Monday, October 13, 2014

The Slievenamon Loop!

So I had one thing in mind last week and that was to up the miles and I started that early,

Monday was a easy 3miles run but Tuesday plan was up and out the door at 5am for a 20mile run at under 8:30min pace.

It was a very mixed morning as when I first went out there was no fog, however within an hour I was 5miles from home and I couldn't see more then 20metres infront of me!  Not ideal when your on a busy road......but thankfully it had a wide hard shoulder.

The rest of the week were much shorter runs however Thursday was supposed to be a sub 8min mile 10mile run but my left shin started to bother me abit so I slowed things down and cut it short.    I did eventually clock up the targeted 10miles for Thursday by doing 5 in the morning and 5 in the evening.

Saturdays plans were to take part in the very first Parkrun in the grounds of Kilkenny Castle and so I headed in for the 9.30am start.

Kilkenny Park Run Route

For those that don't know Parkrun's are free timed 5km races that anyone can go along to and take part in, they are not just for elites or clubs.

There was a good turn out of around 170 people for the event which wasn't bad considering anyone planning on doing the Dublin Marathon would have been busy doing their last long run. (I happened to do mine earlier in the week).

The route for the Parkrun was a mixed bag as while one section was a sight downhill the next was abit of a climb...enough to take it out of you anyway.   Still, although I already had 40miles in the legs from the weeks training I managed a new 5km Personal Best of 21:15 and I finished in 8th place.

Sundays plan was my first running of the Slievenamon Loop...all 16miles of it!  So I packed my phone and an energy bar into my Camelbak backpack and off I went as usual starting from Kilcash.

There was very thick fog so I was abit weary that it might be a cool enough run but as I drove to Kilcash I noticed the area was completely fog free. Infact when I started the climb up Slievenamon I could see the thick blanket of fog below between Slievenamon and the Commorragh mountains in the distance.

This time around I decided to stick as close to the fence as I could, this unfortunately turned out to be a poor choice initially because not only was the route tougher but there were several tree's down across the path which I had to avoid.

As I carried on I encountered numerous streams and some cracking views, it was nice to be in a area that was so peaceful with no sign of other houses, people, cars etc. However every so often the silence was broken by noise from one of the woods as there were a number of people on scrambler bikes on part of the mountain.

Slievenamon Route
Pace and Route Elevation
All was going well until I hit about mile 9 when funnily enough on a pretty flat part of the route I managed to trip and fall.  In the process I cut my right knee and my left knee impacted my chest during the fall. Not my most elegant moment as I was lying on the ground recovering from the hit to the chest.

I brushed myself off and poured water on the cuts on my right knee, assessed the damage and found I wasn't too bad, no pain or niggles so I continued on at the same pace.

Around mile 10 the route disappeared, it resulted in a dead end where drainage work is being carried out so I had to slog up a very boggy drainage area to get back on course. I'm pretty sure I could take a short cut through one of the woods to avoid this very boggy area so that's something I'll need to look into as the boggy area would be seriously bad in the winter months.

At around mile 12 I encountered another slight problem as again I lost the route and spent awhile trying to find it again, in reality it was my own fault as I should have simply stuck to the fence border at this point.

Overall the run went well, pretty challenging on some of the climbs especially the last big climb around 2-3miles from the end of the run.  Due to the different routes it ended up being 17.22miles, the entire run can be seen here on Garmin.

This run now marks the start of my tapering for the Dublin City Marathon, let taper madness begin!

Last weeks runs broke-down as:

- Monday: 3miles @ 7:45min pace
- Tuesday: 20miles @ 8:22min pace
- Wednesday: 5 miles @ 8:20min pace
- Thursday: 5miles @ 8:25min pace & 5miles @ 8:48min pace
- Friday: 5miles @ 7:50min pace
- Saturday: 3.11miles @ 6:50min pace
- Sunday: 17.22miles @ 13:04min pace

Weekly Total:  63 miles
Miles This Year: 1,614 miles


  1. Banging your knee is part of off-road running. Better stay on the road until after DCM, you don't want to ruin that race with a sprained ankle or something like that, but in general this is excellent training that builds your strength.

    1. Yeah I figured that alright and actually two days on my knee feels fine, though my ankle had a bit of a niggle yesterday but that's gone now.

      My chest on the other hand is still hurting me from hitting it with my knee, but it's better today then yesterday (Monday).

      The plan is certainly to give trail running a rest until after Dublin as I don't want to take any chances,

      I'm certainly happy with the progression of the trail running so far, trail shoes are a mixed bag. Have to really step into alot of water to get water into them but at the same time sweat isn't easily getting out of them due to the lining.