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PB or not PB...that is the question

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  • Week Beginning: 22/03/2021

    Number of Runs: 1

    Total Distance:
    10 km

    Another shambles of a week :p

    The undoubted and only highlight was my one and only run which was a mid-paced 10K.

    Had a bad flare up on pain so reluctantly went back to A&E but was largely fobbed off by an arrogant doctor who gave me a prescription for Difene to go in tandem with my Tramadol pills :-(

    Then the missus and the kids all got sick on the same day with suspicious flu-like symptoms (had a few aches and pains and fatigue myself) so after ringing the GP we all went for a family outing to the Covid testing centre on Saturday morning. Was convinced they had it tbh so it was a long wait until late on Sunday evening….all negative thankfully.

    Anyway have weaned myself off the painkillers - they aren’t really hitting the pain anyway so I’m just going to try and plough on til it either passes by itself or I end up back in A&E. The urology consultant actually contacted me yesterday so will have a plan in place soon hopefully

    Back to running - waiting for my birthday discount to drop in later in the week…have a pair of Zoom Flys sitting in my basket. They seem to be an entry level carbon plate shoe so I’ll give them a go….I’m telling myself that blowing a chunk of money on runners might give me some subconscious inspiration to get back asap :pac::pac::pac::pac::pac:




  • Week Beginning: 29/03/2021

    Number of Runs: 5

    Total Distance:
    45.8 km

    A combination of fine weather and annual leave resulted in a much more productive running week.

    Did some intervals yesterday for the first time in yonks to follow on from a slowish longish run (12K @4:50 min/km) and a couple of other mid paced sessions (~4:30 - 4:40 min/km).

    Generally feeling pretty good all things considered although the kidney stone still bobbling around so keen to get that sorted asap.

    Zoom Flys should be here this week....will have them well broken in by the time the Boards 5K TT comes around :-)




  • Week Beginning: 05/04/2021

    Number of Runs: 3

    Total Distance:
    30.3 km

    And the boom-bust cycle continues :-)

    Took Monday off and did a solid longish slow run on Tuesday (14.3K @ 4:58 pace).

    The Zoom Flys also arrived and I was itching to test them out so headed off in glorious subshine on Wednesday afternoon to have a crack at my 5K route. By the time I got to my starting point, the temperature had dropped about 10 degrees and it was lashing rain....anyway went off like the clappers and was probably on course for a comfortable ~19:10 with about 800m left when I was struck by a searing pain on my right side/lower back......

    The Zoom Flys may be built for speed but it seems they are also built for helping to move kidney stones :-)

    I limped home and have been zonked on painkillers since...have an appointment with urologist tomorrow so hopefully will have a concrete plan in place to get rid of the fcuker asap.

    Chanced another run this evening, a fairly sedate 10K but no pain this time....I guess the Pegasus don't have the full functionality and versatility of the Zoom Flys.

    Will be out as much as I can in the coming week...still feel in pretty good shape actually




  • Week Beginning: 12/04/2021

    Number of Runs: 2

    Total Distance:
    17.4 km

    More bust than boom last week I'm afraid :-(

    My outpatients appt. with the urologist turned into an overnight admission in order to get a CT scan done (the alternative was to wait 4 months).

    So that knocked me out of my stride a bit for the week....struggling to find time and/or motivation anyway tbh and the niggling pain in my side/ lower back/hip is driving me insane...hoping to have physio on it asap...waiting for text back to confirm an appointment.

    Don't expect to be out much this week...will see what the physio says

    Update: no physio until Thursday evening; have my gear ready to go for lunchtime so will head out to clear my head anyway




  • Week Beginning: 19/04/2021

    Number of Runs: 4

    Total Distance:
    35.2 km

    Not a bad week all things considered.

    Had to give the Boards 5K TT a miss; felt it was too risky in the end.

    The psoas/hip issue I'm having at the moment feels like one that needs to be managed carefully. The physio said it's ok to keep running away but a flat out TT felt a bridge to far.

    Actually really enjoying my running at the minute for some reason - dunno if it's some sort of lockdown side effect or what or just relief at not being sick :pac:

    Anyway last week was mainly handy enough pacing with some 8 x 800s thrown in earlier in the week.

    Will be massaging and stretching the hip as much as I can for the next few days so fingers crossed that settles down asap.

    Nothing else on the horizon atm....as ever, some solid consistent training is the goal


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  • Fair play to you with such a positive attitude amidst the many things that have been thrown at you!! Hopefully no more incidents for a long while now




  • ReeReeG wrote: »
    Fair play to you with such a positive attitude amidst the many things that have been thrown at you!! Hopefully no more incidents for a long while now

    Cheers....feeling pretty much tip top now apart from the hip niggle so hopefully that's the end of the drama :-)




  • Week Beginning: 26/04/2021

    Number of Runs: 5

    Total Distance:
    44.12 km

    A decent few days....I think the penny is finally dropping that running slow is a good thing :-)

    It's something I've struggled with for years...always have a tendency to go flat out (or near it) on every run but finally getting some sense it seems.

    So lots of steady miles at sensible pace with a solid 10K TT (42:00) thrown in.

    The kids are back training every night it seems which is great....I've volunteered to help out and coach with the juveniles at my running club so hopefully starting that soon once the Garda vetting gets sorted. Definitely more at home doing that than the hurling training I was also roped into :-)

    Doing plenty of stretching and strengthening in the hip so it's not bothering me too much.




  • Week Beginning: 03/05/2021

    Number of Runs: 5

    Total Distance:
    50.48 km

    A couple of notable highlights this week....my longest run in a while (18K in the lashing Bank Holiday rain) and perhaps more excitingly...my second fastest 5K (18:55) of all time (!!!)

    Finally got the Zoom Flys out for a proper run....was hoping to run low 19 mins so to dip under was a nice bonus. I didn't feel like I was fully flat out either tbh so there may be a bit more in the tank hopefully :-)

    Fairly solid running outside that....went for a longish hike/walk around Glin yesterday as well which was a nice change of scenery.

    And finally, got a call out of the blue from my GP last week....was bracing for bad news about a blood test or something but it turns out they were offering me a Covid vaccine (!). So I'll be heading off later today for first Pfizer jab....I'm guessing the GP had some surplus and took pity on me. Will possibly be reducing the mileage this week pending my response to the jab.




  • Week Beginning: 10/05/2021

    Number of Runs: 4

    Total Distance:
    49.30 km

    Yet another good week – all I need now is a race to aim for.

    Had my first Covid jab on Monday so expectations were low in terms of running this week but apart from a sore arm I had no symptoms (yet!) so was back on the road on Tuesday.

    Doing most of my running now at 4:45 per km pace and feeling very comfortable on my runs – I now seem to be gliding up hills that I was struggling on before.

    Did a nice session midweek too that I haven’t done in yonks – 8 x 1K @ 10K pace….there was a couple of mild outliers (one too fast and one a bit slow) but overall a good session.

    Headed out for a long run (20K) yesterday in glorious sunshine but was soon hit with torrential rain which was actually strangely enjoyable. Also picked up an unexpected running buddy at half way…a friendly 3 legged sheepdog who kept pace with me for a few miles. He seemed lost so I shooed him off a couple of times and thought I had shook him off about 2K from home. Got home, had a shower and when I looked out the window who was sitting in the middle of the green with every child in the estate petting him??? Yep…my 3 legged buddy had tracked me down :D

    Anyway tldr, several phone calls later I was able to track down the owner and they were re-united later on in the evening.

    No major plans for this week – hopefully there might be some more concrete news on races in the coming weeks


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  • Week Beginning: 17/05/2021

    Number of Runs: 5

    Total Distance: 50.29 km


    Another solid week although a few creaks and niggles starting to surface a bit.

    Started last week with a decent not-quite-flat-out 10K effort (42 mins), followed up with a couple of slow runs, then some hill repeats which I hadn’t done in a while. I’m pretty sure it’s the first time I’ve done hill repeats in daylight (!)

    Was tied up with hurling and juvenile athletics training (and our latest family sport – tennis) over the weekend so the long run was a not so long 10 miler although it felt really easy which is always a good sign. There was also a 10 mile cycle thrown in midweek to shake things up a bit.

    And in other news I’ve entered a race, not a virtual race, but an ACTUAL race. So all things being equal, I will be on the start line for the Clew Bay Half Marathon in late September – feels really uplifting to have something concrete in the calendar to look forward to.

    And following on from that race entry news, I splashed out on a pair of Vaporflys. It is an eye-watering amount to spend on shoes but in my defence (thanks to 30% discount and cashing in more vouchers from work) they only cost me 17 quid in actual money.

    Anyway, I think I’ll be having an easier week this week to give my Achilles and ITB a chance to calm down.




  • Congrats on an actual race entry! It's exciting to have something in the race calendar, hopefully more real live races will start to come on stream. VPs for €17 :eek:




  • Cheers....fingers crossed the race actually happens now but whether it does or not it feels good to have something in the calendar.

    And it would be good prep for DCM if that goes ahead.

    And a bonus as well that it's in my beautiful native Mayo so an excuse to visit :-)

    Haven't seen my parents since last August so will be plenty of trips coming up over the next few weeks and months. Next weekend will be our first visit (my folks are now both fully vaccinated) ...I'll probably throw the gear in the car but running certainly not the main focus




  • It's a long time since last Aug, it will be an emotional reunion for you all. Thank god we are at this stage and hopefully we will never have to stay apart from our loved ones for so long again.




  • ***PB ALERT***PB ALERT***PB ALERT***PB ALERT***PB ALERT***PB ALERT****PB ALERT***PB ALERT*

    I had expectations of breaking my 5K PB at some stage this year but didn't think it would be on a solo time trial on a blustery non-descript Monday at the end of May :-)

    My 5K TT route is a relatively flat 2.5K out and back...the prevailing wind is always head-on on the way out and it was particularly gnarly but a hurricane wouldn't have slowed me down today.

    First km in 3:42, second in 3:48, followed by another 3:48 at the turn. From then on I felt like Eliud Kipchoge with the wind at my back and Zoom Flys on my feet lol :-)

    Finished with a fairly comfortable 3:34 and 3:41.

    Checked the watch when I cooled down a bit and was chuffed to see 18:34 which shaved off 5 seconds off a fairly long-standing PB from a race in Limerick.

    Next target will be a sub 40 10K solo TT I guess...could well end up trying it on the same course as I know every bump and pothole intimately at this stage.




  • Super, congrats on the PB ! Always amazing to get but especially in a TT and iirc Monday was very blustery, you did well even with it behind you for half - i find it never seems to quite make up for the bit you were running into it!




  • Cheers...I didn't think it was a viable prospect yet tbh but everything seemed to align correctly for on Monday :-)

    I'm not sure how much credit I can give to the Zoom Flys really.... suspect I could have ran a similar-ish time in my trusty NB 1400 but they did make some sort of difference even if it was a marginal subliminal one ;-)

    I went through the archives to see when the previous PB was from and lo and behold it was all the way back in 2016(!!) in a 5K race that I led for about 3K, then died on my arse and limped home grimly for 4th place.

    Aside from the shoe technology doping, I think the main uplift is down to a mix of recent changes...steady consistent training for a few weeks have helped, I've also lost ~5kg since overhauling my diet late last year so that has to be a factor too I guess. I'm now a lactose-and-gluten-free-pescatarian.....luckily the restaurants have been closed...I'd be a nightmare ordering stuff lol




  • Week Beginning: 24/05/2021

    Number of Runs: 4

    Total Distance: 27.66 km

    I’ve already spoilered the highlight of the week – a slightly unexpected 5K PB last Monday :-)

    A pretty standard week besides tbh – have a few creaks and aches starting to make themselves known so took a break from Friday onwards. Spent the weekend in Mayo body boarding, great to the get to the coast and great to get into the water….and even better again to have a wetsuit on lol.

    Actually ended up going to beaches both days near Louisburg that I suspect are on or very near the route of the race I’ve entered in September – lots of hills and exposed stretches in store by the looks of it.

    The VaporFlys arrived as well last week – they are a frankly ridiculous shade of crimson pink/orange….maybe the garish colour is to promote better performance (?)….anyone turning up to the start line in those yokes would be subconsciously shamed into running as fast as possible.

    No major running plans for this week – will be upping the stretching and avoiding speedwork this week I think to give the body a break.




  • ***PF ALERT***PF ALERT***PF ALERT***PF ALERT***PF ALERT***PF ALERT****PF ALERT***PF ALERT*

    So although I've improved at listening to my body, it seems I'm not quite good enough :-(

    I thought I was managing a fairly routine and minor Achilles flare up but it quicky developed into the dreaded PF.

    I haven't had Plantar Fasciitis since 2012 and my ill fated build up to the London marathon. I guess the recent good weather and working from home claustrophobia has pushed me into the realm of overtraining.

    Anyway sitting here with an ice pack atm....have booked physio next week for a loosen out which will help. I think I have a reasonable base established now so not overly concerned about taking some time off and recovering properly




  • Week Beginning: 31/05/2021

    Number of Runs: 2

    Total Distance: 19.31 km

    From PB to PF in one short week – there’s a link in there somewhere I’m sure :-)

    It’s been brewing for a while in hindsight but I probably ignored it in my haste to get out of the house and clear my head on the road.

    The PF has settled down a bit now, going for physio this evening so hopefully things will loosen further after that – I haven’t ran since last Tuesday but it’s been a busy few days nonetheless…..went cycling (~10 miles) on Weds and Thursday, had my second Pfizer jab on Friday, went on a mad hike up in Mayo on Saturday (it was meant be a gentle 6.5K loop but I think we took a wrong turn or something and it ended up like something out of Irelands’ Fittest family), then went body boarding and swimming on Sunday.

    Will pop out for a quick spin on the bike at lunchtime today to keep things ticking over – I guess some gentle jogging might be on the cards later in the week if all goes to plan.

    Ended up driving more of the route of the Clew Bay Half at the weekend – travelling from one beach to another; I don’t think my PB will be under threat on that course in fairness!


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  • Week Beginning: 07/06/2021

    Number of Runs: 2

    Total Distance: 9.25 km

    Took a rest from running after physio on Tuesday.

    Did around 50K on the bike over three days...it's a rattly, heavyish hybrid adorned with various carriers, mudguards etc. so not exactly built for speed but a reasonable alternative in the circumstances.

    Have been stretching and icing the Achilles as often as possible and feel like it's improving, albeit slowly....went out for a couple of very slow jogs this evening and Friday so will be aiming to alternate with the bike for the next few days




  • Week Beginning: 14/06/2021

    Number of Runs: 2

    Total Distance: 13 km

    Well my plans for a phased return to the road is literally, metaphorically and actually on ice :-(

    Tried a couple of gentle shortish jogs but didn't get the positive response I was hoping for tbh...still a bit creaky, leggy and achey so back to square one again now.

    Might just write off the next couple of weeks altogether I think...feel like I could make things considerably worse by trying to force a comeback.

    Still ploughing away on my rattly hybrid so fitness levels not falling off a cliff just yet.

    But the main athletics highlight came yesterday at the County Juvenile Track and Field Championships. I recently joined up with the coaching team and it's been a great experience so far I have to say...I'd hesitate to label myself as a coach, I'm more of a assistant at this stage.

    It was a long day but very rewarding...great to see the kids competing and thriving. Such a refreshing change from hurling (where I also perform my assistant coach expertise) where half of the kids obviously don't want to be there at all.

    My young fella was making his debut as well and got on great....seeing him power down the final straight to hang onto a medal was amazing. I actually got really emotional and was glad I was wearing sunglasses as the other coaches were over congratulating us :-)

    So more cycling and stretching on the horizon this week and hopefully the PF starts to ease off




  • Cartman78 wrote: »
    Week Beginning: 14/06/2021

    Number of Runs: 2

    Total Distance: 13 km

    Well my plans for a phased return to the road is literally, metaphorically and actually on ice :-(

    Tried a couple of gentle shortish jogs but didn't get the positive response I was hoping for tbh...still a bit creaky, leggy and achey so back to square one again now.

    Might just write off the next couple of weeks altogether I think...feel like I could make things considerably worse by trying to force a comeback.

    Still ploughing away on my rattly hybrid so fitness levels not falling off a cliff just yet.

    But the main athletics highlight came yesterday at the County Juvenile Track and Field Championships. I recently joined up with the coaching team and it's been a great experience so far I have to say...I'd hesitate to label myself as a coach, I'm more of a assistant at this stage.

    It was a long day but very rewarding...great to see the kids competing and thriving. Such a refreshing change from hurling (where I also perform my assistant coach expertise) where half of the kids obviously don't want to be there at all.

    My young fella was making his debut as well and got on great....seeing him power down the final straight to hang onto a medal was amazing. I actually got really emotional and was glad I was wearing sunglasses as the other coaches were over congratulating us :-)

    So more cycling and stretching on the horizon this week and hopefully the PF starts to ease off

    That's fabulous, I love the proud dad moment! Congrats to your son.




  • ariana` wrote: »
    That's fabulous, I love the proud dad moment! Congrats to your son.

    Cheers...he's still buzzing today :-)

    Honestly, if he never runs competitively again or if he goes on to win multiple Olympic titles I don't think I'll ever forget that race on Sunday ! :-)




  • Despite being crocked atm I entered a race today.

    In 2 weeks time :-)

    It's the Dundrum (Co. Tipp) 10K....I've done it a few times before so hopefully I'm approaching normal by then.

    Pretty much convinced at this stage that my current malaise is linked to vaccine.

    Worst case scenario I hobble around on the night and collect another one of their fabulous towels ;-)




  • Week Beginning: 21/06/2021

    Number of Runs: 2

    Total Distance: 7.8 km


    A bit of a higgledy-piggledy week really.

    Got a couple of cycles in and two very short runs, mixed in with some body boarding, tennis, walking and multiple underage sporting activities.

    The PF and general leg ache/stiffness seems to be easing off finally so hopefully whatever the fupp was causing it is gone.

    More convinced now that is had to be some sort of reaction to the vaccine….otherwise I might be going mad!

    I very ambitiously and impulsively signed up for the Coillte 10K next Wednesday as well – planning on getting a few runs in ahead of it but won’t be aiming to shoot the lights out obviously. If nothing else, at least taking part in an actual race will help restore a sense of normality




  • Week Beginning: 28/06/2021

    Number of Runs: 3

    Total Distance: 24.3 km

    A fairly satisfying week of cautious running and aggressive cycling.

    Trying to break through my own imaginary barrier of 10 miles in 40 mins on the bike...have gotten close a couple of times but missed out so far. Could probably do it with relative ease on a flat route on a lighter bike but it's keeping the fitness up either way.

    Whatever malaise I had seems to be easing for sure....still convinced it was an inflammatory reaction to the vaccine, with a sprinkling of overtraining thrown in for good measure :-)

    Still stretching the bejaysus out of lower legs and hips so should make it to the line for the race on Wednesday at least.

    Have zero expectations of anything tbh for the 10K....a PB (<39 mins) is definitely out of scope given my four week involuntary taper, a sub 40 would be amazing but also unlikely if I'm being realistic. Despite all that, I'll still aim to go out at 4 min per km pace and hang on as long as possible....it's a looped course so if I end up detonating I'll have the pleasure of seeing Mick Clohissy and the other invited elites bombing past me :-)




  • RACE REPORT


    COILLTE 10K DUNDRUM Co.Tipperary 07/07/2021


    Finally an actual race…..my first time toeing the line in action since the DCM in 2019 (!)


    In ‘ordinary’ times I would have given this a miss as my Achilles/PF is still nowhere near right and I only ran 62K last month, haven’t done a speed session since May blah blah blah blah blah blah.


    Anyway headed off yesterday evening with my support team (ie. my wife….accompanying me to a local race for the first time ever as the kids are up with my parents for a few weeks :-) )


    Got there in plenty of time and did a gentle warm up while spotting the local and national elites swanning about. 


    My warm up was on a gravel track and it wasn’t until after my last set of pre-race strides that I realized I had a bunch of mini pebbles in one of my shoes….which led to some frantic foostering and a dash to the start line (I actually think Mick Clohissy, Sergiu Coibanu & co. were already there so I was well beyond the boundaries of being fashionably late)


    Anyway panic over and off we went. The atmosphere on the start line was fantastic….you could see and sense the relief of everyone that was there.


    As expected the pace was pretty hectic for the first KM (3:41) but I soon settled down and as usual was pretty much running on my own after that once the field spread out. 


    Settled into a comfortable pace and was motoring along nicely for the next couple of KM (3:56, 3:57) and then I inexplicably dropped off the pace for no apparent reason (4:06). I was feeling pretty good so think I might have just lost concentration/focus for a couple of mins and zoned out….something similar has happened to me on a couple of 5K TT’s in the last few months so something to watch out for maybe. 


    I had been worrying about the ankle/heel blowing up early on so the handful of runners I saw dropping out and hobbling before halfway was a stark reminder and warning to take it handy. Got back in the groove (3:55) and breezed through halfway in a not too shabby 19:36.


    The novelty of being back doing a real race had worn off a bit at this stage and I knew I would have to really slog it out for the second half given my recent disastrous training.


    Kept the pace going without too much strain (3:56, 3:57) but felt the wheels starting to come off a from 7K onwards….got passed by a couple of Cork runners I’d been with for a bit and just couldn’t stay with them. 


    Clung on at 3:58 for the eight KM (31:28 for 5 miles) and started a fairly muted kick for home. Crept under the 4 mins again (3:58) for 9 KM and then hit the ‘800M to go’ sign which must have given me a boost.


    Turning the final corner onto the finishing stretch gave my aching leg another mini boost and it was full bore now to the line with all the engine warning lights flashing. 


    So it turns out I did the last KM in a semi-respectable 3:51 to give a finishing time of 39:18 which was beyond my expectations starting off tbh.


    Went through my Garmin archives today and that time is my fastest on that course and my 4th fastest time ever (!) which again raises the question….what the fupp was I at years ago!! Lol 


    I think the dietary changes and general health improvements I’ve made this year have made a huge difference tbh and if I could just get a clear run of solid training (eg. no kidney stones, vaccine reactions, overtraining) I could make some serious progress with my running.

    FWIW - I wore the Zoom Flys on the night....hard to know what uplift effect they had tbh...but from what I saw pretty much everyone that ran sub 40 mins was wearing some form of carbon plate shoes.

    A great night overall and hopefully a sign of things to come 





  • So the combination of holidays and heatwave have put running on hold for the last while.

    I have packed the running gear but suspect it might be in the darkest corner of the roof box atm.

    The last few days have been all about body boarding, sorbet, tofu sandwiches and gluten free beer.

    I had hoped that the rest might be good for my dodgy Achilles/plantar fasciitis but it doesn't seem to be the case. At this stage I'm becoming less certain that it's PF, the pain seems to be very concentrated on a specific point on the solder of my heel (rather than a wider area incl the arches).

    Anyway, roll on the county 4 mile championship in early August



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  • Another week of sun, sand, sea and......... plantar fasciitis :-(

    Plenty of walking and hiking and sea swimming but alas no running.

    Still feeling in reasonable shape generally....my newish diet regime has deffo limited the normal holiday excesses.

    I've made an appointment with a different physical therapist for the week after next to see if he can shed any light on my ankle/heel issue



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