A brief note on Irish weather

Ireland is currently getting the sniffles from the full-blown Atlantic storms that are born far west from here; the sort of weather patterns that give rise to tornadoes and hurricanes. The ones that have caused so much devastation in the Caribbean and Florida. After Hurricane Karina, some unkindly soul in Ireland posted up a picture of the damage caused to their property as the tail-end of that infamous storm blew in over the country. It was taken from their kitchen window and showed a plastic patio chair lying on its side in the garden. Okay, it did make me smile, I have to admit.

Anyway, the weather has been poxy, to use the Irish vernacular. And at the start of the week as the usual six days of training kicked off, I had to keep an eye on the weather. I listened to the report. It was going to be raining, and then there were going to be showers. And then it was going to be wet. Seems like they could have shortened that a bit…

I guess that’s what passes for humour in the Irish met service.

I managed the Monday run outdoors but was driven in yesterday and had to do my speed-work on the treadmill. Is there anything worse? Okay, yes, I hear you say. Having your home picked up and dropped several miles away on someone else’s home is a lot worse. This comes to mind as I recall seeing a lady being interviewed on the telly during the week. She was living in Sea Breeze Trailer Park on the Florida Keys… I mean, that was never going to end well, was it? Probably twinned with Fukushima View Holiday Homes…

The speed work was mile-on, mile-off. So, warm up to a pace of about 5.5mph and then up to 7.5mph. Yes, I hear your clamouring there. What’s all this miles stuff? Well, the treadmill is in miles, so I had to whip out the calculator to work out roughly what pace I should be doing. There are two ways to work out pace when running, and miles per hour, or its metric equivalent, kilometres per hour, is one way. But per hour figures can be a bit vague for most runners, not least as we prefer our milestones to pass a little quicker, so more popular is to say what time, in minutes, will it take me to run a mile or a kilometre.

7.5 mph works out at 8 minute miles. And that’s 5 minute kilometres (or 4:58 to be exact). Which is roughly what I was supposed to be doing… well, it was 5:05 to be exact, but what’s 7 seconds between friends? Of course, on the treadmill there is nowhere to hide. If you fall off the pace, you literally fall off the back. So it keeps you honest, I’ll say that much for it.

Here’s a handy calculator if you are a pace junkie.

It was also the first outing for the new runners. After Monday’s run, I found a hole in the Brooks. The front (or toe box, to use the jargon) was getting a bit loose as a consequence. On closer inspection, I could see they were suffering a bit from wear and tear. I guess I have had them longer than I thought; start of June 2016. In terms of mileage and time, they are past their sell-by date. But that’s if you buy into the sales pitch of changing your runners on a regular basis. I wouldn’t have bought new shoes if I hadn’t got a hole in the Brooks; that and the 50 euro voucher 😉

I headed down to Wheelworx (to use their own jargon, probably Ireland’s best bike and triathlon shop) with the voucher in my mitts. They don’t have a wide range of footwear but then again, they only stock quality stuff, so if you want something cheap and cheerful, this is not your store.


I ended up with a pair of Saucony Triumph ISO 3 runners. They were a great fit, out of the box, and I used them on the treadmill, and then yesterday in the park. They feel great. I will have enough time to break them in for the marathon. If you are a runner-nerd, you can read the stats here. I wouldn’t have ever sprung for them in the past, mainly due to their price tag, but with the voucher (my name was pulled out of the hat when I was a pacer in a 5k this year) and a loyalty discount, I was able get a really great pair of shoes for the price of an average pair. Time will tell.

Now, if it would only stop raining…

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