parkrun & Monday morning run commute to work

Saturday: dynamic stretching, couple of sprints to get the HR up, 5k parkrun, stretching.

Its seems that here in Galway we’re starting to pay for all the good weather we had this winter. Saturday morning was very cold with freezing rain. On the way to parkrun it was absolutely lashing. The running gods must’ve put in a good word as it stopped raining just for the duration of the 5k run. It started raining straight after I finished with 24:44. Not a particularly good time for 5k, but at least I got to run. Last week’s mileage wasn’t great at all. I missed one commute to work and didn’t to my long run on Sunday mainly due to bad weather. It looks like the weather isn’t going to improve much over the next couple of weeks, so the only choice is to man up and go out running, I suppose.

Monday: No warm up, 11k run commute, 500m cool down walk, a bit of stretching.

Decision was made on Sunday to run to work Monday morning. As I need to up the weekly mileage again, I am aiming for 3 run commute sessions this week as well as a long run on Sunday. Not sure if I’ll be able to do the parkrun on Saturday unless I feel good and there isn’t too much fatigue in the legs. We’ll have to wait and see.

This morning’s run commute to work was rather uneventfull, it was cold and wet but it didn’t rain during the 11k run. Once I was over the two minor hills at km 6, I started to enjoy the run. I kept positive and kept going, there wasn’t a single instance where I thought of stopping or taking a break. I consider this a successful run.

Oranmore parkrun STRAVA Activity

Monday morning Run Commute to Work STRAVA Activity

parkrun & Monday morning run commute to work

Tuesday Morning Run Commute to Work

Run Commute: No warm up, 11k run, 500m cool down walk.

This was pretty much same run as last Friday. Tried to take it as easy as I could, but still need to work on pacing the early kilometers better, so I have more left in the tank towards the end.

Weather conditions were different though. Light mist, but much warmer with 9 degrees Celsius. It was a happy and enjoyable run, not even getting splashed by a van was able to take this away from me. I just laughed to myself and thought that the splash of cold salty water puddle was rather refreshing. Salty water? Yes, I actually got to taste it…

Towards the end of the commute, I caught myself leaning forward a bit. I immediately straightened my back and could feel the stride lengthening as well as getting slightly faster. This is one of the areas, that I need to do quite a bit of work on. Running form is very important. Also, being able to make the stride longer should eventually improve speed. That’s what I hope for at least.

Tuesday Run Commute to Work STRAVA Activity.

Tuesday Morning Run Commute to Work

Long Run

Sunday: some dynamic stretching, 15k run, 500m cool down walk, 5min stretching.

Instead of running 5k on Saturday morning at Oranmore parkrun, I volunteered for the very first time. Given the fact, that I ran 11k to work on Friday and had a long run scheduled for Sunday, it only made sense to sit this one out. Also, I wanted to do a little bit of volunteering this year and make sure that others can enjoy their free, timed 5k run on a Saturday. Volunteering means arriving half an hour early for a briefing, get set up etc. My job was to give out tokens at the finish line. We had at least 293 runners this Saturday. New Years Resolutions as well as Operation Transformation have a huge impact on the numbers at the beginning of the year. I enjoyed my first volunteering experience and my little son was helping out a bit too.

Thanks to my wife, I was able to sleep in till 8.30 am on Sunday morning. I was out the door within 30 min or so. Didn’t have breakfast or any fruit before the run, just a glass of water. I decided to bring the SpeedDraw Plus bottle by Nathan.

 

I filled it with water and put one HIGH5 Gel into the pocket, just in case. It was a very frosty, dry and a sunny morning. I do enjoy this type of weather a lot. I planned to run a bit longer than my longest run so far (14k) but also did not want to overdo it after a two weeks break. 15k seemed rather a reasonable distance. For the first 5 to 7k I kept going through all the bad things that might happen on the run, what I should expect and how I should deal with it. As a coping mechanism, I tried to visualise my 1st half marathon finish and the feeling it’ll give me. It worked quite well today and once I forgot I was running, I started to enjoy the scenery.

 

The bottle performed better than I thought it would i.e. it wasn’t an obstruction nor was it annoying or very noticeable. Changed hands a couple of times but that’s it. I kept taking little sips maybe every 1.5 k after km 5. I returned home with only half of the bottle content gone. I used the gel at km 12 to give myself a little boost on the home stretch.

I really enjoyed today’s run. 15km is now officialy the longest distance I’ve ran. It’s all about continuing with the plan, staying injury free and healthy. Six weeks till¬†the Kinvara Rock and Road Half Marathon.

Long Run STRAVA Activity

Great run, fantastic scenery. #RunningPursuits #running #weekend #longrun #trainingplan

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Long Run

Friday Run Commute

Run Commute: No warm up, 11k run, 500m cool down walk.

Thursday morning didn’t work out for a run commute as my wife needed me to help with stuff in the morning and we drove to work. This morning, I woke up 5 min before my 6am alarm and I waited patiently for the alarm to go off. Once I turned it off I decided to stay in bed for a couple of minutes. Woke up in panic 10min later. Got dressed, brushed my teeth, had a glass of water and off I went with the most recent Marathon Talk Podcast in my ears. It was a rather cold but dry morning.

I made strategic decision not to bring any water on the run to avoid any temptation to stop for a drink. It worked, however at km 2 I had to stop as the podcast has stopped playing for some reason. As I use the wired yurbuds for my running, I had to take the backpack off to reach into the top pocket and start the playback again.

I have mentally prepared myself for two milestones during today’s run, km 6 (that’s where I stopped on last run commute) and km 8 (same as km 6). I found that it helped with the motivation and kept me going. Unfortunately, at km 8 I had to take a break and reach into top pocket of the rucksack again to increase the volume. This is when the traffic really starts and the cars passing by are getting louder.

I ran through km 10, that’s where I gave up completely on Tuesday’s commute and kept going to km 11. I decided to take the last 500 meters walking and use it as a cool down.

Even though, it wasn’t without minor hiccups, it was a very enjoyable run and has instilled me with a bit of confidence. 6 weeks left till the Kinvara half marathon.

The backpack (OMM Ultra 15) has performed superbly this morning. I didn’t have to adjust any straps, it just sat there comfortably and after a little while, I forgot that I had it on. Minor thing is that the waist strap (which actually sits across my belly rather than waist) moved a little bit from side to side. I’m not sure if it’s the backpack itself or my hips movement (or the stride in fact). This didn’t cause chafing or any problems at all and was barely noticeable.

Run Commute STRAVA Activity

Friday Run Commute

The consequences of not running for 2 weeks

Run Commute: No warm up, 10k run.

When packing my new run commute backpack last night, I was looking forward to my run in the morning. Got out of the bed at 6.10, put the running gear on, checked head torch – put in new batteries, backpack on, doors locked, off to work I ran.

It took me a while to get the backpack set up comfortably enough. I did this whilst running, of course. It seems that the sternum strap just keeps going up. I need to look into this again. I have possibly set all of the straps a bit wrong. The backpack itself is very light and seems to sit well against the back. I haven’t noticed too much bouncing or any discomfort. I have for the first time, brought some water with me in the side pocket. I used one of my small cycling bottles and filled it with approx. 300ml.

At km 6, I had to stop for a toilet break, and took the opportunity to have a sip of water. This is when things started to go bad. Both legs and mind started to struggle to keep going. At km 8, I stopped again and had a sip of water. At km 10 Istopped running completely and decided to walk the remaining 1.5k. What the F*&%K just happened? That’s the question I kept asking myself as I continued to walk to work.

The conclusion I came to was: I was sick for a week, then I flew over to the U.S. for nearly a week, where I put my body through torture of a different nature (four consecutive nights of substantial alcohol consumption, 5-6 hours sleep and rather unhealthy food). In total 2 weeks of not running, lack of consistency as well as very poor lifestyle choice has lead to this moment, where I was not able to push myself to run another 1.5k.

Some of it is my fault and some isn’t, however it is entirely up to me to get to where I need to be.

Run Commute STRAVA Activity

The consequences of not running for 2 weeks

Not Running Sucks.

It’s been a while since last blog post. It’s also been a while since last run.

Unfortunately, I had a full two week break from running. The dreaded man flu attacked early in the New Year and put me out for more than a week. After that, I travelled to Boston with work for our annual sales kick-off. I actually brought some running gear with me as somewhat naively I hoped to be able to fit a running session or two. The only running I did was the very night after we landed, but it wasn’t a pure running session but a football match. It’s now a tradition, that we play against our American colleagues. This was the 2nd game ever and 2nd victory.

Yesterday I was just focused on getting over jet lag. Today¬†I managed to get out for a run before lunch. This was the first running session of 2017. It was also a very tough session, both physically and mentally. For these two reasons, it was also a very important session. For someone who is quite determined to run regularly as well as for someone who has a half marathon coming up in less than two months, not being able to run for whatever reason is very difficult. Even though you know it’s not your fault (when you’re sick), you tend to end up beating yourself up. It’s a very difficult time. And for that reason and as a reminder I got myself this t-shirt:

 

Today’s lunch run: Easy warm up, 6.4k run, walk to cool down.

It wasn’t too cold but it was a bit wet, not that it mattered, as the run was going to be tough. I decided to do one of those very easy sessions, which would hopefully help getting back into regular training. After such a long break and being sick I did not want to risk any injuries. Majority of the time running I was trying to form a plan on how to get back into shape for the half marathon in early March. Eventually, I decided that a run commute to work on Tuesdays and Thursdays, giving me two sessions with 11+ k and a long run on Sundays should be enough. After all, I researched and bought a run commute backpack.

 

I hope to review this backpack in the future.

Here’s to getting back on track for my first half marathon.

Today’s lunch run STRAVA Activity

Not Running Sucks.