Pizza by the kilo…


A sunflower in our sitting room

Last week was the peak in the programme. The speed work and tempo runs are pretty much at their max, and yesterday was the longest run, at 35k.

That it landed on the same weekend that S and I celebrated 22 years of marriage is totally coincidental!

I’ve no stats for those 22 years (28 together, all told) other than, well, 22 years. And two kids. And a house (though of course, the bank still own the house). And one crazy Cocker Spaniel.

I do have stats for the last few months running, if you’re interested. You are? Well, that’s another coincidence then…

May’s figures are an aberration as we did that Barrow Way marathon journey. So that explains the spike there at nearly 220k for the month. And that was actually a good 40k less than what it should have read, as the watch died both days.

June was a lull of about 172k, and then it picked up for July as the programme kicked in halfway through the month; about 177k. August was about 263k, and as we near the end of September, we’re already over 290k with nearly a week to go. So it’s all going in the right direction.

On Saturday, some good mates came over and we jointly celebrated our wedding anniversary, and a birthday. Our birthday colleague brought (literally) crates of food and drink over, and we all ate our own weight in home-made pizza.

It was not the ideal prep for a 35k run the next day, but I suppose it gave me the chance to run off some of the calories (Garmin suggested the 35k run, which took a leisurely 3 hours and 40 minutes to do) burnt off over 3,000 calories. But by god I had some heartburn as I jogged around. A few bottle of beer seems to be about my limit these days.

Comon Darter.JPG
Common Darter

I started my jaunt through the park as usual, and then out onto the canal towpath. The countryside really opens up when you are out of the valley, and that’s handy, as you can see the rain coming! One or two brief showers, but overall, it was a fine day (albeit quite cool). I snapped this dragonfly near Maynooth, where I bade farewell to the canal and headed across country towards Celbridge.

Conolly's Folly.jpg

My next brief stop was at Conolly’s Folly for a gel and a sup of water, before turning right as I approached Leixlip, and heading into Celbridge village. The grounds of Castletown House offered a few more pleasant miles along the Liffey, but as I returned to Mill Lane, I was shy 5k so there was nothing for it but to jog past my front door and head back into the Park again for a last helping of déjà vu.

Overall, a good run, though the pace was a little off. But I had been late to bed the night before, and as the rest of the house slumbered, I was out at 6am dealing with a car fire, and I had stayed up.

On top of the running, S and I have managed to get in some swimming too; for the last two weeks I have joined S in the pool, and we’re both knocking out 40 to 50 laps each morning before work, in preparation for the Great Fjord Swim next month. My own swimming has rather flat-lined, but that’s okay; I simply don’t swim enough to expect any great improvement. Saoirse, on the other hand, has made great strides (or should that be strokes?) and should have no bother with the 750k swim. I’m not sure what possessed me to sign up for the 3.9k ironman distance swim, but that’s probably down to being dropped on my head as a child.

Most people joke about being dropped on their heads. I wasn’t actually dropped, but I did fall off a wall when I was a kid, and landed on my head. So I blame that for any rash or stupid decisions made ever since.

Apart from that, I am going to try and recreate last year’s trick of surfing the marathon fitness wave all the way into Christmas. I have signed up for the Waterford AC Half Marathon once more, and I am hoping that a few mates do likewise. If I am in good shape by that stage (early December), I will have a crack at breaking the 1.40 odd I managed last year. One thirty-something would be a nice time to have under your belt, in much the same way as a sub-four marathon.

Plus they do a great woolly hat!

And then the obligatory Lock up the Year half-marathon is on the menu once more. Last year’s full marathon was really quite a trial, and I think the good result in Waterford had given me notions. It was still a good time, but boy did I suffer for it. So I think discretion might be called for this year. As a teacher in my school used to say: “always drink in halves, gentlemen…”

Anyway, that’s the rough plan for the rest of the year, and then we can think about 2019 🙂



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