Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Post christmas update

Christmas is officially over and all the commercial hype is dying away, so time to switch back into training mode.
On Christmas day, we drove about 40 mins from where we live for a race. It was the Goal Mile to be held in Athboy. As we drove up, the temps dropped to -13C, now that's cold! (below is a pic of the car temp gauge)

When we got to the start it had "warmed up" to -9C. The race was pretty informal, with no finisher's medals, no t-shirts, no ceremony at all. Only about 30 people took part and half of them walked it. Those of us who were running it were frantically trying to keep warm. Then the main road was closed to traffic and we lined up at the only traffic lights in the town. We were all standing around shivering and chatting when we heard someone blow a whistle and realized it was time to start! No warning given at all. My brother-in-law and his cousin went out front and took the lead. I was boxed in behind some joggers, so I went around them and took off.
By the time I had gone about 300m I had trouble getting warm air, so I pulled my neck gator up over my mouth and it really helped. I was so cold I couldn't go as fast as I wanted to but just kept going. We got to the half way point and turned for the out and back, straight road all the way. A couple of times on the way back I felt like walking, I just didn't feel like I could get enough oxygen into my lungs for the effort I was trying to put in, but I kept going. Then I saw the finish line and pushed a bit more and finished! My time was 6:06. My BIL is a sprinter, and a good one, he got first place. His cousin was the European U16 1,500m champion, and she came in second. I got third and was very happy with that. We were offered certificates at the end, but I declined. We got free small bottles of orange juice so I took one and we ran back to my BIL's house, about 2.5k, chatting on the way. When we got to the house I saw that my orange juice was turned to slush in the bottle, even though I had been holding it in my hand - still cold out!

My next training was on Monday in the gym, where I did a rowing warmup, a weight session and dreadmill run. I only got to a coupe of KMs when my left shin started giving me some trouble, so I stopped at 3k. The next day I went back and did the same routine, but did 10k on the dreadmill, and felt a whole lot better. I took the run easy and did it in 54mins.
I've been really feeling good and recovering well now that I'm using protein powder immediately after a workout/run. I went to buy some more and got 50% off the second tub, so I now have lots in stock :-)

Keep running,

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Irish Runner EP 3.2

In this episode, I talk about my training, my plans for 2011, winter running and some products I have been using.
Links referred to:

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Probably won't get a chance to record anymore or blog before the holidays (It's Christmas Eve now!), so hope you all have a great Christmas and I'll hopefully blog again before the new year.
Keep Running,

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Working on goals etc

Well the snow I was hoping would hold off...hasn't. It came back a couple of days ago. Last night in North West Ireland the all time record low of -17C (about 1F) was recorded, that's COLD!
Yesterday it had snowed overnight, but not much, and then it snowed again around lunchtime, again not much. I was pretty sure that the track session was going to be canceled for Tuesday, so I decided to get a run in and #zapthezero (it's a DailyMile/Twitter thing...).
I put on the usual runners, shorts (!), technical t-shirt and long sleeve technical shirt, Nike dri-fit jacket, neck gaitor, thinsulate hat and thinsulate gloves, along with the Garmin and RoadID, and set off. It was cold, but my legs warmed up after a couple of k. It took until about 5k in for my hands to finally feel warm (even with the gloves). I met my wife, who was driving home, at around the 8k mark and stopped to chat, where she told me that it was currently -6C. Then it started snowing, so I just finished the last loop of the village and ran home. By this stage I was finding it tricky to see where I was going with the snow going in my eyes. At least I got in a 10.8k run!
So I have officially registered for the Connemarathon now and am looking at two other marathons in 2011 already. One will be for charity, but I'll keep quiet about that one until plans are confirmed. The other one that I may do is the Kildare Marathon, but I'll see how the timing is closer to the event.
It's still snowing here today, and the track session did get canceled for tonight, so I may try the gym in the morning. All this, work, family and no Christmas shopping done yet!!

Keep running,

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Abandoned races and new goals

Over the last two weeks or more we have had severe cold weather here on the East coast of Ireland. The Jingle Bells 5k was postponed until next Saturday, so we are hoping to go on that. Also, the Waterford half was due to go ahead on the 11th, but that was pulled two days before due to ice on the roads where we were due to run. That has been rescheduled to Jan 15th. Hopefully the weather is ok for it. I have also joined the local Athletics (running) Club, who train every Tuesday evening on a grass track only just over 1k from my house. The last two weeks we haven't be able to train as there has been too much snow on the tracks and tonight's training is canceled due to the AGM. It's meant to be getting colder again from Thursday, but hopefully the snow will leave us alone!
I've been resorting to doing all of my runs on a treadmill for the last 2 weeks now, and I'm really bored on it. We don't have one at home, so I have to go to the local gym pre-dawn. I try to get there 3-4 times a week. Last week I was tapering due to the HM coming up, but it got put off, so I did 16k on the dreadmill instead. I would have liked to do 21.1k to replace the race, but the mental boredom was too much for me!
For next year (2011) I have some ongoing goals, like beating my PBs in various distances. But I also have some goals like completing my first marathon and my first 50k. I am hoping to do the Conemarathon, as I have spent a lot of time in that area and love it and know the roads pretty well. Also I have booked onto the Portumna 50k for June which will be fun interesting!
Working on a podcast, due out this week so stay tuned...

Keep running,

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Turning point in my training

Let me expand...
Last Saturday we were supposed to be taking part in the Jingle Bells 5k, but it was postponed until Dec 18th due to snow & ice. This weekend, I am booked to be running in the Waterford AC Half Marathon. I registered about 4 months ago - yes, I am eager! As most of the run will be on roads and in the hard shoulder, they are still covered mostly in slush and ice. We are meant to be getting a thaw on Thursday for a few days. If that happens then the race will go ahead. The decision will be made on Thursday evening by the organizers. I have booked Friday off work and booked a hotel for the weekend for my family, so we are hoping to get a weekend away too.
If the race gets pulled, then I will officially start ramping up my training from that moment. I will start increasing my distances and working on my leg strength, core strength and endurance. I have definite goals for 2011 and have booked one race already (maybe I'm a bit too eager...), but I'll wait until closer to the event to blog about it.
Another thing I have been pondering, is how to introduce my best friend into regular exercise. Currently he doesn't do any exercise, but he looks after his 3 sons, and works, so he doesn't have much time. As my own training will be getting more intense I have asked if he will cycle alongside me as I run and he has agreed! I'm delighted with this, as it means that he will be able to exercise with me and I can still do my own pace and distance.
I hope the race on Saturday does go ahead, but if it doesn't, then I have a lot to look forward to...

Keep running,

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Month end and snow...again

Ok, my last monthy total update was showing poor distance, just 53k for October (!) and I had resolved to double it to get back on track. Well, I did it, plus a bit. I also beat my September total of 106k and November all in had 126k! Not as much as I'd hoped when I was planning things out a few months ago, but on track anyway. I am also trying to work out the best time of year to go for my first marathon - possibly the Barcelona Marathon in March. But that means I'll need to be getting in a lot of mileage in the coldest conditions. Our track meet was canceled due to snow too...
Another of my distance goals was achieved during November. I wanted to have logged 1,000k on DailyMile by my birthday (mid-December). I managed that on my snow run last Sunday, three weeks in advance!
I'm not going to step up my distance goal for year end due to inclement weather here (-7C to -15C overnight). But instead I'll be trying to keep the current distance/month up.
With the ongoing snowfest that has become the East coast of Ireland, it looks like the Jingle Bells 5k will be called off. Also, unless things change soon, the Waterford Half may go the same way. Not to worry, I'll still be getting my distance in :-)

Keep running,