“Suits you, sir”


Dublin Bay from Howth Head. In the background, the ‘sticky-up bit’ is the Poolbeg power station, also known as the Pigeon House.

I decided the Olympic triathlon would be a good starting point for getting serious with the marathon training programme. The marathon is not until the end of October, and the official programme I have decided to use is from Runners Goal and consists of six days of running and one rest day. Peppered in amongst that will undoubtedly be some Pilates, the odd swim and some cycling.



Here’s the plan, which I have rejigged for the metric-minded runner. You can get the miles version online. I’ve also added in the dates for my race, and a reminder about what pace each run should be done at. The Thursday tempo and the Saturday long run are the two big ones.

Since the triathlon last weekend, we have managed a few runs to ease us into the programme. A reasonable 10k on the Monday, with a shorter bit of speed work on the Tuesday. Wednesday was a tough Pilates session (from hell) and as Thursday was a drill night, I gave the legs a rest and had a shortish run on Friday. It was during this run with Mark that we decided to do the parkrun the following morning, which was admirable but perhaps not the best preparation. We both ran on tired legs and I finished nearly a minute off my PB in what was a humid yet windy outing.

To celebrate the fact that both S and I had Saturday off together (a sort of rare coincidence up there with moons transiting Jupiter, solar eclipses and arriving at the local Lidl and getting a parking space outside the shop), we headed out to the beach. Part of that crazy sequence of events was the weather, which cleared up to give a spectacular day in the midst of what has been, and continues to be, fairly wet and windy fare.

Sutton Strand panoramic

First stop was the Hole-in-the-Wall beach, better known as Sutton Strand. Despite the emerging sun on a Saturday, and the time of year, there were few souls about. We donned the suits and had a dip. The sea is still a good few degrees colder than any inland lake or river and will take another few months to get a little warmer. But warm is a relative term. Irish sea temperatures don’t peak ’til August/September, but even then, ‘peak’ shouldn’t inspire anyone to ditch every stitch of clothing and dive in with abandon. You’re still talking less than 15 degrees Celsius. Currently we are enjoying the luxurious warmth of just under 13 degrees. At this point I will defer you to the online bible of cold water swimming. Check it out here.

S took these as I struggled into mine. Indeed. Modesty forbids I should likewise, so I shall settle for this long-distance shot instead…


Plus one of the feet…


And then there is the obligatory selfie, taken on Howth Head, where we went straight after our swim…


Which turned into a rather long walk around the coastal path…

The Bailey Lighthouse from the summit of Howth Head

Towards the end of this path, which we have walked a few times before, you are rewarded with some great views of Dublin Bay. I did a blog about this walk last year, which you can read here (assuming you are not putting the cat out or doing your hair).

One stand-out visual is the telegraph cable sign.

We doubled back before we reached the Martello Tower near Sutton, and picked up the car before heading back into Howth Harbour for a take-out of lemon sole and chips with garlic sauce from the incomparable Burdocks. Then the quick obligatory trip out onto the pier for a quick peek at the trawlers, a Grey Seal’s head bobbing in the harbour, and King George IV’s feet. I could explain that last one, but if you’re feeling adventurous, you can read all about it online, no doubt. Here’s your starter for ten


We finished off the day with a trip to the cinema to see Wonder Woman. This is the sort of madness we get up to when are both off at the weekend. Total luxury. We even bought popcorn AT THE CINEMA! Outrageous. 🙂

The film is also one big bucket of popcorn too, and I can’t quite see how it’s divided critics and reviewers. Some have panned it, others adore it. It’s just yet another super-hero film with some rather iffy moments in it and clearly set up for a series. And for the rather obvious aim of getting bums on seats and popcorn into buckets. There is a formula for these things, and ‘big cinema’ doesn’t deviate far from it. But it’s enjoyable if you don’t take it too seriously.

Today we took a trip up to our local country estate house. Castletown House has a long history which we can look at another day. Suffice to say the original owners would not have been happy with the riff-raff on their front lawn, which is where we gathered today for the Irish Wolfhound Club show. You can’t but love these dogs. Enormous but affable, you just have to hug one when you get close.

Enjoy your week, whatever it is you get up to.

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