Evening Run Skerries Harbour

Evening Sky over Skerries Harbour

Evening Sky over Skerries Harbour

I am sticking to a plan. Hal`s plan. This may see me to the Dublin city marathon in October. It may not. All hinges on injury recovery. And my predisposition to laziness.

If I`m not recovered on time, well then, there`s other races, other days. Meanwhile, I`m going to keep moving and have fun while I`m doing it. Fun actually improves my work ethic. At least that`s my excuse.

Martello Tower Loughshinney

Martello Tower Loughshinney

So, in that spirit, I made a bit of a photorun out of yesterday`s jog. Dropped into Loughshinny, North of Dublin first. Definitely a place worth returning to as it has a really nifty little beach and harbour. Unfortunately, it was exceptionally dull when I got there-lots of grey cloud and grey sand and grey sea so my pic haul there was poor. But it`s definitely worth a return trip.

Lucky Dog

Spot the Dog

By the time I`d made it to Skerries, however, the sun was peeking through. Sadly, our heatwave is gone. Yesterday evening was actually chilly. So chilly I was cursing myself for not bringing my fleece running jacket. Yes, that`s how cold it was. Damn.

Beached Boats

Beached Boats

But the sun was being brave and there were actually a lot of runners and walkers doing their thing along the harbour. Skerries has the advantage of having a very long promenade all along it`s coastline. It has a delightful harbour, terrific harbour and wonderful views of Shennick, Colt and St.Patrick`s island off coast.

Further out is Rockabill Island, with it lighthouse and, I`m told, the largest roseate tern population in Europe. There are boat trips out to Rockabill and to nearby Lambay island. Might be worth a look see some day when I get a lot better at using my new camera.

Skerries Harbour

Skerries Harbour

Pics taken, views enjoyed, I contented myself with a three mile mediocre trot along the coast. My quads were still wincing from a sixteen mile cycle I`d undertaken on Tuesday. Happy days, as it gave me the perfect excuse for a very slow lazy run. No, Hal won`t be happy but I have every intention of making up for that again.

And you know what they say about the road to hell…

Wild Run

Yesterday`s run was a delight: two and a half miles of sunshine and shade as I rambled through the meadow and down along the tow path. I looped around the route twice, giving me a total of five miles.

The Tow Path in June

The Tow Path in June

It was hot out there, so the shade of the tow path was very welcome indeed.


And plenty of this one too. Of course, that`s no guarantee I`ll be able to name it. Luckily, I have the most fantastic book “The Wildflowers of Ireland” by Zoe Devlin. It`s a pure pleasure to browse and it`s full of beautifully taken photos from a botanist who`s very passionate about her work.  I`ve also found Zoe`s website just superb for flower identification purposes.  She also gives a little history on the spread of each plant, and their location in Ireland. And all with beautifully taken photographs.


Is this Herb Robert?

Is this Herb Robert?

For all that, I still am unsure if I`ve identified the above plant correctly. So chip in, if you know what it is and put me out of my misery please.

I ran the first loop of the route non stop. The second part, I did at intervals, stopping to take the photos and running a little harder. It was just another way to vary the running, as much as anything else.

Just bumbling along

Just bumbling along

Hedwiga mentioned a lovely site her in blog yesterday. It`s all about identifying these little creatures. She also has an adorable photo of a bee on that blog-along with heaps of wildlife observations.

I particularly love bees. That may be because I grew up with them and remember the great big honeycombs our granddad hauled from his beehives each year. Or just the realisation that the little guys do hugely important work with all their pollinating efforts across the countryside. This little fellow did the pollinating business all along a blackberry hedge.

And finally…


A pause at the canal bridge. Yep, that`s my foot. About as close to a selfie as I`ll ever get! Spot the car key? Thumbs down to running shorts which don`t have zipped pockets. I was thinking my lace up solution was a good one, until I thought that all that pounding might interfere with the central locking mechanism. Hmmm, what do I know? Anyway, it`s time to root out the wrist pocket again.

The best bit about this run? Not an ache or a pain anywhere. This is a first because it`s taken an absolute age for my feet to recover from October`s (yeah, a long time ago) marathon and my lower back had been aching right through most runs lately. I think I`ve found the lower back gremlin-the car. I`ve been really hopeless at post run stretching. I used to jump in the car and go. Now, I take a ten minute walk after my runs, stretch out a little too and it seems to be making the difference. Live and learn, as they say.

Can you believe Juneathon is nearly over?

Fish and Run


Rachel Allen -yes, she of the perma grin, grating accent and stylish clothes-introduced me to this delightful dish last week. As she promises on the RTE website it`s a zingy, refreshing dish, and, as I discovered, perfect recovery fuel for my long runs.

The interesting thing about Ceviche is that the fish is `cooked` in lime juice. That`s it. No pan, no oven, nada. Just marinate for a couple of hours and the acid in the juice will cook the flesh.

You can use any white fish. I used haddock. It didn`t slice up as neatly as Rachel`s. But then, I`m not Rachel. And I differed in the amount of certain ingredients, preferring 1/2 a chilli to one whole one, and adding coriander because I am particularly fond of it with avocado.

Anyway, be sure to see Rachel`s pic. And I`ve copied her recipe here.


500 g skinless white fish fillets (such as pollock, haddock, cod, plaice or sole, cut into strips 5mm thick)
juice of 6 limes
3 spring onions (trimmed and sliced)
150 g cucumber (peeled and cut into 5mm dice)
2 avocados (peeled, stone removed and flesh cut into 5mm dice)
1 red chilli (deseeded and finely chopped)
lime slices, to serve

1.Place the fish pieces in a large bowl, add the lime juice and mix together, then cover with cling film or a plate and leave in the fridge to chill for at least 1 hour.
2.Remove from the fridge and mix in the remaining ingredients. Divide between plates, add lime slices and serve.

I loved this dish. I`ll confess I let it marinate in the fridge for three hours. Just being a little nervous about the lime juice cooking process and wanted to ensure the fish was well-cooked. Next time I`m going to marinate it with more of the other ingredients just to allow for a greater fusion of flavours.

Beach run

Beach run

This morning`s beach run peaked my interest in some fishy lunch. I rarely run before breakfast but the configuration of today`s activities meant I either took my chance early this morning, or forget about it. I am curious about the whole carb fuelling thing anyway. I have a theory that if we get used to running hungry we might cope with the glycogen crash that hits in marathons. In the weeks prior to last October`s marathon I deliberately stretched the time between meals just to get used to that hungry feeling.

But enough about my crazy running theories. Had a really nice beach run, of just four miles. Perfect conditions, warm sun, cool breeze, empty beach and all done before breakfast.

With a run done before breakfast, and a perfectly fishy lunch, it`s been one of my better Juneathon days.

How was yours?

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?