Eight Miles! Eight Miles!

New Runners

Whey! Hey! New shoes! Couldn`t wait to break these babies out of their box….

Well, um, I actually waited two whole days. Got them on Saturday but hey, that would be too soon to break `em in, no? And, I had to eat my way through Chocolate Mountain yesterday. Only cos it was Easter Sunday, and my duty, you understand. Would even have run, had my chocolate chomping duties not intervened.

Anyway, today was the day. See, I even kitted out in matching turquoise fleece!

Had no idea where my run would take me though. Had a tentative aim of going for a Long Slow Run(LSR) what with having skipped my regular one on the Sunday. The weather was grand-too cold for everything else, but perfect for running. And I`d nothing else on. Yes, clothes on, of course(you horrible person!) but no fixtures, no duties. No, not even chocolate chomping ones.

Off I went. Actually aimed to do my weekly hill run and gallop on a bit from there. And, in the end up, followed on the road for four miles, right along a whole new route.

The thrills of a new route!

Ok, it was boring old country roads for the most part but…


I got to see my first primroses of the year. Love those little blooms.


And got to see this little fellow too, flitting about in a hedge. Nope, can`t claim credit for the pic. He was moving too fast for me, after all. But he`s the spitting image of the guy I saw. (How do birds tell one from the other anyhow?). A goldcrest is a goldcrest, right? Smallest bird in Ireland. Or is that the wren? Correct me, someone, cos I`m too damn lazy to go google right now. Anyway, that pic was shamelessly blagged  from http://www.birding.in/birds/Passeriformes/Regulidae/common_goldcrest.htm

Such are the things lots of good runs are made from. Plenty of tedium and boredom. Relieved only by the joys of nature and…

…. Seán Moncrieff on my earphones. Ah, yes, gotta love Newstalk. And Seán. He was being his usual sensationalist self of course,  discussing zombie symphosiums or “zombiephosiums” as he dubbed them, oh and yes, the  changing size of otter`s penises. He also squished in an item on the attractions of serial killers`s art in the art market, and ho hum, other stuff not meant for kiddie`s ears. Yep, um, only on Newstalk…

Anyway, `twas all good LSR fodder. Kept me moving.

Not too swiftly mind. Though it was mainly uphill. For the first four miles, anyway. And eight miles in total. At a tad above 10 mins per mile. No, not the quickest. But sure there`s all of April to work on the speed front, right?

Plan for the week? Keep running, but pushing speed this time, not distance. Keep knitting-gotta rippit again tonight. Don`t ask, but it`s not back to the very start…. Keep cooking. Yottam Ottolenghi`s really doing it for me these days. And build the old pic gallery. Absolutely loving being Out There for Spring.

But running does that to me all the time.

Aran and I ran



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?

Back into the Groove


Yay! Spring has sprung!

Or so it seemed today in my little corner of the universe.

It had been a lousy week, running wise. Okay, I did manage to increase my speed.But only got three runs, and eight miles in total,  before sickness struck on Thursday. A maybe migraine/stomach ulcer type of thing  going on. Not bad enough to merit shelling out fifty bucks to the doc, but enough to send me to bed a 6pm on Thursday and it dragged into Friday and Saturday too.

But this morning, by 7 am, the skies was getting bright, and, when I put my nose out, I swear I could detect a little heat. Whey, hey! Long slow run called for, and long slow run it would be.

Threw on my marathon t shirt. It`s a long sleeved affair and perfect for today. Wind chill factor heading south but this was a very familiar route. Main road,lots of traffic and all that, but it would take me straight to another town, if I cared to run that far. I`d fond memories there of the ghosts of LSRs past as that was my pre-marathon LST stomping ground.

But I`m back at the drawing board again. Starting gingerly with my first post marathon LSR. Didn`t want a return of the foot injuries and didn`t want to kill my wavering athletic enthusiasms. Looonnng and sloooowww it would be.

This is worse than recounting my dreams or telling you, in fine detail, just how wonderful my children are….

But anyway, if you`re interested, see here for the Garmin connect lowdown on today`s run.

Time: 1:46:21
Moving Time: 1:44:35
Elapsed Time: 1:47:48
Avg Speed: 5.1 mph
Avg Moving Speed: 5.2 mph
Max Speed: 36.6 mph
Avg Pace: 11:49 min/mi
Avg Moving Pace: 11:37 min/mi
Best Pace: 1:38 min/mi
Elevation Gain: 178 ft
Elevation Loss: 179 ft
Min Elevation: 17 ft
Max Elevation: 134 ft
Minutes per Mile
Avg Pace
Summary 1:46:20.8 9.00 11:49
1 11:03.5 1.00 11:03
2 11:52.2 1.00 11:52
3 11:55.3 1.00 11:55
4 12:49.7 1.00 12:50
5 11:38.6 1.00 11:39
6 11:57.9 1.00 11:58
7 11:53.4 1.00 11:53
8 12:19.1 1.00 12:19
9 10:50.5 1.00 10:51
10 :00.9 0.00

And if all that is too boring-and I`m yawning myself-all you really need to know is that I ran nine miles and at a pretty pathetic pace.

Was damned happy my feet bore up. It`s the furthest I`ve gone since they crashed at the marathon in October. Left foot-the one that was the slowest to recover-did complain a tad but I`m fine now, and expect to be in the morning.

But the main effect is in my mood. I just so ENJOYED every second of today. Loved the air, the growth, the traffic. Love that Spring has SPRUNG! And that I got to stretch out in a nice, slow, meditative jog through the whole lot of it. Oh, that felt so good.

Ok, nine done already! Only eleven more to go this week.

Oh, and the swimming continues. Got swimming twice this week. But at least they were both good stretches of 1,000-1,400 metres.

Yeah, on the running front, I kinda feel I`m back in the groove after today. Know what I mean?