If you have a new account but are having problems posting or verifying your account, please email us on [email protected] for help. Thanks :)
Hello all! Please ensure that you are posting a new thread or question in the appropriate forum. The Feedback forum is overwhelmed with questions that are having to be moved elsewhere. If you need help to verify your account contact [email protected]

Leader Of The (Mid) Pack

  • 16-11-2016 9:58pm
    Registered Users Posts: 2,599 ✭✭✭

    This is my log.
    There are many like it but this one is mine.

    For a long time, I wasn't sure about starting this off. I remember chatting to the Boards legend that is Krusty Clown, after one of his parkrun tourism gigs early this year, and I poured cold water on his suggestion that I start a log. More recently, I hummed and hawed when one or two of the DCM 2016 Novices put the idea back in my head.

    Anyway, main reasons I'm starting my own log are:-

    (1) To keep a reasonably accurate record of what I'm up to running wise
    (2) Pick up some decent hints and tips along the way.

    And If You Know The History

    I'm 43, male, married, and have lived on DNS all my life. Athletics was one of several sports that I dabbled in as a kid, in this case for about a year when I was 14/15. I can't say it was a resounding success. I'm probably the only one that remembers me doing it!

    More recently, I got back into running in the summer of 2012, to train for the IKA Run For A Life 10k, and from there on I was hooked. For the next three years, I "trained for" and ran races side by side with being a junior level Gaelic footballer.

    At the end of 2015, I decided it was time to call a halt to my long and largely undistinguished football playing career. Since then, I've come on a lot in terms of PBs and overall performance. Up till now, only once have I been close to winning a race, finishing second in the 2000 metres in this year's Trinity track races. However, I do have the slowest first place time in Dublin parkrunning history, leading home a seven runner field in a monsoon in Porterstown :D

    That has been the highlight of 60 parkruns to date. I've run two marathons, eleven half marathons, and geansaíloads of other races (including BHAA) over the last four years. Joining MSB this summer has been a definite plus, which should bring further improvements in the coming years.

    Main PBs below:

    5k - 20:36 (Porterstown parkrun, May 2016)
    5 miles - 34:08 (Terenure 2014)
    10k - 43:32 (Fingal, 2016)
    10 miles - 1:14:13 (Brian Boru, 2016)
    Half marathon - 1:37:30 (DCHM 2016)
    Marathon - 3:49:01 (DCM 2016)

    Since DCM, I've less than 20 miles in the bag, as I'm slowly recovering from injuries which I carried into it, and which flared up again during.

    4 miles tonight in 9:15 or so (guessing here, as I was stopped at junctions twice, and also had to relace one of my runners).

    Thanks for reading my very lengthy intro! Bye for now.



  • Registered Users Posts: 2,415 ✭✭✭Singer

    Well done starting a log! I find logging to be very motivating, and a useful tool to look back at general progression and history of niggles etc.

    So, what races are up next?

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,599 ✭✭✭Wubble Wubble

    Thanks B, hope your own recovery is going well. Fair play on the RV pacing gig.

    Regarding upcoming races, I picked up my number for Clontarf tonight. I could still run the HM, and I'd finish it, but I feel I could undo all my good work since DCM if I went down that road. More likely, I'll step into the 5 mile there (I've been told I can switch) but I won't be racing.

    Jingle Bells is one I'd love to do, but I won't know till the second half of next week if I can go or not (college tutorial weekend). Hopefully it won't sell out before that! Otherwise, I have my eye on the Raheny 5 at the end of January and the Tom Brennan 5k on New Year's Day. There's also plenty of XC planned, with both club and BHAA races in the coming months for me to get my legs mucky!

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,921 ✭✭✭Kennyg71

    Welcome to the logs, in and around similar to me, will follow with interest.
    Best luck with future targets.

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,599 ✭✭✭Wubble Wubble

    Thanks KG, you seem to be getting things back nice and steady yourself. Enjoy the Gingerbread.

  • Registered Users Posts: 10,298 ✭✭✭✭Murph_D

    Good man J, will be interested in this too as many of your race times are in and around mine - there's a big falloff for your marathon time as you know so I expect you will be knocking loads off that if you decide to have another go.

    What kind of mileage have you been doing over the last few years, if you've been tracking it?

  • Advertisement
  • Registered Users Posts: 2,599 ✭✭✭Wubble Wubble

    Thanks D, there's plenty of room for improvement across the board, but you are right, the marathon in particular is where I'm aiming for a much stronger performance next time out. Even so, that was just under half an hour faster than my previous attempt (Paris 2014). It will probably be DCM 2017 before I do another though. Barcelona (budget) and Connemara (exams) are out for next year.

    In relation to your mileage question, I followed the Boards plan over on the Novices thread fairly closely from late June onwards - highest mileage there was 43. I did a mini training programme for the Connemara half in April; with the highest weekly mileage being in the low 30s. In between I kept it to two 4 or 5 mile runs midweek and a parkrun at the weekend, before starting to jump in the Sunday morning club run (about 10 miles at that time).

    For previous years, the mileage question is tricky, because trying to combine football training and running was very difficult to manage, even at my level. Apart from a holiday in Lanzarote in January 2014, where I reached my highest ever weekly mileage (50ish), even coming up to the Paris Marathon I never got over low 30s for a week (with added GAA).

    So this is the first year I've really committed to it, and with improvements everywhere except a pacer assisted Terenure 5 mile, I'm confident of a lot more to come. I'm gunning for a sub-20 5k by year end (I'll have two, maybe three attempts), and I want to take out that 5 mile PB in Raheny. Updates to follow....

  • Registered Users Posts: 13,996 ✭✭✭✭The Muppet

    Great to see this up , I will follow with interest.

    The best of luck with it and the goals.

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,599 ✭✭✭Wubble Wubble

    Thanks T, looking forward to it.

    I've put on a few pounds since DCM, but they should come back off once the mileage starts building again....

  • Registered Users Posts: 3,332 ✭✭✭Bungy Girl

    Delighted to see this log. Will look forward to seeing those times come crashing down. All the best with it.

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,599 ✭✭✭Wubble Wubble

    Thanks G, fair play on taking over the graduate mentor job :)

  • Advertisement
  • Registered Users Posts: 2,599 ✭✭✭Wubble Wubble

    Thu 17/11 - 5 miles in 10:10 p/m

    For the first time since DCM, I tried running on consecutive days. Not too much hassle up to now, but with my time window to do this rapidly shrinking, I headed out into the freezing D15 night without much of a stretch beforehand.

    I deliberately kept it slow all the way. This was one of my old loops from my early days living in the area, with only two hills crossing over the railway line to contend with. Still, I wasn't feeling brilliant even after 3 miles, and then my old niggles started coming back, worse than at any stage since the marathon. Not so bad that I was going to stop or anything, but enough to slow me down even more for the last mile and a half or thereabouts. As I worked through some belated stretching and foam rolling after I got home, I couldn't help thinking that last night was a setback. Maybe I need more time before trying this tortuous two days running in a row lark again.

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,921 ✭✭✭Kennyg71

    Take each run as it comes, just run as slow as body needs, but sometimes if
    you trow in couple strides can help, maybe not this run but the next. There's
    no set backs at moment all about recovery.

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,839 ✭✭✭hot buttered scones

    Well done on starting a log. I'll be following with interest. Are you going to follow the graduates plan? I made grea tgains from the 2015 one, which left me with a good base for marathon training. Learned a lot from it, and then even more from keeping a log. I also started to pay ,ore attention to other peoples logs when I had my own going, so I learned even more from that again.

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,599 ✭✭✭Wubble Wubble

    Thanks HBS, not sure what plan I'll be going on yet. When I get fully back in gear again, there'll be a lot more short stuff; for example, I haven't done 800s with the club since the summer.

    There are some very good logs from people here who are in or around my standard. I'll continue to follow with interest. It's definitely beneficial to see what worked (or what didn't) for someone, especially if you've a similar training plan or whatever.

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,599 ✭✭✭Wubble Wubble

    Fri 18/11 - Rest, apart from stretching and foam rolling.

    Sat 19/11 - Clontarf Half Marathon - DNS

    Clontarf 5 Mile Porterstown parkrun - 3.1 miles in 23:42

    Felt a bit strange this morning getting up having decided not to risk Clontarf. This was my first half marathon, back in the summer of 2013, and it's still one of my favourites to this day. I could have run it, but at what price long term? Plus a late night drinking and playing poker made it an even easier decision; I could have gone out there and switched to the 5 mile of course, but anyway I'm happy with my choice.

    And so it was that I stayed home for another parkrun. On a bitterly cold morning, I kept the layers on until just before the start. There were a lot of icy stretches on the path, so I ended up running a fair bit of it on the grass. How much this had to do with it being a pain free parkrun, I don't know. Anyway, it felt easy, and, amazingly after Thursday's disaster, there were no niggles to report. It felt even better with the coffee, cake and biscuits that followed :)

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,199 ✭✭✭denis b

    Congrats on the new log and following with keen interest. I hope one day to match the 5 and 10km records of a retired Junior GAA star. It might take another year but its a goal. Sounds like a pretty wise decision to parkrun and coffee it out today.

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,599 ✭✭✭Wubble Wubble

    Thanks Denis, I'm feeling the benefits this evening i.e. not sitting at home with my legs in a bundle. Plenty of other races to come over the next few months.

    Your times are quite close to my own actually. It won't take you long to reach my current PBs. Very generous with regard to GAA :D I only ever got two winners medals in all my years playing; I stopped after getting my second one last year, a mere 20 years after my first!

    The club have two groups out early in PP tomorrow. I'll see how I feel in the morning before I decide whether to join them.

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,599 ✭✭✭Wubble Wubble

    Sun 20/11 - "Long run", 8 miles approx.

    Feeling ok to go again this morning, so I defrosted the car and made my way out for my longest run since DCM. Six of us made it to Castleknock Gate for an 8 am start in subzero temperatures.

    The first four miles or so were about 7:45 min/mile, as a couple of the faster lads were with us getting a few miles in before joining another club group at 8:45. When they left, the rest of us settled into something closer to 8:20 pace, and the conversation picked up again, as we were struggling to keep up somewhat!

    I'd got through about 6 1/2 miles before the leg started playing up. I probably could have finished out the 10 mile stint, but I let the other three turn left down the Acres Road while I slowed right down and headed back to the car. It doesn't feel bad now, having stretched and foam rolled afterwards, but there was a clear message sent out that it still has to be looked after! I've a couple of days off now, so hopefully that will help with recovery. About 20 miles for the week, fingers crossed I'll be able to increase that next week.

  • Registered Users Posts: 5,203 ✭✭✭AuldManKing

    Sun 20/11 - "Long run", 8 miles approx.

    The first four miles or so were about 7:45 min/mile, as a couple of the faster lads were with us getting a few miles in before joining another club group at 8:45. When they left, the rest of us settled into something closer to 8:20 pace, and the conversation picked up again, as we were struggling to keep up somewhat!


    This bugs me a bit as SK sent out the message saying the run was going to be at a certain pace.
    I'd have let them off and run your own pace - especially early in the run in the cold - that could have caused an injury (and possibly did)

    This is 1 reason why we have lost a few people & others dont run with us on the long runs, 'cos its too fast for everyone. We should have 2 distinct groups catering for different levels.

    ............sorry - I'm tapering and cranky. Gimme more food.

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,599 ✭✭✭Wubble Wubble

    This bugs me a bit as SK sent out the message saying the run was going to be at a certain pace.
    I'd have let them off and run your own pace - especially early in the run in the cold - that could have caused an injury (and possibly did)

    This is 1 reason why we have lost a few people & others dont run with us on the long runs, 'cos its too fast for everyone. We should have 2 distinct groups catering for different levels.

    ............sorry - I'm tapering and cranky. Gimme more food.

    Hmmm....not sure if this was why I stepped off? I'd run the parkrun at a faster pace the day before, no problem. Maybe it was the fact that I was trying to run two days in a row again. Having said that, two of us had entries for Clontarf the day before, yet we ended up doing a good bit of our run at a faster pace than we would have out there (for outsiders reading this, the "slower" runners would be about 3:30 marathoners)

    In relation to the second part....that's a whole other discussion for the club, which will hopefully lead to more Sunday morning participation in the future. I'm of the opinion that I'll be much more able for the faster pace when summer comes. Time will tell! Good luck with the tapering in case I don't see you before SS.

    Monday's activity involved an easy stretching and foam rolling session, after work by day and college by night.

  • Advertisement
  • Registered Users Posts: 2,599 ✭✭✭Wubble Wubble

    Mon 21/11-Wed 23/11


    Two pain free stretching and foam rolling sessions. I also entered Jingle Bells, having received a favourable timetable for my college tutorial weekend.


    Not getting out for a run at all so far this week. Work and college make it hard to get out Mondays or Tuesdays, unless I go running at lunchtime, which I hate, or I have a day off.

    The plan was for an easy few miles tonight, but real life intervened. However, that might not turn out to be a complete disaster given my recent "fitness" history. I'll get out tomorrow, and then probably leave it till I add to my parkrun tally on Saturday morning. Recovery is taking longer than I hoped!

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,599 ✭✭✭Wubble Wubble

    Thu 24/11 - 4 miles @9:25 p/m.

    Easy two spins around a loop close to home, resisting the temptation to try and tag on to two runners who passed me. Tiny bit of a tingle near the end, not sore however.

    Fri 25/11 - Rest.

    Sat 26/11 - 5.1 miles approx. inc. Porterstown parkrun

    With Jingle Bells just a week away, and the marathon now 27 days ago, the plan was to try and pick up the pace a bit from recent weeks. I did a bit of stretching at home, before a half mile shuffle to Porterstown, and then a lap of the course with a clubmate. No pain to report, so I lined up fairly close to the front this time.

    A few of the faster lads from the club were there today as well. I let them whiz away into the distance and settled into a fairly comfortable stride. A Donore lad who runs here a lot was a bit ahead of me so he was the perfect marker for the first lap (1.1 miles in 7:15).

    At this stage I was leading a group of four, with two younger lads and the leading lady (an All Ireland winner). I tried to keep my pace steady for the second lap, and was happy enough with how that worked out. By the end of lap 2, the lads had been burned off, and there was just me and the lady footballer for the final turn. For the last lap, I had to decide whether I wanted to try and keep her behind me, or just let her off and keep my powder dry for next week. I chose the latter, and away she went while I cruised home in a time of 21:27.

    I'm delighted with that outcome, and better again, there were no niggles along the way. I'm feeling a lot more positive about Jingle Bells now.

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,599 ✭✭✭Wubble Wubble

    Sun 27/11 - Rest (unplanned)

    Best intentions etc etc. My intention was to do the club run this morning, or failing that get a few miles in on my own. However, I was feeling ropey after drinking "enough" pints of Guinness on Saturday night (family birthday) so that was knocked on the head. This afternoon saw a trip to my brother's house for my eldest niece's birthday party. Thankfully no more alcohol, but there was chicken curry and lots of cake. So I'm out there thinking, I can get out this evening and recover some of the damage. By the time we got home, however, I was feeling too drained to even bother with a stretch. So a bit of a disaster for me I'm afraid, but a fine day for the club, with our ladies picking up a team prize in the Nationals, and AMK nailing the sub-3 in San Sebastian.

    Less than ten miles covered in total this week, and it will be Wednesday before I hit the road again. I'm still thinking I'm in with a decent shout of sub 20 in Jingle Bells though. Either way, I'm looking forward to racing again.

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,599 ✭✭✭Wubble Wubble

    Mon 28/11 - Rest (planned)

    Work and college meant a late stretching and foam rolling session after dinner.

    Tue 29/11 - 4 miles @8:22 p/m

    I got a text at about 3:50 to say that my college lecture was cancelled due to a power cut. When I got home, I decided to take advantage of this and hit the books actually get out running. It was a very chilly night, so I had plenty of layers on as I headed around for a surprise bonus stint. Over a minute per mile quicker than something similar last week. It felt fairly straightforward, although I still need to shift some of the weekend's excess baggage. More stretching and foam rolling after I got back, before watching the Reds beat Leeds. Not a bad evening all told.

    Wed 30/11 - Rest

    I was originally going to chance another run tonight, but was home lateish after a dental appointment which preceded a visit to the parents. Hence, stretching and foam rolling took its place. I feel like I'm finally making some headway on the ITB front. My Jingle Bells race pack arrived today. I'll be in the MSB colours, wearing bib number 517.

    So just under 50 miles run for November (or if you prefer, since DCM). I'll be going into Saturday's race fresh, if nothing else. However, I've yet to reach double figure mileage for any single run since, and I've no speed work done either. I've run four parkruns in November, but they were all done at considerably slower pace than I'll need to reach if I'm to break the sub 20 barrier. With all this in mind, I'm as yet undecided whether to go for a conservative strategy, or just RLF and see where it takes me. Can't wait!

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,599 ✭✭✭Wubble Wubble

    Time to catch up on the last few days...

    Thu 1/12 - 5 miles @8:26 p/m

    Very happy with this one. It was basically the same run as two weeks previous, but whereas that time I limped through the last two miles, this was a pain free run out - and the best part of two minutes per mile quicker overall.

    Fri 2/12 - Rest

    Sat 3/12 - Jingle Bells 5k, Phoenix Park


    This was my first ever 5k, way back in 2012. Back then I was thrilled with a time of 21:16. I thought I would have a better record in this race subsequently, however this turned out not to be the case.

    2013 - 22:23. Stinkbomb.
    2014 - Didn't enter.
    2015 - DNS, due to uncertainty about the race taking place in the midst of Storm Desmond.

    My PB for 5k was set on the grand occasion of my 50th parkrun, which took place in Porterstown at the end of May (20:36). In spite of my steady diet of nothing (relatively) with regard to mileage since DCM, I'd set the beating of this time as a minimum requirement here. One of my goals as stated at the start of 2016 was to go sub 20, and it was the only one I still had a chance of beating this year. So that was the plan anyway.


    I got to the Papal Cross car park super early, and had a mile warmup done before some of our massive club contingent arrived. By chance, I bumped into nop98 and the artist formerly known as Firedance, and hence I was there to witness the presentation of her well deserved t-shirt :)

    Once the rest of our group had got themselves dressed for action, we got a nice warmup done around the Acres, finishing with some strides alongside the start area.

    I lined up not too far back, with some club colleagues a wee bit in front, and HelenAnne almost directly behind me. I saw Murph_D earlier, and was looking for him again as we waited for the gun, but no luck there.


    My lack of speed work was certainly felt on the opening stint uphill. At this early stage, I was trying to follow our lady captain, a 19:xx 5k runner on the road, who's been improving rapidly on the XC scene. However, she gradually pulled away as we approached the roundabout, and quite a few others passed me too. To be honest, I was gasping a bit, and thinking maybe I'd set the bar a bit too high, considering my lack of action lately. But this would be the hardest kilometre, wouldn't it?


    Much of the same really, as we turned onto Chesterfield Avenue. More and more groups came by, and spat me out the back as soon as I thought I had a chance of staying with them. Surely some of them were thinking, who's the joker in the cap starting this far up? Our coach was near the 2k marker, and gave me a shout. Even at this stage though, I was struggling to come up for air. Not good. Not good at all.


    The slight downhill as we approached the turn onto Ordnance Survey Road gave me a small bit of respite, but not enough to halt the seemingly endless tide of runners leaving me behind. Shortly before we passed the Ordnance Survey itself, it was HelenAnne's turn. I made a half hearted attempt to tag on, but very soon it was clear that wasn't going to work. By now I was just hanging on and waiting for the last 2k, hoping the run to the finish would boost my confidence and speed. Eight minutes, eight minutes!!!


    The slope began to change in my favour. And finally, I started to pass people. I think I passed two runners in the first 3k, whereas we're talking three figures for people passing me in the same area. I was pushing harder now, and thinking that if I kept HA at a reasonable distance, I might have a chance of beating the 20. Surprisingly, there was nobody else around that I recognised. As we worked our way out of the treelined chicane, I was passed by a guy in a Samsung Night Run top, and a wee bit ahead was a guy in some Kerry marathon top or other.


    Downhill we went. I was still wary of maybe going too hard too soon, given the lack of speedwork. I had in my head "just one 800 left, this is the last one, give it everything". Trouble was, it's been 3/4 months since I ran an 800 with the club. Anyway, I was gaining again on the two lads above, and caught a few others coming down the hill. Just before we turned left for the final 150m push to the line, the road kicked up a tiny bit. I negotiated the turn, and then started turning up the gas as I could see 19 on the clock ahead. I'm thinking, Yes, it's on! Go! Go! Go!

    Just as I was going through the gap between Kerry guy and Samsung man, Samsung decided to dive right across me, and completely blocked my run. With Kerry guy on my left, I had nowhere to go, and ended up almost at a standstill. A clubmate was supporting here and gave me a shout to push again. I tried to repair the damage, but those two were gone, and another lad pipped me on the line, as I tried to regain momentum in a last gasp push, for what for me would hopefully be sub-20 glory. I crossed the line in 20:09 on the gun.


    At the finish I was absolutely fuming, as I tried to catch my breath on the rails, as Murph_D joined me, and scotindublin (who, unknown to me, had been following closely behind) gave me a shout. I reckoned I'd been cheated out of sub-20 by someone with absolutely no idea of etiquette. It wasn't like there was a prize at stake or anything. In the meantime, I met my mentors nop98 and Bungy Girl, who had a fine battle coming down the hill :D I also met denis_b again, and it was great to read of so many fine performances from the 2016 Novices Graduates later on.

    Many hours later, my fears were realised, as the chip time came in at 20:03. It's a PB of over half a minute, but I can't help feeling I might have missed my best chance of beating 20 minutes this year.


    I haven't given up yet on that goal. There's a couple of parkruns where I can go for it, and maybe Clonliffe's Christmas Cracker race on the 27th, if I still haven't nailed it by then. We also have a club 10k XC race on the 18th. Thankfully that's a handicap race ;)

    Sun 4/12 - 3 miles @9:05 p/m

    Poker and PB beers on Saturday night, along with lots of junk food, meant it was too early for me to join the club lads for any of the Sunday morning runs. It was closer to 11 by the time I got out. Due to college this afternoon, a rapidly shrinking time window meant I only completed two laps of Porterstown instead of the planned three. Still, a nice way to finish the week, and I felt a lot more refreshed afterwards. Looking forward to the next few weeks!

  • Closed Accounts Posts: 6,121 ✭✭✭tang1

    Bit of HTFU over the first half of the race and you had it, taking over 30 secs off your PB coming off marathon training is great going, be proud of yourself, well done.

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,818 ✭✭✭Annie get your Run

    There's a very flat 5K in the PP on New Years day, can't remember the name of it, Tommy Byrne something? Tang?? Anyway, massive well done on your PB, the sub 20 is there for the taking especially with some speed work in the legs. Great to catch up with you yesterday too :)

  • Closed Accounts Posts: 6,121 ✭✭✭tang1

    There's a very flat 5K in the PP on New Years day, can't remember the name of it, Tommy Byrne something? Tang?? Anyway, massive well done on your PB, the sub 20 is there for the taking especially with some speed work in the legs. Great to catch up with you yesterday too :)

    Tom Brennan 5k, you go eat cake at St Anne's so.........

  • Registered Users Posts: 10,298 ✭✭✭✭Murph_D

    Nice going J - some similarities in my race. Sounds like I started a bit behind you, had HA in sight for a good while, and like you was trying to keep in range. I was passed by a Samsung shirt on upper Glen, possibly same guy. Tough luck on the straight, maybe he's a xc guy though, a legitimate block! You'll get it soon enough, matter of time!

  • Advertisement
  • Registered Users Posts: 1,199 ✭✭✭denis b

    Absolutely no doubt that the sub 20 can be done this year on the right course. Might be worth checking out a favourable Parkrun course. Do report.