Monday, August 11, 2008

Sunday on the run

Thanks to monsoon weather in Dublin on Saturday evening I didn't bother with heading out for the night. This appeared to pay dividends for my long run on Sunday morning. Usually I wouldn't be training on a Sunday after going to bed before midnight on a Saturday (that's the type of thing that goes on before races). So this Sunday a fresh faced Private arrived at the park in shorts and shades.

I did two things on the Sunday run that I usually don't do. One of them was to take a watch with me. As I'm not sure of the distances of my training runs in Dublin and I'm changing the routes regularly to find nice routes I've been wearing my Garmin, which I'm not the biggest fan of (NO! I'm not inside or moved hundreds of miles since the last time I used you). I also seemed to go out much faster on the long run than I usually would. I'm all in favour of slow, handy long runs, but I've done so many 15 mile runs this year they're no longer a struggle. Obviously I have to push myself for the last few miles but I generally finish them knowing that I could have gone on for a few more miles.

I didn't set out yesterday to go fast, I just seemed to be feeling stronger the longer the run went on. After my first lap of the park, which is around 10km, I noticed that the time was slightly under 6 mins 30 a mile. I thought this would slow down somewhat over the second lap, but me being me there was no way I was going to intentionally slow it down if I could keep it going on. The ten mile mark was reached in just under 65 mins so the pace was still around the same. That's pretty much how it stayed for the remaining few miles.

By the end I was pushing myself more than I usually would on a training run but I'm not too bothered by it as today I'm feeling fresh and should be able to get out no problem for an 8 mile easy run. Considering that pace is only 7 seconds slower than last years marathon pace it's probably not the pace I'll go out at next weekend... or most weekends for that matter. There's something nice about knowing that if I meet up with a few lads in the coming weeks to train with I won't be concerned that they'll train faster than me, as even if they were to push it a few seconds faster a mile I'd be able to handle it.

The only times I struggled on the route were the times I tried to take my energy gels. The stupid stuff just refused to come out. For the first one I'd reached my water bottle stash before I'd managed to take the gel. This threw my breathing out a bit and I also managed to get a load of it on my fingers. The second time wasn't that successful either. It was finished before I got to the bottles but a lot of it made it's way on to my hands again. I reckon over the next few months I'll just mix the gel with water before I head out as it's going to be a long time before I'll be taking the gel and water separately in a race.

This week I've got a 5000m race pencilled in. Hopefully the weather will not act up like it did at the weekend and its not cancelled. The last 7 days training have gone absolutely perfectly so the legs just need to hold up now for another few days... come on legs!
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