Thursday, December 30, 2010

2010 in numbers

Having put my runners away for the last time in 2010 I thought it'd be an apt time to tot up the years figures. More miles run, with more days off.... If that trend continues it'll be a happy 2011.

Total Miles Run:2,783 (+316) 2,467 (+258) 2,209
Days Off:56 (+2)54 (-26)78
Number of Races:14 (-4)18 (+2)16
Max Distance Raced:10 miles 42.2km 10km
Min Distance Raced:3km3km3km
# PBs:1 (-3)4 4
Highest Placing:1st (+1)2nd (+2)4th
Prize Money:€0 -(75)€75 (+75)€0
Medals Won:4 (+4)00

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Change Nothing

These last few months have been the longest time I've gone without racing since starting under CR's guidance. That's all about to end in 7 days time with my first cross country race of the season. Last year I ran about nine of the damn things - this year it'll be a more respectable three.

First up is the Dublin Senior Championships. Last year I got blown away in a small, but top class field. This year it'll probably be the exact same again, although I'm hoping this time I can see myself in the top half of the field rather than the bottom quarter. My excuses are ready though if that doesn't happen - "First XC race of the season...", "my foot's been sore for a few weeks now...", "the spikes were digging in to me...".

October's training has been consistent though. I've run more miles than I've ever run in a month, while keeping the weekly mileage lower than I was running at times during the summer. A weekly tempo has been introduced to my schedule, a couple of core workouts, along with more recovery between key sessions. In a matter of weeks it's paid off as I'm finding that I'm running stronger and faster than before. A couple of weeks back I was stunned when my 5 mile tempo finished approximately 20/30 seconds slower than my PB. This on heavy legs, two days after a fast 15 mile run. I was buzzing, my legs felt great, I could have run further and what made it even better was the fact that for the rest of the week I was able to up the mileage. Then this week rolled around and I only went and equaled my 5 mile PB... on a bloody training run.

The key now is to keep things the same until I'm back on the roads again. As CR always says "Change nothing". I haven't looked at any calendars just yet to see when the next road race will be - for the moment I'm just waiting for next weekends XC to pass. What I want to know the answer to though is - if you can run times equivalent to your best race times in training, what kind of times can you hit when you race?

Monday, September 27, 2010

Slow down please...

Sunday was meant to be a long slow run. That was never going to be difficult after hitting an early morning Saturday session of kilometres on the wet grass and then a Saturday evening session that comprised of Guinness, red wine, beer and cognac. To make matters worse I had to drag myself out of bed bright and early to take photos at a race *grumble grumble* After spending an extortionate about of money on a new camera on Saturday I couldn't not go out because I was tired / hungover.

Following much hydrating and way later than I planned I went out for my jog. The route I was taking was from my parent's house, a tried and trusted route out and back along the marathon course, a route that I know like the back of my hand. For my usual loops around the Phoenix Park I know the cumulative distance but I wouldn't know at any stage how far I'd gone. Sunday's was different. I knew every mile marker to a few metres. Not a good thing when you're legs are tired, you're bored and all you want to do is go home and go to sleep. "That's two miles done, just another 13 to go..."

The longer the run went on the sooner I wanted to get home. With 5 miles to go there was no short cut home, if there had a been I'd have taken it and gone home, so I did the only thing I could think of... started to run fast. An absolute no, no on a recovery long run. I knew it was stupid but I wanted food, water, a couch and football. 6:30 and only 4 miles to go... bang, another 6:30 including up the hill in Milltown. Obviously the momentum continued after that hill because I dropped a 6:10 for the third mile and I was just home. "I could jog now and be home in 15 minutes". Again a 6:10 came out of the bag. "Alright seriously time to slow down... a warm down mile if you will". I felt like I was jogging the end of end of this and struggling bad but it still came in as a 6:30 mile. Everything else that was planned for the rest of the day got cancelled and I ended up vegging around my parents house and eating their food.

Thankfully today I had a bit more sense on my recovery from the recovery run and cruised around 6 miles and as slowly as my legs would let me. More of this slow stuff is required for the rest of this week or I'll be back to being bunched in no time.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

It's all marathon

After a conversation with CR last night it was decided that absolutely everything I do from now on is with the marathon in mind. This marathon could be 2 years away yet - I've no idea but the goal has to be to run the next marathon fast.

That means that we're back looking at using and abusing cross country for the next few months. Throwing in a few road races up to half marathon distance in the middle of cross country. Maybe finding a half marathon and preparing for it as if it was a marathon - 10 dedicated weeks, training runs up to 18 miles and practicing with gels. I still need to get my times down for 5 miles, 10km, 10 miles and the half but as CR reminded me "there's still 20 miles left after 10km" so not getting the 10km time down as far as I want to doesn't necessarily mean I won't hit the marathon time I want.

Recent weeks have seen me wind down my training, take a full week off where I drank and drank and drank, run a half week (the thousandth wedding of the summer stopped that week in its tracks) and now I'm running a week where I'll be clocking up the miles with just one speedwork session. I'd forgotten what it was like to run while not tired and now I'm feeling stronger with every step I take. A few weeks ago CR said that the next goal was to just get back to enjoying running and I can honestly say that I'm back to that stage. It may have taken five weeks of handy running to start enjoying it again but now I feel like I'm ready to have another attack at it. Bring on the mud!

Sunday, September 5, 2010


Assuming that I covered my weekly miles at 7 minute pace (probably slower but stay with me) and that I spent a total of 30 minutes for the stretching and showering routine before and after each training session I spent over 12 and a half hours running this week! If that was a part time job, earning minimum wage, I'd have pocketed a cool €106.54 before tax...

Now that I have a seven day break from running what will I do with these 12 hours? The most obvious thing that I can think of is to do the contracting website development work that has been building up since I changed job in July. More than likely though I'll slip into that booze drinking, woman chasing eejit that has been spotted around pubs over the past 6 weekends.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Hair worth a minute....

9 miles into the Frank Duffy 10 miler in 2009 and 2010.

Same shirt, shorts and shoes. All that's added is the hair... and a minute to the race time.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

"The Stars of Track and Field"

  • I've trained on a track three times in 2010.
  • The last time was 6 weeks ago.
  • On no occasion this year did I do a repeat of 400m faster than 75 seconds.
  • It's been 375 days since I last raced on a track.
  • That was also the last time track spikes were worn.
  • Time to dig them out...