Monday, December 29, 2014

Almost there!

I'm just short of my 2,000miles target after last weeks runs, but by tomorrow the 30th December I'll have completed a 15mile run to bring me over the 2,000miles target, it's a little bit behind when I wanted to but its still a nice improvement over last year.

By comparison my previous years miles were:
2013: 1,651miles
2012: 1,512miles
2011: 956miles

Year on year I've upped my miles so its nice to see progress each year, I'm aiming for a big enough increase in 2015 especially with the 100mile event on the cards.

On Christmas day before the days events got underway I got out the door first thing in the morning for 8miles, it was nice and cool in comparisons to last weeks frankly mild mornings which I found too warm.

I got one or two odd looks from people as I ran by houses around 8am out in the middle of the countryside, including one kid who was out playing with his Christmas present as I ran by his house. Sure what else am I going to be doing on Christmas morning before all the events kick off? :)

I had hoped to do more miles between Friday - Saturday but between work and later nights I couldn't drag myself out of the bed in the morning any earlier then I did.

Last weeks runs broke-down as:
- Monday: 8miles @ 7:35min pace
- Tuesday: 1.41miles @ 17:36min pace
- Wednesday: 4miles @ 8:00min pace
- Thursday: 8miles @ 7:18min pace
- Friday:5miles @ 8:37min pace
- Saturday: 4.39miles @ 24:56min pace (walking)
- Sunday: 3miles @ 8:33min pace

Weekly Total: 34 miles
Miles This Year: 1,989 miles

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Upping the mileage

Last week I decided it was time to up the miles again with the aim of getting closer to mid to late 40's instead of once again having under 30miles done in the week. I'm wary of the drop in weekly miles as I need to start heading into training for the Thames Path 100 in May so more miles are badly needed.

On Tuesday I headed back to Slievenamon for my first 20mile trail run (Garmin link of route) on the mountain, this time I ran 10miles out and 10miles back along the loop rather then finishing the entire loop which is around the 17mile mark.

Very low cloud cover throughout most of the run and I must say I found the last 5miles hard going, without a doubt 20miles of trail where I need to leap from one rock to another or over boggy ground is far far harder then 20miles of road!

When I was at mile 19 I found the entrance to Kilcash wood which I never knew existed before, from what I can make out on Google maps this wood must have at least 7-8miles of trails in it. So that's something I plan to explore in future.

A quick search on the net however does bring some bad news about Kilcash woods, Coillte plan to clear the entire wood by 2016 and from what I observed on Tuesday they may have already started this as they were doing an awful lot of logging at the furthest end from Kilcash.

On Wednesday morning my legs felt awful heavy...but then I guess 20miles of leaping from rock to rock and over streams will do that, I still headed off for a very easy 5mile run.  After the run though I found my right ankle was bothering me and it hurt a bit.

As my ankle wasn't feeling any better on Thursday I decided on a rest day as I didn't want to chance making it worse by doing another run.  Come Friday I decided on a very easy 10mile run which started at 9:30min pace but I gradually upped the pace as the miles went on and the ankle wasn't bothering me, I finished the run with the last mile at 7:00min pace.

Overall its not been a bad week, but abit annoyed that I fecked my ankle abit on the Slievenamon run. But I suppose that's part and parcel of trail running and running on such rough terrain, it was just bound to happen at some stage.

Less then 40miles to go to 2,000miles this year.

Last weeks runs broke-down as:
- Monday: 3miles @ 8:54min pace
- Tuesday: 20miles @ 11:54min pace
- Wednesday: 5miles @ 9:33min pace
- Thursday: Rest
- Friday: 10miles @ 8:14min pace
- Saturday:Rest
- Sunday:7miles @ 7:56min pace

Weekly Total: 46 miles
Miles This Year: 1,963 miles

Monday, December 15, 2014


After the Waterford Half Marathon I took it easy for the first part of the week and then upped the pace towards the end.

On Tuesday as I had the day off work I decided to do something different so I did opt to go up to the summit of Slievenamon for a change, it was seriously windy though so in order to try not get blown off the track I ended up walking most of the way up. But I was able to slowly run down (again trying not to be blown off the track!).

 On Saturday I took park in my second Kilkenny Park Run and it was a pretty cold afair, I was only starting to warm up by the time I hit the finish line. I likely would have set a better time only for I was almost late for it and I didn't get a chance to warm up before the run.

As of this week I have less then 100miles to go before I finally hit 2,000miles for 2014. It's a little later then I had planned but its still more miles then I ran in 2013. So happy days :)

Last weeks runs broke-down as:
- Monday: 5miles @ 8:55min pace
- Tuesday: 5miles @ 14:03min pace
- Wednesday: Rest
- Thursday: 5miles @7:25min pace
- Friday: 5.25miles @8:44min pace
- Saturday:Kilkenny Park Run 3.18miles @ 6:44min pace
- Sunday: 5miles @8:45min pace

Weekly Total: 23 miles
Miles This Year: 1,912 miles

Monday, December 8, 2014

Waterford Half Marathon 2014 Race Report

ts that time of year again, its time for the Waterford Half Marathon!

It may not feel like the flattest course in Ireland but for me I've always managed to set a personal best on the course so I always look forward to it, last year I knocked almost 4min off my personal best when I set a time of 1:34:43.

This year I was determined to finally get a sub 1:30 time, I knew it wasn't going to be easy and I knew going into it that my confidence had been knocked from my poor performance at the Dublin Marathon 2014 but since things are feeling better I was determined to give it my best shot.

So as always (before every race!) I was up earlier then I really needed to be and got myself ready for the race, unlike last year where I realized 40min before the start that I had gotten the time wrong this year I knew the start was at 10am and I arrived in plenty of time.

So I parked the car and headed to the start line, along the way I got chatting to various people including JP a fellow Portumna 100km finisher.

Once we were off there was a little congestion as we hit the first roundabout within the WIT campus grounds but things quickly improved once we hit the main road and I was holding with the 1.30min pacers. 

As with last year I found the hill climbing up the first mile to be tough (as starts go) but things evened off and things improved as we headed towards the industrial estate.

I’ll be honest, once we hit about mile 3 I think I got too confident as I was about 5-10sec out in front of the pacers. This is something I have an awful habit of doing and while I managed to keep this position right upto mile 10 I eventually had the pacers pass me at mile 10.

I did manage to keep them insight for another mile but I eventually lost sight of them, I had hoped that on the downhill from mile 12-13 that I might be able to catch them.    However, as I came to the top of mile 12 I couldn’t see the balloons anywhere in sight.

Still I upped the pace and kept going, as I approached the finish I gave it everything I had and managed to pass two people in the last 200 metres before the line after which I dropped to the ground the second I was through. My legs were done!

My finish time was 1:31:44

Overall the event was very well organised and was great to meet a number of familiar faces both before and after the event, while its not the sub 1.30 I really wanted its still a really nice improvement on last year to have.

Could have I got sub 1.30?  Maybe, maybe not. I’m still not sure......

While I do a lot of running and miles I’m crap for doing speed work even though anytime I have done speed work I’ve noticed improvements. I think I just find it hard to push the pace during speed sessions as I basically do 90% of my runs on my own. 

However, even without these speed sessions my half marathon times have been consistently dropping each year as my overall training pace and endurance has improved.

It’s gone from 1:56:48 in 2010 at my first half marathon to 1:41:06 in 2012 to 1:34:43 last year and now 1:31:44 this year.  So overall I’m still very happy with the improvements I’ve seen,.

Given I’ve never started a training plan specifically aimed at improving my half marathon times I’d be interested in what improvments such a training plan could bring in the future, maybe that’s something I might consider for the half marathon in December 2015.

Last weeks runs broke-down as:
- Monday: Rest
- Tuesday: 5miles @ 8:21min pace
- Wednesday: 5miles @ 8:05min pace
- Thursday: 2miles @ 8:21min pace
- Friday: Rest
- Saturday: Rest
- Sunday:13.18miles @ 6:58min pace

Weekly Total: 25 miles
Miles This Year: 1,881 miles

Thursday, December 4, 2014

all abit meh...

Not much going on last week, I took it easy starting off and got a nice trail run in at the end of the week.

I did however confirm that I have the day off work the day of the Waterford Half Marathon so I will be able to run it (which is good as I had already paid!).

The course isn't as hilly as Stook 10mile by a long shot so my plan is go out with the 1:30 pacers and run the course as hard as I can to see if I can finally get that sub 1:30 I've been hoping for since last years Waterford Half marathon,

My I did my trail run on Sunday  I decided to do 15miles in Castlemorris Wood but my aim was to keep my heart rate around the 150 mark throughout instead of running a set pace.

This worked well enough and I was surprised how much I had to pick up the pace on downhills in order to hit 150 bpm,  overall I felt pretty good.

The day in the wood started lovely with a nice bit of much so in fact I put on my sun glasses at the start. However once I was 7miles in the fog descended in a big way and by the end I couldn't see more then 100metres on parts of the route.

I got to say I'm looking forward to getting back to Slievenamon trails once the Waterford half marathon is over.

Last weeks runs broke-down as:
- Monday: 9miles @ 7:46min pace
- Tuesday: Rest
- Wednesday: 4miles @ 8:36min pace
- Thursday: Rest
- Friday: 3miles @ 8:46min pace
- Saturday: 2.5miles
- Sunday: 15.08miles @ 9:40min pace

Weekly Total: 41 miles
Miles This Year: 1,854 miles