know what to do with myself for the next few months. I suppose I could do a virtual marathon in the spring, I’m just not sure if it would capture the imagination like last autumn. Anyway, I’ll keep on running.




  • Friday 29th Jan: 6 miles in 46:01 (7:40)
    Sat 30th : 6 miles in 43:28 (7:16)
    Sun 31st: 4.1 miles in 30:30 (7:26)
    Monday 1st February: 7.5 miles in 54:50 (7:19)
    Tuesday-Saturday: 6 miles each day
    Sunday 7th: 10 miles in 72:12 (7:15)
    Monday 8th: 6.2 miles in 45:09 (7:17)

    Weather has been very cold over the past week and a half, but I’ve managed to not get too wet. I always find it a bit of a balancing act in January and February trying to stay healthy versus doing training. Keeping on the right side of both this year.


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  • Tues 9th Feb: 6 miles in 43:48 (7:18)
    Weds 10th: 6 miles in 47:15 (7:52)
    Thurs 11th: 6 miles in 45:05 (7:31)
    Friday 12th: 6 miles in 44:52 (7:28)
    Sat 13th: 6 miles in 42:10 (7:02)
    Sun 14th: 4.1 miles in 27:44 (6:46)

    Another fairly steady week. Switched from a battered old pair of Brooks Ghost into a pair of Nike Odyssey on Saturday, seemed to put a spring in my step.

    Mon 15th: 6 miles in 41:33 (6:55)
    Tuesday 16th: 44:50 (7:28)
    Weds 17th: 6 miles in 44:10 (7:20)
    Thursday 18th: 7.55 miles in 56:10 (7:26)
    Friday 19th: 6 miles in 48:17 (8:03)
    Sat 20th: 6 miles in 43:56 (7:19)

    I’m bound to be a shoe in for the most boring log on boards, but I’m enjoying my running, weather is finally improving. All good




  • Sun 21st Feb: 6 miles in 44:55 (7:29)
    Mon 22nd: 6 miles in 43:58 (7:19)
    Tues 23rd: 6 miles in 44:42 (7:26)
    Weds 24th: 6 miles in 44:18 (7:23)
    Thurs 25th: 7.5 miles in 56:15 (7:30)
    Fri 26th: 6 miles in 44:25 (7:24)
    Sat 27th: 6 miles in 45:45 (7:38)
    Sun 28th: 10 miles in 1:15 (7:30)
    Mon 1st Mar: 6 miles on bicycle in 40
    6 miles running in 44:23 (7:24)
    Tues 2nd: 6 miles in 44:03 (7:21)
    Weds 3rd: 6 miles in 47:02 (7:50)

    All much the same again. Hamstring a bit tight this past few days after a bit of carrying iron gates up and down the road.




  • Sun 21st Feb: 6 miles in 44:55 (7:29)
    Mon 22nd: 6 miles in 43:58 (7:19)
    Tues 23rd: 6 miles in 44:42 (7:26)
    Weds 24th: 6 miles in 44:18 (7:23)
    Thurs 25th: 7.5 miles in 56:15 (7:30)
    Fri 26th: 6 miles in 44:25 (7:24)
    Sat 27th: 6 miles in 45:45 (7:38)
    Sun 28th: 10 miles in 1:15 (7:30)
    Mon 1st Mar: 6 miles on bicycle in 40
    6 miles running in 44:23 (7:24)
    Tues 2nd: 6 miles in 44:03 (7:21)
    Weds 3rd: 6 miles in 47:02 (7:50)

    All much the same again. Hamstring a bit tight this past few days after a bit of carrying iron gates up and down the road.

    Please tell me you weren't carrying the Iron Gates as part of your running session. I wouldn't be totally surprised - It can be quite competitive on this site :pac:




  • API wrote: »
    Please tell me you weren't carrying the Iron Gates as part of your running session. I wouldn't be totally surprised - It can be quite competitive on this site :pac:

    No, I think I’ve a small bit more sense than that. Reminds me of a lad that used to be in our club, he was doing some weird session that involved running up and down the garden with a wheelbarrow full of concrete blocks. The tyre either blew or the wheel fell off, but the session continued! Same fella once did the cycling section of some Gaelforce type race, carrying his broken bicycle on his shoulders, which predictably enough ripped him to shreds! I seem to recall he still finished on the podium. Gas man.




  • Thurs 4th Mar: 6 miles in 44:08 (7:22)
    Fri 5th: 6 miles in 42:57 (7:10)
    Sat 6th: 6 miles in 42:27 (7:05)
    Sun 7th: 10 miles in 74:30 (7:27)
    It might not look like it, but Friday and Saturday were hard runs. My 6 mile route is tough, very hilly, with a mile and a half at the end all up. So, legs were like jelly heading out Sunday. Kept it nice and steady, but combined with work about the house and playing football with the kids, very tired, fatigued body.

    Mon 8th March: 6 miles in 44:22 (7:24)
    Tues 9th: 6 miles in 41:35 (6:56)
    Legs felt good by today, and the wind had died down, so pushed on nicely. It’s been mostly steady running this past couple of months, and I’m definitely feeling in better shape for the time of year than at stage since at least 2016. Back to school next week, so might not be quite as consistent, but weather is improving, so who knows.


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  • Weds 10th March: 6 miles in 44:07 (7:21)
    Thurs 11th: 6 miles in 45:28 (7:35)
    Fri 12th: 6 miles in 46:40 (7:47)
    Sat 13th: 6 miles in 45:47 (7:38)
    Sun 14th: 10 miles in 75 (7:30)
    Steady finish to the couple of months working from home.

    Mon 15th: 6 miles in 46:40 (7:47)
    Tues 16th: 6 miles in 44:53 (7:29)
    Early morning run before school. Decided to try this for a while, keep up the good work of the last couple of months. This will work well enough as my wife is job sharing this year, and we travel to town together the mornings she’s working.

    Weds 17th: 6 miles in 43:54 (7:19)
    Non event St Patrick’s Day, we played a bit of music and enjoyed the day off. Seems like a lifetime ago since the novelty of last year.

    Thursday 18th: 5.25 miles in 40:57 (7:48)
    Run home from school is about 4.7 so added an extra little bit at the end.
    Fri 19th: 6 miles in 45 (7:30)
    Added a little extra at the start and the end of the run home. Hilly and windy.

    Sat 20th: 6 miles in 43:52 (7:19)

    Sun 21st: 13 miles in 1:36 (7:26)
    Ran a route taking me in and out of Co Meath, felt very rebellious to be leaving not only my 5km area, but my county also! Living on the wild side!

    Mon 22nd: 4.1 miles in 31:05 (7:36)
    Tues 23rd: 6 miles in 44:49 (7:28)
    I was a bit late getting out yesterday, so couldn’t do the 6 miles.

    I’m probably not alone in feeling very bored with life over the last few months. I know plenty of people on the logs here really miss racing. I’m not really finding that, but it’s just having nothing to be able to look forward to or target in any way. I’d just love to be able to jump in the car down to Connemara, hit the trails in the forest, absolutely anything. First world problems completely, and we have had it good as a family, but this is a boring existence this past year.




  • Weds 24th Mar: 6 miles in 43:45 (7:18)
    Thurs 25th: 6 miles in 46:17 (7:43)
    Fri 26th: 6 miles in 46:37 (7:45)
    Sat 27th: 6 miles in 40:35 (6:45)
    Sun 28th: 7.55 miles in 58:05 (7:42)
    Mon 29th: 7.5 miles in 56:25 (7:31)
    Tues 30th: 6 miles in 46:26 (7:44)
    Weds 31st: 6 miles in 44:55 (7:29)
    Thurs 1st April: 10.2 miles in 75:30 (7:24)
    Fri 2nd: 6 miles in 47:15 (7:53)
    Sat 3rd: 6 miles in 42:37 (7:06)
    Sun 4th: 10 miles in 74:56 (7:30)

    Decent week of running. Out in the evenings most of the time, great to have daylight til nearly 9.




  • Mon 5th April: 6 miles in 44:23 (7:23)
    Tired legs, I was doing a fair amount of work around the house this past week, so legs and body just needed easy running. Starting to feel back to normal now.

    Tues 6th April: 6 miles in 39:43 (6:37)
    Decided to try out the Reebok RF3 runners this morning. Apparently, best suited to tempo, so went with mile warmup, 4 miles tempo and one mile warm down. It’s been a while since I did a run like this so wasn’t sure on paces, but reckoned 6:15 would be tempo enough. Runners felt great, slightly loose at the heel maybe, but light, responsive and way more comfortable than the Asics Hyperspeeds I use for short races. Four faster miles were good, then as I wasn’t too battered, kept it honest on the last mile up the hill. It’s been a good while since I’ve felt that fast.
    Splits: 7:21, 6:09, 6:10, 6:04, 6:48, 7:07




  • Weds 7th April: 6 miles in 44:46 (7:28)
    Thurs 8th: 6 miles in 44:55 (7:29)
    Fri 9th: 7.5 miles in 51:37 (6:53)
    Sat 10th: 6 miles in 45:05 (7:31)
    Sun 11th: 12 miles in 78:30 (7:22)

    Decent finish to the Easter break. Felt good to push a bit of tempo Friday. As a reference point for the hilly nature of where I live, any run under 7 minutes average pace is a hard enough effort. Sunday was a nice meandering effort into and back from Drogheda, taking in the Monasterboice monastic site, and lots of hills.

    Mon 12th: 6 miles in 46:26 (7:44)
    Tues 13th: 6 miles in 45:20 (7:33)

    Back to running in the morning before 7. I took on my young fella in a 100m sprint on Sunday, which is getting more and more difficult as we both get older! This left my quads pretty tight for a couple of days, so just tipping around the roads really.




  • Weds 7th April: 6 miles in 44:46 (7:28)
    Thurs 8th: 6 miles in 44:55 (7:29)
    Fri 9th: 7.5 miles in 51:37 (6:53)
    Sat 10th: 6 miles in 45:05 (7:31)
    Sun 11th: 12 miles in 78:30 (7:22)

    Decent finish to the Easter break. Felt good to push a bit of tempo Friday. As a reference point for the hilly nature of where I live, any run under 7 minutes average pace is a hard enough effort. Sunday was a nice meandering effort into and back from Drogheda, taking in the Monasterboice monastic site, and lots of hills.

    Mon 12th: 6 miles in 46:26 (7:44)
    Tues 13th: 6 miles in 45:20 (7:33)

    Back to running in the morning before 7. I took on my young fella in a 100m sprint on Sunday, which is getting more and more difficult as we both get older! This left my quads pretty tight for a couple of days, so just tipping around the roads really.

    How old is your son? I'm due a rematch with my eldest this summer. It gets harder for sure!




  • How old is your son? I'm due a rematch with my eldest this summer. It gets harder for sure!

    My son is just gone 10. He’s now faster than his 11 year old sister, and former All-Ireland winning mother, so I’m firmly in the crosshairs! I reckon I might have another 2 years as family champion tops!!




  • Weds 14th: 2 miles in 15 (7:30)
    Not sure what this run was about, maybe my watch died.

    Thurs 15th April: 4.8 miles in 34:45 (7:14) Runmute
    Fri 16th: 7.5 miles in 53:58 (7:12) added a bit extra on the run home
    Sat 17th: 6 miles in 44:17 (7:23)
    Sun 18th: 10 miles in 72:30 (7:15)

    I’d used Nike Odyssey during winter as 5-6 mile shoe, decent enough for that distance, but nothing to write home about. Using the Reebok Energy now, it’s a way superior shoe, much more comfortable, but with a bit of zip too.

    Mon 19th: 5 miles in 38:14 (7:39)
    Tues 20th: 5 miles in 36:53 (7:23)
    Weds 21st: 4.1 miles in 28:53 (7:03)
    Thurs 22nd: 4.75 miles in 36:10 (7:37)
    Fri 23rd: 4.8 miles in 34:32 (7:12)
    All except weds were running home from school. Seemed to spend the last month running uphill into a northerly wind!

    Sat 24th: 4.1 miles in 29:35 (7:13)
    Sun 25th: 13.1 miles in 89:13 (6:49)
    Decided on the hoof to run a bit zippier on last week’s long run, around Grangebellew and Dunleer. Felt fairly comfortable on the flat, so gave it a bit of socks on the last 5 miles uphill to go under the 90.

    Mon 26th: 7.4 miles in 54:43 (7:24)
    Tues 27th: 4.8 miles in 36:06 (7:31)
    Weds 28th: 5 miles in 36:55 (7:23)
    Thurs 29th: 4.1 miles in 27:09 (6:37)
    Threw on the RF3 for a little tempo effort. Great pair of shoes.
    Fri 30th: 4.1 miles in 30:30 (7:27)

    As far as I can see, that’s 100 days running in a row. Through the cold winter and nearly equally cold spring, with very little going on, daily running was fantastic for the body and mind. I’ll give it a rest day in a couple of weeks before I get obsessed!




  • Sat 1st May: 4.1 miles in 28:18 (6:54)
    Sun 2nd May: 14 miles on the bicycle and 6 miles running in 43:26 (7:14)
    Tues 4th: 7.6 miles in 55 (7:14)
    Weds 5th: 4.8 miles in 35:55 (7:28)
    Thurs 6th: 4.8 miles in 35:40 (7:26)
    Fri 7th: 2.5 with school students, then 4.8 hone in 35:12 (7:20(
    Sat 8th: 9 miles in 65:30 (7:17)
    Sun 9th: 4.5 miles in 32:40 (7:15)
    Tues 11th: 5 miles in 34:27 (6:54)
    Weds 12th: 4.8 miles in 35 (7:18)
    Pm: 8 miles 53:13 (6:39)
    Nice speedy evening time run out and back from Oldbridge.

    Thurs 13th: 5 miles in 38:16 (7:39)
    Fri 14th: 4.1 miles in 29:37 (7:14)
    Sun 16th: 12.25 miles in 1:30 (7:21)
    Mon 17: 4.1 miles in 31:30 (7:41)
    Tues 18 : 6 miles in 45:30 (7:35)
    Weds 19th: 4.8 miles in 36:46 (7:40)
    Pm: 8.2 miles in 59:35 (7:16)
    Very sluggish, groggy couple of days there after blood donation.

    Thursday 20th: 4.6 miles in 36:24 (7:55)
    Miserable, cold windy wet weather.

    Fri 21st: 4.8 miles in 36:27 (7:36)




  • Sat 22nd May: 8 miles in 59 (7:23)
    Up the mountains in Connemara. Beautiful weather and surroundings.
    Sun 23rd: 5 miles in 38 (7:37)
    In the hills again.

    Mon 24 and Tues: 4.1 miles in 30:27 (7:26) and 31:05 (7:35)
    Early morning before school, nice and sunny. Summer might just be arriving!

    Weds 26th: 8.2 miles in 54:29 (6:39)
    Felt much better this Wednesday on the Boyne loop. Nice to get on flat ground every so often.

    Thursday and Friday: 4.8 miles in 36:23 and 37:23 (7:35), (7:48)
    Legs fairly dead and tired running up the hills from Drogheda.




  • Sun 30th May: 4.1 miles in 31
    Mon 31: 4.8 miles in 37:15 and 13.5 miles in 1:35 (7:04)
    Daughter had soccer in Dundalk for couple of hours, so I took the opportunity to get a longer run in.
    Tues 1st June: 4.8 miles in 37
    Thursday 3rd: 4.8 miles in 36:19
    Fri 4th: 4.1 miles in 31:30 and 4 miles with school children in 43:40
    Sun 6th: 10 miles in 69:20 (6:56)
    This was very good fun with wife and 3 of the kids on bikes and me running. Stopped for an ice pop half way around.

    Mon 7th: 5 miles in 35:45 (7:07)
    Laps of football fields with daughter at football.
    Tues 8th: 4.1 miles in in 31:30
    Weds 9th: 4.8 miles in 36:34
    Thurs 10th: 4.8 miles in 36:30
    Fri 11th: 4.8 miles in 37
    Sun 13th: 6 miles in 41:30 (6:55)

    Mon 14th: 4.1 miles in 29
    Weds 16th: 4.8 miles in 34
    Thurs and Fri 17-18: 4.8 miles in 35
    Sat 19th: 4.1 miles in 29
    Sun 20th: 6 miles in 40:25 (6:45)

    Tues 22nd: 4.1 miles in 29
    Weds 23rd: 8.2 miles in 53:20 (6:30)
    Thurs-Fri 24-25: 4.1 miles in 31 and 30:10

    Log has been a bit of a disaster lately but running going ok. For one reason or another, not a lot of longer runs but I don’t mind that. Tempo session on tired legs during the week suggested I’m in decent shape to crack things up a few notches over the summer.


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  • Sat 26th: 18 mile cycle on Western Greenway. Lovely weather, beautiful place.

    Sun 27th: 8.6 miles in 60:44 (7:04)
    on the Greenway. This was very enjoyable, the rest of the family on the bicycles. Fun

    Mon 28th: 11 miles in 1:13 (6:42)
    Dundalk/Mountpleasant.

    Sat 3rd July: 6 miles in 41:48 (6/58)

    Sun 4th: 4.1 miles in 27:50 (6:48)

    Mon 5th: 11.5 miles in 1:15 (6:33)
    This was a good run. Up in Dundalk again. One mile at 7:xx, then 10 at 6:25-30, 0.5 cool down. Had to work fairly hard on the last few fast miles, but very rewarding.
    Looking at this, it appears I’m running fairly fast most of the time. I could do with some long slow running sometime soon.




  • Tues 6 - Fri 9th: Cycling on Waterford greenway and Carrick on Suir to Clonmel. Lovely holiday


    Sun 11th: 4.1 miles in 28:58 (7:04)

    Mon 12th: 10 miles in 71:18 (7:07)

    Tues 13th: 6 miles in 43:22 (7:14)

    Weds 14th: 8.2 miles in 53:46 (6:33)

    Thurs 15th: 4.1 miles in 30:10 (7:22)

    Fri 16th: 10 miles in 69 (6:54)

    Getting a bit of consistency again this week after a few weeks of interrupted running. Going nicely. Weather is lovely and hot.


    This new boards site is a bit of a confusion, finding it difficult to find my way around it. Maybe I’ll get used to it in time.





  • Sat 17th July: 4.1 miles in 29:37 (7:14)

    Sun 18th: 8 miles in 54:45 (6:51)

    Mon 19th: 13.1 miles in 1:29:20 (6:49)

    Felt a bit heavy legged at the start of this one but got stronger as I went.

    Mon 20th: 6 miles in 45:13 (7:32)

    Tues 21st: 7.5 miles in 56:12 (7:30)

    Weds 22nd: 4 miles in 30:08 (7:32)

    Thurs 23rd : 7 miles in 52:37 (7:30)

    Fri 24th: 4 miles in 31 (7:44)

    Sat 25th: 8 miles in 62:07 (7:19)

    Fri 31st: 7 miles in 55 (7:52)

    Sat 1st Aug: 6 miles in 43:29 (7:14)

    We were down in Connemara and West Cork for another 10 days. Ran in Conn every day but took a little break in Cork.


    Mon 2nd Aug: 16 miles in 1:51 (6:57)

    Woke up shortly after 6 and decided to get out early. Hadn’t really planned what I’d do but settled into a good rhythm and ran 13 miles of this at 6:4x pace.

    in other news, Cologne Marathon is cancelled sadly.





  • Tues 3rd August: 4.1 miles in 30:48 (7:31)

    Got the second covid jab last Tuesday, just did a little short run.

    Weds 4th: 3 miles in 20:48 (6:56)

    I had 3 of the kids in the car while the other was training, so couldn’t very well abandon them. Decided on laps of the car park at the track. Where there’s a will, there’s a way.

    Fri 6th: 7.5 miles in 49:59 (6:40)

    After a couple of very easy days, I was feeling fairly energetic, so pushed fairly hard on this loop around Sandpit. Felt very strong on the hills.

    Sat 7th: 6 miles in 43:37 (7:16)

    Sun 8th: 14 miles in 1:39 (7:06)

    I only started this run at 8pm, but felt very good, so ran a little further and faster than planned. I knew I wouldn’t fit in a long (16-20 mile) run, but I’ve an hour and a half this evening, so another 12-13 will make for a decent effort across two days.


    I was expecting Cologne to get called off but was disappointed for a few days. It’s now been 20 months since I’ve done any racing. My mileage and condition is better than any time since 2013-14, so feeling a bit frustrated. I’ve opted into the Cologne virtual half marathon at the start of October, and likely DCM virtual at the end. I know there are some marathon options abroad, but I’m reluctant to book any flights for the time being. Maybe Monaghan might go ahead, I’d favour that to a virtual. We’ll see what happens. For now, I’ll keep on training, if nothing else than for pure enjoyment, and with (hopefully) Connemara next April as a medium term target.





  • Mon 9th August: 11.25 miles in 1:17 (6:52)

    I started off this run in Dundalk feeling a bit of fatigue from the previous day, but as has been typical lately, I grew into it and picked it up nicely.

    Tues 10th: 6 miles in 48:52 (8:19)

    I think I had food poisoning that day as I was in bits. Slowest run in about 5 years!!

    Weds 11th-12th: Cycling on the Limerick Greenway. Very enjoyable couple of days.

    Sat 14th: 7.5 miles in 58:41 (7:50)

    Bit tired after a lot of driving, cycling and refereeing soccer matches.

    Sun 15th: 4.1 miles in 30:58 (7:33)

    Nice and easy, just shaking the legs out really.

    Monday 16th: 13.1 miles in 1:24 (6:28)

    Felt strong Monday, and without having had an actual plan of what I was going to do, I kept going through the gears, putting in a very decent effort. By my reckoning, that’s the fastest I’ve covered a half marathon distance since 2014, and there was probably another 2 minutes there if it had been a race. Felt good.

    Tues 17th: 4.1 miles in 30:08 (7:21)

    Legs felt fine after the previous day’s effort.

    Weds 18th: 6 miles in 43:02 (7:10)

    Looks like I was running fast, but I only really put in a shift on the uphill. With Connemara 2022 starting to come into a bit of focus, I’m determined to use my hilly locality to make it a real strength again.

    Thurs 19th: 17.5 miles in 2:02 (6:59)

    I hadn’t intended on doing so many miles at 6:4x-6:5x pace, but with running downhill towards Termonfeckin naturally giving some speed, I didn’t feel the need to pull back. Ended up doing 14 miles of this at a decent clip, the last couple of faster miles being a real test on the hills. It’s been a long time since I’ve been able to push that particular route in the way I did yesterday, so felt good. Legs were dead after, but fine today. No need for any more long or fast running this week, just a few easy miles maybe.





  • Fri Aug: 4.1 miles in 30:50 (7:31)

    Sun 22nd: 10.2 miles in 1:17 (7:34)

    Early morning run around Sandpit.

    Mon 23rd: 11.25 miles in 1:18 (6:58)

    cut back the pace and distance of my regular Dundalk long tempo.

    Tues 24th: 52.3 mile cycle in 2:58

    This has been something I’ve wanted to do for many years, cycle from my house to my parents. Took a couple of granola bars and gels with me, refuelling every 30 minutes. The family caught up with me with 5 miles to go and gave me a few words of encouragement. Very enjoyable few hours.


    Weds 25th: 5 miles in 38 (7:37)

    Went to track around football field in Scotstown with wife and two older kids. I tagged on a couple of fast miles at the end when they’d their 5k done.

    Thurs 26th: Surfing . Brilliant fun.

    Mon 30th: 20 miles in 2:29 (7:28)

    Run from Drogheda to Clogherhead and home. Wind was very tough, so never got into a good rhythm of marathon pace. Managed 10 at PMP, but it was a struggle, and really was totally dead on my feet at the end.

    Weds 2nd Sept: 8.25 miles in 55 (6:45) inc Yasso 800 session

    Reps were 2:52, 2:59, 2:54, 2:54, 2:53, 2:51, 2:54, 2:54, 2:52, 2:56

    This was tough, but never felt like I wouldn’t get through it.

    Thur and Fri 3rd-4th: 4.8 run home from school in 7:40 pace

    Sun 5th: 20 miles in 2:22 (7:07)

    legs didn’t feel particularly good at the start of this, nor really at any point, but I was able to lock into 6:4x pace and do 14 miles at PMP. Very satisfied with that.





  • Weds 8th Sept: 4.8 miles runmute in 36:47 (7:40)

    Thurs 9th: 4.8 miles in 35:07 (7:19)

    Fri 10th: 4.8 in 35:20 (7:22)

    Sun 12th: 17.5 miles in 2:04 (7:08)

    No hard running midweek, and long run was steady effort with no surges. About as easy a run of that distance felt in many years.

    Mon 13th: 8.2 miles in 62:30 (7:37)

    Weds 15th: 8.25 miles in 54 (6:34)

    Last fast run before Monaghan marathon, not much more speed in my legs than mid summer, but less effort.

    Thurs 16th: 5.6 miles in 42:15 (7:33)

    Fri 17th: 4.8 miles in 36:50 (7:41)

    Weds 22nd: 4.8 miles in 37 (7:42)

    Quite an easy taper over last couple of weeks, but felt like my body needed a bit of an break, and from experience, that has worked previously.

    Ready for race day, first race of any description since December 2019





  • Best of luck 👍





  • Monaghan Marathon 2021 Race Report


    This is one of my favourite races anywhere. Rossmore Park is a beautiful location, the lads and ladies in Monaghan Phoenix are friendly, genuine and decent people, and the entire event has a warm and friendly atmosphere. I placed 4th a couple of years back here, and vowed that some year, I would target the podium in peak shape.


    Training

    The last 18 months have been excellent for me, steady and consistent running, base building, and good motivation. I’d a very good spring, fell back a small bit in terms of consistency in summer, but nailed the important long runs. Training paces suggested a marathon time of about 2:54 on a fast course. Monaghan is the opposite of a fast course, but I wound up the training block feeling stronger than at any time since 2014.


    Target and race day

    When pressed on a target during the week, I hoped there might be a possibility of a win, and reckoned 2:59-3:01 was on the cards. I woke up this morning at 3:30, full of nervous energy, gave up on trying to get back to sleep at 4:15 and got myself busy eating breakfast. Arriving in Rossmore at 7:15, temperatures were about 16 degrees, humid, but nice conditions for running. There were about 30 of us for the marathon. Sizing up the potential opposition, which is a fairly impossible skill, I thought there might be a couple of guys that could cause me problems, but stuck myself up on the start line. An old friend of mine was the official starter and offered his tactical advice that I should go easy the first couple of miles. Unlike other years when there was a loop on the road into and out of town, this years race was to be 5 laps of the park, with just 7-8 miles on tarmac. In any case, I replied to him that I didn’t agree, and set about laying down a marker.


    Mile 1-10

    The whistle sounded at 8:02, and off we went. A couple of lads went out the front for 20 metres, cheered and had a laugh, then eased back, leaving me out front. Couple of hundred yards on tarmac, then onto the trails. Vaporfly had felt alright on the sections I did the warmup on, and I was content enough with the choice of shoe. I’d a motorbike out in front, with the rider giving me plenty of tips as to where the worst surface areas were to be avoided. As expected, the GPS was all over the show in the forest, so just ran on feel. About three miles in, I stopped to get the first of a few stones out of my shoe. This hadn’t happened at all in three previous marathons here, so it was a bit of annoyance. Laps were about 5.25 miles, the last 1.5 being on the road. Pace once on the roads and out of the tree cover was about 6:3x. After first lap, took first gel and a drink of water.

    On the second lap, I’d no motorcycle in front, and apart from a few people out walking and a youth group leaving the forest with their camping gear, I didn’t have much interaction with humans. Spotted a good few squirrels, but they weren’t much into supporting me. More stones in my shoes, which I figured I’d have to take out, as 15 miles of that couldn’t be good. Took the second and last gel I’d in my pocket and headed off on Lap 3

    Lap 3-5

    A couple of friends were marshalling and informed me I had a very good lead. However, as this was the first time in many years I’d the lead in a race, I was nervous about getting caught. Figured my best approach was to keep pushing on, and keep stretching the lead. With more pebbles and grit making their way into my socks, I decided I’d accept 10 miles of discomfort and deal with the consequences later. Unfortunately, one of the consequences was my heel started bleeding. Nothing to be done about it, it was a welcome distraction in ways, give me something to think about apart from stones, muck, leaves and squirrels.

    I started lapping a couple of people and passed a lot of the 10k runners who’d started at 9. That was an enjoyable few miles, felt strong. My remaining gels in a Chinese takeaway container meant I’d to stop at the end of each of laps 3 and 4, but not to panic. I’d still a sizeable lead, of some unspecified time and distance.

    After the social interactions and mini dramas, the last 5 or 6 miles passed by in quite a lonely fashion. My friend who’d been out on the course was gone once the 10k was over, taking away various paraphernalia, and gaps between lapping people stretched out. GPS useless, but my rough mathematical calculations were giving me about 6 minutes to run the last mile to get in under 3. I don’t know why I started getting paranoid again, but I must have looked backwards 10 times on the last lap in fear that somebody was going to blitz past me. Coming back to the park entrance, I finally accepted that I was going to win a marathon. I spotted my wife’s car, and long before I saw them, I heard my 4 kids cheering for me. They ran out to meet me, and ran alongside before they backed off to let me break the tape. 1st place. Absolutely delighted. The time was 3:00:45, but for the profile of the course, it mattered not a bit.


    Celebrations

    A local photographer, who I’ve known for about 30 years, was on hand to capture what was a fantastic moment for me. My mother, wife and children joined me and a few friends who’d been marshalling and running offered their congratulations. After a change of clothes, some coffee, a trip to the playground for the kids, we went back to the finish line for the presentation. It’s been 8 years since I last won a race. It’s about my 10th fastest marathon, but it is right up there with my best in terms of performance. My dad was delighted for me when we went home with trophy in hand. Until today, John Tracey was the only marathon winner he’d ever met. The slightly battered legs are worth every bit of it. The emotions and joy of all the family will stay with me forever.



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  • Thursday 30 Sept: 4.8 miles in 39:23 (8:12)

    Fri 1 Oct: 4.8 miles in 36:59 (7:42)

    Legs a little slow in recovering after the marathon, really felt it on the Thursday.


    Sun 3 Oct: 4 miles in 29:40 (7:25) in Connemara

    Weds 6th: 4.8 miles in 36 (7:30)

    Fri 7th: 5.1 miles in 37:57 (7:27)

    Forgot running gear on Thurs so had to get a lift home with Mrs TPP! I’m finding the running home great so far this year, it’s great preparation for next years Connemarathon.



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