Leader Of The (Mid) Pack
Thanks K, fair play for sticking with it, the fact I went ages without logging anything probably helped
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.0
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 Thanks for reading! J.0
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.0
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.0
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 Thanks for reading ! J.0
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 Next week hopefully a bit of an increase in mileage. Thanks for reading! J.-1
Man alive this new layout is dreadful. Where's all my "followed threads" gone ? I finished YWA "Dedicate" on July 8, and as I type I'm still on a short term yoga hiatus.
Wed 7/7 - 4.70 miles @8:21/mi
I went to Porterstown at lunchtime, for an attempt at a pyramid. This version was 200/400/600/800/800/600/400/200. Recoveries increased and decreased with the length of the intervals, i.e. 200/400/600/800/600/400/200. Not that easy doing this alone, especially after a 40s opening 200 which meant that the longer intervals were tougher than expected. That said, I had enough energy to do the last 200 in 43s, so not a total disaster 😁
Fri 9/7 - 4.03 miles @8:33/mi
Out to Clonsilla and back via Ongar Road before work.
Sat 10/7 - 2.55 miles @8:44/mi
Club session in Porterstown. 10 of the "short" hills (just over 200m) seemed straightforward on paper, but in real life it didn't quite turn out that way. I was under real preassure from about the third one onwards, and finishing it out was a relief as much as anything. Splits were 51/48/51/50/46/46/47/50/47/44.
Sun 11/7 - 4.28 miles @8:30/mi
Going back to a type of run I did a few times last year. Three parks getting smaller as I progressed, first Porterstown, from there to Tír na nÓg, and lastly M50 Park. Very quiet so early in the morning.
Mon 12/7 - 4.28 miles @"10.02/mi"
My wife was working in Cork today, so I tagged along for the overnight. After a post Euros final breakfast and dropping her to work, I got the runners on for a shortish spin in the vicinity of the hotel. This took me behind the Mardyke, where somebody was running around the track, and into Fitzgerald's Park (near UCC) for a few laps of about half a mile each. Few nice features in there. Back alongside the Lee for the remainder. Strava seems to have added on time for me taking photos, even though I paused and resumed each time - all the mile splits were sub-9. Out in Cobh in the afternoon, for amusement I decided to walk up the steep hill (one of many there) from Casement Square. The gradient occasionally exceeds 25% 😲
Wed 14/7 - 4.12 miles @7:16/mi
I had a GAA match later, so I tried a slightly different session this morning, inspired by some of those from John O'Regan's Connemarathon plans. This was 2 x 2 miles (two old style parkrun laps), with 4 minutes standing recovery in between. Getting this done before work would mean the body waking up fairly sharpish. In both cases, I went out hard at the beginning, and gradually eased back. 14:50 for the first two laps, 15:03 for the second stint. Splits for miles 3 and 4 were identical (7:22/mi). Pleased with that.
Thu 15/7 - 4.17 miles @8:40/mi
Out early again, for a high humidity run through Roselawn and Laurel Lodge. Not much to report otherwise.
Mon 19/7 - 3.80 miles @8:42/mi
Longer term readers of this log will know I find running in hot weather uncomfortable to say the least (see Clontarf HM 2018 for example). A good excuse to take a few days off over the scorchio weekend. I couldn't believe the amount of sessions and LRs in such conditions popping up on my Strava - fair play to all the lads and lassies who got out and did them. Anyway, back to Phoenix Park this morning, for what was primarily a trail run. Starting from near the Papal Cross, past the American ambassador's residence to the crossroads where Furze and Ordnance Survey Roads meet. From there across to White's Gate and continuing on the trails to the Hole In The Wall, before turning back to base and home for a shower. It may have to be prework running for the majority of this week's efforts. We shall see. Thanks for reading! J.8
Tue 20/7 - 4.34 miles @8:30/mi
Out early passing Castleknock College, for a rare trip down to Castleknock Village. Left at Myo's/Lidl, and home via Laurel Lodge. Scorchio again.
Wed 21/7 - 3/26 miles @7:09/mi
A mix of several interval sessions I've done with the club, but again this one was done solo before work, on the Porterstown grass track. For a change, I went for standing recoveries rather than AR. 90 seconds after the 800s, 60 seconds after the 400s, with a 3 minute gap between the last 400 and the first 200 (4 x 200 on/200 AR). 3:32/1:41/3:30/1:41/ 3:33/1:42 for the main part of the session. 41/46/47/39 for the 200s - a nice way to finish off. Certainly I went home feeling a lot happier than after many sessions I've tried there on my own.
Thu 22/7 - 4.04 miles @8:51/mi
Another hot and humid run. Back to Porterstown, for two laps around the Doyle Cup course.
Fri 23/7 - Rest
Sat 24/7 - 4.26 miles @10:12/mi
I headed for White's Gate this morning, with the aim of running a session based on some of those which our former coach put us through. After a few stretches at the gate, I trundled down to the bottom of the Furry Glen hills. If you run down to the Glen Pond, and keep the pond on your left, you'll reach a junction where you'll have the choice of two hills. My original plan was to run 20 of these, alternating between "right" (shorter but steeper, to Upper Glen Road) and "left" (to Knockmaroon Road). Well after about three of these, I copped myself on and decided that there wasn't a hope in hell of me doing 20 of them there hills (to begin!) this morning. 10 turned out to be a more realistic proposition, and even then I was puffin and pantin at the top of the majority of them. Strava got a bit bamboozled by times with all my manoeuvring through the trees. Splits for the left: 41/41/42/50(WTF)/40, 38/36/37 for the right. The second part of this was intended as a tempo run around what I call the Tom Brennan triangle, starting at the OS/Furze Road junction, i.e. OS Road/Chesterfield Avenue/Furze Road (2.7k approx). Not today. I think we did 12 hills with Eugene before running that triangle, roughly two years ago. My original plan was to look through the archives so I'd actually have that info for ye, but here we are. If I get to it I'll update it. Back then I was a good bit fitter than at this time, and also I had people to chase and be chased by - a massive help, especially on that long Furze Road straight. I'll revisit it in a few weeks hopefully. For now, I was happy to shuffle back to White's Gate and drive home.
Sun 25/7 - 7.68 miles @8:45/mi
I had my beady eye on a Boards meeting/reunion of sorts this morning. However, once I heard that the main man wouldn't be around, I decided I'd make my own arrangements. Wifey needed the car this morning, and I didn't fancy a solo 2-3 mile run home from PP, so I went back to D15 parklife instead. Not dissimilar to the run from two weeks ago (11/7) but this time the park laps were longer as I "progressed". Starting with a 3/4 mile shuffle down to M50 Park, back up to Tír na nÓg, over to Porterstown Park via Castleknock Hotel, and lastly Millennium Park, where there were long queues at the drive thru McDonalds as I trundled by between 10:10 and 10:15 AM. Who eats McDs at that hour, unless they're hungover? Anyway, some geezer passed by me while I was laughing at all the cars backed up there. Thankfully I resisted the temptation to go after him. On another day, I might have thrown a Hartstown lap in too, but that would have taken me to over 11 miles overall. Also, it's my first six day running week since I don't know when. Either way, good decision to leave it there IMO. I felt fine throughout this run - the hardest bit was getting my sweaty top off afterwards. Next week it appears we'll be back to more typical Irish summer weather, so less time wasted on that front at least! Thanks for reading. J.6
Back up to date with the Olympics. I didn't repeat my first six day running week since November this time, also that hills session was 10 + triangle.
Mon 26/7 - Rest
Tue 27/7 - 4.89 miles @8:44/mi
Easy enough local shuffle, including passing where poor Lainey took a wrong turn last week. Yes D15 can be a bit maze like.
Wed 28/7 - 3.90 miles @8:05/mi
With GAA scheduled for this evening, it was another early morning solo session for me, warming up in the rain. It eased off for the session proper, but the Porterstown grass track was fairly damp. I've tried easier ones than this : (3 x 400) + (4 x 300) + (6 x 200), with 200m AR after each rep. No breaks between sets, although I did walk for a few steps after the majority of the later ones. With the track feeling very hilly and windy too, there was occasionally a fair bit of slippage - not much consistency in the times unfortunately. Hard to get the pacing right on your own. Splits were 97/96/100, 73/70/77/75, 40/47/43/45/49/41. Very pleased to complete it - this is the type of session I probably would have bailed out of before.
Thu 29/7 - 7.58 miles @8:38/mi
I'm trying to build up the mileage a little, having had a few weeks of sessions behind me. Starting early again, I ran around the five mile "fish loop", which has a few longish drags and descents. Nothing spectacular to report, although apparently I ran my third fastest split on the downhill past the western side of Corduff.
Fri 30/7 - Rest
Sat 31/7 - 4.07 miles @7:33/mi
First time running with anyone in three weeks. After a relaxed warmup, it was time to get into the session in Porterstown. Four of what we call the "long hills" (c. 320m) to begin. Five of us at the same standard(ish), so nobody got detached, which was nice. 81/80/79/72 for those, as we kept it fairly relaxed in the main, although I did push the pace on the last one. Couple of minutes to recover before the second part - 4 x 1k (3 min AR), with the same "long hills" at the end of each km. I felt more comfortable doing these than I remembered from earlier in the summer, and the split times afterwards made for more pleasant reading. Nice consistency in the first three (4:17/4:19/4:17). For the last one, I picked up the pace again, with a 4:05 split being my best ever recorded time over that segment. In future I'd hope to feel confident about going sub-4 regularly, but fingers crossed that will come with good training.
Sun 1/8 - 10.25 miles @8:50/mi
As mentioned earlier, I'm trying to increase the mileage again. Much to my surprise, a trawl through the Strava archives showed that I hadn't done a double figures mileage run since February. Time to change that. My wife dropped me to Knockmaroon Gate - a novel starting point for my Sunday stint. The first couple of miles were over the trails, past Castleknock Gate and down past the Hole In The Wall to Cabra Gate. For a change, I ducked out of PP at the NCR Gate and turned down Infirmary Road, past the CCJ and back in at the main gate on Conyngham Road. I've gone the reverse of that with the Porterstown Panthers on several occasions. During this time I was pondering a detour to War Memorial Park, having never run there before, but I got back on plan. By chance I met Murph_D at the top of Military Hill. Nice to catch up, and congratulate him on his latest sub-20 5k, having not seen him in person for quite a while. Nice to get a break at that point of the run too - it made the Upper Glen Road and Furry Glen climbs more comfortable as I reached the end of my lap. Back to the trails around the Ordnance Survey, and home via White's Road and Castleknock College. I actually felt that good that I put on a little sub-8 spurt as I approached the house. Nice to know I can still do it.
Mon 2/8 - Rest
I'm almost at a stage where I can seriously consider racing again. Unfortunately, events such as the Kilbeggan 10 mile (Sun 8/8) are far too soon for me this time, much as I've historically enjoyed August 10 milers (PB in Kilcock twice). Also, I won't be a "track fairy" this summer either. The last of the graded meets is on Wednesday evening in Lucan. Well, the 800 and 1500 are graded. The 10,000 isn't. I've never run 25 laps of a track before, and the mere thought of being lapped again and again, never mind the genuine possibility of finishing last, means I can let it go for another year. Thanks for reading. J.9
Tue 3/8 - 6.46 miles @8:27/mi
Building it up a bit more. Out through Clonsilla, to the end of Ongar Road, and back down the long straight.
Wed 4/8 - 7.04 miles @8:59/mi
To Porterstown for the midweek session. Slightly longer than what I've been doing lately - three sets of four 400s, with 90 sec after each rep and 3 mins after each set. Having people to run with was very helpful - 12 400s solo isn't a meagre task for me. Some kind of consistency was the aim here. Looking over the Strava graph, you can see my pace dipping every time on the back straight, uphill and into the strong breeze. Otherwise not too bad - splits in the 90s, apart from the last one, where I decided to pick up the pace and clock an 87. An enjoyable evening's work, also the most 400s I've done since doing 15 in September 2017 (200 off). That was two days after the Race Series HM in Newbridge House, if you can believe that.
Thu 5/8 - 7.84 miles @9:15/mi
What good work I'd done the evening before, was almost undone this morning. Less than 11 hours after finishing that batch of 400s, I set off for a "recovery" run. Too long for starters. Not a great choice of route either, with the last 2+ miles being mainly draggy affairs - first White's Road, and then the km plus drag from the M50 underpass up to Carpenterstown. Gassed long before I got to the shops. I was feeling well p!$$ed off when I got home. How could I be so stupid ?! No niggles to report afterwards, amazingly, apart from a bad dose of chafing.
Fri 6/8 - Rest
Sat 7/8 - 5.71 miles @9:00/mi
With quite a number of absentees, it was decided that I'd call the club session this morning. Something to do with seniority maybe. In fairness I didn't go down the self preservation route, in spite of a few beers last night. After warmup laps around the grass track, four of the "long hills", in 75-80s range. The five of us were fairly close together. I didn't fancy km reps for the second part, but the group weren't wild about a 3 mile tempo either, so I chose something we did earlier in the summer. This was over the parkrun course - 3 x 1300+ metres, starting at the point where you enter the big field with the two GAA pitches, and finishing at the parkrun start line. Recoveries were run/walk between those two points. Clubmates of similar standard certainly helped with pacing, and although I was dropping off the back of the others near the end of each rep, all things considered I'm happy with splits of between 5:50 and 6:00. Later on I watched Kipchoge win the Olympic marathon in style, as he turned on the afterburners at approximately 20 miles, and left his opponents marooned in his wash. Hard to believe so many doubted him !
Sun 8/8 - 12.01 miles @9:16/mi
Having watched Kellie Harrington's superb gold medal performance, it was time to attempt my longest run of the year, and close the book on Tokyo 2020. Plan to go superslow, as I turned right at Carpenterstown, and headed down to Castleknock College and onto White's Road. Turning right onto Ordnance Survey Road, for not quite a lap of Phoenix Park. For a change, I left the park at Ashtown Gate, and headed for the canal. Breezy on the way back, but I resisted the temptation to pick it up too much "just to get it over with". Overall, a pleasing run at the end of a mainly good week - also I believe it's the longest "time on my feet" since 2019. Delighted to see a few more from here getting back to real racing. Hopefully it won't be long before I'm doing the same. I miss writing the aul race reports ! Thanks for reading. J.9
Mon 9/8 - Rest
Tue 10/8 - 6.06 miles @8:37/mi
Local run where for a change (first time ever actually) I crossed the pedestrian bridge which links Castleknock tennis club and the 12th Lock. Up through Blanchardstown to bring it up to six.
Wed 11/8 - No running
I'd planned to take part in the MSB session, but life got in the way.
Thu 12/8 - 5.55 miles @8:00/mi
Better late than never says I. This morning I went to Porterstown to run last night's session solo. A pyramid this time :- 1/2/3/4/5/5/4/3/2/1. 90s AR between intervals, 3 min between the 5s. Graph looks a bit jagged - generally quick setting out, struggling in the middle, picking up at the end. I was glad of the 3 minutes standing before the second half. Still and all, I stuck with it and I'm happy overall. Done before work, another plus.
Fri 13/8 - 4.02 miles @8:55/mi
Back to Porterstown for two laps of the Doyle Cup course, at easy pace.
Sat 14/8 - 14.02 miles @9:02/mi
A planned extension to the LSR. For the day that was in it, I decided to try a run I hadn't done in several years. Out and back from the house, through Laurel Lodge, joining the canal at the 12th lock and continuing down to Croke Park. Very easy on the way down. Too easy in a way, as I was struggling to slow down - so much so that miles 3-6 were well below 9 min/mi. Pleasantly surprised to see aquinn in person, for the first time since the 2020 Raheny 5 IIRC. By then I was about 5.5 miles in, while she was barely two miles into her 20 miler. I thought we might meet again on the way back, but it transpired she took quite a few twists and turns outwith the canal route subsequently. Anyway, on I plugged to Croker, taking a photo on Jones's Road before I turned back into the wind and rain. I didn't really feel under any pressure, helped by the fact that I sorted out my handbrake issues, if you get me. Back home to fill the next few hours with chores before heading back to Croke Park. My first time in there in almost 18 months. What a match to choose for my "comeback". I'd planned to stay in the vicinity for a few scoops afterwards, but losing to Mayo, and the manner of it, put me right off that idea. Instead I went home to watch the Reds open their season with an easy win. Just as well that one was stress free. Few beers to mark the end of an era.
Sun 15/8 - 3.08 miles @9:12/mi
Short run to finish off the week, with Luke Kelly in my head. Thank you for the days, indeed. 8 All Irelands in ten years, and we were there in person to witness six of them. Wonderful times to be a Dub, no doubt. I picked out a route in St Catherine's Park that would work out at around 3 miles. Couple of hills in there, including the woodland trail, but overall, I was glad to just get back out in the air for a while. Thanks for reading. J.9
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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!1
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.1
Mon 16/8 - Mon 23/8 - No running
Tue 24/8 - 4.07 miles @9:10/mi
Easing my way around Porterstown in the morning mist and fog.
Fri 27/8 - 4.60 miles @8:30/mi
Back to Porterstown. While Tuesday was a Doyle Cup course reprise, this was four different loops, getting smaller as I progressed. Both were early morning before work.
Sat 28/8 - Avondale Forest (not)parkrun (3.10 miles @8:38/mi)
In Wicklow for a couple of days, so took the opportunity for a spin around what I thought was the parkrun course. Not as tough as the 2020 Masters XC, but nice to sample the scenery regardless, along forest trails. There's a short loop and a long loop to be negotiated. FWIW, I went the wrong way around the short (less hilly) loop, and missed a turn at the bottom of the long loop. Not to worry. It's since transpired that , due to all the works taking place on the house and in the grounds, the course has been amended again anyway. Hopefully I'll be back for the real deal in the not too distant future.
Sun 29/8 - 4.10 miles @9:02/mi
A little triangular South Wicklow loop, with a bit of trail running to take me towards Aughrim, and a mile long climb back to base to finish off. Lovely stuff. Perfect for working off BBQ food, beer, and wine.
Back to a "normal" kind of schedule for last week's update.
Mon 30/8 - Rest
Tue 31/8 - 4.01 miles @8:33/mi
Similar to last Friday (27/8), except I left out the smallest of those loops on this occasion.
Wed 1/9 - 4.00 miles @8:41/mi
A couple of loops around the 15 Acres/Magazine Fort area, at relatively easy pace.
Thu 2/9 - MSB Glen Cup XC, Phoenix Park
At long, long last. 544 days after running the 2020 Carlingford HM (7/3/20), I was back at the start line of a race.
With training having slipped off considerably of late, while the pounds have been piling on, I wasn't planning anything much other than finishing this - the first of two races the club organise among themselves, with the Porterstown Panthers, and occasionally John Todd, as invited guests. Nominally, it's a 6k XC handicap race, over a course not unlike the Dublin Novices XC, going over the Munich hills four times.
I won't bother with a detailed account this time, as the performance doesn't merit it. My mile splits got slower with each lap, although I did manage to pick up at the very end and catch Ronan shortly before the finish, after he'd caught and passed me with a lap to go. Due to extended stints through the high grass heading towards the Papal Cross, we ended up covering about 6.75k. I nearly got lost in the meadow, when going off the "racing" line to pass one of the Panthers, on I think it was the third lap. 32:06 for the 4.2 miles, 7:38/mi average. In other words, considerably slower than HMP. Anyhow, it's done, and it was nice to see a decent crowd there, including some who I hadn't caught up with in a long while. Unfortunately, I had to skip the post race beer and pizza. Maybe next time.
Fri 3/9 - Rest
Sat 4/9 - 2.16 miles @6:56/mi
It was decided that this morning's club session would be a scaled down affair, due to its proximity to Thursday night's race. Fine by me. On paper, a comfortable 400/800/400/800/400 (1 min AR 400s, 2 min AR 800s). Although it didn't feel that way at the time, my second 400 was better than my first, albeit more raggedy looking on the pace charts. 800s were roughly around 5k pace, while I picked up speed for the last 400, keeping it under "mile pace".
Sun 5/9 - 11.00 miles @8:47/mi
I haven't lapped five parks in months, so I was wondering whether this would be too quick a jump. Thankfully I needn't have worried. Apart from the opening easing into it mile (9:00), the rest were under 9, apart from the seventh (9:02), which included a long traffic stop. My fastest miles were the eighth and ninth (8:27/8:31), around Hartstown Park, the largest of today's five parks, following Millennium, Porterstown, Tír na nÓg, and M50 Park (reverse order, smallest to largest). Nice to know I can still do double figure runs without feeling wiped afterwards. Bit of running around the garden needed to bring it over 10.99 !
Mon 6/9 - Rest
I haven't actually signed up for any races yet. I'm thinking the Clontarf HM, currently scheduled for late November, which would give me more time to get the fitness and mileage back up. Probably one or two more shorter ones along the way - I'm particularly looking forward to giving my "new" cross country runners (purchased December 2020!) a few airings over the winter - at the time of writing, they have yet to be seen in public. Thanks for reading ! J.10
Tue 7/9 - 4.03 miles @8:47/mi
Easy around the Doyle Cup course.
Wed 8/9 - 4.40 miles @7:50/mi
Back to Porterstown this morning, for an attempt at a solo pyramid session. Testing enough, 200/400/600/800/1000/800/600/400/200, with 200m AR between intervals.
After a one mile warmup around the grass track and some stretching, I was "ready" to go. Overall, pleased with my effort. Sometimes the pace on the longer reps dropped to HMP or below, (or whatever my HMP actually is these days!) but I was still able to pick up speed again on the down side of the pyramid. A decent workout - the first time I included a 1000 in a solo pyramid.
Thu 9/9 - 4.03 miles @8:30/mi
I bought a new pair of runners a couple of weeks ago, so I decided that a comfortable D15 shuffle was a nice opportunity to give them their first airing. I was a bit stuck for time, hence closer to four miles rather than five.
Fri 10/9 - Rest
Sat 11/9 - Russborough parkrun
At last ! A mere 80 weeks after my last parkrun (Porterstown, 29/2/20) it was time to get back into it. A short enough drive into West Wicklow, for just my second parkrun outside Dublin. None of the Dublin parkruns have resumed as yet, and I decided I couldn't wait another two weeks for that stage of reopening.
Nice setup, with the start and finish on the avenue that passes in front of the house. Pleasantly surprised to see a few people I knew, including Marthastew, who ran 23 miles after her tail walker stint here. Warmup with Graham and Mark, before spotting Lazare when I got back to the start. First time I'd seen him since Raheny 2020 I think.
Slight downhill on the road back to the entrance to the grounds, turn right onto a little forest trail loop, and back on the avenue passing through the start. From there, two loops of mostly grass and forest trails. I deliberately started a long way back, and made a bit of progress through the field on the first lap. G caught and passed me around the 2k mark. He wanted to pull me up to a couple of lads ahead, but I hadn't the interest this time. It was just about running a 5k with people again. Second lap my position didn't change at all. With less than half a mile to go, I had a quick look behind me - there was a long enough gap to a group of three. On another day I'd have gone after G. Maybe the next one.
23:32, 18/99, 5th M45 (Lazare was 1st M45). Up to 139 now. An enjoyable parkrun, well organised. Not a fast course, especially in today's damp conditions, but quite a bit flatter than Avondale. Enjoyed the cooldown chat with C before we headed back across the border.
Sun 12/9 - Rest
Not the best of weeks, not the worst of weeks running wise. If time allows, I'll head to another parkrun and see if I can turn up the power a bit. Thanks for reading! J.9
Mon 13/9 - Rest
Tue 14/9 - 4.56 miles @8:52/mi
I didn't get to run before work, so this turned out to be an evening spin in St Catherine's Park. I deliberately threw in a few tough hills to wake up the legs. Also, I bit the bullet and signed up for the Clontarf HM, due to take place on November 27. So just under 10 weeks as I type here.
Wed 15/9 - 5.77 miles @8:22/mi
This was a "new" pyramid which I hadn't tried before. 400/800/1200/1600/1200/800/400, with 400 AR.
Did I steal that one from TbL ? Absolutely ! That said, it seems he made a considerably better job of it, despite his protestations on here and on Strava. First 400 was good, but while the pace slowed on the way up the pyramid (as intended), it didn't really come back on the way down. Having to slow down considerably and/or stop, due to dog owners letting their pets bound into my path, (some on more than one occasion!) didn't help matters. I don't think any of those incidences occurred during my recoveries. But I didn't bail out. The more of these I can at least finish, the consistency should come into it too.
Thu 16/9 - 4.36 miles @8:47/mi
With another busy morning in store, it was time to dust off the hi-vis for a 6:18 AM start. Back to the Carpenterstown loop, for the first time since March I think, while the dawn broke over D15.
Fri 17/9 - Rest
Sat 18/9 -
Naas parkrunPorterstown (not)parkrun
Friday morning set off a lengthy chain of events, the details of which are far too long and boring to go into on here, which meant that I couldn't travel to Kildare for Naas parkrun's long awaited resumption. Finally, on Saturday afternoon, a sufficiently broad window of time opened for me to head to a very busy Porterstown Park. On arrival, I was reminded of why I seldom frequent the park at that time. Between soccer, GAA, cricket, and some dog obedience competition, as well as the usual plethora of walkers and dogs, I wasn't really in the humour for dodging around the park at "speed" for three and a bit laps. Anyhow, few stretches and I'm away. The Strava graph looks more than a little raggy for a "tempo" effort, even with all the bobbing and weaving I had to do. In spite of all of that, I got it done quicker than the real live Russborough parkrun from last week, so that's something. The real stuff returns to Porterstown next Saturday, and I for one am very much looking forward to being back on the start line.
Sun 19/9 - 11.00 miles @8:36/mi
For this week's "long run" (something I didn't even attempt last week!) I went the reverse of the "parklaps" route from two weeks ago, i.e. largest to smallest. I also ran them in the opposite direction to that which I would normally run. A beautiful morning to be out and about early. FWIW, quicker than I ran the reverse route. Legs feel good after it. Nice to see a couple of clubmates in Porterstown (I ran with one for about half of that lap) and also my old marathon buddy (and BHAA regular) Bill B on the way to Tír na nÓg.
RIP Saint and Greavsie. I heard of the death of Jimmy Greaves as I was concocting this piece. Too young to remember him playing, but the aforementioned duo were a regular part of my Saturday entertainment growing up, quite apart from the great playing careers that they had. Who'd have thought that both would pass on less than seven months apart? Coincidentally, Spurs play Chelsea this afternoon. That should be quite an emotional one for fans of both clubs. Thanks for reading. J.7
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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 👏
Mon 20/9 - Rest
Tue 21/9 - 4.64 miles @8:37/mi
A return to my first D15 running loop. It felt like a bigger deal in those days.
Wed 22/9 - 4.04 miles @7:33/mi
Another early start in Porterstown for this one. Not easy to hit pace starting at 7:13 AM, but for the second week in a row I decided to copy TbL's session from the day before. This time it was 3 x 1600 (600). After a mile warmup to get rid of some of the slumbers, off I went. Not outrageously fast, and my pace within the reps went up and down depending on where I was on the track - slower on the hilly, windy bits as per. Within a lap (let alone within a 1600) I'd occasionally be going from mile pace down to slower than HMP and back again. Not to worry. The consistency I was looking for was pretty much there in the grand scheme of things. Also, on this occasion no pets or grannies to dodge. However, with the mornings shortening rapidly, I may need to move these sessions to lunchtime fairly soon.
Thu 23/9 - 4.41 miles @8:31/mi
A quick return to D15 parklaps this morning, but this time only the smaller three in ascending order of size.
Fri 24/9 - Rest
Sat 25/9 - Porterstown parkrun
At loooong last, 18 months and 18 days after the last Porterstown parkrun, it was time for most of the old gang to reassemble for the resumption. After a 1.25 mile warmup, I was pleasantly surprised to see what looked like better than expected numbers. Plenty of hiding places so ! I found a spot several rows back, while my neighbours left the rest of us trailing fairly sharpish. I started with a couple of clubmates, with Bill B and several others a few yards up ahead. Passed C before we went into the big field, and Bill along the bottom of the park, but B passed me back before the end of Lap 1, and after that I decided to ease off a bit. I got a bit tired as well mind. Sticky enough morning. Tim was starting to struggle on his way back from injury, and I passed him on the way up to the car park on the second lap. Last lap I didn't really care about time or positions, just getting it finished. 22:47, 16/111, 3rd M45. Quicker than Russborough two weeks ago, and also FWIW faster than my (not) parkrun from last week. Like I say, nice to have the aul local parkrun back! The volunteers did a fine job - we'd a very experienced crew, and you wouldn't have known it was the first in a year and a half.
Sun 26/9 - 8.83 miles @8:54/mi
Family stuff, including a few beers, took up most of the rest of Saturday. This was supposed to be roughly 11.5 miles of Sunday strolling. Up through Clonsilla to the end of Ongar Road, turn around and down the long straight. I spotted a clubmate on the far side not long after I started back down Ongar Road, and I remember wondering would he end up catching me (turns out his pace was slower than mine at that time!) On reaching the Power City roundabout, time to start the "fish loop". Easy downhill to start, but it was starting to heat up, and the dehydration from last night's scoops was starting to kick in. Also, nasty little chafing attack thrown in there. I almost clambered over the N3 bridge. With no improvement on the horizon, on the way up the hill past the NSC I said "f00k this", and turned around, taking the shortest(ish) way home. No lasting damage done, it appears - tomorrow's rest day should be sufficient time for the chafing to clear up. Just under 9 weeks to Clontarf. Thanks for reading! J.10
Mon 27/9 - Rest (planned)
Tue 28/9 - Rest (unplanned)
That chafing hadn't healed to my satisfaction, so I decided I could live with skipping what would have been an easy run.
Wed 29/9 - 5.06 miles @7:50/mi
Time for the midweek session again. One of my "own" this time. I decided on a potentially quite challenging 5 x 1200 (400), again on the Porterstown grass track. Short warmup due to time constraints - mile warmup, few stretches, then straight into it. Like last week, the times won't frighten or inspire anyone on here, but more consistent than I imagined. 5:42/5:37/5:40/5:36/5:33. Nice to get them done before work on a beautiful sunny morning.
Thu 30/9 - 4.14 miles @9:05/mi
That session took more out of the legs than I thought. This was a manky looking plod, mainly in the darkness, and hence thankfully out of most people's plain sight.
Fri 1/10 - Rest
Sat 2/10 - Hartstown parkrun
Nice to return to my nearest and dearest parkrunning neighbours, after an almost two year absence (NYD 2020). Also pleasantly surprised to meet two Porterstown stalwarts at the start, who also ran there last Saturday. Not too many other familiar faces, apart from one of the volunteers - a few speedies marathoning this weekend. As for the parkrun itself, I picked a spot several rows back and tried to find some kind of rhythm. Not sure I was that successful. I think I was somewhere between 12th and 16th for practically the whole thing. Passed a few, passed by a few, that kind of thing. The windy section passing the GAA pitch slowed me down a fair bit on the second lap, but once we turned towards the finish, I'd a bit more pep in my step. Not enough to be bothered chasing down two who on another day I'd have reeled in. Nice to see Sheep walking his dog on my way around.
22:21 (quicker than last week), 14/80, 4th M45.
Sun 3/10 - 6.15 miles @8:50/mi
In Ratoath for this one. There's a roughly two mile loop around the village, which I went around twice, adding some extra bits on to the first one - out to the GAA club and back, as well as diverting up to one of the estates. Quite breezy today, with a difficult enough stretch into the breeze and up a bit of a drag. Nothing remotely comparable to the Wicklow hills of course ! Just under 8 weeks to Clontarf. Thanks for reading! J.10
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!1
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!0
Taking a break from the Manchester marathon "tracking" 🙄
Mon 4/10 - Rest
Tue 5/10 - 4.38 miles @8:37/mi
A 6:14 AM start, for two and a half times around the Carpenterstown loop. Anticlockwise, so three times past the shops and twice through Riverwood. Early morning beats late night for me every time when it comes to running.
Wed 6/10 - No running
Between work calls and real life stuff, I didn't get a chance to try the planned session ( 2 x 2 miles, with 3 min off ) or indeed any session at all. Work life balance, wha' !
Thu 7/10 - 4.20 miles @8:10/mi
Finally made it to Porterstown for an early start to the session. Not the one above, but one which some of my clubmates undertook on Wednesday evening. This was (5 x (300 on/100 off)) x 3. I took 300m AR between the sets. Apart from a zippy opening 300 which was well under sub-6 mile pace, each rep in the first two sets was fairly consistent. Bit of slippage in the last set, but at least I got my last rep up to the level of the first two sets. I resisted the temptation to walk the entire 100 between reps, strong as it was, especially towards the end, where I was counting reps to go rather than reps completed!
Fri 8/10 - Rest
I thought I might get a local shuffle in this evening, but not to be unfortunately.
Sat 9/10 - Navan parkrun
Back to life on the parkrun road, for just my third outside Dublin from a total of 142. Arrived just after 9 AM, but I decided not to bother with a warmup lap in the breeze and the light drizzle. It's 3 and a half laps, so not like I didn't have time. After the briefings we were away, with moi lining up at the front, at least *looking* sleek in my black 100 parkruns top. Slight drag to the top of the course, then left and past the finish. Heading downhill but into the breeze now, wide open to the elements briefly before heading back into the tree cover. Gently veering left all the while, and then we start back up. This is where my lack of research was my downfall. Had I done a warmup lap, I would have known that there was a long drag all the way up the far side of the course. 35 feet in about 0.4 of a mile according to Strava, so not outrageous by any means, but having gone out too fast initially I wasn't really ready for three spins back up. To put it another way - I was third after the first half a lap, 7th with two laps to go, 9th with one remaining. Going up the drag for the last time, a little kid on a bike veered in front of me, and I came to almost a complete stop. Two more passed by me while I was getting moving again. I could only laugh as it took me ages to get by the kid, who seemed to have taken it upon himself to race me. Round the top corner for the last time, and similar to last week, while I might have taken one of those lads on the line, I didn't bother pushing hard to the end. 22:41, 11/95, 2nd M45. Slower than last week's Hartstown parkrun, but still better than Porterstown two weeks ago. Baby steps, it seems.
Sun 10/10 - 7.73 miles @8:09/mi
I was thinking of joining some clubmates for an 8 AM start in PP, but in the end I arrived there shortly after 10, for one of those makey uppy runs that I do there from time to time. From the Papal Cross car park to the Hole In The Wall, turn right and exit the park at the NCR gate (beside Garda HQ). Down Infirmary Road, past the CCJ, and back in the main park gate. I suppose the fact that I added on an extra hill was an indicator of how good as I was feeling. Back to the "usual" lap, and into the hilly side of the park. I definitely felt stronger over the hills than I have done in quite some time, and the splits are proof of that. I would have carried on for longer, but I was a bit stuck for time, so I cut across from OS Road to Furze Road and back to base, for a little over an hour on the feet. Actually my first time running in Phoenix Park since the Glen Cup at the start of September, hard to believe as that may be ! Stranger again, I didn't see one person I knew. Have I really slipped that far out of the loop ?
In terms of races, I got an entry for the Trim 10 mile at the start of February 2022. Having also signed up for another tilt at the Carlingford HM, I should be in decent shape by the time the Connemara HM finally rolls around again. Thanks for reading! J.8
Mon 11/10 - Rest
Tue 12/10 - 4.03 miles @8:30/mi
6:18 AM start for a run to the end of Laurel Lodge and back.
Wed 13/10 - 4.82 miles @8:00/mi
This was the last of the Wednesday evening sessions in Porterstown Park for 2021. A 6 PM start was very necessary with the light fading even early in the session. Two parts to this one - four "short hills" (slightly over 200m), followed by 2/4/6/5/3/1, with 2 mins AR between each of the faster stints. Tricky, but one of the lads kept me company for more or less the whole thing, which was a great help. On the graph you can see the dips and spikes in pace, depending on where we were on the hilly, windy grass track. 6 and 5 were much the same pace, but I was able to pick up my gallop as the stints shortened.
Thu 14/10 - 4.41 miles @8:57/mi
Back to Ratoath, for another pre-work run. Twice around the roughly two mile village loop, shaped like a stingray as Unthought Known commented 😄 I didn't bother adding on extras this time.
Fri 15/10 - Rest
Sat 16/10 - Porterstown parkrun
My local parkrun was 6 years old, and as one of the original volunteers, my association with it is as long as anybody's I suppose. I had it in mind during the week to push for a sub-22, or at least improve on my Hartstown time from two weeks back (22:21). However, by the time I got there and had the chats before starting, I'd lost interest in chasing those little milestones. Starting a long way from the front, I kept it fairly easy, trundling through the first two laps in just over 7 min/mi pace, gaining a place here and there along the way. Last lap I'd just a couple between me and clubmate Tim, and I was confident of catching all three until my hamstring seized up, shortly before we started the drag up to the car park. Not again. You can nearly pinpoint where it happened on the Strava graph. Anyway, for better or worse I finished it out, slower and slower until I was almost at walking pace going through the finish. Positives. 143 in the bag now. Cakes were amazing.
As I was heading away, a thought came to me that parkruns, birthdays and me don't seem to be a good mix. As above, this was Porterstown parkrun's birthday. The last time I picked up a hamstring injury was in the course of a Porterstown (not)parkrun, on my birthday.
Sun 17/10 - Rest
So no run with the gang this morning. Or anyone else. Hopefully this isn't too serious. If not, I plan to shuffle around the inaugural course | Sport Ireland Campus parkrun in Abbotstown next week. Either way, it looks like I'll be wiping down the yoga mat again in the not too distant future . Thanks for reading! J.9
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Fingers crossed its just a minor niggle, 🤞1
A minor niggle it indeed appears to be...still most of this week was spent minding it.
Thu 21/10 - 3.55 miles @9:35/mi
Up for an early start, down to M50 Park, for six laps of that before heading back to base. If nothing else, nice to fire up the numerous little spotlights along the fence which separates the park from the motorway.
Sat 23/10 - Sport Ireland Campus parkrun
Had I been fitter, I could have justified a 3 1/2 hour round trip to south Kilkenny to run the Leinster Novice XC. Instead, I made the short hop across the N3 for this much promoted new parkrun. Arrived nice and early, and this time I actually did get a warmup lap in. The first roughly 60% of the lap is on grass, primarily flat or downhill. However, that is counterbalanced by the long hill along a road back up to the start. Not really steep at any stage, but definitely harder than Navan or Porterstown. Three laps of what we're told is a temporary course, which apparently will change some time after December's Euro XC. Good crowd in attendance. Nice to see Fletch at the start - I don't think there were any other Boardsies in attendance. Being mindful of the need to keep the hammer intact, even though the first mile was a normally comfortable 7:08, I turned down the power for the second and third laps. Even so, at the bottom of the hill on the last lap, I felt a little twinge. Not like last week, but enough that I couldn't chase Bill B and another BHAA veteran (among others) back up the hill to the finish. Definitely not a PB friendly course, although this one was just for enjoyment as far as I was concerned. 23:19, 27/147, 7th M45. A cooldown lap around the XC course brought back plenty of memories of when I ran the Autumn Open there two years ago. It took me long enough to complete one - I was thinking how in the name of jaysis was I able to race five ? Next week will hopefully bring a more "regular" running schedule, as I edge closer to 150 parkruns (now 144) and the Clontarf Half Marathon and Jingle Bells loom larger. Thanks for reading! J.10
Are they hoping to move on to the ‘real’ xc course eventually?1
Yes, that's the plan, at least to some extent. The version currently in place doesn't cross the course at all.0
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Was fortunate to visit Abbotstown/Sport Ireland for work pre-Covid. Did my best not to swear whilst driving past FAI HQ, thanks to a former CEO of that particular organisation. Good to know there's a parkrun out that way.
Moderator: Television, Psychology and Dublin County North.1
Loads of parkruns out that way now alright. I think Hartstown is the only one I've managed to do so far.1
Yes indeed, four in D15 now, although Tyrrelstown has yet to resume post lockdown.1