A Week of Summer

We’ve had fantastic weather here in Ireland for the past week. Maybe it was just as good the previous week but I was in Gran Canaria and missed it. But, having experienced all the disappointment of a resort holiday, I was even more thrilled, on Thursday, to be in Costa Portrane, North County Dublin..

It seemed sensible to head off there for a cooling cliff walk and sea swim and save the running for later, when the heat had died down.

Temperatures here are in the high twenties all week(around the high eighties Fahrenheit) and, even though lots of folk around the world regard that as pretty cool, in temperature speak anyway,the nation’s pale white flab is sizzling here. And we can’t wait to get it out there on show.

There were plenty of sizzlers on the beach on Thursday. Families gathered on the grass and further out right around the two mile sandy beach that is Portrane’s fantastic Brook beach. Knots of teenage girls arranged themselves on towels about the place,  while an elderly lady waded through pools with her fishing net and children cavorted and screamed among the waves.

Further up the road, at Tower Beach,  were clusters of teenagers, an occasional family grouping,  and an elderly couple who sat in silence on the rocks overlooking the bay.

And the bay itself,was a wonderful sight. That stark contrast of green and blue rendered everything else more beautiful. John Hinde, that master postcard image maker from the 1970s would have had a field day here. His was the postcard which featured a red haired boy and girl taking home the turf with a donkey and cart, all to the backdrop of Connemara mountains.

Perhaps a Portrane Hinde would have needed a vintage car and a red haired lass to complete the scene, alongside the Martello tower, or just with the backdrop of Lambay Island.

The cliff walk is a gentle short amble from Tower Beach to Balcarrick Beach. On my ramble I met a few couples, a family grouping or two. And a man dressed in denim shorts, nylon tights and a top with conspicuous bra straps on show. Each to their own, eh?

But there were no runners. For all the enthusiasm we Irish have for turning forty shades of pink, running adds another dimension to the heat aspect and one to be avoided in our highest temperatures, unless one is training for the Marathon de Sables.

Still, despite the heat, I did alright this week. I am pushing the speed thing lately. Realising that my jogs are just that-jogs-I have resorted to actual running and am pushing Garmin to show me times in the 5-6 kmpm range:dammit, I have to move.

That worked out well on Tuesday. I did some serious 1 km intervals. pushing to my best times, along with 1km jogging breaks. Thursday saw similar, but with mile long intervals as I was running on a familiar mile long route.

Growing up with Imperial measures and adjusting in the late 70s to all that metric stuff, I guess I am in neither one place or the other.

But I know the feeling of what is working: I have to feel uncomfortable when I train. That is pretty much key to my making any progress.

Yesterday was a beach side two mile run with Teen Girl. And today I settled back into mostly jogging again with a seven mile run.

And so we are back to  the start of a whole new week.

The plan this week?

More interval training Tuesday, run five miles Wednesday, intervals Thursday. And, with a lot of luck, hopefully chasing down a PB at the park run on Saturday.

Other than that? Well, lots more of this fantastic country and with this wonderful weather to boot, I am heading on a mystery ramble mid-week. No, I haven’t the faintest clue where I’ll end up.

But it’s great to get out there and I think that’s probably very true for wherever you’re living. Nature throws up lots of surprises for our entertainment, just as the man made environment can too. And summer improves it all.

Gotta get out there and enjoy.

13 thoughts on “A Week of Summer

  1. Pingback: Autumn Glory | redhenrun

  2. Welcome back RH! Luckily the good weather held out for you. The chemists and A&E departments must be doing great business just now with burnt shoulders and backs – especially those lads that rip their tops off, drink lager and fall asleep with the sun ripping down 🙂

    And just the right weather for speedwork – out and back quick.

  3. I blame the humidity that makes our temps unbearable! We too have actually had a summer this year and running at any time other than late at night or early morning has been uncomfortable. Your schedule for this week makes my legs ache just reading it….where is your rest day????

  4. RH, lovely post. John Hinde wasn’t the worst of them, was he? Still have a collection of his cards here and can’t bear to throw them out.
    Glad you’re enjoying being back. Have to say I’ve had happier experiences in Gran Canaria than you seem to have had but that was back a bit now!

    • Oh lucky you to have those postcards! I was wracking my brain wondering where on earth our collection from my parents’ home had gone and well, um, I’m pretty sure I dumped them! 😦

  5. Wow! i have flown into Ireland for a two hour design brief with a well know drinks company and flow straight back out again… next time, based on your blog and stunning pics, im def staying over xxx thanks for sharing!

    • I’m glad you enjoyed. There’s a whole ton to do and see in this country that doesn’t cost the earth and indeed, in the case of our museums and galleries, often costs nothing at all.
      We’re very far from perfect but there’s tons of history, art, music, theatre and plain good fun to be had here. So definitely hang around and catch some of that next time!
      Now, I’ll have to follow your blog to find out what designs you have for us Irish!

      • ha ha ha ha… a certain creamy yummy number poured over crushed ice… and a few peated ones too… i work in packaging. I am a packaging designer 🙂

  6. Love to mentally run along with you through Ireland!

    Is this week’s weather so unusual our do you get decent summer weather throughout?

    I’ve only been to Ireland in June and October, with rain most days. I’m thinkIng for the next trip September may work, what do you think? Not that it matters much, Ireland is lovely in any weather!

    • I’m afraid the Emerald in the Isle results from all that rain we have JH. I feel so, so sorry for tourists here in the midst of our downpours! And sorry for us runner too when we have to get out in it all.

      What I will say-and you can check out the rainfall charts yourself to see this on met.ie-the east coast is far drier than the western seaboard. And it rains an awful lot in the northwest of the country and in some pockets of Co. Kerry.

      Having said that we are truly basking in an unusually hot and dry July. It was great last year too. But it cannot be relied upon.

      September frequently gives us a last gasp of summer, as it were, so I’m optimistic for you with that month. Going to follow your blog now, and see what you’re planning on getting up to! 🙂

      • Thanks for both the info and the follow. I love the soft days just as I do the sunny days- there’s something comforting about it. I am quite keen to try the early autumn weather when we visit next.

        Your runs and visits around the countryside help me gain perspective and insights on new places to visit, which I appreciate very much!

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