Sunday, September 28, 2008
Saturday, September 27, 2008
I was pretty happy with the way last Tuesday's interval session went particularly as there were no 'ill effects'. Previously my left knee had given some trouble after this particular interval session (I think the tight bends on the circuit were causing a bit too much strain but that problem appears to have sorted itself out). Wednesday's run comprised a 6-miler at lunchtime which was planned to be a 'steady' 7:15 - 7:30 pace but I felt good and decided to turn it into a steady/tempo progression run. The run went as follows 6.52miles (45:09 @ avg 6:56, 156bpm) and the pace progression was 7:10 (146bpm), 7:06 (154bpm), 6:58 (155bpm), 7:08 (156bpm) [uphill], 6:51 (161bpm), 6:34 (162bpm), 6:25 (166bpm).
Thursday was a busy day at work and home. I was also feeling the cumulative effect of my Sunday - Wednesday runs so not wishing to overdo it I gave myself the day off.
Friday was a 'recovery' pace run with Grellan at lunchtime 6.75miles in 55:18 @ 8:12 (144bpm).
Today, Saturday, I got up early but so did my children.... As a result I was nearly an hour later than planned leaving the house. However a later than planned 8:30am start was not necessarily a bad thing 'cause it gave me a bit longer to recover from the unplanned 'multiple' glasses of wine I had last night!! The run consisted of approx 13miles and is to be my last 'long' run before the Great North Run so I really hoped it would go well. Apart from the first mile, which includes a 40m climb over the first 0.5mile (just to get the heart rate up!!), the run went to plan. Psychologically I tend to break this run into 5 mile segments which I always hope to negative split with a 2-3 mile uphill recovery at the end. Today was no different and the 5mile splits were 36:10 (7:14 pace) & 34:16 (6:51 pace) respectively. I even kept a sub 6:45 pace going for Mile 11 which was a first for this particular run and I felt good without killing myself. In total 12.68miles (1:31:57, avg 7:15, 153bpm) including 11miles 77:10 (7:01, 153bpm). It looks like the wine didn't do me any harm after all!!Wednesday (24/9/08)
6.52miles - 45:09 - 6:56min/mile - avg 156bpm
6.75miles - 55:18 - 8:12min/mile - avg 144bpm
12.68miles - 1:31:57 - 7:15min/mile - avg 153bpm
Tuesday, September 23, 2008
Sunday, September 21, 2008
6.02miles - 49:46 - 8:16min/mile - avg 144bpm
15.70miles - 1:56:03 - 7:24min/mile - avg 152bpm
Week Total (15/09/08 - 21/09/08) - 5 sessions
37.06miles - 4:44:25 - 7:41min/mile - 150bpm
Thursday, September 18, 2008
Monday, September 15, 2008
We were sitting at a table with a Cancer survivor Bernice Glavin who was there to tell her story of survival. Coincidentally, Bernice also ran yesterdays half marathon - it's a small world. In fact Bernice set herself a goal of running 50 marathons by the age of 50. She'll be running her 54th marathon next month in Dublin and she's still 49!!! Well done Bernice.
By Evelyn Ring
Irish Examiner, Monday, September 15, 2008
When Pamela Brice looks into the eyes of her beautiful four-year-old daughter, she sees the generosity of blood donors reflected back. Neither she nor her daughter would have lived without the precious gift of blood they both received. “We are hugely grateful that we survived because of those people who gave blood,” said Pamela, from Douglas in Cork. Pamela, 37, gave birth to identical twins, Eva and Úna, by emergency Caesarean section on June 14, 2004, coincidentally the date of World Blood Donor Day. Both babies, who were born prematurely, were very ill after developing twin to twin transfusion syndrome, a condition that resulted in an imbalance in the blood from one twin to another. Eva, who was overloaded with blood, was in the early stages of heart failure while Úna, the smaller baby, was completely anaemic and required a transfusion as soon as she was born. Pamela received six blood transfusions following the births after doctors at the Erinville Maternity Hospital discovered that she had a rare blood clotting disorder. “I will never forget how cold I was in intensive care and how much better I felt after another transfusion,” she recalled. Pamela, who is expecting her third child, said plans had been made for the birth in Cork University Maternity Hospital and there was a possibility that she will need a further transfusion. Initially very pale, it was only after Úna received another blood transfusion that she blossomed into health, said her mother. “I often think of the people who gave blood and I have met some of them. They are truly humble because they do not expect any thanks for such a precious gift,” said Pamela, a part-time accountant .
During Blood for Life week, which began yesterday and runs until Sunday, the Irish Blood Transfusion Service (IBTS) is hoping stories like Pamela’s will encourage more people to become regular donors. The theme of this year’s Blood for Life Week is “be the type that makes a difference”. “You never know when you, a relative or a friend will be depending on the commitment of donors,” said IBTS chief executive Andrew Kelly. “We need existing donors to give blood regularly and we need new donors to replace those who are no longer able to give blood.”
This afternoon the local radio Red FM interviewed Pamela for their News bulletins. Overnight she's become quite a celebrity. I'd better watch out or the fame will go to her head!!!
Apparently only 5% of the population can donate. In Ireland only 3% donate so my message to all who 'can' would be to "Give blood, Save a life and make a REAL difference".
Sunday, September 14, 2008
So at 9:15, a bit later than planned, I headed off to Blarney. Pamela and the girls were going to follow on later hoping to avoid most of the rain. (as if that was likely - it is Ireland you know!!)
Mile 3 (6:41). Still on plan, still uphill but still picking off runners.
Mile 5 (6:50). Took on the first water here. I planned to take water at approx. 4, 8 and 12 miles as per the Great North Run water stations. I don't know how anyone can drink from plastic cups while running. Got a few sips in without drowning and onward up the hill I went!! Picked off 1 or 2 more but I was conscious that the worst was left to come and there was still a long way to go.
Mile 6 (7:05). Yeah all the reports were correct. The hill into Grenagh is a beast.
Mile 7 (6:35). Just as I reached the village all the locals were coming out from Sunday Mass. Keep going Brendan. It's amazing how not wanting to give up in front of others can motivate you!!
Mile 8 (6:19). A steep downhill out of Grenagh saw my heart rate drop pack down to 170 for the first time since mile 2. A welcome relief!! I even picked off one or two more. I could hear multiple foot steps behind me an feared that the pelaton was about to reel me in. Time to pick up the pace I told myself. So I did.
Mile 9 (6:23). I'm waiting for the downhill section to begin. It seemed to be uphill most of the the way!! Surely there must be a downhill section too?? I passed a guy and commented on the hills. He said the worst was over but I didn't believe him.
Mile 10 (6:20). Although I didn't know it at the time this translates to a 66:35 10mile just slower that my Ballycotton 10 earlier this year but I felt a lot better than I did when I finished the Ballycotton 10 which was just as well 'cause I was still over 3 miles from home!!
Mile 11 (6:28). Only 3 miles to go and the downhill section will come soon. I thought to myself!! This section of the route is over the same road as miles 1 - 4. I think to myself I'm running uphill now so this must be been downhill last time. I didn't know that!!
Mile 12 (6:28). Only 2 miles to go. Passed one more runner and saw another target ahead. It's nearly over....
Mile 13 (6:37). I was still chasing the guy about 20m ahead but I didn't seem to be gaining on him. There didn't seem to be anyone close behind me. At this stage my stride was shortening and I really just wanted to finish as soon as possible. I was tired of all the hills!! Just before the 13mile mark there was one last short steep section. I pushed hard and as I reached the top I saw my fan club (Pamela and the girls) standing by the side of the road shouting 'go daddy go'. Just what I needed and I picked up the pace for the last 0.1mile.
Mile 13.1 (0:37). A slight downhill to the finish saw me cross the line and stop my watch at 1:26:47 (avg heartbeat 176bpm). A big PB by over 8mins and well under my goal for the year of a sub-90 half marathon. Happy days!!
The race report as recorded by Garmin 305 is shown below. Although I can remember all the uphill bits over the first 6miles I don't recall there being too many downhills over the second half. Just as well I brought Mr Garmin - he remembered them for me!!
Coincidentally my official time is also 1:26:47 which is strange given that I didn't start my watch until I crossed the start line approx 7sec after the gun. This is confirmed by the photo of me below crossing the finish line. There is some more discussion on this issue on the Running in Cork blog..
All in all a very enjoyable and well organised race and I don't think I was passed once during the whole race!! My official placing is 64th out of 508 finishers and it appears that I was the 11th in the M35 category.
A big congrats is also due to Grellan and Thomas who both had excellent runs in the same race and made big PB's. Well done lads.
So now that my goal for the 2008 is reached I think I'm going to have to revise my target for the Great North Run (assuming I get a pass!). I'm not sure what target I should aim for. Maybe sub 1:26 would be realistic given that the race is in 3 weeks time? I'll think about it a bit more and devise my new race plan...
Saturday, September 13, 2008
Thursday, September 11, 2008
Today's session was closer to the programmed 6mile fartlek. I got out at lunchtime which has two advantages. Firstly, it's the one time of the day that I can set aside (most days) and keep from other commitments and secondly it's 'time limited' which means that I have to run fast to get the session done!! I set off steady enough with 2 miles at 7:29 pace. I then put in various steady/tempo intervals of 0.33mile (6:15 uphill), 0.29mile (5:54 uphill), 0.17mile (5:30) 0.74mile (7:10), 0.55mile (5:54). Varying recovery lengths (see below). All-in-all an OK session.
Wednesday - 6.3mile - easy (ave 7:33) - 48:26
Thursday - 5.63mile - fartlek - 40:19
Tuesday, September 9, 2008
I'm a 36 year old 'would-be' runner. I used to run a bit when I was in school and college mostly track and some cross country / road. But life during 'Celtic Tiger' Ireland of the late 1990's early 2000's got a bit too busy and between one thing and another I drifted from my running dreams.
In 2005/2006, with my hopes of ever running in the Olympics gone, I decided that if I didn't start doing some form of exercise before I was 40 I never would again. Running is what I knew so run is what I did! Mostly at lunchtime, not very far (max 3 miles) and not very often (1-2 times per week). Hence it never got any easier and I never got much return from my limited effort.
In January 2007 I decided it was time to s**t or get off the pot! I entered a lottery for a place in the Great North Run (half marathon Newcastle to South Shields UK) the following September. I've wanted to run in this mass participation event since the early 1990's. If I was accepted I would have a serious goal that was realistically far enough in the future to be achievable.
I was accepted and my training began. From 0miles per week to 20-30 miles. Totally ignoring the 10% rule with the result that I suffered a string of calf injuries and invested alot of money with the local sports physio. Eventually my training proper started in April / May 2007 with regular base mileage. Still plenty of time.
Training went well, ran a few local 5k (~19:30) / 5mile (~33mins) road races during the summer and saw some improvement in times. The important thing was that I was getting out regularly and getting into a good routine of consistent running 3 - 4 days per week.
The GNR came and went. Starting well back in the field with about 20,000+ runners ahead of me I resigned myself to running through a lot of traffic and settled into a steady 7min - 7:15/ mile pace and content with just enjoying the experience - which I did. My time was respectable (for me) 1:34:51 which placed me about 1200 out of 36,000+ runners. Some might say - not bad. The important thing for me though was that I was back running far and regularly and I even lost some weight (approx 13kg)
Since then I've kept with it (in between various calf injuries) and in 2008 my training has been more consistent that ever. A 66min 10miler in March, a sub-18:30 in May and a sub-32min 5mile in June. In fact, I'm running more miles now (up to 50+ per week), more quality miles (2 interval sessions per week) and longer long runs (regularly 13miles +) than ever before. I got the bug!! And yes I entered the GNR again this year with a new target. This year I want to run sub 1:30. Here's hoping.....
So on to my running diary.....
Although a strange pain in my left hip appeared last night today's session consisted of a lunchtime steady 6mile run at 7:00min/mile pace (avg). The run went well and I felt good afterwards particularly considering I had taken a 4 day break since last Thursday. No ill effects on the hip after the run. Average heart rate 161bpm.
The plan for this week is a 9mile easy/steady run tomorrow, 6mile fartlek Thursday, 6mile easy Friday, 5mile recovery Saturday and 13.1mile race Sunday. Let's see how it transpires.....