Running in the Rain

Rain, rain go away...

Rain, rain go away…

Sunday is meant to be Long Slow Run day. These days, the long part has shrivelled back to a not-so-long seven or eight miles. But the pace is definitely meditative.

Last Sunday, however, was an exception.

Between one thing and another- actually, one teen and another -I ended up going from pillar to post all day. It wasn`t until late evening that I finally got around to donning my gear and heading for my run. And discovered that the grand, clear, crisp day had morphed into a monsoon monster.

I`m a chicken when it comes to water.(Well, obviously…) But I know that if I miss my Sunday run, it knocks off my weekly mileage. And I also knew I`d little enough time all this week to squeeze in a run. I simply had to go.

Anyway, who can afford to live in this darned little wet island of ours and be picky about the weather?

Phew! All that that reasoning at least got me out the door.

I knew a meditative, medium length run was out of the question though, in negotiating my way out the door, I agreed to stick to my regular three mile route.

The rain was of the interminable sort.  I don`t wear raingear as it`s way too warm for me. So, being soaked to the skin was a given.

That`s not the worst part of rain runs though, it`s the whole gloom of the thing that gets me, the relentlessness of it all. Seeing pools of light, through needles of rain is one of my least favourite sights.

I just wanted the whole darn business done as swiftly as possible. So I ran like a hen out of hell.

Three thoughts on running in the rain….

  • Remember those Michael Mosley inspired intervals I`ve been working on since last August? I have finally realised I need to incorporate that kind of speed into my regular runs too. Get used to making short fast bursts. I certainly did that on Sunday. I need to do more of it.
  • Running in the rain actually suits me because it`s just the whip I need to make me really run.
  • All of us runners are friendlier in the rain. I only met two. But we greeted each other with bigger waves, warmer smiles. It was as if we were saying

“Aren`t we the mad eedjits to be out in this?”

Basking with my blogging buddies after the post run shower, I came across this wonderful article about how to improve your parkrun personal best. Oh, there`s lots of goodies in there and it applies to anyone trying to improve any of their short distance races, not just parkrun.

But one point stuck out at me.

When it hurts a lot keep running AT THAT PACE. When it hurts more, again KEEP RUNNING at that pace

I don`t do pain, and I don`t do rain. But to see any improvements, I have to do both.

Okay,rain gods….Bring It On!


Pic Credit:

Malahide Park Run


This gallery contains 1 photo.

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

Malahide Park Run

Last week was a stress-fest. Mostly good stress, it has to be said. The kind of stress that had me high on adrenaline and working, well, like a crazy red hen. That can very swiftly become the headless chicken run though, so I was glad of my running breaks for keeping my sanity.

So,I ran Sunday, Monday, Wednesday and Thursday.

The focus for these runs is speed. Or, to be more accurate, shuffling a little faster. And well, not cutting the run short.

Meanwhile, in the past week, I`ve also tried and tried various things to fix my garmin, Apart from sending the damned thing away. No luck yet though. So my Runkeeper app is keeping tabs on things for now.

Runkeeper is a fiendishly temperamental beast.  She has a love/hate relationship with all the satellites around Ireland. She`ll often tell me I`m doing four minute miles. Which, actually, I don`t mind. Anything that brings out the Paula Radcliffe feeling in me is very welcome.

But, more often that not, when I`m panting after a five mile trot, she`ll tell me I didn`t run at all.

Maybe it`s not her fault of course. Maybe it`s the satellites themselves that have it in for us down here in the Emerald mire?  Why blame the woman after all? I`m pretty sure the satellites are male (Clue: swanning around having a great time). So maybe it`s their fault.

Anyway,I haven`t quite figured that out yet. But, you can be sure I`ll post it here when I do.

As it turned out, the satellites and Runkeeper aligned themselves perfectly for yesterday`s parkrun. Yes, I wore my headphones.(Sorry Roy and Runandjump) But not for the race`s duration. Just after a few minutes to check in with Runkeeper.

Yes, I could have let her shout out the time and distance for all in the vicinity but I chose instead to keep that info for myself. Not because I didn`t want to support my fellow runners, you understand. But I didn`t want them falling over themselves laughing when they`d hear Runkeeper`s voice emanating from the general direction of my arse, which is where my little hip bag thingy was located.

Anyway, I was pretty pleased when RK told me I was running 9 minute miles. Particularly because I felt pretty good. Wasn`t busting myself to do it. Could`ve run a tad faster maybe. Three quarters of the way through, and I was still doing 9 min miles. Kinda surprised I`d kept the pace.

At the end of the run, RK had put me at .01 seconds per mile faster than my previous park run. Whey! hey! Tiny improvement! Haha! Amn`t I easily pleased?

The best bit though was that I wasn`t as wrecked as the previous run. Maybe I`m getting a bit fitter then? Maybe my hormones were running in the right direction? Maybe my breakfast agreed with me?

Or maybe the satellites themselves were egging me on.

Who knows?

Anyway, I enjoyed it. And afterwards, instead of doing the daft Red Hen thing of running around, I walked around the park itself. Walking after a run prevents the peculiar backache that has emerged in the last year or so. And its always good to have an excuse to whip out the camera.

Today`s gallery then is Malahide Castle park in some of her pre Autumn glory. I figure, in the few weeks, the trees there will be aglow with Autumn colour.

Yes, for more pics and another go at parkrun, I`ll be back.


Prawn and Leek Fricasée

prawn fricasee

This is one of the nicest dishes I have ever eaten. But, I`ll declare a bias: I love, love, love prawns, I adore leeks, and I`d never cooked fennel before.

Three good reasons then, to cook Domini Kemp`s Prawn and Leek Fricasée.

I also had a fourth good reason. Home after the parkrun on Saturday, I was ravenous. I hadn`t eaten breakfast, so the I was in imminent danger of chomping down the Chook House if I didn`t load up on carbs. And fast. This would prove to be the perfect recovery food

.Mind you, my miserable three mile run didn`t merit eating the whole lot. It`s meant to feed four to six people after all, but I`ll confess to going for seconds and to restraining myself from going for round three. It`s highly addictive. Oh, and the fennel adds a nice crunchy texture to it all.

Another bonus? Domini`s recipe is quick, easy and oh so interesting. She bills it as perfect for the reluctant cook. She`s right. And she packs a lot of great flavours in there. It`s definitely a top favourite of mine among all of Kemp`s recipes. And you`ve probably realised by now, that I am a bit of a Kemp nut.(When on earth are they going to give that woman a TV series?)

Anyway, here it is …

Prawn and Leek Fricasée

  • 60ml olive oil
  • 3 leeks, sliced
  • Salt and pepper
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed
  • 2 fennel bulbs, sliced
  • 1 large glass of wine
  • Good pinch saffron
  • Good pinch chilli flakes
  • 2 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 100ml cream
  • Zest and juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 x 340g pack of frozen prawns
  • 1 punnet cherry tomatoes (approx 300g)
  • Bunch parsley, chopped


This serves four to six. You can use cooked or raw frozen prawns, just adjust the cooking time. Heat the olive oil in a decent- sized saucepan and sweat the leeks until wilted down and soft. Season well. Add the garlic and fennel. Then add the wine, saffron and chilli. Cover with a lid and cook for a few minutes until the vegetables are soft. Add the Dijon mustard, cream, lemon zest and juice, along with the prawns and tomatoes. Gently simmer this for about 10 minutes, until it has got rather watery and then starts to reduce and thicken up.

Taste and season. When you are happy with the flavour and consistency, spoon into bowls and serve with parsley and cooked rice or mash.