Wednesday Morning Commute to Work (injury?)

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

As usual, I had the backpack packed and the running gear laid out for the morning. The preparation is key in my opinion and allows for a bit more sleep. Below a picture of my usual running commute gear.


Alarm goes off at 6 am, I dismiss it and lie down for a couple of minutes before getting up. Next thing, wife turns around and asks me if I’m not running to work today. I look at the phone… it’s 6.20am! A bit of panic, but having everything prepared the night before didn’t set me back too much. The only thing I forgot is lunch.

It wasn’t too cold this morning and it didn’t rain even though it was forecast. That’s Ireland for ya 😉

I got used to the OMM Ultra 15 backpack by now and don’t even notice it anymore while running. At km 5 I have noticed a bit of discomfort in the right mid-foot section. By km 7, the discomfort has changed into pain on the outside of the foot and heel. I kept running, hoping this is only temporary, but the pain has not eased off. I just tried to concentrate on different things and it has worked to some extend.

After having a shower at work, changed into normal shoes, I noticed that the pain is still there. I think it could have something to do with my pronation and running form in general. I’ll give it a rest till Saturday and see how it feels, before I do parkrun. I’m hoping that it’s not an injury. At this stage it’s less than 5 weeks to the Kinvara half marathon and I have enough to worry about and definitely do not need an injury to deal with.

Have you experienced similar issues? Any idea what it could be? Should I get it checked out or just give it a rest?

Wednesday Morning Run Commute to Work STRAVA Activity

Wednesday Morning Commute to Work (injury?)

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

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

Run Commute (2nd day in a row)

No warm up, 11k Run Commute to Work, stretching.

Step 1 – drink a glass of water.

Step 2 – DO NOT drink an espresso.

Step 3 – Get out the door.

All above steps were followed, with a big focus on Step 2. Given yesterday’s experience, I needed to avoid the espresso shot, as it nearly made me get sick twice on yesterday’s commute. This was a good call and no such symptoms occurred.

The backpack I ran with yesterday weighed 7kg and it wasn’t too pleasant running with such heavy load. I dug deep last night and found an old cycling commute bag, which I must’ve bought back in 2012. It’s a Wiggle’s own brand dhb Slice 25. Chaniging to a lighter backpack and bringing different shoes resulted in shaving off at least 2kg. Id didn’t however perform as well as the much heavier Osprey Momentum 30. Whilst there was no noticable bounce when running, I felt that the shoulder straps were slightly off (as in 1cm above) the shoulders and moved a side to side a bit. If I didn’t wear a jacket or ran a longer distance, I would’ve ended up with some chafing around the neck.

As we’re moving to a new office in January, we will still have a shower at work and some lockers, which would allow me to store at least work shoes and maybe even a change of clothes. This will significantly reduce the weight of the commute load. Now, I need to do some research and decide what small-ish backpack should I get for run commuting. I’d say probably a 15 to 20 Litres capacity at maximum. The Run Commuter website seems to be a great resource.

Today’s run was more painful than yesterday. Legs were still fatigued and I felt rather tired from the get go. It was one of those rare happy moments once I saw the office builing. I’m here. I’m done.

To my surprise, I ended up with a better time and a pace just under 6 minutes per km.

Run Commute STRAVA Activity

Run Commute (2nd day in a row)

Week 11 – Day 2

7k run, 5min stretching.

The first training day this week was the early morning 8k run on Tuesday. This was followed by a 5-a-side football game with workmates in the evening. I havent kicked a ball in over 10 years. I don’t think I have to tell you how hard that 45mins of running after a ball was. Even though playing football is much different from just running, this still indicates, I think, lack of fitness.

My legs were rather fatigued on Wednesday, but I was determined to go out for the 2nd training session this week on Thursday morning. Now, this did not happen. Legs were still sore on Thursday.

In other news, my new Garmin watch arrived yesterday…


Being a geek, loving new technology and gadgets in general I am over the moon. It took just over a month of research, reading reviews and watching youtube videos before I made my decision.

Great motivation to go out for a run this Friday morning. Wearing the new watch on my wrist and a HR strap for the first time ever.

It was still rather mild with temperature of 6°C, but quite foggy with plenty of puddles. Started off easy enough, hoping that the legs will allow for the hill repeats after 3k warm up run. Unfortunately, my hopes were not fulfilled and decided to turn back. Still feeling some niggles here and there, I didn’t want to go to intense and risk an injury. Rather than that, it was great to be out running. I hate the feeling of missing a training session, I think this is a common problem with runners.

I don’t know much about HR and not sure what all these numbers mean yet as I don’t even know what my resting HR is, but I’d like to be able to train with HR zones, as according to some people you can really make significant improvements when you pay close attention to it. My average HR on today’s run was 167 bpm with max being 181 bpm.

Discovering all the features and data provided by the watch will keep me engaged and motivated, this I know for sure. I am a geek in the end.

Week 11 – Day 2 STRAVA Activity 

Week 11 – Day 2

Week 4 – Day 1

No warm up, 8 km run, 5min stretching.

This was the coldest run this year so far. Thankfully it was dry, but you could feel it was only 3°C. Long sleeve winter running top was needed with the usual jacket on top.

Yesterday evening, we went on a family walk in our local park. That’s also the park, where I do some of my running. As we were walking and it started to get darker, my wife began to ask questions about my morning training sessions: Is it very dark around here at 6 am? Is there no lights at all? How good is your head torch? What if your batteries run out? – Wait, what?! Until now, I always thought that I could just use the torch mode on my phone. Unfortunately, that’s not sufficient.

This short ‘interrogation’ got me thinking about planning for the things you don’t expect. I packed extra batteries into my belt in preparation for the morning run.

As I was getting ready to head out the door this morning, I noticed that I did not plug-in my phone correctly and it did not charge over night. I was getting out the door with 30% battery. If it wasn’t for my wife’s questioning the day before I might have been potentially facing a run with no lights whatsoever. Thanks Ruth!

The run was pretty good, I did enjoy it. Not only the early time but also the cold weather gave me a great sense of accomplishment. Crossing off today’s run off the training plan hanging in the kitchen felt even better than before.

Week 4 – Day 1 STRAVA Activity  

Week 4 – Day 1