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Leader Of The (Mid) Pack

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  • Thanks K, fair play for sticking with it, the fact I went ages without logging anything probably helped :D

    I'm definitely feeling more mobile in general thanks to the yoga. Hard to tell just yet whether it'll help me run faster. Either way fitness wise I'm heading in the right direction for a change.




  • Progress on several fronts this week, including extending the yoga streak to 87.

    Tue 25/5 - 4.27 miles @8:32/mi

    Easyish lunchtime spin, via Castleknock College to Castleknock village, and back through Laurel Lodge.

    Wed 26/5 - 5.97 miles @8:34/mi

    The car was in for a service today, so I went to Porterstown at lunchtime to try the club session solo. This was 3 x (3 x 400). 1 min active recovery between reps, 3 min active rec between sets. Doesn't sound that hard ? Well long story short I found the pacing a nightmare. For more or less all nine reps, the story was pretty much the same. I started off fast, dropped pace in the middle (sometimes quite dramatically), and picked up towards the end. I'd like to think having company would have helped, but in the end I was just happy to actually complete the session. First time solo success since early February. Progress !

    Fri 28/5
    - 4.00 miles @8:52/mi

    Originally the plan for the week was to run on Thursday, but I decided to give it one more day after being vaccinated Wed. Up to Porterstown once more, for a comfortable trundle over the Doyle Cup course.

    Sat 29/5 - 6.30 miles @8:52/mi

    Different structure for this morning's club session. Up and down the 200m grass hills four times, then alternating between 800 and 1000 metre intervals (two of each), with 400m jog recs. Again, not as easy as it might sound, although I was much more comfortable here than I was during the solo run on Wednesday.

    Sun 30/5
    - 6.73 miles @8:51/mi

    Originally, I was going to test out the newly resurfaced North Road in the Phoenix Park, but in a late change of plan, we went to St Catherine's Park instead. I decided I'd try and improvise a new one hour route here. Firstly the long lap down the hill from the dog run, and through the woodland trail - lots of stops up there, but thankfully I was able to run up the really steep bit uninterrupted. Secondly the hill alongside the stream to join up with the short but steep and winding hill by the BMX track, and lastly an easy one by where the reservoir used to be, and passing the five pitches to the main car park. On quite a warm morning, I was feeling the pace a bit - certainly more than I anticipated beforehand - but thinking back to this week's glorious Champions League and Europa League finals brought a smile or two in the face of adversity :D Thanks for reading! J.




  • Just four days running this week, although both club sessions are in there. Daily yoga streak now at 94, as I completed the "30 Days Of Yoga" block, and moved on to "Dedicate".

    Wed 2/6 - 6.17 miles @8:37/mi

    I'd a fairly heavy lunch today, so much so that even five or six hours later it impacted on my performance here. The session was two sets of (3 x 95s on/90s off) followed by 4 x 95s on/90s off. 3 mins jog recovery between sets. Throughout the session I felt stuffed. I think I only managed to cover 400m on the very last rep.

    Thu 3/6 - 3.62 miles @8:32/mi

    Short lunchtime run at "easy" pace. Down to M50 Park for this one - six laps before heading back out. Not as easy as I thought. Very warm even with a bit of a breeze. I was pumping sweat for ages afterwards .

    Sat 5/6 - 4.50 miles @9:05/mi

    After a very late poker night, with a fair few beers down the hatch, just turning up for an 8 AM start for the club session felt like a big deal. On paper, a fairly easy one - 4 x 200 on/200 off (the hedges in Porterstown), followed by 3 x 1000 on/400 off. I'm not even going to attempt to work out how long they took. Just to say that I was miles behind everyone else - mostly people I'd normally run with comfortably. I finished them all, much to my relief.

    Sun 6/6 - 7.25 miles @8:36/mi

    Having got to bed several hours earlier, on an alcohol free Saturday night, I felt in much better shape for this morning's run. Similar to two weeks ago, but this time I trundled over to the newly resurfaced part of the North Road, between the Hole In The Wall and the zoo. Nice to see the old gates being reinserted at Cabra Gate and the cemetery. This added a fair bit on to my loop, and although I cut out one or two sections on the way back, it still ended up being a bit longer. Hence I ran over the hour this time. Not to worry - it was dry this morning, and warm, but not overly so (10-11 AM). Plenty of Sanctuary Runners tops on view, and a few doing the virtual IKA Run For A Life, among the many runners around the park today. Great to see. Thanks for reading. J.




  • I made it to 100 yoga days in a row, before logistical constraints meant I had to take a few days off. Back into it now though - up to Day 12 in the current block.

    Wed 9/6 - 7.00 miles @8:37/mi

    Hamstring has been feeling a bit tight again, so I rested it before heading to Porterstown for the club session. This was 4 x 150 to begin, up a gradual slope at the top of the field with two GAA pitches. Ok through that. Next was a pyramid, 3/4/5/5/4/3, with 2 min jog recs. During the first 4 min interval I thought I was going to be sick, so I pulled over and let the rest of them finish it out before rejoining. Thankfully no more issues in the remainder.

    Is Fearr An t-Iarthar 2021

    Back to Inishbofin for a few days - our first visit in almost two years.

    Sun 13/6 - 3.89 miles @8:32/mi

    Exactly seven years to the day since I ran here for the first time. I wasn't sure how my body would handle the ups and downs, added to the food and drink on Saturday night. Clockwise lap this morning - up the school hill, for those of you who remember it. I got it done no problem - probably the added buzz of being back here helped.

    Mon 14/6 - 3.89 miles @8:22/mi

    Anticlockwise lap this morning. Brighter today. The hardest part of this one was the hill from East End Beach towards the cluster of houses around the highest point of the road, known as Middlequarter. No sign of the old snappy dog. Slightly quicker this time. Possibly going to bed an hour earlier and drinking less might have helped.

    Tue 15/6 - 4.29 miles @9:35/mi

    Beautiful weather yesterday, but we got the flip side of it this morning, as it lashed rain throughout my 41 minute stint, and there was a bit more than just a sea breeze to contend with. As I plodded up and down and around, I was toying with the formats of 10 x 15 sec and 15 x 10 sec for the hill reps. I went with the latter, on a steep slope that I've tried several times before. Other sessions included I think 5 x 30s (solo), and 4 x 45s (with company). 10 seconds might not sound like a lot, but then I haven't run this particular hill in three years. It didn't help that I forgot to start the clock for the 6th (I think) rep, and ended up sprinting for about 12 seconds. Luckily, passing traffic gave me a longer breather before the 5th, 14th and 15th. I'd planned a longer cooldown, but in the end I took the shortest way back to base. I was that drenched it took me ages to almost literally peel my top off when I got back.

    Wed 16/6 - 6.65 miles @8:46/mi

    I hadn't intended this to be a one hour run, but it wasn't too far off (58:23). I mixed a few different routes for this one, starting eastbound and cutting down the road to the Dolphin, before turning up the hill past the community centre. Sunny starting out, but near the top of this hill (almost 0.4 miles, mostly > 7% gradient) the skies opened. Just as well I had a long downhill from the school to recover. West beyond Murray's this time, right past Inishwallah and Lough Bofin, and alongside North Beach till I reached the farm gate and turned around. The sun came out again on the way back in, which was a welcome intervention. Strangely on this trip, in the course of four runs I didn't encounter another runner. That's a first for me, although a lad did run past us as we were walking to the beach on Thursday morning, for a stroll before the journey home.

    Sat 19/6 - 5.03 miles @8:14/mi

    Back to the more level Porterstown terrain, for the Saturday morning club session. The first part was 5 x 200 on/200 off, alongside the hedges. I averaged about 50s for these. This was followed by 3 x 1k (400 off). Not very consistent, but still much better than two weeks ago - 4:30/4:40/4:20.

    It's good to see some racing belatedly getting going again. Unfortunately, much as I'd love to get involved, at this stage I don't feel anywhere near race fit. I had my beady eye on the Antrim Coast HM (Larne) a while back, but there's no way I could justify the time/expense of that trip. Cross country later in the year seems more realistic, as far as feeling competitive in these things goes. Surely at least parkrun will be back at that stage, to bring the love back a bit more gradually :pac: Thanks for reading! J.




  • The latest daily yoga streak stands at 11 - now two thirds of the way through YWA "Dedicate".

    Tue 22/6 - 5.27 miles @8:27/mi

    I didn't fancy Porterstown or the Carpenterstown loop this evening, so my wife dropped me to Beech Park. Easyish few laps around there. My pace eased a fair bit after I exited the park and made my way home via Clonsilla.

    Wed 23/6 - 5.27 miles @8:34/mi

    Club session in Porterstown this evening. Not much of a breeze, but warm and muggy with flies everywhere. It made breathing tricky enough at times. The first part of the session was two sets of (5/3/1, 2 min AR) with four minutes between the sets. I didn't step off this time, and generally felt stronger than two weeks ago. A four minute break after that, before 4 x 200/200 around the grass track. I went out fairly hard in the first 200, so much so that the rest of my group were 15-20 metres behind. I was looking behind me coming around the bend as if to say "Where are yis??!!" Thankfully my concern that I might have totally burned myself out didn't come to pass, as I had plenty of power left for the other three reps.

    Sat 26/6 - 6.70 miles @8:25/mi

    I swapped rest days around, due to getting vaccinated on Thursday. However, I felt too tired to bother running on Friday, so no activity other than yoga between the club sessions.
    The format for this one was different to Wednesday. This time it was four of the longer hills (c. 350m) to start with. 76/80/81/73 for those. Most of us were expecting those reps to be followed by something like 5 x 1k (400), but much to our surprise, the captain changed it up a bit, by calling a 3 mile tempo run around the old Porterstown parkrun course.
    After one lap I was more or less by myself. Although Joan was 30-40 metres ahead for the remainder, I didn't bother trying to catch her, more trying to keep some kind of steady rhythm (tempo even!) going. I did fairly well in that respect, with mile splits of 7:40/7:45/7:44 - 23:09 for not quite a parkrun.
    Even allowing for the hills immediately prior, that pace (slower than HMP) took more out of me than I would have imagined beforehand. Just shows you how far off race pace I am. That said, parkrun resumed in NI today, with Armagh being the nearest to me, roughly an hour and a half away. I might give that one a bash very soon, depending on how long it takes to get them going again south of the border (down Mexico way.. :pac:)

    Sun 27/6 - 3.50 miles @8:40/mi

    A visit to family in Wicklow gave me a chance to run on some more hills. I had planned a longer run (maybe even an hour long run) on this warm and sunny Sunday, but my wife talked me into "just" sticking to the triangle I ran around on the morning of St Stephen's Day 2020. She wasn't wrong !
    The first part was almost all downhill, with a 150 feet drop in under half a mile, before the first lefthander onto the flat section, the base of the triangle if you like. Over a mile along here, before the second lefthander which takes you up Cardiac Hill. A 160 feet rise in 0.4 of a mile, and it's cruel. Just when you think you're at the top, you see there's still a little bit more around the bend - think River Valley parkrun, for those of you who've sampled the hill there. I was wrecked at the top! Thankfully a long downhill of over 200 feet, past some scrambler bike racing competition (you could hear them from the house!) before the last climb - longer than Cardiac Hill (0.7 miles) but less elevation change (+ 140 feet). Jaysis. I was rightly banjaxed by the time I got back to the house. Just over half an hour for all that. Good luck with yer one hour run today :pac: Home later to watch the Yoo-ros, before a "well deserved" sleep :D Thanks for reading ! J.


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  • Only four runs again this week. I alternated between Porterstown (sessions) and Phoenix Park (easy/recovery). Second go at this, as I accidentally zapped it with it almost complete :rolleyes:

    Wed 30/6 - 5.87 miles @8:11/mi

    Another warm, sunny evening, but better than last week. 4 sets of 800s and 400s, with 90 sec between the 8s and 4s, and 3 min between sets. Into the breeze heading uphill into the far bend, but other than that I was strong, at least by my standards. Well under sub-6 pace for most of the 4s.

    Thu 1/7 - 5.49 miles @8:54/mi

    A heavy overcast evening saw me head along the trails behind the cricket ground, then passing the Polos. My legs were heavy from last night, so I deliberately omitted the hills from my route. I didn't really get going at all until I hit the trail from the Hole In The Wall up to Castleknock, going back under 9 min/mi pace and staying there for the remainder.

    Sat 3/7 - 6.82 miles @9:31/mi

    My mother retired during the week, and on Friday night we gathered to mark that milestone. Pizza and cake to fill the belly, before getting some beer on board after I got home to watch Belgium v Italy. Not great prep for a session. Whaddaya gonna do.

    This was the session we thought we'd be doing last Saturday. First part identical, although I went a bit mad on the hills, leading out the first three. The last of these was a disaster - 72/72/71/76 (roughly).

    Thankfully we weren't doing the 3 mile tempo again. Instead it was 4 x 1k, with a lap of the grass track as recovery. I couldn't hang on to anyone that even attempted to pull away from me, with splits between 4:40 and 4:55 illustrating just how bad I was. No pace, no consistency, no nothing. Still, it's another session in the bag - better than not doing it.

    Sun 4/7 - 7.06 miles @8:52/mi

    Finishing off the week with a one hour(ish) run in PP. From the Áras along the trails down the side of the Polos. Lots of famblies going to and from the zoo, so much so that there was a lad directing traffic around the back of the Polo pavilion. Hills weren't as bad as I expected, largely due to my deliberately very slow recovery pace. I'd more trouble in other areas, as not only did I swallow two flies, I also got hit by another one. SMACK right in the eye on the trail between Castleknock and Ashtown gates. I had to stop a couple of times because it was very uncomfortable. All ok now thankfully :D Next week hopefully a bit of an increase in mileage. Thanks for reading! J.


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  • I wonder what Cluxton's thoughts were watching that match. It's hard to feel that things would most likely have been different had he played but who knows.. Rock wasn't at his best either and I'm still quite unsure how the hell McMahon got himself embroiled in something minutes after he came onto the pitch 😮. I'd really like to see Mayo go on and win now, it is surely their time!






  • Fuming I'd say. I imagine we'd have been better organised had he been there. Still hard to believe just how bad it was apart from the first half. A lot more players set to step away, I think. So many underperforming in the same match. Not sure if it's Mayo's time. They might get a boost if Aidan O'Shea gets suspended, considering his contribution while he was "legally" on the pitch! At least it looks like Kerry will be playing Tyrone after all....and the ladies' drive for five is still on course, with Meath standing between them and that milestone.





  • When done on the ladder WW, it’s really tough, if I had to deal with those obstacles I would have baled so well done for finishing it.


    You also managed your 11 miler better than me 👏


    TbL





  • Have you done Clontarf before? Never fancied the course myself - too familiar, and the beach stretch is too much of a wild card for me. Wouldn’t mind another half before the year is out but not this one!



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  • Cheers D, I've actually ran the Clontarf HM six times over the years, although it's been seven years since I ran the winter one. It was my first ever HM (July 2013!), but my last attempt was a disaster - a DNF in scorching conditions in July 2018. If nothing else, I'm familiar with the setup, and I'm not sure how many other HMs are on in or near Dublin towards the end of the year. Normally, I'd be gunning for Dublin Novices XC this Sunday (Tymon), but I'm feeling too fat and slow for that one, plus I mightn't be able to go anyway. Maybe National Novices (December 5, Gowran) if I recover well after the half. Fingers crossed!



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