Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Monday, February 17, 2014

Training update #743

Last week's training wasn't nearly what I'd hoped for. It was due to horrendous weather with people being advised not to leave their homes on a couple of days. It is what it is, moaning about it won't make the gale force winds die down or the horizontal rain stop.
I got to the gym when I could to work on strength & conditioning and got in another two hours of Kenpo. By the weekend I was bursting to get running and Saturday afternoon the weather was going to be slowly improving, so I put my eggs in that basket, hydrated and ate in sync with that plan.
Shortly after 12 noon I headed out, and having done 30k for the last long run, I decided to do more this time, of course.
The route I was taking was a loop of about 16k, some on main roads and some on back roads, but very few paths. I had a long sleeve base layer, a technical t-shirt and long sleeve technical t-shirt, then a running jacket and high-viz vest. Also, I had base layer gloves and a fleece hat and neck warmer. The temp was about 6 degrees, but with the wind it felt about 2-3. For the first 3k or so my hands were freezing, but then I warmed up a little and took the gloves off. From time to time I opened the zip on the jacket a bit, but when I turned into the wind, or ran along an exposed stretch of road I had to zip it shut again.
On the first loop I had already decided to add a bit extra on, so instead of turning left to get back to the house on the main road I turned right and added probably 5k onto the loop. I could have added it onto the second loop, but mentally the idea of doing a shorter loop second sounded a lot better.
On the back roads I met only a handful of cars and about as many dogs. Got chased by a few of the dogs, but I just ignore them and they leave me alone (so far...).
Some of the narrower roads were still flooded, which meant I had to run through the water up to my ankles, once per loop. I was concerned about getting blistered, but didn't get anything serious.
The second loop came around and I was feeling colder, even with all the layers. By this point (around 22k and up), my mind started trying to tell me that I was tired and should cut it short. When this happens, I tend to do a quick check of the legs etc and nowhere was really that tired physically. So I knew it was just my mind trying to wreck my plans and I played a game like this: I "tell" my mind that I'll take a shorter loop than planned, but when I get to that crossroads I don't. Sounds weird/silly but it works for me. I did this twice on the last loop and each time when I went the intended route instead of going easy I didn't feel any worse. Long term I'd say I felt better.
On the last 5k stretch it was a long straight road and fairly cold, exposed and I had a headwind. I slowed right down to conserve energy and just wanted to get it done.
Getting home felt excellent. The chance to take off the layers, examine the tired feet, warm up and eat!
So I got just under 36k for the day, happy enough with that. I took the rest of the day to recover and on Sunday the wind had died down a bit so I went out on the bike. I wanted to loosen out the legs and the first 20k were pretty good. After that the saddle was reminding me that I haven't been spending much time in it for over 6 weeks! 
The route wasn't that hilly, but my legs were tired, and from 30k onwards I had a headwind. I call it mind training :-)
I got 49k and it took about two hours to warm up afterwards. I was probably still not fully warmed up after the previous day's run.
I didn't get a chance to take it easy though. I had to take out seven bronen fence panels in the garden, take down our clothes line and re-attach the felt on the shed roof. All damage from the recent storms.
All in a day's work...


Thursday, February 13, 2014

The 20 rules of running

Not sure where I found this, but I think I've edited them over time too. Let me know if you have any others and I'll add them in.

1. Don’t be a whiner – nobody likes a whiner, even other whiners.
2. Don’t make running your life, make it part of your life.
3. When doing group runs, start on time, no matter who is missing.
4. Don’t compare yourself with other runners.
5. When standing at a start line, remind yourself how fortunate you are to be there.
6. The faster you are the less you should talk about your times.
7. Don’t always run alone.
8. Don’t always run with others.
9. The best runs sometimes come on days you didn’t feel like running.
10. Be modest after a race, especially if you have a reason to brag.
11. All runners are equal, some are just faster.
12. There are no short cuts to running excellence.
13. There is nothing boring about running. There are boring people who run though.
14. Look at hills as opportunities to pass people.
15. Don’t try to out-run dogs.
16. Without goals, training has no purpose.
17. Go for broke, but prepare to be broken.
18. Unless you make a living as a runner, don’t take it too seriously.
19. Runners who never fail are runners who never tried anything great.
20. Running is simple, don’t make it complicated.

21. When you see the camera up ahead suck in your gut! (Thanks Alan McD!)

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Building it up

I wasn't able to make the club long run on Saturday...again. My time isn't always my own. However, I did get my long run in later in the day. It had been raining all day and the temp was about 4-5 degrees, so not exactly "ideal".
Rather than bring a jacket and sweat for hours and dehydrate, I decided to wear a long sleeve base layer, a technical t-shirt and a long sleeve technical top along with a warm hat and fingerless gloves. I could have brought full gloves, but thought I'd warm up and be fine. Of course I was also in my compression shorts and running shorts with the NB Minimus and Injinji toe socks. I find the Injinji are great to prevent blisters in the rain. I also brought a hand held water bottle and a mini torch that has three bulbs but fits in the palm of my hand, so not too bulky. I was able to stash it in the zip pocket of my hand held too.
I was setting out at about 2:30, and I knew the sunset would be around 4:20 and given that I was doing an easy paced run of over 25k I knew I'd be running in the dark by the end, so I brought a high viz vest too.
It went well for the first 9k, and then I turned off the main road and into the wind. The cold hit me and whereas I had been reasonably warm, inside the next 5-10 minutes I was chilly and started running a little faster to keep my temperature up. I didn't want to go too fast either, as this was an aerobic run.
The last 7-8k were tough, with the wind coming in from my left and little or no shelter. I stopped being able to feel or use my fingers. But, I got it done.
The following weekend the temps were almost the same, but with no rain. This time I wore full gloves and a running jacket along with all the layers from the previous week. Felt much better and I did almost the same distance - actually slightly more.
Then last Saturday I was meant to be doing 30-32k on Saturday (I wasn't available on Sunday). Of course it was howling a gale and heaving it with rain. We had an orange level weather warning in effect. So, rather than do the 30k in the rain and high winds, I did a tempo run: 10min warmup, 4min on and 1min off (jogging) with 10mins cool down for a total of 15k. It meant I was pretty warm and not out in the wild as long, but my legs were wrecked!
Sunday was a rest day, and yesterday (Monday) was meant to be a run and then gym work. Unfortunately in the wet run I had gotten a large blood blister on the sole of my left foot, so running was out. So I deferred to the gym bike for 30mins as part of my warmup. After that I went straight into my "Legs & Shoulders" workout. I like to get the leg day done at the start of the week so I can recover well before my long run at the weekend.
So today I did my lunch time run, a little over 5k at an easy pace. Used my new runners, felt excellent!
I have three races coming up in the next two months or so. First is the Bohermeen HM (thecnically this will be a training run for me, with a long warmup & cool down). Then two weeks later the Tralee full, followed three weeks after by the Connemara Ultra (63k or one and a half marathons).
Bring it on!