Malahide Park Run

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November surprised with her glorious blue sky this morning. All the better, because I had actually managed to rouse myself for the Malahide Parkrun, and, perhaps, a personal best for this 5 km romp. There were quite a few Airtricity … Continue reading

Eats, Runs, and Leaves Again

Lamb Balls and Pistachio Aioli resized

Eats: Meat Balls and Pistachio Aioli.

This recipe has been shamelessly fliched from one of my fav food writers, Domini Kemp. It actually should be lamb skewers. But my skewers were too big for the pan so I turned the meat mix into balls instead. Still equally scrummy though. And the aioli? Well, neither my presentation, nor my pic do it justice here. Believe me, it is truly, truly delish.

The recipe for both the lamb skewers and the aioli can be had here, on the Irish Times website. And Domini`s pic is so much better than mine too. So, go on, take a peek.

You`ll be back in time for my running and photography news…

Runs:

Beautiful spring morning in this neck of the woods. I could hear the birds calling to me. So I jumped out of bed, and donned my marathon finisher t-shirt.

dublin-marathon-tshirt Ooohh, I just love to brag!

Oh, and capri pants and runners of course. But no thermal underlayer! Yay! So good to see sunnier days again.

Wore my Garmin 405, of course, but didn`t fret about the time. Really bothered about my feet holding up and, while the first five miles were pain free, after that I could feel the familiar old achiness setting in on my left foot. Damn. But I ploughed on. Just took it carefully, tried to relax the foot as best I could. Stop and stretched for a bit. Widened out the top of the runners at the laces. The pain wasn`t unbearable, mind. I just don`t want to compound any damage. And yet I was gonna push on for ten miles if I could help it at all.

Usual Sunday mix of cyclists, and runners on the road. And, charmingly, a trail of vintage cars on their way to some meet or other. I`m a sucker for classic cars.

By mile nine I was contemplating walking. But I suddenly thought of dropping my heel to the ground. I know this is a debatable point-landing on forefoot or heel striking. Well, heel striking hugely eased the pressure on my feet.(Yep, right one acting up by then.) And I shuffled home, quite happy with the distance. Didn`t care about the pace.

Just need to keep buildling on these longer runs to ensure I`m half marathon ready by June and marathon ready by October. I`ve given up on the orthotics. Did nothing for me, I`m afraid. But am stretching my feet and toes whenever it`s convenient and also going barefoot at home.

Happy to have done the run though. Psychologically, and in terms of the mileage, it sets me up for a good running week.

Leaves:

Yep, it`s the Leaves thing again. The challenge,as set out on the blog Ouch! My Back Hurts! is to take pics on a different theme each month. April`s theme is Leaves. So, I nipped into the Botanical Gardens in Dublin yesterday and snapped these.

Bromeliad Hothouse Botanical Gardens April 2013 Fronds Hothouse Gerania Canopy Hothouse In the hothouse

The challenge really opened my eyes to leaves. I never knew, for instance, that the humble perlagonium held such beautiful shades of green within it. Or that palm fronds were so huge.All of these pics were taken indoors, of course. The palm house, in fact, had quite a good deal of Asian folk wandering about in it yesterday. Feeling homesick, I am sure, surrounded,as they were by such familiar foliage, and basking for a short while, in the muggy heat.

Yes, Spring is a-springing, as best she can. Wandering around the gardens, after my little session in the glasshouses, I could see buds only dying to unfurl their precious green cargo. Any day now, and all those naked branches will be doing the decent thing and getting their clothes on.

Bring it on!

Aran and I ran

 

Aran

Especially for Paigesato… and all you other crafty bloggers out there… yep,this is my latest knitting project. I bought the wool last September and here I am, on the twelfth row of the Aran pattern.Luckily I run faster than I knit.If I keep going at this rate, I might have it done in time for next October`s Dublin City Marathon.

Mind you, I could`ve done with it this evening. I wriggled out of this morning`s LSR on the basis that it was just so c-c-cold.Temps read just below freezing but it was the added wind chill factor that morphed me into a complete wimp and I bailed on my morning`s run.

Instead, I lolled about the place,eating like an athlete. Just got the appetite from hell today. Don`t know where it came from but all I wanted was food. Cereal, bread, tomatoes, olives, goats`cheese. Yep, all good stuff, but then I found some chocolates, and later on had a large slice of coffee cake. Curry, carrot and coriander soup all passed the lips in record speed. At one point I even considered stealing one of the kids` Easter eggs. `Til my conscience finally intervened. It was a close thing though.

Of course my inner saboteur convinced me that I would burn the lot off with my Sunday long slow run. Problem was, I`d put off the LSR and it loomed like  large cloud over my whole day. I almost chickened out on it too but guilt whipped my ass out there tonight and even though I didn`t go as far as I should have, I managed a grand six miles and in a new route, with some elevation thrown in.

Temps still at freexing point when I got out there. Pretty amazing actually, as I know this time last year I was on the beach with my girl basking in unseasonably warm sunshine. It turned out to be the best sunshine of our Irish summer. Meanwhile. I`ve heard today, that we`re having the coldest March in fifty years. I can testify to that. I ran in thermal base layer, t shirt, fleece, leggings and beanie.Didn`t take off the fleece til my run is over. That`s a rare thing for me as I warm up very quickly.

Cue need for cosy Aran jumper.

Hopefully, Spring will have truly sprung before I get my aran knitted. If you look closely at the picture you`ll see my garmin on the book stash all ready to offload it`s data onto garmin connect. Have to say, I love that nifty little record keeper. Then there`s the bookstash itself. Two Leonard Cohen biogs. and Danny Dreyer`s Chi Running. I`ve yet to work my way through them all, having, perilously, read bits of each.

Yep, on the running, reading, knitting front there`s lots more to do.

Oh well, busy is good, right?

Sisterly Advice

Baby Brother has got into running this year. I am struggling not to claim credit for this. But I suspect that all my lyrical waxing on the spiritual experience that is Dublin City Marathon, and my callous claims to have outrun our (significantly younger, and male)cousin have had such a huge impact on little bro` that he has decided to hit the endomorphin trail.

All very well and good. But now he`s coming to me for advice. ME!

What training plan should he follow? Actually, I volunteered this piece of advice before the question even came:Hal Higdon. Sure, there`s a zillion plans out there but this guy has a book written in a way us post 40 yr old understand i.e hard copy. And he has aps to sate our pre 40 wannabe leanings. And a billion pieces of terrific advice as a very seasoned marathon runner and coach. And he`s old. Yep. Old is GOOD. Even I know that.

Runners? Well, em, see previous post.

Genes? Sorry. We`re not built for speed. But we can go on, and on, and on…

Sports watch? Yep, Garmin.Garmin Forerunner 450 is my neato piece of kit.

Garmin

Gotta get an ant stick with that so you can upload all your runs to http://www.connect.garmin.com. And then the fun REALLY starts. You can Relive Your Runs! Ha!Only discovered that one tonight. There I am cursing every inch of my three miles in the wind and rain this evening, and next thing I get home to discover me as a little arrow bopping along the route on garmin.connect/player without a care in the world. On an even more practical level you can download a calendar from on there of all the runs you`ve done. So much easier to tot up your mileage that way. And there`s maps of your route and more. I`m really only in the tentative exloratory stages of what this piece of kit is capable of.

Oh, and I`ve a heart rate monitor to go with that. Just haven`t delved in there yet.

Meanwhile, Runkeeper will keep you going. It`s an ap. So you`ll need your smartphone attached to your person for that.

And the best armwear for that purpose is the Karrimor sleeve/pocket. Oh, I`m sure there`s a better name for it than that. Anyway, I`ve tried pouches, pockets and stiff arm sleeve thingies but the Karrimor soft sleeve/pocket has worked best for me.

Yep, and at the end of the day, Brother, it`s about what works best for you.

I found out I needed Bodyglide, and running shorts the hard way. Yep, in combo. That may not be relevant to you. (Think female and thigh chaffing) Similarly, all my sports bra experience is probably pretty irrelevant.(Hmmmm, sports bra post put off for another while, then.)

Now, nipple shields I don`t have to think twice about but the sight of bloodied men at the end of the marathon will be forever emblazoned in my memory.Ouch!So you`ve gotta ask somebody better qualified than me for advice there.

And pissing in front of Áras an Uachtaráin(the Presidential Residence) is similarly, outside of my area of expertise but also forever emblazoned in my memory as a wannabe runner.(And maybe, wannabe male. God, but it must be pretty convenient being a male sometimes…)

And yep, there`s where I`ll end it. You`re a guy. You`re always going to run faster than me. But, even though your Baby Brother, chances are, I`ll be around for longer.

At the end of the day, it`s all about biology. Oh, and revenge. Gonna meet you out there sometime. Maybe DCM 2013? Watch out! 😉