Tuesday, 22 July 2014


Is everyone else melting or is it just me?  It's not even that hot out but the air appears to be full of liquid and on the edge of a thunderstorm at any moment.
Anyways as someone who struggles to break a sweat most of the time I am soaked coming back from my runs this week. This from someone who will usually puke from exertion long before a bead of sweat forms on my forehead (I'm a freak!)

Training has been going really well despite the heat and I'm hitting all my paces. I keep trying to convince myself to dial it back because of the heat but then the other voice in my head tells me it must be great training if I'm still hitting the paces in adverse conditions. Or maybe I'm on crack and heading for burnout....who knows!

I did my track session (5x1000m) today instead of tomorrow as I'm going for tapas with the girls from the athletic club tomorrow night and didn't want to have to suffer through that nightmare session first.  Of course now I'm high as a kite on endorphins and will probably be up way past my bedtime. Oh well!

Tapas, vino and a good laugh to look forward to tomorrow.  Happy happy!

Saturday, 19 July 2014

Lady of the flies

The back end of this week has been a bit of a slogfest.  Thursdays tempo run was a partial disaster. The first 5 miles I hit my pace target or was under. This was probably a mistake as it was really hot and humid out there and I should have slowed down to compensate. At mile 6 I died. Or my legs did anyway. I came into this really sheltered valley area and was attacked by flies and slowed down to what felt like a walk. It was the closest I've felt to marathon death shuffle in a while so I'll call it really good training!

Flies were on the menu again quite literally today in the form of those little ones that keep flying into your mouth and eyes. It was really hot and humid out and I had to change my run route as I saw forked lightning right in front of me about 2 miles into my run.  The way I intended to go is really open and I would certainly have been the tallest thing out there so I decided to divert to somewhere a bit more populated.  
Some of the lightning must have hit a transformer or something as when I went to call into Tesco after I was done the doors were closed as they were running on the backup generator. There were still people in the shop and the tills were working so I managed to talk my way in as I was only grabbing one thing.  

I deserved every unpleasant moment of today's run. It should have been easy but a coffee with a friend yesterday turned into sharing 2.5 bottles of wine and sleeping on her couch. Sometimes catching up with a friend is more important than training.  I don't know if I can justify that much wine though! 

Wednesday, 16 July 2014

Time flies!

I can't believe it's been almost a week since I updated this! Lots has been happening and I think it's safe to say that I need to go to the track on a Wednesday night whether I feel like it or not as my mood is so much better after. I was doom and gloom central this day last week!

Thursday was an interesting running day. I turned up on the curragh plains and a couple of the other girls were doing "easy" runs as they had done the track session or tempos the day before. Meanwhile I had a tempo on my training plan.
I decided to use my frequently bemoaned lack of speed to my advantage and let them drag me around in their wake.  Surprisingly this actually worked really well!

We started off with a 9 minute mile but quickly dropped to 8 min/miles for the rest (bar the last one where it was requested that we slow down. Newsflash....that was not me asking!) There were definitely a few segments where I looked down and saw my 5k pace on the watch and freaked out a bit. I stopped checking it and that resolved the problem. What? Is that not how all news you don't want to know should be treated?The takeaway from it was that I was fine and I nailed my first really challenging tempo run.  Yay me!

Friday was a bit of a disaster. I was driving down to Kerry with my kiddos to meet up with friends and climb Carrauntoohil early Saturday morning.  After a refuel I hit the motorway and within about ten minutes knew I was in trouble. You are not meant to be able to actually see the fuel gauge drop. Not while you are looking at it. Not on a tiny diesel anyway! Thank god for breakdown cover is all I can say.

So we spent the night in a hotel and needless to say didn't manage to get the car repaired on time to join the climb.  We did however make it to the evening refreshments though so all was not lost.
I did get to do a 1.5 hour hike with the kids while we waited for the others to get back so that sufficed instead of a run on Saturday.

Sunday morning was difficult due to an amazing self-filling wineglass the night before. Must make sure to never get one of those.
A long walk on Banna beach blew the cobwebs away and was followed by some seafood chowder and my very first raw oyster! The verdict? Not too bad actually.

I hummed and hawed over my longish run all day and pretty much had an excuse made up for myself but then I couldn't think of anything else I wanted to do either so I just got out and did it!. It was a slow burner this one. The legs felt fairly crappy for the first couple of miles and I was having problems hitting 10 minute miles. It was fairly hilly but that's no excuse! And then I just started feeling better. I finished really strongly and felt a kind of power in my legs I haven't felt in quite some time. Due to my total lack of navigation skills this run ended up being 9.5 miles instead of the intended 8, but who's counting? (Me)

I rested on Monday and went for a pretty good 6 miler yesterday and then today I had track. I didn't bring my watch but I felt like I was in a different gear this week. Maybe it's just the day that was in it? Maybe I've just strung together some strong training sessions and it's a coincidence and doesn't mean anything? Perhaps though I have finally gotten off this damn plateau I've been on? A girl can dream can't she?

Tuesday, 8 July 2014

No unicorns. Out of rainbows and fairy dust.

Sometimes I allow myself to get upset about my slow progress with this whole running lark. There is always that temptation to compare myself with others and fall short.

Sometimes I'm ridiculously frustrated when I talk to people at races who train casually or very sporadically and who are so much faster than me. In that situation I tend to feel quite angry that they appear to be wasting god given talent. But then who am I to judge that? It's obviously just not a priority for them.

I'm aware that I don't have very much speed or natural running talent. My body type and weight are not ideally suited to running either. What I do have in enthusiasm, a strong work ethic and a stubborn streak.
So how far can you get with only those attributes? Hopefully an autumn full of PB's.

It may not feel like I'm getting anywhere right now but perhaps I just need to trust in my training and ignore these down days where I feel like I'm standing still?  These days have to happen too I suppose.

Truckin' along

An uneventful 5 miler yesterday followed by 3 unscheduled miles with my son got the week off to a good start.  Week three of my plan is supposed to be a slight step-back week with the longest run being an 8 miler on Sunday. This suits me as I'm climbing Carrauntoohil this Saturday weather permitting and the legs will appreciate the lighter mileage.  I'm not sure if hiking gives any marathon specific benefits but it probably better than a weekend on the couch?  Or maybe not.  We will see I presume.

I got my bike back from the ex today so that's good.  If nothing else it will be another way to avoid strength training!  Although I did do about ten squats yesterday and some lunges.  Needless to say my thighs are aching today.

Sunday, 6 July 2014

Yuck and yum

It's been a mixed bag the last few days. Some uplifting moments interspersed with some real discomfort both in running and my personal life.

Thursday brought a tough 8 miler on already tired legs. It probably should have been done at 9:30 pace but as I was running with someone else it ended up being 8-8:30 instead. Yay ego!  Anyway it was uncomfortable but good threshold training so I'll take it!

I took Friday off as I planned to do Naas Parkrun on Saturday morning. Arrived in plenty of time to warm up and was giving the girls there a hand assembling the tables when who arrives as a volunteer only the ex. Awkward!
So began my longest ever warmup for a 5k. Mentally I didn't really have my head in the game after that but finished in a respectable 23:50.  A good effort for a Saturday morning.

The emotional toll caught up with me a bit and I had to take a nap once I got home. Luckily the rest of the day and evening were taken up with a bbq at my friend T's house. It's a bit of a trek there so we stayed over. T has a teen boy close in age to my kiddos and there was another girl there too so they got on like a house on fire after the initial awkwardness. They raved about the night and their newfound friends on the drive home and nothing makes me happier than seeing my kids animated and positive like that. Does my heart good!

After the night of indulgence and little sleep I was sure today's 11 miler was going to be a disaster. Well that just goes to show you can't always tell with these things.

I enjoyed every mile of my run. I had allowed myself to do it as slow as I wanted but ended up nailing my 9:30 average pace with a massive negative split. I felt like I could have comfortably done 5-6 more today without it being a big issue. More of this please!

Wednesday, 2 July 2014

A lovely rest day

Tuesday was a day off running and as the weather was gorgeous I decided bring the teens out or they would stay inside and gradually turn grey.
We headed off to Emo Court near Portlaoise which was lovely.  We shared a massive slice of chocolate fudge cake from the impressive selection in the coffee shop and then headed off for over an hour of walking in penance.  It was a gorgeous day to be outside in the sun.
After this we drove the short distance to the Rock of Dunamaise.  This ruined castle on a hill was the perfect spot for our picnic and I was left to read my kindle on the blanket while the teens rambled around climbing in an out of windows and generally using their imagination.  All good stuff and a joy to see.  It was one of those lovely moments when all seems well in the world!

I woke up feeling bleugh today for no particularly good reason.  We did a pyramid session at the track which I completed all of so that's four Wednesdays in a row now.  Don't know if I'm getting any faster though.
I suppose a race will tell that? Unfortunately the track is closed for the next few weeks for resurfacing so we will be doing our session at a local football pitch.  Oh well!