Monday, January 27, 2014

Its getting easier

Back to 60 miles again this week, overall the week was pretty uneventful.

Saturday & Sundays runs at the end of the week however did involve running in some hailstones on both days.   I missed out on Sunday mornings club meet due to a very late Saturday night so I didn't get to do my Sunday run until late in the evening.

Doing back2back runs is certainly getting easier. Saturdays 13mile run was at just over a 8:00min pace, Sundays 14mile run was around 8:30min pace.  Both days would have been a faster pace only for the weather and the legs didn't feel tired at all.

Finally, I've only ever done one 10 mile run and that was the Stook 10 mile in November so I'm thinking of giving another (less hilly) race a go, so with that in mind I'm think of signing up to Mallow 10mile.

Its far enough out from the Connemara Ultra that I think it shouldn't have too much of an impact, although ideally I should be doing a long run that weekend.   

Weekly Total: 60 miles
Miles This Year: 181 miles

Monday, January 20, 2014

I've joined the club......

Took it very easy this week and kept the miles down, I only did a total of 38miles and the bulk of those came from two runs.  The first of these longer runs was Friday's run which was a 13.1mile run at 8:00min/.mile pace and Sunday's run was a 15mile 7:53mile/pace run.

The week before last I joined Kilkenny City Harriers, I've been meaning to join an athletics club for some time now and finally decided to do it.   I'm hoping this might force me to properly do some speed work and also to push myself abit more with faster paces on runs (I've always found this easier in group runs).

Sunday's run was my first outing with the club, it consisted of loops of the castle park in Kilkenny City on the paths and also on the grass. I must admit I found the grass hard going as I do pretty much 100% of my running on roads.

The clubs run was a 70min run at a 8:00min/mile pace, however I stayed on with the one club member in the group who is training for London.  

In the end I finished up with 15miles at a 7:53min/mile pace, felt pretty good and very happy with the faster pace for this sort of distance as I normally do something in the region of 8:30min/mile plus.

Aiming to up the miles again this week to around 60-65miles.

Weekly Total: 38 miles
Miles This Year: 127 miles

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Clonakilty Marathon Directors Run (Day 1)

I already have the Clonakility Back2Back booked in February this year so I decided to sign up to one of the directors runs, I figured this would give me a good feel for the course that I plan on running twice in two days and at the same time I might as well get a nice 26mile long slow run into the mix.

So up at 4.30am and a 2 and a half our drive later I arrived down in Clonakility, although it was frosty in Kilkenny it was far colder in Clonakility with plenty of ice on the roads (I even past around 5 crashes on the Cork - Brandon road).

We set off shortly after 9am and my plan was to try keep it at an average pace of 9:00min/mile, but of course that went out the window as I got talking to people during the first few miles. Silly mistake to make but sure its not like I had to run the course again the next day...not this month anyway.

Really enjoyed the course as it had some really nice coastal views and there was next to no breeze which really made it nice and enjoyable.
Photo from Clonakility Back2Back
I will admit that I did feel the hills, now some of the blame is down to the fact that I just don't train on hills very much but also due to the fact that I wasn't very desiplined when it came to my pace.   

As I mentioned above my avg pace was supposed to be 9:00min/mile and I should have kept to that pace throughout. But did I? No of course not!  

I intentionally allowed my pacing to go all over the place, I think part of this was trying to see could I still run a decent pace during a marathon even after already running 30miles in the same week and the other part is I upped the pace when I felt good.

Up until now anytime I've ran a marathon I've always tapered the week or two weeks before, this however was a different setup altogether as I was running a marathon after already run around 30miles in the same week. 

What was the outcome of this?  Well, I ended up walking on and off at mile 21 and mile 25 (hills) but I still finished in 3:57 so given I was aiming for under 4hrs its still a good outcome.

So that was Saturdays long slow'ish run, to finish off my weekend I did a 10mile 9:00min pace run in the pouring rain. Surprisingly my legs felt pretty good on Sunday but they did feel tired come Monday.

I did another 9:00min/mile 4mile run this morning and although the legs felt a little stiff at first they were feeling good by mile 2, so all in all I'm happy so far with the progress.

Weekly Total: 66 miles
Miles This Year: 88 miles

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

2013 Year in's to 2014!

 Its been an interesting year, a year with a few firsts and unexpected surprises.

- I did further then 31miles for the first time
- I paced a marathon for the first time
- I got invited to and took part in a race in the middle of the night in another county.
- I finally broke sub 1:35 for Half Marathon

For me the most enjoyable race I ran throughout 2013 was surprisingly the Connemara Ultra, although I took painkillers during this run and although it was 39.3miles I felt fantastic as I crosssed the finish line,

The most surprising and unexpected thing to happen in 2013 was without a doubt being invited over to Nova Scotia to run in the Cabot Trail Relay.

I beg, borrowed and stole to get the time off work at such short notice. I was jet lagged to hell and I spent 24hrs getting in and out of a mini van while supporting the rest of the team.   To top it off I got to run around Nova Scotia at 2am in the morning and come in a very respectable 18th out of 71 for this stage.  

Seriously good weekend and I'd recommend it to everyone :)

Shortly before Nova Scotia I also paced a marathon for the first time, this was an interesting experience and a very enjoyable experience at the time it was the first time I had ran a marathon where I wasn't trying to get a time for myself.

Oh and finally I broke sub 1:35 for half marathon in December, chuffed with that!

What does 2014 bring?

Well for starters I'm doing my first marathon on the 11th January in Clonakility, followed by back to back Marathons on the 15th/16th February also in Clonakilty and for April I'll once again be doing the Connemara Ultra.

Thats all thats planned and signed up for at the moment but I'm thinking through the later part of the year and thinking of a 50mile race, 100km race and perhaps something abit further. But still thinking about it.

I realise these will require alot of extra training so these plans will take abit more planning and also working out the logistics.

So here's to 2014!