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The Windy Road to Nowhere



  • Louth Intermediate cross country: 8k in 31:49 for 11th

    lovely morning for running on Sunday. Men’s race was at 10:40. Arrived incredibly early, the first team member to appear. Must have been a blue moon. We’d just the 4 of us, and In last couple of years, I’d not exactly set the world alight, so expected I’d sit in a group of club mates. However, about 100 metres in, I realised my teammates weren’t in top form and a group of 15 or so was breaking away at the front. I gave chase and sat in at the back. Over the first of the five laps, I picked up a couple of places, and assessed the course as being challenging enough, a few hills, turns and slow surface.

    On the 3rd lap I was up to 12th, about 50 metres behind a rival from another club. With good encouragement from club mates and family, set about chasing him down. When I went past, the guy downed tools, so I was safe enough in 11th. Despite thinking the next guy would slow and come back to me, I never really made inroads, and couldn’t really generate speed. Happy enough with 11th. Surprisingly, we picked up 3rd place team, nice little bonus.

    All 4 kids ran various age groups. 4 and 6 year olds ran in non championship races Under 8, both going really well. 6 year old dug in really hard to get 4th. 10 year old ran a superb tactical race to out sprint his rival taking the U11 title, his first at cross country. 12 year old was going well early on, but faded a little in her race. A very enjoyable day for the whole family.

  • Nice running, fella. Before my injury woes, I was almost exactly where you are. Did a Half in 1.23.** as well. Shame there's nowhere we could do a real one, although for me it's out of the question anyway. Congratulations to the new generation also, great to see.

  • Sun 18 Oct: 7 miles in 51:37 (7:22)

    Steady running around Dundalk streets. I already miss the long summer evenings. Running on footpaths not that much fun.

    Tues 19: 4.8 mile in 37:12 (7:45)

    Weds 20: 7 miles in 50:57 (7:16)

    Steady running around Drogheda streets. Maybe I’ll get back on the track on Wednesday evenings, this running around town streets is rubbish.

    Thurs-Fri 21&22: 4.8 miles in 37:20 and 36:30

    Tues 26: 5 miles in 37:25 (7:28)

    Thurs 28th: 6 miles in 42:45 (7:07)

    Nice few days down in Connemara. Mountains make for great bang for buck.

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  • Busy man with all the races!! You happy enough with where you are right now??

  • Cheers A, yeah I’m feeling pretty good with how I’m going. Getting back to something like the levels I was at 7-10 years ago, and it’s at a more sustainable level from a training perspective. I’ll see what the next few weeks and months bring, but I’m certainly enjoying my running and making progress.

  • Fri 19th Nov: 2 miles in 13:30 (6:43) and 4.8 miles in 34:26 (7:11)

    Bit of a session at the track with school kids in morning and then run home in afternoon.

    Sat 20th: 10 miles in 1:10 (7:06)

    Mon 22nd: 10 miles in 68:54 (6:53)

    Steady run on Sat, and sort of progressive run in Dundalk on Monday.

    Weds 24: 4.75 miles in 37:15 (7:50) and 5.7 miles in 36:55 (6:30)

    Run home from school and club session in the evening. Can’t remember what we did. I think it was 2 miles tempo by myself, then possibly 2x400, 800, 1,600 and then cool down.

    Sat 27: 7 miles in 54:36 (7:48)

    Tipping about in Oldbridge when the young lad was doing his club session.

  • Louth Masters Cross country

    Bitter cold morning with a freezing breeze. I decided I was going to run this 5k race hard, it’s not my type of distance, but felt like I could run in and around 18:00, so went with it right from the start. I got out fairly fast for me and was in about 12th. Within about 400-500 metres, I felt like I should be a little further up, and moved up to about 6th by the end of the first of 3 laps. I briefly went into 4th, but two guys went past me, and that was more or less that. I worked as hard as I could to keep the lad in front of me honest, with neither of us really losing much pace, but I couldn’t have given any more. Finished in 6th overseas, 5th master, and 1st O35. Time was 18:12 which is decent for the conditions. We got 3rd team. That was a decent haul of county medals this season, nice getting an individual one to go with the team medals.

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  • Mon 29 Nov: 12.2 miles in 1:27 (7:09)

    It has been a goal of mine for a good number of years now to go through a whole calendar year running at least 100 miles per month. Needed to run 11 on Monday to keep that going for 2021. Started slow, but within 2 or 3 miles, Sunday’s efforts were totally forgotten, so was tipping along nicely.

    Weds 1 Dec: 4 miles in 23:33 (5:53)

    Did a couple of laps warmup, then jumped into some sort of session with the lads. 1x800, 8x400, 1x800. The paces were about 78-80 on the 400s, and 2:40-5 for 800s. Felt fairly comfortable. Looking forward to a good winter of running with more regular track work, should be a good thing for me.

    Thurs 2nd: 4.8 miles in 36:13 (7:33)

    Run home from school in the dark with head torch. Cold and wet, but happy to be out running. Feeling in a very good place with how running is going at the moment. With wearing face masks and proper ventilation at school, I’ve been healthier this winter than at any point since I started teaching. Every cloud, etc.

  • Sun 5th: 4.1 miles in 29:06 (7:06)

    Long day driving to and from Kilkenny for the nationals, felt like stretching the legs when I got home. Felt like the first time in ages I’d been on my own local loop, which is indicative of how I’ve managed to do quite a lot of my running lately fitting in around life.

    Mon 6th: 10 miles in 1:13 (7:19)

    Very cold evening in Dundalk, took me ages to warm up and get moving well, but going nicely by the end. Ran into a huge puddle by accident, but didn’t really get wet, glad to be wearing the Odyssey Shield. Perfect shoe for wet conditions.

    Thurs 9th: 4.8 miles in 34:58 (7:17)

    One of the very few wet evenings running home from school. Turned up the pace a bit on the hill, want to get as strong as I can on hills over the next four months.

    Sat 11th: 5k in 19:58

    Club fun run on the beach, 5 out of the 6 of us went down, 10 year old son and 7 year old daughter started off with me, she dropped back to wife and 4 year old son. Kept the pace steady for the first 2k with young fella, then pushed on a bit to try to get under 20. Young fella ran 21:50 or so. Two smallies had a great 2.5k run in 19:57 to finish just before me. Hot chocolate, coffee, selection boxes, etc rounded off a lovely morning in Termonfeckin.

  • Tues 28 Dec: 13.1 miles in 1:33 (7:07)

    Took a couple of days off running and had a nice, quiet Christmas. Headed down to Connemara for couple of days, got a beautiful morning for this longish run. Scenery and weather perfect.

    Weds 29: 4 miles in 30 (7;30)

    Headed the opposite direction in the mountains. Windy, heavy going.

    Thurs 30: 4.1 miles in 29:16 (7:08)

    Back home. Decided to head out in heavy fog, in the dark and rain. Strangely enjoyable challenge trying not to run into the ditches.

    Fri 31: 4.1 miles in 28:18 (6:54)

    Nice finish to the year, to tip the monthly mileage over 100. This was my first year doing at least 100 miles per month for a full year.

  • 2021 review:

    This was a good year for me. I had hoped to run a sub3 marathon, but my one and only marathon race was in Monaghan, and getting the win in 3:00:45 was more special than a time.

    Cross country went well, picked up a few team medals, and individual in the Masters.

    Mileage total of 1,760 is my second best ever year.

    2022 Goals:

    I want to do a sub3 marathon, so will have to run well in Connemara. If it doesn’t happen there, I’ll have a decision to make for autumn.

    Its been 7 years since I ran any PB. I’m close enough to 2014 level shape, so should be able to threaten my 5k best of 17:25 at the very least.

    Keep mileage steady, 100+ per month is a good rule of thumb.

  • Sat 1st Jan: 4 miles in 27:12 (6:47)

    First run of the year. Cold and windy. Pushed hard on the hills.

    Sun 2nd: 7.5 miles in 52:59 (7:04)

    Mon 3rd: 4.1 miles in 28:18 (6:54)

    Couple of fast miles in the middle.

    Weds 5th: Míle, 2k, Mile, 2k

    Track session. Track was slippery with ice, but nice to be back doing a club workout. I’d my dinner (and Christmas pudding) a bit late so didn’t feel entirely comfortable on this run, but did alright. Total of 4.5 miles in 26:50 (5:56)

  • A 17.25 off 100 miles a month - Jaysus -

    What mileage were you doing (monthly) for your Monaghan win??

  • I probably averaged about 150 miles per month in the six months from March-September. I don’t think over 50 miles per week is sustainable or as enjoyable for me as 35-40. I suppose I could be accused of sandbagging for the last 7 or 8 years, but I’m enjoying running this past couple of years immensely. If I can run half decent times off less than 40 miles per week, I’ll be very happy. If I don’t, I’m happy anyway.

  • Tues 11th: 4.1 miles in 28:40 (7:00)

    Out in the dark with head torch. Cold, but fresh and clear. Very enjoyable.

    Weds 12th: am: 2.5 miles with school inc 1k in 3:58 with one speedy young fella.

    pm:5.15 miles in 32:26 (6:17)

    Did a very slow warm up, then 1 mile, 3k, 1 mile in 5:45-5:55 sort of pace. Legs were sore and tired before, during and after this.

    Thurs and Fri: 4.8 miles run home (7:21 &7:31 pace)

    Sun 16th: 17.5 miles in 2:08 (7:21)

    Nothing fast or difficult on this, just a steady pace and effort on Clogherhead loop. Lovely afternoon for it.

    I seem to be still having occasional issues in groin, darting pain every so often. Maybe a bit of stretching will help. It’s not getting any worse or better, but I’d prefer to be without it.

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