Three runs to report on, the first of which was quite pleasing. After the Wednesday recovery run, Thursday’s tempo slog loomed large. They are not really as bad as all that, but they are probably the keystone in the programme, so you want to put in a good performance.
In the end it worked out well. About 16.8k done in 1:31-ish for a pace of 5:27 min/km. This is faster than the programme asks, but it’s the one run where I don’t mind pushing things a bit, within reason.
The following day was a recovery run, and I cashed in some of the good will earned yesterday: the weather was foul, and I feeling a little seedy. A head cold has been hanging on the horizon line for weeks now, refusing to either break over me, or dissipate. And the darker evenings seemed to have finally arrived. They too have been loitering on the periphery somewhere, and have decided to skulk in with the wind and rain. I see you, dark evenings! Don’t think I don’t!
So the Friday recovery run was a not terribly memorable 10.8k or so in a very slow pace. I wore a light rain jacket that was completely pointless. It managed to let in the rain, and keep in the sweat. It was one of those runs where you just have chalk it down to ‘character-building’ and other bollocks. You bank it in the back of your mind, and hopefully gain some solace from these tougher outings when you need a little reminder of all the work you have done to get this stage. Somewhere around Mile 21, I suspect…
And speaking of marathons, S and I had a small stroke of luck on the Saturday as a colleague dropped in a pair of tickets to see Leinster v Montpellier in their first game of the new European Rugby Champions Cup season at the RDS. We took the bus into Dublin and walked down to Ballsbridge. Along the way, we spied a few gents up ladders, getting some of the Dublin Marathon signage up onto the lamp-posts. So. It’s definitely happening, then!
Also happening where Leinster on the pitch. Great performance, not least by Robbie Henshaw. This rather measly screen grab does not do his performance any justice, but one of the highlights was his tackle on 130kg winger, Nadolo. That’s the same weight as me and S combined.
Henshaw was literally bowled over by the huge Fijian on the 22, but as he fell, he scrambled along the deck, launched himself sidewards, and took him down by the ankles. He then got to his feet and turned over the ball. An epic piece of rugby to show your grand-kids.
This other pic that S spied along the walk to the stadium is a Sycamore that has really decided to put down some roots in the city.
It is slowly devouring the cast iron fence. Hopefully the owners will leave it to its devices, as it could become something of an attraction in future years.
The RDS is where the marathon expo will be in a couple of weeks. So with the taper well and truly here, we are on the inexorable slope down to the end. To whatever awaits.
I had left the long run ’til Sunday, after the exertions of Saturday’s game (walking into town after sitting down in the stadium for a couple of hours is hard work!). Sometimes you just time a run perfectly, as in, when to head out and enjoy the day. This was not one of those times. I was waiting for Mark to finish up a few appointments, and as soon as he arrived, it started to rain. It wasn’t particularly heavy, but it just seemed to get in everywhere, and even under the tree cover, the steady drip through the canopy was like some kind of Mediaeval torture. Okay, so perhaps I am over-egging it a little 😉
All told, a soggy but solid hour and three-quarters of park loops at 5:47 pace for 18k on the nose. Happy with that. Next weekend’s long run is not really long at all. 13k. Piece of cake. Well, let’s say a very manageable slice of the whole pie anyway. And speaking of pie, I have noticed a little bit of weight falling away. Not that I do this running lark for weight reasons. At nearly 6 foot and on average just over 80k, and generally in good shape for my age, I don’t fret about shape or size. But the scales say 76.6 lately, so we’ve lost a little in the last month or so as the mileage peaked. There are somewhat easier and quicker methods for ditching a few pounds, so I wouldn’t recommend marathon training if you just want to squeeze into a pair of skinny jeans.
I would recommend it for marathons, though. 🙂