Training to a T

“Ripper Street: Tournament of Shadows (#1.6)” (2013)

[last lines]
Isaac Bloom: Joshua was right. Justice has become a commodity. Is this the shadow of what is to be, Inspector? My brother used to say the future belongs to men of reason, not of faith.
Detective Inspector Edmund Reid: On that I would agree with him.
Isaac Bloom: And mathematics tells us something different. The entropy of the universe tends to a maximum. You understand?
Detective Inspector Edmund Reid: A little.
Isaac Bloom: Disorder, Inspector. Everything from the smallest system to our entire world moves always, irretrievably, from order into chaos. And there is nothing to be done about it. Do you share that belief?
Detective Inspector Edmund Reid: No.
Isaac Bloom: Then perhaps you are a man of faith after all.

A Blackbird fledgling in our garden. Aren’t we all but fledglings of a sort? *

Week Two draws to a close. When you are a slave to the programme, with a big race at the end of things, your already small life seems to shrink even more. The opening few lines above are from Ripper Street, one of the better TV shows on at the moment, which I gather will draw to a close shortly, which is a shame. But then all good things, and all that. Entropy. The constant battle. The rage against the dying of the light. All that sort of stuff. In the modern world, we call it a mid-life crisis. It possibly explains why so many of us are huffing and puffing around, running marathons and doing triathlons. Still, whatever makes you happy I guess. My mate reckons we are all running away from something. If that something is coronary heart disease or depression, well then I say keep running 😉

So, Week Two.

Monday began with a nice recovery run with Ciaran and Des around Castletown House in Celbridge. The weather was great, and the 9+ kilometres were enjoyable, once I had downed a gel after a few k. I had eaten dinner, but I don’t think the fuel had hit the furnace, and I was starting to get what I would call IBS, or Itchy Belly Syndrome. Not to be confused with the other IBS, which I suspect would be a greater nuisance. Itchy Belly Syndrome kicks in after a few k of a run when you haven’t fuelled correctly, and the boiler room rings up to see where the coal is. Without immediate attention, IBS will usually derail any run, and sometimes, sudden onset cannot be helped with normal food, and the instant hit of a gel is the only answer.

Tuesday was about 10k of speed work. It was also an object lesson in another acronym (in a world already weighed down with the bloody things). But this is one of the originals. RTFM. Read the effing manual. I hadn’t quite got to grips with the programme’s finer details and had confused the slightly slower and marginally faster elements of the speed work requirements. Turns out it is less complicated. Just do repeats of set distances. And each week sees either a slightly slower or slightly faster pace; in my case, that equates to either 4.55 or 5.05 (minutes per kilometre). In my first week, I had done both paces in the one run. Oh well. No harm done.

Wednesday was about 8k of recovery running, which was a hot and sweaty affair.

Thursday was the all-important tempo run, and this was nearly 10k. It was longer than planned (8k) and faster too. As I joked with Kristian on his blog, I need to stop reading stories of epic running shortly before I head out the door. It’s like going to the supermarket when you’re stoned. Lots of crisps and no bread.

Friday was another recovery run of about 8k, and this I did with Mark. Easy pace.

model T
This was passing my door on Friday, and the driver pulled in, looking for a toilet. I invited him in and we had a lovely chat. Retired gent from Coventry in the UK and he had driven all the way to Westport on the west coast of Ireland and was now on his way home. This is his Ford Model T from 1911. Above to the left is my Ford Mondeo from the early 2000s. I have no idea how many Mondeos were built, but history records only 72,567 Model T Touring Cars came off the line in Detroit that year. A true classic.

Saturday was the long run, and I had convinced Mark to join me. Not a difficult ask to be fair. I am steadily chipping away at Mark’s resolve to NEVER run a marathon. We have already passed the 5 and 10 k hurdles with no difficulty, and at the end of last year, we completed a half marathon together. I am convinced a full is well within his compass, but he seems to find the whole idea crazy. Well, he’s not wrong there. But we’ll see. It’s a work in progress.

We managed almost 20k in just over two hours so the pacing was pretty good. It was a warm day, and the park was busy. And of course, you start to see some of the same folk again when you keep looping around. I had a soak in the bath afterwards (purely coincidental as it was there when I returned – I mean, full of hot water – the actual bath is always there…) and the legs felt pretty good afterwards.

To tie in (somewhat tenuously, I admit) with the whole Ford car theme, I did actually treat my car to two new front tyres, and got them all balanced to boot, as there was a little tremble at higher speeds. My mechanic mate Ciaran had even identified which ones, from the front seat, on the way home from an open water swim session in Lough Owel. Great to have mates like that!

And then I did the same for my Trek 4 mountain bike. Child One (the son and heir to the Kenny fortune) had taken it out recently and left it with a flat. Bad form. But all forgiven. I was never a fan of the two-inch nobbly tyres that came with the bike anyway, so this was a chance to put on some 1.5″ commuter tyres. It’s a runaround bike, and doesn’t go off-road, other than the odd towpath, which doesn’t count. So these should make cycling what is a heavy bike a little easier.


There is something therapeutic about doing little jobs like this: changing tyres and tubes, cleaning the chain, tweaking the brakes. I’m no bike mechanic but you have to be able to do at least these basics if you want to keep two wheels on the road (and yourself in the saddle). And I can’t do any of these things without a cup of tea and a Digestive biscuit.

And so to Sunday. Sunday has become a day of rest. There is a lovely irony in this for an atheist like me. But I’m okay with that, and I suspect the Big Fella is too. And now I’m off out to the shed to try and finish the renovation work which has included a total overhaul of the tool racks, and new hangers for the bikes, and radical de-cluttering of the floor space so I can actually move about without tripping over stuff.

Be safe out there. Enjoy your training.

*That fledgling reference is really quite appalling. Schmaltz, even. Older Irish readers may recall the legendary Dermot Morgan as Father Trendy. That’s the sort of voice you need to hear in your head when you read that line.

P.S. Entropy gets a hard time. The dictionary has it thus:

life is a struggle against entropy: deterioration, degeneration, crumbling, decline, degradation, decomposition, breaking down, collapse; disorder, chaos.

In reality, entropy is physics answer to de-cluttering your shed, albeit on a cosmic level. It’s not disorder or chaos. On the contrary, it’s the natural order of things. The endgame. We just don’t like it, or even have to like it. Instead, we choose to rage, rage against the… well, you know the quote. Speaking of quotes, here’s a misquote…

“Entropy, entropy.. they’ve all got it entropy…”

(Okay, he’s off his meds. Nurse! Nurse?!?)


7 thoughts on “Training to a T

  1. Dood…. thanks for the shout out. No one forced you do it 😉
    Nice to see those numbers once in a while though. It’s good to hit it hard sometimes.
    If you run slow all the time, you will be slow. Speed work is important if we want to get ‘faster’. Keep it up 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Phil, it’s a work in progress. I have a bit of an issue with my right achilles which predated the Vibrams project. I had hoped (like other injuries in the past) that if I whistled quietly past the graveyard that it would go away. Well, it hasn’t really. I am running six times a week now, and it’s holding up, but I decided adding in the Vibrams would be a bad idea. Shame, as I was starting to enjoy them. So long story, not at the moment. How about yourself? Are you a barefoot runner? Do you use the Vibrams?


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