We’ve had a walk/run club at work for quite some time now. We usually run after work on Wednesdays, but always struggle to have more than 3 people go running.

Then, the Grant Thornton Corporate Challenge was announced for the first time in Galway. To our surprize, the interest in this event was huge. We managed to get 3 teams to represent SmartBear Software last Thursday, April 12th 2018. Each team consists of 4 members, and the cumulative time gets recorded. We had runners, joggers and walkers.

SmartBear Galway - GT5K

The inaugural #GT5K in Galway was a very well organized event, from registration, race numbers and goodie bags pick up to course choice and medals.

The race took place at the Galway Races (where the famous Galway horse racing festival attracts thousands of people every summer).

The #Galway lads @SmartBear… #GT5k #running

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Well done @SmartBear Team! #GT5k #Galway #running #LifeatSB

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Needless to say, that everyone enjoyed and some even reported catching a bit of a running bug. We hope that our little after work running club will grow and start thriving from now on. There’s talk about many registering for the 2018 Streets of Galway 8k race in August.

The results and  really good videos from the event can be found here.

Even though, I was still recovering from a cold and was not able to breath through my nose, I still enjoyed it.

Here’s my STRAVA activity for the Galway #GT5K.


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

Christmas Running

Saturday, Christmas Eve: parkrun

Monday, St. Stephen’s Day: Fields of Athenry 10k Road Race

I wasn’t going to commit to any proper training sessions during Christmas, as I wanted to enjoy this precious family time. I did however want to do the usual parkrun on Saturday and I have signed up for my first and last race this year.

Parkrun was great, as it was Christmas Eve, there were a lot of people running in Santa hats and other Christmas themed clothing. In advance of the usual January increase of numbers at parkruns due to New Year’s Resolutions and such, the officials have changed the course. It wasn’t a dramatic change, it was just reversed and the finish line was now the start line, as the open space will accommodate larger numbers of runners.It was a bit cold and quite windy. Having the route reversed, meant that one of the downhills was now the biggest hill to tackle (twice). I took it relatively easy and finished with time of 25:06.

Once parkrun was done, the Christmas festivities could kick-in properly. On Christmas Day however, I had to slam on the breaks a bit to slow down the food, chocolate and beer intake. I was going to run a race the following morning. I even went to bed early to make sure I had enough sleep. I arrived in Athenry well in advance. Went to the registration point to pick up my race number, race programme and the traditional Athenry 10k hat (It’s a different colour/design each year).

Just over an hour to start. #Athenry10k #running

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This race is organized by the well known Athenry AC and is one of the most popular and prestigous 10k races in the country. A very well organized event, indeed.

Ahead of the race start I did a 2k warm up including some short sprint efforts and dynamic stretching. This has helped a lot and I was ready to go from the start line. The race route wasn’t too challenging, with a couple of small hills here and there, but mostly flat countryside roads. Every km was clearly marked. I had a goal of a time below 55minutes, so I did try to pace myself accordingly. I was however hoping to do it in at least 53minutes. There were two aid stations with water, but I only used it once at km 4 (I think).

The last 3k were rather tough and having two ladies running behind me casually talking about the pros and cons of online shopping and eventually passing me and disapearing in the distance ahead, was not very encouraging. With 1k to go and aproaching the town of Athenry, I decided to pick up the pace slightly in the last 500 meters and try to sprint the last 200 meters. This has worked to some extend and I managed to finish at 52:05. I am very happy with this result and I now have a time to improve upon. My best 10k time was back in 2014 with 49:35. I’d like to get back to that form in the near future.

The post race refreshments were really good. The usual bottle of water and a banana was handed straight after the finish line. Then back at the registration point, a choice of tea, coffee, hot chocolate and multiple types of cakes, biscuits and chocolates.

Fantastic event! Highly recommended!

Here’s a short (quite shaky) video from Fields of Athenry 10k Road Race.


Oranmore parkrun STRAVA Activity

Fields of Athenry 10k STRAVA Activity

Christmas Running

parkrun & no Week 11 – Day 3

Saturday: Oranmore parkrun

Sunday: Curing a work Christmas Party hangover

Saturday was going to be a very fun packed day, with the Connacht Rugby match in the evening and work Christmas Party straight after, I decided to do my local parkrun. Sunday training session was written off from the get go.

It was cold enough on Saturday morning and a bit wet from the rain over night. Had a banana and a coffee about an hour before the run. I don’t run particularly well with a full stomach and always get a side stitch, even if I eat breakfast 2 hours before.

Legs still didn’t feel too good after that 5-a-side football on Tuesday, which was quite worrying. Mainly for that reason, I was not able to push myself. It is the first time, that my watch and the official parkrun time were exactly the same. I’d like to think, that the Garmin fenix 3 is much more accurate than my previous Forerunner 220. parkrun time was 25:08.

An absolute cracker of a rugby match. Connacht scored a converted try in the last minute of the game and secured the win against Wasps 20 – 18. Ecstatic atmosphere.

Sunday was a hangover recovery day and still not feeling great on Monday. Rest day today and the first training session of the week is tomorrow. 5.30 am alarm as usual. Back to running.

parkrun STRAVA Activity


parkrun & no Week 11 – Day 3

2 missed sessions and parkrun

It looks like I fell off the good running streak. Thursday training session didn’t happen due to a very bad hangover. We had a work thing on Wednesday night with a free bar. I’m not going into details, but you get the picture.


Had a bit of a sore throat on Friday, but still went to do the local parkrun on Saturday. It was a very cold morning, but it did not stop 130 people from turning up and running this great 5k course. I felt good that morning and tried to push myself a bit. My Garmin watch recorded time of 24:21, which my PB for this parkrun. However, something must’ve gone terribly wrong with barcode scanning and it did not record me along with many others. I’d like to think that I was in position 43 with time below 24:41. It’s a pity it didn’t record my run, but these things happen.

parkrun STRAVA Activity

On Sunday, I was supposed to do my long run (10k), however the sore throat was not the only symptom of a headcold (read manflu). Sore muscles and joints, were the signs and decided to skip this run.

I hope this week I feel better and will get back on plan. Tomorrow (Tuesday) is a 7k easy run. Let’s do this!

2 missed sessions and parkrun

Parkrun & Week 6 – Day 3 

Saturday: Oranmore parkrun 5k.

Sunday: No warm up, 10k run, 5min stretching.

Due to Oskar being home with chest infection, Ruth decided to stay home on Saturday and I was able to do my local parkrun in the morning. Couple of sprints and stretches as a warm up and off we went. Just as I pressed start on my Garmin watch it decided to reboot and I ended up with an activity 200m short of 5k. I managed to get a PB for the course @  25:05. Legs hurt quite a bit on the uphill sections though.

On Sunday at 2:30 am after 4hrs sleep, I got into the car to drop off my mom at Dublin airport. I was back home at around  7:40 am and went to bed to get a couple of hours of zzzzz’s. Didn’t want to put off my training session for too long so decided to get it done mid-day. As usual I didnt warm up and I felt it this time. Left leg was rather tight and felt some pain on the outside of the right knee. There I was thinking: Not the IT Band issue again! Thankfully after 3k legs went back to normal and I could start enjoying my run. It’s been a very long time since I ran a 10k distance. It felt good but I was very tired. Quite happy with the time and average pace at 5:34.

Moral from that run is that I have to start warming up properly for every training session and a long run in particular.

Oranmore parkrun STRAVA Activity

Week 6 – Day 3 STRAVA Activity

Parkrun & Week 6 – Day 3 

parkrun & Week 4 – Day 3

Saturday: Short warm up, 5 km run at parkrun, not much cooling down.

Sunday: No warm up, 7km run, 5 min stretching.

I had about 4 pints on Thursday night. I had exactly 5 pints on Friday night. I have decided earlier in the week to run my local Oranmore parkrun. This particular #parkrun is based in a scenic Renville Park. Below is a picture of my son, Oskar pacing my warm up before the 9.30 am start. img_5266

It was a great turn out as usual, with 107 participants.


I was aiming at 25:00 flat for the course, but the pints as well as the stiff left calf did not allow and according to the official park run result, I finished at position 33 with time of 25:28.

Oranmore parkrun STRAVA Activity

On Sunday, I kept following my 23 week plan. We changed the clocks and gained an hour. Without hesitation, I was out the door of the 7 km run at 8.10 am ‘ish. I ran towards the same park, I ran parkrun in the day before. The left calf was still rather stiff. It got to me so much that I started changing up my stride slightly here and there. That was not great, as I got to feel a bit of a niggle in my right knee. Went back to the more natural stride i.e. nor paying too much attention to it and just keeping to move forward. It worked and I was able to take my mind off it. Again, it seems that the first 5k is the struggle and everything past that mark seems to be rather enjoyable. Different sessions coming up next week. Looking forward to experiencing something new as well as adding one long run day to the plan in order to accommodate the half marathon training.

Week 4 – Day 3 STRAVA Activity 

parkrun & Week 4 – Day 3