Monday, September 29, 2014

Slow week....

A pretty uneventful week as I found my left ankle was bothering me abit after the 10km race so I thought it best to leave it rest instead of potentially making it worse

On Friday I decided it was time to get back to doing some decent miles so I was up out of bed and out on the road with my headtorch at around 5:50am to do 10miles at almost marathon pace.  As I knew I couldn't get my usual 20miles in on Saturday i then decided to do an additional 10miles in the evening.

On Sunday I decided to return to the mountain and so I paid another trip to Slioevenamon, this time however I wanted to go back down the other side and clock up a total of 10miles on trails.

Things however didn't really go to plan, while there is undoubtedly trails around the edge of Slievenamon bog there is a lack of them in and across the bog which meant I had to spend alot of time slogging it across heather and high grass to get to certain points.

I did manage to make use of some tracks that appear to exist because of the nearby wooded area and it did appear that there's a track that follows the boundaries of the bog area so I might make use of them in future, but odds are that will bring the run upto 15miles if not more.

I'll need to see what maps I can find of the area to find what trails I can use in future,
Slievenamon Bog Route

Route Elevation
Last weeks runs broke-down as:

- Monday: 3miles @ 8:50min pace (recovery)
- Tuesday: 5miles @ 8:52min pace (recovery II)
- Wednesday: Rest
- Thursday: Rest
- Friday: 10miles @ 7:48min pace, 8miles @ 8:16min pace & 2miles @ 7:49min pace
- Saturday: Rest
- Sunday:10miles @ 15:19min pace

Weekly Total:  38 miles
Miles This Year: 1507 miles

Monday, September 22, 2014

Mid-Week mountain & JJ Reddy Danesfort 10K

So already I've learned that even occasionally running a mountain has its benefits, the first being that my legs no longer feel trashed the next day. Although I took Monday last week as a rest day my legs felt perfectly fine after the previous days mountain running.

I had planned on doing a nice 8mile run on country roads on Tuesday morning but 500metres into the run the roads were looking like a scene from Silent Hill.

From my experience in the mornings I find the fog tends to get worse between 6am - 8am so I abandoned my 5mile run and took a detour onto much quieter country roads.

Wednesday was a change of plan as I had decided on doing a 8mile run but instead I opted for a easy 5mile with the aim of fitting in a mid week Slievenamon trail run on Thursday evening before sunset.

So as planned I took on Slievenamon again starting at Kilcash, I managed to finish the route approx 40sec faster then on Sunday.  

However, somehow I managed to hurt my back, I've no idea how as I didn't fall or anything odd like but but I came back from the run and part of my back was really hurting anytime I moved.

Due to my back hurting me I took Friday & Saturday as rest days and decided it was well enough on Sunday to take part in the JJ Reddy Danesfort 10K.

The last time I took part in the
JJ Reddy Danesfort 10K was back in 2012 when I set myself a PB of 44:22, I've seen improved this to 42:20 in May 2014 when I was aiming for a sub40. So I decided yesterday to once again aim for a sub40.

The course is tough going as its hilly in parts, but the conditions were good as it was cool starting and little or no wind. The turn out was pretty good as over 200 were running the 10km course.

I was on target for sub40 until the 5km mark but I lost some momentum during the last 3km to finish in 40:58. Not the sub40 I wanted but still very happy with the result as I'm edging ever closer to that sub40 target! :)

Last weeks runs broke-down as:

- Monday: Rest
- Tuesday: 5.22miles @ 7:49min pace
- Wednesday:5miles @ 8:17min pace
- Thursday: 5.19miles @ 11.30min pace
- Friday:Rest
- Saturday: Rest
- Sunday: 6.20miles @ 6:36min pace (warmup & warm down not included)

Weekly Total:  22 miles
Miles This Year: 1471 miles

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

New shoes....yes please!

So last week was my week of starting off some trail running...this time with proper trail running shoes, Monday morning came and I picked up my new trail running shoes which meant I didn't get in my usual 5mile morning run. 

My shoe choice in the end were the "Saucony PowerGrid Xodus 4.0 GORE-TEX Waterproof Trail", I've been pretty happy with my last few Saucony shoe choices and I'm finding them cheaper then Mizuno's so thats also an important factor as well.

To break in the new shoes I decided on 5miles of running on some football pitches in the evening for a change, what should have been a easy enough run but I felt good so I actually ended up upping the pace on each mile 7:53, 7:18, 7:08, 7:00 and 6:43. I then did a recovery run of 1mile at 7:52min pace. Overall I'm pretty happy and couldn't wait to get to use them on some proper trails at the weekend!

During the week i took it easy enough with a handy 5mile run on Tuesday a much faster 8mile run at 7:31min pace on Wednesday, a rest on Thursday and a handy enough run again on Friday.

Friday I meant to take it easy but I actually ended up upping the pace in parts to make sure I was out of any danger on the road due to heavy fog.

Saturdays run was a very early start again at 7am (this is early for the weekend!), and it ended up being sub 8:00 for a change which was probably no harm in the end as it forced me to push myself that little bit more.

On Sunday I planned to test out the trail shoes again by running Slievenamon, this time I started and ended the run at the village of Kilcash at the base of Slievenamon. This new starting point also meant my route was now over 5miles and I'm very happy with how it end.

Unfortunately my Garmin froze when transferring over the Slievenamon training profile and it eventually corrupted the data which was annoying, but luckily I noted the distance and time prior to uploading the data.  Luckily I've previously walked the route so the profile for the new route is below:

Kilcash to Slievenamon & back
I suppose the question is did the trail shoes help on Slievenamon?  They certainly did, the grip was far far superior to my other runners and I felt when my foot hit the ground it wasn't going to move unless I wanted it to.   I will say though when I hit the road back into Kilcash they weren't as comfortable.

My week consisted of:

- Monday:5miles @ 7:12min pace & 1mile @ 7:52min pace
- Tuesday:5miles @ 8:39min pace
- Wednesday: 8miles @ 7:31min pace @ 2miles recovery with
- Thursday:Rest
- Friday:5miles @ 7:55min pace
- Saturday:17:15miles @ 7:52min pace
- Sunday:5:22miles @ 11:32min pace

Weekend Total:  46 miles
Miles This Year: 1445 miles

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Welcome back dark mornings

So my legs on Monday morning after running Slievenamon weren't actually too bad but I still decided to take a rest day. 

On Tuesday the legs felt heavy and while initially when I started my run it was at a 8:50min pace I eventually dropped this down to a 8:07min avg pace for the 5mile run.  Wednesday was a far better run as I upped the pace for the entire run.

Wednesday was also the first morning since before the summer where I had to use my head torch as it was still dark out when I headed out the door, I've decided I'm going to work in some routes that last year I just wouldn't have gone near in the dark because I'm getting bored of the usual routes.

I've also found that actually at 6/7am in the morning I only meet a hand full of cars on these newer routes so I feel relatively safe as I'm lit up like a Christmas tree, all the lights tend to get cars to slow down pretty quick as they're not sure whats on the road infront of them.

The week consisted of:

- Monday: Rest
- Tuesday: 5.19miles @ 8:07min pace
- Wednesday: 8.09miles @ 7:37min pace
- Thursday: 5miles @ 8:39min pace
- Friday: 3miles @ 8:14min pace
- Saturday: 20miles @ 8:11min pace
- Sunday:5miles @ 22min pace

Towards the end of the week I took it far easier after my faster 8miles run on Thursday as I was mindful of doing a 20mile LSR on Saturday, as it turned out the run started at 7am so I didn't get any sort of a sleep in.  I will admit this meant I was awful tired for the rest of Saturday.

Sunday consisted of a nice leisurely walk with my lovely wife in Castlemorris Wood doing the Pheasant Route which is a lovely peaceful 7km route with some hills.

Weekend Total:  46 miles
Miles This Year: 1399 miles

Monday, September 1, 2014

Adventures in trail running

So outside of running around some local woods now and then and running Mount Leinster two weeks ago that's been it for trail running and me, well I've decided to change that.

As I mentioned in my last entry I plan on making a local mountain part of my regular training ruins in order to work in hills and trail running into my training schedule. This should stand to me in a big way considering although while it is flat the Thames Path 100 in May 2015 is mostly on trail.

So with that in mind that was my plan for the weekend, to take on a local mountain called Slievenamon with a decent enough elevation :)

Slievenamon Elevation
On Saturday I did a long slow run of 15miles but on Sunday I decided to run the mountain, elevation for Slievenamon is well over 400metres and my aim was to start at the nearest local village of Kilcash at the foot of Slievenamon. 

Unfortunately there were alot of cars in Kilcash and also at the normal parking spot for walkers at the beginning of the route so I had to drive to a spot further up the road, this ruined my plans of properly measuring the route I wanted.

Half way point
So off I went and while I did manage to run the first few hundred meters I quickly found it difficult to maintain a running pace so I was reduced to run/walk most of the rest of the way.    Once I got near the summit and it leveled abit I was once again able to pick up the pace and I ran to the trig point and to the top of the cairn before beginning the decent again.

The decent was....well seriously good fun, if not a tad steep at times!

Still I managed to keep my footing and had no incidents until right near the very end where I managed to misjudge my foot placement on the path back to the road and I fell infront of some walkers who were on their way up the mountain.  I got up and other then a slightly bruised ego I mentioned something about "it was bound to happen at some stage.." and got on my way again.

I managed the ascent and decent in 52min for the route of just over 4miles, the last time I walked this route took me over 1hr 35min so I was certainly a great deal faster. 

I will of course have to run a second run starting at Kilcash as this should bring the distance to around 5.3miles and it includes steep climbs on the road from the village. The last time I walked from Kilcash it took me 1hour 50min.   This will be the route I aim to use in future as the car is safer when parked in Kilcash.

Really enjoyable run and its certainly something I want to run again :)

Weekend Total:  19 miles
Miles This Year: 1353 miles