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"And why do we fall Bruce?"



  • Registered Users Posts: 3,462 ✭✭✭Comic Book Guy

    Oh, I almost forgot!
    For anyone that hasn't seen it...........Batman and Nirvana together, consider me in fan boy heaven :pac:

  • Registered Users Posts: 3,462 ✭✭✭Comic Book Guy

    August 24th- 5 miles at easy.
    An out and back along the N5 after lunch. Timed it to coincide with collecting the kids from Cul Camp down at the local GAA pitch.
    Average of 8:42/mile.

    August 25th- 11 mile progression
    Awful day out for this one, driving wind and rain. Was supposed to be a 15 mile run but only had a window to do 11 with dropping one of the kids to her friends house and my wife being on nights.
    Tale of 2 halves with this run. First half into the wind and rain, tough enough going even at a relaxed pace. Practically jogging on the spot anytime a lorry rushed past me! Much easier second half with the elements at my back. Broke it into usual 3 phases- 3 @ 8:10, 4@ 7:50, and 4@ 7:30.
    Absolutely soaked through when I got home. Uncomfortable shower moment after it due to mix of wet t shirt chaffing and nips :o
    Average of 7:46/mile.

    August 26th- 6 miles @ easy
    Handy enough run in the bog road and back. Nothing too exciting about it. Amazing how different the weather was in just over 24 hours, lovely sunny afternoon out for this one.
    Got home and took my runners off at the back door and walked into the kitchen, utility room, back into the kitchen, out to the hall and onto the stairs before something made me turn around and see a trail of bloody foot prints :eek: Ok, ok keep calm I might still get away with this as my wife is having her tea/breakfast before heading to work. Grab a wipe and get to work when my daughter comes down the stairs and asks what all that on the floor. She then goes to get her 2 brothers and loudly tells them to come on for a game of follow the treasure map trail! The gig was up, thanks blabber mouth!!
    Average of 8:52/mile.

    August 27th- 13 mile progression run
    Parked up on the old main road on the way home from work. An out and back route for this one. The old main road is fairly boring as it goes through bog land so nothing of note to keep you distracted. Then into a back road that I haven't been on in an age.
    A couple of minutes before getting to the halfway point I meet a couple of elderly women out walking. We exchange hellos and I move on. Do the turn around shortly after and few mins after there they are up ahead but they are going same way as me now. Its one of those back roads with grass growing up the middle of it and they are taking up the full width. It then starts raining so they put their hoods up so I'm now doubting whether they are going to hear me approach. I don't think a loud cough is appropriate in the present circumstances so resolve to loudly say Excuse me from about 15 metres behind them.
    I come up to that mark and am about to say it when they have obviously reached their halfway point and do a U-turn. I absolutely lift them out of it with fright!! Make my apologies and continue on.
    The run is again divided into the 3 pace groups from the 11 mile run. Only annoying thing is despite it being a quiet back road I have to pull in and stop 3 times to allow cars to pass me from behind.
    Average of 7:44/mile.

    August 28th- 7 miles GA with strides
    Another day in the office so did this one on the way home from work again. Meant to do it at lunchtime but forgot to pack a towel, and even social distancing wouldn't save me there!
    Ticked the miles off at GA pace. Took in an even quieter road than previous day for part of the run but yet again I had to stop and step into the grass bank to let cars pass on 3 occasions!
    Only had to do 6 100 metre strides towards the end so handy enough day at the office.
    Average of 7:44/mile.

    August 29th- 18 miles with 13@ 6:50
    The plan was for 16 miles with 12 at 6:50 pace but extended it out to partially make up for missed miles on Tuesday and said I'd keep going to half marathon distance at 6:50 pace if it felt ok.
    Beautiful morning out to start, sun was absolutely beating down for the first half but it got progressively gloomier on the homeward bound section.
    Started into the pacier miles after a 2 mile warm up. They went by reasonably comfortably tbh so pushed on into the 13th mile just to get a sub 1:30 HM time which is only the second time I've managed that. Almost 2 and a half minutes quicker than I did the Longford HM just over a year ago and felt I could have knocked a few more miles out at that pace (not another 13 mind or anywhere close!) so happy enough with that run.
    Average of 7:05/mile.

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,007 ✭✭✭Lambay island

    That going up on grass banks to let cars pass, must be very frustrating. Whats the story with the blood? Did you bring home some road kill for lunch?

  • Registered Users Posts: 3,462 ✭✭✭Comic Book Guy

    That going up on grass banks to let cars pass, must be very frustrating. Whats the story with the blood? Did you bring home some road kill for lunch?

    Haha yeah I'm like a family pet here D bringing home the roadkill for praise!
    The result of a crude job I did cutting my nails. A side career as a beautician doesn't await me!

    The cars thing is annoying alright, like the road isn't even that narrow but they keep the car just ticking over behind me even when I slow down and skirt the extreme of the road until I stop to let them by. I'm obviously a double of a truck or tractor in their heads.
    Even last year I remember it happening to me with a woman in a jeep who was coming up behind me and there was a clearing not far up ahead where I could have moved into to let nervous nelly pass me but no she starts beeping the horn for me to clear the road straight away!!

  • Registered Users Posts: 10,432 ✭✭✭✭Murph_D

    In Donegal you get a lot of cars just whizzing past. Have experienced a few that were too close for comfort, so i usually step into the ditch now whenever I hear anything coming from behind. Have picked up a few ticks for my trouble! :eek:

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  • Registered Users Posts: 3,462 ✭✭✭Comic Book Guy

    Murph_D wrote: »
    In Donegal you get a lot of cars just whizzing past. Have experienced a few that were too close for comfort, so i usually step into the ditch now whenever I hear anything coming from behind. Have picked up a few ticks for my trouble! :eek:

    They were on ya that quick, flip. Make sure and keep an eye on the bite marks if ya ever get one again, a work colleague had an awful time of it with Lymes Disease.

  • Registered Users Posts: 3,462 ✭✭✭Comic Book Guy

    August 31st- 9 miles GA

    Handy run around the bog loop after lunch.
    Average of 7:57/mile.

    September 1st- 9 miles including 4 x 800 metres

    Kids back to school today including our youngest nervously lining up at the door. He got on grand afterwards!
    The plan had 6 intervals in it but I went with 4 instead just to break myself back into these sessions. 3 miles at GA and then into them around the same bog loop road as yesterday.
    Plan tells us to do them at 5k pace. I've never raced 5k :o so not sure what pace to go with but opt for 5:45 saying 800 metres isn't that far!
    Big mistake!! First interval is into a really strong headwind that is almost breaking my spirit with each and every stride. Pace is all over the shop and I'm not enjoying this one bit. Manage to get in at exactly 5:45 but the effort was a lot more given the wind and I'm wrecked already.
    The second and third reps are on after I have taken a 90 degree turn meaning the wind is fully side on now but not nearly as tough as before.
    Paces are still all over the place meaning I do the second interval in 5:35 followed by a third at 5:44. I'm now really glad that I went with 4 and not 6! Final interval again starts on the fast side (stupid belief that the faster I go the quicker this pain is over!!) and halfway through it I have to take on a climb, nothing serious but totally drains me. Finish this interval in a heap at 5:49. Take a moment and then do the 3 odd miles home.
    This was described as a recovery week in the plan :eek:

    Sept 2nd- 6 mile recovery run

    Late night run up and down the N5 in the hi viz and head lamp. Crap night out, rain and wind but nice to loosen out the legs and first step in recovering my pride from yesterday's "effort"!
    Average of 8:55/mile.

    Sept 3rd- 11 mile progression run

    Did this one after dropping kids to school. A straight up and down to Scramoge hill and back again.
    Another awful day out with rain and wind straight into my face for the outward bound journey, it all helps with the progression element of the run though! Could feel a blister coming on the ball of my foot the previous day and this one in the rain really nailed it home. Going to give up on the Adidas Boston 8s for a while, just too tight.
    Average of 7:41/mile.

    Sept 4TH- 7 miles with strides

    Supposed to be 8 miles but was a bit tight for time so did the 7 mile loop of the old N5 and new N5 up from home. Blister felt fine running, no discomfort. Very sore later that evening though despite putting on one of those compeed plasters on it.
    Average of 7:33/mile.

    Sept 5th- 16 miles

    Having an issue with the heart rate sensors staying on max power on my Garmin 235 so that it drains the battery pretty quick. Forgot to turn them off going to bed so the watch was dead when I woke the following morning and our electricity was also out so had to do this run without it.
    Felt pretty weird to be honest! Tried to maintain what felt like an honest effort the whole way round. Took in the bog loop and added the previous days old/new N5 loop to complete the run.
    Looking at the clock in my mums before and after dropping off the gang tells my that I did it in about 1:57 so an average of 7:19/mile so quicker than I was supposed to do but was fairly comfortable all the same.
    Blister was really sore for few hours afterwards and I couldn't help walking on the outside of my foot for the rest of the day which of course made that side sore! Compeed plaster seems to have done it's job since though thankfully.

    Last night we got the email that our local 5 mile/HM/three quarter marathon was off and was going to be a virtual event instead. Understandable decision and I knew it was coming but disappointing all the same, was looking forward to giving the shorter distance a bash.
    Wasn't important in the big scheme of things as an hour later I heard that a friend's dad had passed away. I only passed him and his wife the day before during my run while they were out for a quiet walk. We exchanged friendly hellos and he seemed in great form :(

  • Registered Users Posts: 3,462 ✭✭✭Comic Book Guy

    Sept 7th- 15 mile progression run

    Work stuff and kids swimming lessons meant I didn't get out for this run until almost 8 pm. Headed of with the hi viz and carrying the head torch to stick on later in the run. Had no route in mind so went up and down a mish mash of local roads on a whim. Hit the 3 pace ranges handy enough.
    Average of 7:48/mile.

    Sept 8th- 6 miles @ easy

    An up and down along the old main road. Nothing very exciting but absolutely lovely afternoon out for a run.
    Average of 8:52/mile.

    Sept 9th- 12 miles with 7 @ 6:30

    Did this one around the bog loop on the way home from day in the office.
    Legs felt heavy enough all day so was dreading this one and suffered a severe lack of motivation for even getting out of the car once parked up. Headed up the road away from the loop just to add on distance to ensure I wouldn't have to run past the car at the end to reach 12 miles.

    Even in these warm up miles I was procrastinating like mad and asking myself what's the bloody point of this! Finished the 3 miles at GA warm up and talked myself into it. Played mind games with myself to keep me going with stuff like "get to 5k anyways for Strava, ok lets get to 30 mins at this pace etc. etc."! Passed a farmer trying to move cattle into a holding pen along the road around one corner. of course me motoring by gave them a fright so had to shout in an apology :o Got through it eventually with all 7 miles completed with splits of 6:31, 6:27, 6:23, 6:22, 6:22, 6:21, 6:23. So sub 40 for the 10k for a second fastest time for the distance according to Strava afterwards.
    Average of 7:02/mile.

    Sept 10th- 6 miles @ easy

    A run over the border and into Leinster for this one. No major carry over from yesterdays session. Most difficult thing was doing it less than an hour after dinner! The youngest lad came home from school the previous day with a bit of a runny nose etc. so of course I picked it up too.
    Average of 8:58/mile.

    Sept 11th- 22 mile progression run

    Supposed to be doing this run over the weekend but our eldest was making his communion on the Saturday and while my wife is very understanding and accommodating when it comes to my running I wasn't going to push it!

    Out just after 7am on a horrible murky grey misty morning. First few miles were a bit uncomfortable as I was a bit chesty from the cold I picked up but this cleared about 20 mins in. Just a matter of ticking through the miles after that with every 2 miles bringing me another 9% of the distance completed (anything to keep my mind distracted!).
    Took in the bog road route for this one. Had my water stashed 5 miles into the run and was able to incorporate a 5-6 mile mini loop to come back to it a few more times. Happy to get thru the 3 pace ranges for the run as planned although once I went thru 18 miles and each mile after I had that internal battle where I'm telling myself I have ran far enough now to justify stopping the watch and saving it while stopping to walk/break. Thankfully I ignore it to complete the full run!
    Average of 7:47/mile.

    Was supposed to get out on Sunday for a recovery run but my nose was like a tap so thought better of it and gave it a pass on this occasion.

    The Longford Royal Canal Marathon which I was training towards got canned yesterday. Not unexpected but still disappointing. Will see out the remaining weeks of the plan and see where it takes me.
    I put 26.2 miles into the Garmin Connect route planner when I heard just for the giggles. First route it gave me was up around Sliabh Ban and the wind turbines, second go at it and it was sending me thought the busiest streets in Longford town, eh no thanks!!

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,500 ✭✭✭Laineyfrecks

    Well done on the training to date, it's very hard to keep motivated when your goal race is cancelled...

    You sound exactly like me with all the mind games haha, whatever keeps us going really :D

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,007 ✭✭✭Lambay island

    I see Healy mentioned a possible pacing gig, Maybe hes the man to get us both sub 3. ;) Although I will probably be locked in Dublin.

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  • Registered Users Posts: 3,462 ✭✭✭Comic Book Guy

    I see Healy mentioned a possible pacing gig, Maybe hes the man to get us both sub 3. ;) Although I will probably be locked in Dublin.

    Oh the thoughts of trying to keep pace with ye pair of thoroughbreds!

  • Registered Users Posts: 735 ✭✭✭Treviso

    Yea you'd never keep up with them, with all of those bags of sand you carry with you :pac:

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,007 ✭✭✭Lambay island

    Treviso wrote: »
    Yea you'd never keep up with them, with all of those bags of sand you carry with you :pac:

    My thoughts exactly haha

  • Registered Users Posts: 3,462 ✭✭✭Comic Book Guy

    Sept 14th- 8 miles GA with strides

    First lunch time run while in the office in a good while. Very quiet along the full route now that the schools are back. Handy 6 miles before getting into the strides. 10 x 20 second efforts with 40 seconds off in between. I probably do these too fast but nice to push the legs all the same.
    Average of 7:40/mile.

    Sept 15th- 15 mile progression run

    Started this along the canal in Clondra. Took in a new gravel path I noticed a few week ago to see where it went, just out into the middle of a now disused Bord na Mona bog to one of the old railway lines so had to double back. Then took in the path along the canal for a few miles before looping back onto the public road and back into Clondra village. Felt comfortable going through the 3 pace zones but considering they are only in the "hopeful MP pace" + 10-20% that should be the case!
    Average of 7:42/mile.

    Sept 16th- 6 miles at easy.

    Back in the office again today so just a handy shuffle during lunch break.
    Average of 8:56/mile.

    Sept 17th-9 miles with 5 x 600m intervals.

    Trip around the bog loop. 3 miles at GA pace before starting into the intervals. Was looking to keep them around the 5:45 pace but started each and every one too fast meaning they came in at 5:41, 5:31, 5:27, 5:26, and 5:34. Thankfully the plan didn't have a 6th interval!!
    Average of 7:30/mile.

    Sept 18th- 18 mile progression run

    With my wife working the weekend and one of my sons having a football match and my daughter starting back at stage school I brought this run forward to Friday as I knew I wouldn't get it in over the weekend.
    Really warm out so stashed a bottle of water along the route before starting into it. Nothing too exciting about the run, just a matter of chugging through the miles.
    Average of 7:44/mile.

    As I write this I still have that head cold, feel fine apart from the need to never go anywhere without making sure I have some tissues with me. Its not affecting my running but my running probably isn't helping me get over it! Will keep trucking for now.

  • Registered Users Posts: 3,462 ✭✭✭Comic Book Guy

    Sept 21st- 10 miles with 6 x 1k intervals

    Back to the usual bog loop for this one. 2 miles at GA before starting into the first interval. First 3 weren't too bad, bit of a headwind for the second one so they came in at 5:43 min/mile, 5:48 and 5:39. A steepish hill of about 200 metres at the very end of the 4th rep almost killed me- 5:49. Really slowed down the recovery run after this one and got through the 5th at 5:44 and despite dying a death halfway through the final one I managed to get in at 5:39.
    Que me bent over double for a minute and of course a car comes along and catches me! Must have looked a right clown.
    Average of 7:14/mile.

    Sept 22nd- 15 mile progression run

    Back around the same loop as yesterday with a few more mini loops added in. Of course the neighbour who came across me the previous day wasn't out to see a more composed run today! Did the 3 x 5 mile blocks at the usual 8:10, 7:50 and 7:30 paces.
    Average of 7:44/mile.

    Sept 23rd- 7 miles @ easy

    Working from home today so did this before the first school run. Nothing too exciting, just a nice and handy loop around.
    Average of 8:55/mile.

    Sept 24th- 12 mile progression run
    Same type run as Tuesday but did it all the Leinster side of the Shannon today. Just up and out of a few cul de sacs in the neighbouring village followed by a loop up and back via the Royal Canal. Only lifted my t short, socks and shorts when leaving home in the morning. Luckily I had those blister causing Adidas in the boot and they worked ok today.
    Average of 7:44/mile once again!

    Sept 25th- 5 miles @ easy
    A handy lunch time run from the office. Only thing of note was I totally forgot to pack a towel. Had to do the shopping on the way home before coaching kids GAA so knew I wouldn't fit it in otherwise. Managed to drip dry so to speak and using an extra t short I had packed to finish the process :)
    Average of 8:52/mile.

    Sept 26th- 19+ miles with 15 @ 6:50 pace
    Out just after 7am. Our youngest had come into our room during the night so I swapped beds with him. Had to creep back into my room before going for my t shirt but couldn't find any gloves in the dark.
    Really cold out, cars were well frosted over and a decent fog down. Arms were freezing early on but nothing compared to my hands which took a good 40 mins before they started feeling like my own again!
    2 miles at GA and then into it. Felt comfortable early doors apart from the hands which were turning various shades of red. Had my bottle of water stashed just after mile 5. Picked it up and there was a small block of ice in it! Needless to say it was breath taking refreshing and remained so on the next couple of loops I did back to it during the course of the run. First time I didn't finish a bottle on these long runs. Run went fine and the 15 splits were all pretty consistent in the 6:42-6:51 band. The 2 and a bit mile cool down afterwards was almost the toughest part! Stomach felt really empty towards the end and was absolutely starving!
    Average of 7:02/mile.

    I had vouchers for my brother in laws recovery room in Carrick on Shannon so said I would take my first trip down. 20 mins in those compression boots- weird feeling, like a blood pressure monitor but funny felling your actual pulse in your legs. Then 10 mins in a 1 degree C ice bath. First minute was tough but the Utd game on the big screen beside me proved a useful distraction. I knew there would also be photographic evidence from my Liverpool supporting Brother in Law if I chickened out. 10 mins in sauna and 10 mins in Jacuzzi (damn glad the sequence of those 3 wasn't in reverse!!)

    Sept 27th- 4 miles @ easy
    A run not in the plan but said it would be no harm. Brought one of my sons out on his bike for the company. Hand enough up and down with no major carry over from the previous day.

    15 weeks of the plan done and that's definitely the first where I really felt the fatigue effect. Nothing major but legs had that drained type feeling before heading out on runs apart from today and yesterdays ones. Even has me almost asleep on the couch come 10-10:30pm which isn't like me!
    Still through it all I managed to record a new weekly high mileage best of just under 73 miles so I'll take anything I can get!

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,799 ✭✭✭Huzzah!

    74 miles - that's some week, J. You're training really well.

    How did the legs feel after the recovery room session?

  • Registered Users Posts: 3,462 ✭✭✭Comic Book Guy

    Huzzah! wrote: »
    74 miles - that's some week, J. You're training really well.

    How did the legs feel after the recovery room session?

    Thanks E. Great to see your log back and the miles climbing!

    Yeah it made a difference that evening alright, no lingering feeling of tiredness or tightness in the legs.
    My voucher covered the whole session but if I was paying for it myself I'd probably limit it to the compression boots and ice bath and just use the shower to thaw out afterwards.

  • Registered Users Posts: 3,462 ✭✭✭Comic Book Guy

    September 28th- 9 miles GA with 5 x 600 metre intervals.

    WFH again today so fitted this one in before lunch and first of the school pick ups. Out around the bog loop again. Decided to push these intervals a bit more this week as there was only 5 and they were short. First one at 5:28, second one I had to ease well off in the middle of it to let a car safely by me before getting back up to speed again and got it at 5:29, next at 5:26 but really feeling it now. Hit that awkward hill again during the 4th for a 5:31 and was well bet for the 5th at 5:34. Obligatory stop at the end of this one to catch my breath before the shuffle home.

    Sept 29th- 14 mile progression run

    Legs felt lethargic even before setting off on this one. Chanced taking in the quiet road where I got caught having to pull onto grass bank last time but no problems this time. Met those couple of women that I inadvertently frightened the last time but met them head on both times today so no frights today! The lethargic feeling went after a few miles and hit the 3 pace blocks with no issues.

    Sept 30th- 6 miles easy with strides

    Legs defo felt tired today for this lunch time run from the office. Easy pace just under 9 minute miles with 6 20 second strides towards the end, was able to push these out but glad it was 6 and not 10 all the same.

    Oct 1st- 4 miles at easy

    Legs had that drained feeling again today so just a handy out and back during lunch time in the office again. Was actually in the plan for 5 but took a mile off because of that lethargy.

    Oct 2nd- Tarmonbarry Virtual 5 mile race

    Had been really looking forward to this one before Covid happened and cancelled everything just to get a feeling for racing something shorter.
    Took it on as a virtual race just to see how I had progressed if anything in this marathon training block.
    Initially had an aim of sub 30 mins for it but had that drained type feeling in the legs the last couple of days so wasn't at all confident about this one at all. Procrastination was the order of the morning before finally biting the bullet.
    A 1 mile warm up in our lane and out with a few strides thrown in before I toed the start line. Profile wise the first mile is the easiest having a nice 400 metre downhill bit in it so planned to attack from the start and see how I felt. First mile came in at 5:49 and I was motoring nicely. Took a gamble and kept the pace up in a misguided belief I could bank the time so mile 2 came in at 5:49 again.
    In off the main road now doing the back road loop and the pain train was definitely on the way. halfway in and I'm frigged. Negative thoughts are flooding my head and its begging me to call it a 5k TT and just jog the loop tomorrow instead as a "training run". Managed to tough it out but pace had dropped and this mile was in at 6:03. Hadn't done serious damage to my sub 30 min goal so kept plugging along. Managed to lift it for Mile 4 and got in at 5:57 to erase the loss in the previous mile.
    Last mile and I'm well and truly in the red zone. First part of it is a uphill that is actually short enough but feels like Everest now and I can feel the pace fall and fall which my watch confirms. Eventually reach the peak and now I have the benefit of a downhill into the village. in my minds eye I had pictured this as the start of a glorious sprint to the line but that isn't happening but I'm able to lift the pace. Into the village and safely across the N5 and its another uphill towards the finish at the football pitch. I'm looking at my watch almost the whole time now and I now know the course is measuring short. Cross the finish line and my watch says 4.90 miles. Balls, would feel bad at not finishing the 5 mile so keep going and eventually hear the beep not far from the start line.
    Exhausted and doubled over with that metallic bloody type taste at the back of my mouth, a sensation I haven't felt in a long time. Happy to record 29:45. Short cool down to finish it out.

    Oct 4th- 16 mile progression run

    Absolutely horrible morning for this one. My wife was working and I had to be back for my son's u10 GAA game more so because I'm one of the coaches so had to cut the distance back from the planned 20 miles.
    Headed into and around Longford town for this one as I hadn't headed in this direction for what felt like a long time.
    First block of miles were handy out with the driving wind and rain at my back. Was able to hit all the prescribed paces handy enough but Mile 14 was tough, heading right bang straight into the wind and rain. My light rain jacket felt like a full on parachute here, filling up and slowing me down. Still managed to hit the 7:30 pace so I'm hoping what doesn't kill you makes you stronger!!

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,500 ✭✭✭Laineyfrecks

    Well done on the virtual 5mile! Great time :)

  • Registered Users Posts: 3,462 ✭✭✭Comic Book Guy

    Oct 5th- 6 miles @ easy

    Did this one in and out of a cul de sac in Clondra. Nothing memorable at all about it looking back now a week later.

    Oct 6th- 11 miles GA with 5 x 1200 metre intervals

    Oh I remember this one alright! With the new restrictions coming in at midnight I said I'd head into the edge of Longford town and home again as I wouldn't be able to cross the Shannon on a training run for a while.
    Blustery out but no rain thankfully. 3 mile around the 8 min/mile pace and then into the first of the intervals. Had aimed to do the 5 intervals at 5:45 pace. First 2 were fine as I had the wind at my back so these came in at 5:43 both times. Into the headwind for the next one and felt a bit tougher but not hugely so and got in at 5:44. Next interval also into this headwind and again came in at 5:44.
    During the recovery after this interval I suddenly got that sinking feeling of rumbling deep in my gut and I'm still 4 miles from home :o
    Start into the 5th interval and have to slow down and then speed up again a few times as the discomfort continues. Ultimately drop the pace towards the end or I'm risking 2 types of runs :eek: This interval comes in at 5:55!!
    Uncomfortable shuffle home after this, such a relief to eventually see this one out!

    Oct 7th- 10 mile progression run

    Loop around the bog again. Another unremarkable run but hit all the paces as required to put it in the bank.

    Oct 8th- 8 miles GA with strides

    A loop around again after work. 10 x 20 second strides in the latter part of the run. Lovely day out to make it an enjoyable one.

    Oct 10th- 17 mile progression run

    Was supposed to get out for a 5 mile recovery run the previous day but work ran late and I then had the u10 GAA coaching to do so didn't have time to get it done.
    Out just after 7am for this one. Pretty dark out but I knew it wouldn't take too long to brighten up so didn't bother with hi viz. Would only be along the main road for the first mile anyways before hitting the bog loop where it was highly unlikely to meet any traffic. Think it was into Mile 5 before I could read my watch properly without hitting the light. Pretty cold out but not an issue after the first 10 mins. Hit the 3 designated paces with no issues and didn't see a single other person out the whole way around!

    New restrictions means the route I had in mind for solo marathon that was taking in the majority of the Longford Marathon course is now not a runner.
    Have a new course sorted that takes in our local GAA club 3/4 marathon route with a few loops added in. It's not the most inspiring of routes with long stretches of the route taking in nothing but trees, scrub and bog but it is what it is I guess.

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  • Registered Users Posts: 3,462 ✭✭✭Comic Book Guy

    October 12th- 7 miles GA with strides

    WFH today so headed out before lunch. Just a handy out and back along the N5 with 8 20 second strides after completing the 5th mile.

    Oct 13th- 4 miles @ easy

    Don't really remember anything about this one other than it being done as an out and back on the old main road after parking up on the way home from work.

    Oct 14th- 7 miles with 3 x 1 mile intervals.

    Out and back along the same old main road again. 2 miles at GA and then into the first rep. Into a slight headwind for the first 2 and get them done in 5:35 and 5:30. Happy with those and not totally frigged either. Turn around towards the end of the second recovery interval and somehow I'm running into a stronger headwind :confused: Have to work a lot harder at this one especially towards the later part of it to get in at 5:35. Was well bet after that 3rd interval so nice to ease back on the way back to the car although it's funny how slow 7:45 pace felt after the intervals!
    And that's the last "session" of the plan, Yay!!

    Oct 15th- 5 miles @ easy

    Back in the office today so just a handy run out to Mote Park on lunch break. Nothing else of note!

    Oct 16th- 6 miles GA with strides

    Another out and back along the old main road. Took in another back road towards the latter end of the halfway point that I was never on before but nothing of note on it and I turned as the incline started getting progressively harder. 8 20 second strides again in the latter part of it.

    Oct 17th- 10+ miles progression run

    Supposed to be 13 miles but didn't see the need to go quite that far so cut a bit off it. Out just after 7am, pitch dark out so first run in a long time with the head torch and my long sleeve finishers top from last years Dublin marathon.
    Headed around the bog loop which is just a quiet back road with about 7 houses on it for the entire loop which are all pretty much within a mile of each other. So a mile into the loop I'm not expecting to see a headlamp coming my way in the distance! No idea who it was until they said Good morning and I recognised the voice!
    Nice run around through the 3 pace bands even though its quite cold.

    Level 5 restrictions kicking in mean I'll have to ditch my planned route of running the length of the parish in 1 single loop. Going to have to amalgamate a few different loops which isn't for me but needs must. Weather for the full weekend looks horrible around here though :(

  • Registered Users Posts: 3,462 ✭✭✭Comic Book Guy

    Oct 19th- 6 miles GA with 2 @ 6:50

    Working outside today and even with wet gear on I got drowned so changing into the running gear and heading out in the rain was no big deal.
    Up and down the old main road. Last 2 miles were done in 6:45 and 6:47 but nowhere near as comfortable as I was hoping they would be :(

    Oct 20th- 4 miles @ easy

    WFH today so headed out before lunch. Just in our lane and then a visit of the harbour and couple of housing estates in the village. Raining again so no problems maintaining a social distance!

    Oct 21st- 4 miles @ easy

    Just up and down the main road again, seen more cattle than people during the course of it. I was originally including this stretch in my length of the parish marathon route but maybe no harm ditching it as its a pretty boring route- dead straight and nothing but bog and scrub to look at.

    Oct 22nd- 4 miles @ easy

    In the office today so headed out at lunch time just running up and down a few of the roads beside the office. Eerie looking in at the Golf Course on a glorious afternoon and not a person in sight.

    And that's that! 18 weeks of the plan done covering over 1000 miles.

    I'll take 1 final look at the weather forecast later but its looks pretty similar for both tomorrow and Sunday so I'll probably head out tomorrow morning. Course is a mish mash of the local 8k route, my bog loop and a spin over the Shannon into Longford and a loop of the village harbour.
    I'm apprehensive about the mental side of it as I really struggled not to throw in the towel in the local GAA clubs virtual race and that was only 5 miles!
    I could probably rope a friend in to cycle the last 6 miles with me but think I might feel a bit self conscious of not chatting away to him so think I'll go solo.

  • Registered Users Posts: 4,834 ✭✭✭OOnegative

    Best of luck J, hope weather gods give you some decent weather. Run well!!

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,007 ✭✭✭Lambay island

    Brilliant block you have put in. All the best .

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,500 ✭✭✭Laineyfrecks

    Dedicated & consistent training! Well done J! Very best of luck tomorrow:D

  • Registered Users Posts: 746 ✭✭✭gypsylee

    Have a great run tomorrow J. Enjoy it!

  • Registered Users Posts: 735 ✭✭✭Treviso

    Best of luck tomorrow J. immense training done for this so you've got it in the legs. Just need to drive through the mental aspect

  • Registered Users Posts: 3,462 ✭✭✭Comic Book Guy

    And so after 18 weeks training and over 1000 miles covered in the plan it was all down to a Saturday morning in late October.
    I wouldn't be sharing the streets of Dublin with 1000s of fellow competitors instead it was just me, my thoughts and the boreens of Co. Roscommon.

    Sink or Swim, success or failure, sub 3 or not.

    One of the advantages of a virtual race instead of the real thing was that I was able to sleep in my own bed, get ready in my own time and start when I wanted and not be under the same type nerves and pressure.
    Got to bed early on the Friday night but had a broken nights sleep thanks to the monsoon conditions outside with driving wind and rain belting the window and filling me with dread for what lay ahead. Our youngest then decided to burrow his way into our bed at 4am and start his phantom kicking routine!
    Got up at quarter past 6 and had my breakfast of porridge and banana with water and a salt tab. Took it easy for the rest of the morning trying to get my game face on by listening to Lose Yourself by Eminem and looking at my favourite Batman clips on YouTube!
    Eventually the time for procrastination came to an end and I made my way out our lane and up to the main road with my wife and 3 kids in tow. Walked towards the village a bit before turning around to face my route, a quick blessing and off I went to rapturous applause from my support!

    The first part of my trip was to do the 5 mile loop around Clonmore that made up the route for the recent St Barrys GAA virtual race that I had taken part in.
    Ghost me from that race disappeared into the distance as I attempted to zone in and hold the magic 6:52 pace. Judging my pace and trying to zone in on it is far from a strength of mine so I had set my Garmin to show lap pace and I hoped adding (please no subtracting) the cumulative seconds would prove a distraction for the trip.
    Pretty fresh morning out especially in my singlet but i didn't want to be stripping layers later. First couple of miles are full of self doubt as i try and acclimatise to the required pace and settle in. Have to tell myself that i managed 15 miles at this pace the previous month so just to relax and let things take care of myself. 2 miles in and i have a welcome tailwind on the first back road off the N5 and I'm finally getting used to things.
    Absolutely nobody out until i meet a friend of mine heading in the opposite direction on his own morning run, quick thumbs up and before I know it 3 miles are ticked off. I also do a quick check to make sure my water bottle and gel for Mile 15 is still in place where I had left it the previous night and thankfully it is!
    Pass my old national school (my kids current one) for the first of 3 times and now I'm back on the dead straight Ballytoohey road into my home village of Tarmonbarry. This section of road is also where i and many other of the local kids would have made our road running debuts. The GAA clubs annual road run always had a kids 1 mile race on this stretch. The kids race is a much more sanitised thing now of just a lap around the walking path behind the GAA pitch.

    Back into the village and a potentially tricky junction with the main N5. The filling station is right on the junction with entrance and exits onto the main road. Thankfully I time it when there are no cars moving so I can continue unopposed without breaking stride. Going up the incline to the GAA pitch now and in the distance I can see my family waiting for me. As i get nearer i can see they have been busy with homemade posters :pac:
    My youngest has my water bottle and gel secured to it with an elastic band and he does a good job of passing it over without me having to break stride. It will be another 15 miles before I'm passing this point again and I can't help wondering what kind of shape I will be in by that time.
    I had been doing a good job of adding up my accumulated time under 6:52 but seeing the gang had distracted me and I missed my watch beeping for mile 5 so I would have to change the screen to accumulated time approaching mile 6 to calculate the accumulated seconds I had banked, a nice distraction if nothing else.
    Anyway the first 5 miles passed with splits of 6:50, 6:45, 6:45, 6:45 and 6:46.

    Back down the hard shoulder of the N5 again but this time i was heading into the bog loop i use quiet a bit. This is the longest individual loop with my 5k limit but it's so quiet and uninspiring that I've only incorporated 1 of this loop into the total route.
    One thing this road does have (apart from the grass centre dividing it down the middle!) is lots of trees and scrub so I'm sheltered from the wind. Keep the pace pretty consistent past the bogs where I once soldiered during school summer holidays footing turf (slave labour!) and before i know it I'm passing the first house on the loop almost 2 miles in. Hard to believe but on the other side of the road is one of those old school houses, different times. Up and over the hill I use for hill sprint intervals and I'm heading for erra townland which has 7 houses and cattle sheds in close proximity before veering out into old Bord na Mona bog land again. If this was the American Wild West this place would now be one of those eerie ghost towns. It's when i pass these houses and my watch beeps for Mile 9 that I'm really feeling fully relaxed and at ease. Again this stretch has absolutely nobody out!
    Before i know it I'm collecting my next water bottle and gel from the grass verge by the bord na mona railway crossing and its 10 miles done. These miles beep through at 6:40, 6:48, 6:47, 6:48 and 6:44.
    It starts raining around here but light enough and it doesn't last long so it has a nice refreshing feel to it. Finally off the quiet road onto a connecting road thru another part of the bog but i have to do a small 1 mile mini loop back on myself before i can continue my journey. Just past the 12 mile mark and i finally encounter another living person! Another runner, this time i don't know who it is, a quick nod of respect and The watch beeps for mile 13 completed just before I re-join the N5 and head back into the Clonmore loop again.
    My next focus is solely on reaching my bottle and gel at mile 15 and then it's into unknown territory at this pace. Confidence is building though and I'm still feeling good, relaxed and under no pressure. The marathon is an unforgiving mistress though so not a time to get too cocky.
    These 5 miles beep through at 6:43, 6:50, 6:47, 6:42 and 6:44 and the accumulated time is still steadily building up.

    A short skip and step to stoop for my water and caffeinated gel at the 15 mile mark and I'm heading back to my old school for a second time. Start to get that lovely effortless feeling now but I'm still taking nothing for granted and there's a lot of work to do. Back up the long ballytoohey stetch and back into the village for a second time.
    This time I'm turning left at the junstion and heading for Longford. Over the bridge and into Leinster for the first time. around not whther its the palcebo effect of taking the caffeine my pace is naturally increasing and i just go with it. This is a lovely feeling that extends the full 2+ miles of the loop around Clondra village and back over the Shannon into Co. Roscommon. I'm determined to extend this feeling now and push on up the incline to the pitch and i can see my gang in the distance already waving and hollering. This time it's my daughters turn to make the pass over of water and gels and it goes just as smoothly as last time.
    This was the junction of the run I was most nervous about since i now had 20 miles in the bag but was running within about 200 metres of my home and all it's comforts. i had dreaded tiredness winning me over as well as mentally being worn down by the reality of it not being a real race.
    Thankfully the 18 weeks of the plan have done their thing and it feels like I'm sprinting past my family now to take on the last 10k. These miles clock in at 6:40, 6:43, 6:38, 6:31 and 6:26.

    Back down the N5 for the third and last time and I'm no longer looking at the watch, I know I'm well inside the 6:52 pace and banking decent time with each mile. Back into Clonmore but to lengthen out the run I take a detour off this road and loop back on myself to take in the lower Clonmore road (Yes Clonmore is such a metropolis that it has both an upper and lower road!). These last 3 miles click in at 6:26, 6:24 and 6:35.

    With my mental arithmetic I know i have just over 4 minutes now in my back pocket and if I keep this pace i can go sub 2:55. However around here I can feel the phantom pain off a calf cramp. i had actually woke a few times at night during the week with a bloody cramp in this calf so i think it might be best to ease back a bit and protect it rather than run the cramp gauntlet. 2:59:59 was always the goal today anyways.
    Back past my school for the last time, many the time I had to walk the journey to and from school as a 5 year back in 1 car per household times so i just had to keep ticking over and the goal would be reality. Mile 24 comes in at 6:37. The dream is so so close now as i head up the Ballytoohey stretch, just need to keep the legs turning over but that phantom pain is steadily growing. Finally into the village and left at the junction again and the penultimate mile comes in at 6:40. Just starting into the 26th mile through the village and that cramp stabs deeply into my calf causing me to miss my step and almost fall and face plant. Bloody hell that would have been some DNF.
    No choice but to adjust my stride and ease off the pace but keep going around the loop down and around the lock harbour in Tarmonbarry. I'm back glancing at the watch now and i can see the pace slipping. I have 1 last goal though and that's to finish with 26 individual sub 7 minute miles. So no choice but to push on again and back up the incline to the GAA pitch. This mile thankfully comes in at 6:52.
    Things have gone so well that in the distance I can't see my family out as I've come back sooner than expected. I have to run past our lane to reach the virtual finish line and passing it i see the 4 of the making their way up and their shouts of surprise. Eventually i pass the finish line and delighted to have completed the run in an unexpected 2:55:25.

    Another bonus of the virtual run is that I'm able to hug the gang shortly after completing it. It's also nice to be able to get into a shower just a few minutes later and be panned out on the couch shortly after that. Ok it doesn't compare to the buzz of the last 2 miles of Dublin last year but still!

    It's still a bit surreal to have landed sub 3 even if it's unofficial. Never in a million miles did I think it was possible after my disaster in Dublin 2 years ago. Once again I have to thank the support of the community in here for keeping me motivated throughout the block when it looked more and more likely that a virtual was going to be the only show in town. Was great reading the logs of people like Lambay Island and Murph_D on here and Strava who were in the same boat. Also a shout out to Treviso who noticed i wasn't incorporating the progression element into the Long runs and let me know!
    One of the most enjoyable parts of it was that I never felt under any major pressure or going into the red zone apart from the calf cramp issue late on. Looking forward to a month of nice easy runs and might look at some form of TT after that to cash in a bit more on the bank of training but no pressure.

    Apologies for the length of this report!! As much for my memories safe keeping as anything else!

    Oh yeah and now I've fully risen and earned redemption!

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,007 ✭✭✭Lambay island

    Thats a really well executed race. To be able to complete every mile solo and sub 7 even when the calf was playing up, shows what a good runner you are. I can relate to a lot of your report too. Congrats

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  • Registered Users Posts: 10,432 ✭✭✭✭Murph_D

    Thats a really well executed race. To be able to complete every mile solo and sub 7 even when the calf was playing up, shows what a good runner you are. I can relate to a lot of your report too. Congrats

    What a run you put together there, CBG! I do that ‘seconds in the bank’ routine too, but only on tempo runs. Shows how relaxed you were to be able to add it all up on the day! Congrats.