Friday, November 27, 2009

Great Video

Great Video

Takes a while to load but worth the wait ....

This is me ---------------->>>>>

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Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Why has my belt shrunk ?

It has been very quiet the past few weeks training wise, in fact, it has been quiet generally.
The problem is that I'm enjoying the freedom of a reduced training schedule far too much.

Last weekend as the rain lashed against the windows I spent most of Saturday and Sunday stretched out on the sofa reading novels and watching mind numbing TV.
To make matters worst I was also eating total crap, tasty but not good for the waistline.

I haven't bothered to renew my gym membership yet so I get to lie on for an extra hour and a half in the mornings.
On the plus side I have had some evening runs in the dark but that came to an abrupt halt when the weather turned so bad that the volume of debris blown onto the roads made it too dangerous to run in the dark.
The torrential rain caused puddles that are rather uncomfortable to run through. A minor complaint, I know, when you see the massive damaged caused by flooding through the country recently.

I'm trying to justify all this laziness by saying that I need recovery time after the Dublin marathon (yeah, HTFU) and I'm working out my training schedule for next years events, although why that stops me running after work I'm not sure.

On a completely different matter, one of those "things" in "Training, Events & Things"
I recently went to the opening of Woodlands Falconry at Rathwood in County Carlow, a venture undertaken by a very good friend of mine Tommy Byrne.
He has been a falconer for many years and was earning his living as a scarecrow, when he decided that there was a need for a top class birds of prey centre in Carlow and he was going to set one up.
After many months/years of meetings and discussions, a huge amount of research, the scouting of suitable sites and the total collapse of the Irish economy (not his fault) everything was in place for the business venture to officially start.

Helen McInerney from Nationwide arrived early to film for a January issue of the show.
A group of press photographers came next.
The real excitement started when Oscar nominee Saoirse Ronan made her appearance. Saoirse posed for photos with various birds and then, to a rousing cheer, she performed the ceremonial cutting of the ribbon.
Tommy and crew had put on a fantastic spread of food and wine, the weather gods smiled and the large crowed enjoyed the festivities.

I have to say that this centre is well worth a visit for anybody with even a passing interest in wildlife and of course there is the opportunity to have your photo taken with a Golden Eagle....

Owl photo by Nathan Byrne aged 7

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Tuesday, November 17, 2009

What's next

Over the past few week I've been wondering what events I should plan for in 2010.

At this point I hope to be attempting:

2 Marathons
Edinburgh Marathon
Dublin City Marathon

3 Adventure races
Wicklow Adventure Race
Gael Force
Achill Roar

5 - 6 Cycling sportives
including but not exclusively
Wicklow 200
Carlow 150
Sliabh Bloom Challenge
Humpy 100
Sean Kelly Challenge

Various shorter running races,
including the Adidas series
I also want to try some mountain races next year

God knows what else !!
I'm toying with the idea of trying the Liffey Descent if I can get in enough kayak training

In conversation recently with my friend Sean he quoted one of his previous managers "We can do anything but we can't do everything".
I have had a fantastic time since I was talked in doing the Dublin Marathon in '08. I think my introduction to road running was a little unusual in that my first road race was a marathon but since that first run I've fancied having a try at anything.
I'm having the problem now of having to prioritise, I want to do everything, I really, really want to do everything but what can I fit into my lifestyle?

So, the bottom line at the moment is that I will target the marathons as priorities but I will fit in the adventure races as a close second. What I mean by that is that I will not have an easy week before or a recovery week after the adventure races but I want to push hard during the events.

The cycling sportives are extremely enjoyable and made all the more so by having the chance to train and take part in these events with one of my best friends, Big Al Mc and they are invaluable training for the adventure races.

The mountain races will help with the adventure races and if I can work it right they will also help with the marathon training.

The next step is to put together a training schedule that will suit my goals and lifestyle and hopefully inprove my fitness and results.

As for the kayaking, well, that's something I just want to do.......

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Sunday, November 8, 2009

Crookstown Motorway 10k

At times I wonder what goes on in my head when it comes to sports goals.
Just 12 days after a tough run in the Dublin marathon I fancied my chances of a - by my standards - fast 10k run. I don't know why I thought I could do this, I had a 2 week taper before Dublin and only ran 5 - 6 easy runs after, none of these were more than 4 miles, also my nutrition hasn't been the best, I haven't weighed myself lately but my belt is telling me all is not well.

I arrived at the race by a rather circuitous route having failed to read the directions properly, for awhile I feared that I would be too late to collect my race number but I needn't have worried, I certainly wasn't last to collect a number.

After a warm up it was onto the start line. The race started about 10 minutes late and although the weather was cold, wet and windy I was ok as I wore an extra t-shirt, track top and hat and only took these off seconds before the start.

I ran the Adidas series in the Phoenix Park earlier this year, this consisted of a 5 mile, a 10 mile and a half marathon. I managed to run each one of these better than the last so maybe this is where my inflated opinion of my ability to run the 10k faster the the 5 miler came from.

The first mile was bang on target but even at this early stage I knew that I wasn't going to sustain the pace. I dropped 12 seconds in the second mile and a further 19 in the third.
The turn around point was along a gravel track, across a bridge and back down onto the opposite side of the motorway. There was a timing mat at the half way point, I hit this at single seconds over 22 mins.
A sub 45 would still be possible if I could maintain a decent pace and not drop more that 1 minute more that the first half.
To be honest I didn't think this would be possible as I was feeling tired and when I hit the head wind on the exposed road I reckoned that was the end of a sub 45.
I was passed by a number of people in miles 4 and 5, I didn't even attempt to hang on to any of these runners, I just kept trying not to drop too much more pace.

With just over 1km to go I was overcome by a wave of nausea, this was completely out of the blue, I still can't explain the cause but the result was that I discovered that a concrete motorway dividing barrier is the perfect height for me to lean over. I resumed running for another few yards and had to stop again.
I lost numerous places stopping like that and I tried in the remaining km to regain some of these lost places.
Within sight of the line I closed up behind another runner, I was very much in a world of my own but he caught my eye when he started to speed up so I couldn't pass him. I had one of those will I, won't I moments but the thought of a sprint at that point wasn't worth the extra place... maybe next time !!

I crossed the line in 81st place at 45.42.
I am disappointed with the result but comforted slightly by the fact that I was not fully recovered from the Dublin marathon and if I wasn't forced to stop I would have at least hit the sub 45.
Oh! nearly forgot it was also a PB

It's a real pity that that race was a one off.

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Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Lazy days

I've done very little since the Dublin marathon except eats loads of tasty - bad for me - things and drink a few delicious pints of Guinness

I can already feel my belt getting tighter ....Ohh dear !!!

I did absolutely nothing on the 2 days following the marathon - except walk like John Wayne - and on Thursday I went for a very gentle 3 mile run.
I did this run just after dark, a first for me. I had always considered the idea of running along unlit country roads to be the realm of nutters. Reading the blog accounts of Thomas who regularly runs in the dark encouraged me to have a go. To be honest the jury is still out on whether it is just for nutters, although lunatics may be more appropriate as apparently it is fine to run in full moonlight.

It was raining as I headed out, with my bright yellow jacket and head torch - I only used the torch to flash at cars as there was still enough residual light to see the road surface - I even put a reflective armband on each leg in the hope that they would make me more visible to motorists, these only lasted yards as they just kept slipping down my legs and annoying me.
The run turned out to be remarkably pleasant, despite the rain, but in fairness it was still very mild, so I would expect it will not be so easy in the cold weather.

Sean (yes, Sean the sub 3 marathoner) came to visit for the weekend so some extra pints were had (all Seans fault ;-) ). We had a slow, gentle run on both Saturday and Sunday. These were run at a very relaxed pace.
I do all my training alone and I suppose that at times I enjoy the solitude but those runs at the weekend were all the more pleasurable for the good company.

I will try some more after dark runs this week to prepare, well to be slightly more prepared for Saturdays 10k run at Crookstown. I am looking forward to finding out how much the marathon has taken out of my legs

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