Category Archives: Run Reports

RED November – week one recap

Rather than create a new blog for each and every run during my attempt at completing RED November I’ll bunch them into weekly updates unless, of course, there is something to report, or a particular run goes significantly over my self imposed minimum of a mile. I mean, what possibly could I write about a mile anyway?

Day 1 – Thursday, 1st November, 2018
Launch day – read all about it

Day 2 – Friday, 2nd November, 2018
I almost fell at the first (second?) hurdle. I had been out in town in the morning, my legs felt a little niggly, my toes hurt, it was foggy and it was cold. All perfect ‘excuses’ not to go out for a run.

But I knew I had to go out in the afternoon to pick up a prescription so I used the opportunity to take a somewhat more scenic route to the chemist, which is only a couple of hundred yards away, and get my mile done for the day.

Day 3 – Saturday, 3rd November, 2018

Day 4 – Sunday, 4th November, 2018
The morning after the night before! Last night was the annual club awards dinner which meant a few celebratory drinks … drinks I was still feeling the effects of, so I restricted myself to another mile just to keep the streak going. I actually didn’t feel too bad once I started running, so it proved to be a good way of blowing away the cobwebs.

Day 5 – Monday, 5th November, 2018
The first time I’ve come to regret deciding to do this. A lazy morning coupled with a ridiculously busy afternoon at my GP meant I had to really dig deep to get myself out the door in the first place … plus I forgot to record it on my watch! Grrrr. I’ll add in an extra mile some other day to make up for it.

Day 6 – Tuesday, 6th November, 2018
A tough mile physically. I didn’t really get going, never really felt comfortable and was a minute down on what I’d expect. To be fair, it came at the end of a sluggish day so I wasn’t really feeling it regardless.

Day 7 – Wednesday, 7th November, 2018
My fastest standalone mile of the week (although still slower than anything at parkrun), and over a minute faster than last night. A real mental battle after a difficult day to get out and to stay out, especially given I decided to literally run laps of my block. I got bored after six so broadened my horizons to run to the next block. For the record 6 laps equals 0.6 of a mile, so I know 10 is the same as a mile which is strangely handy to know. Either that or I’m just sad like that.

To recap, an experimental week. I didn’t know how this would go and I’ll admit some days were a massive struggle to get out. It’s still not easy but hopefully it’ll get easier. I’ll increase my mileage too, for this week it was just all about getting it done.


Gone streaking?

45123555_1153621981471253_5997920119467016192_nOver the past few days, since my ‘Dublin brain’ subsided, I’ve started to turn my thoughts towards what’s next for me running wise.

I’ve had a really busy, challenging year and, even moreso, an emotionally charged fortnight what with the climax of my #18in18 Half Marathon Challenge and then the Dublin Marathon itself.

Post-marathon blues isn’t exactly an unknown entity so I expected some sort of come down from the race. Mentally preparing for Dublin kept me going when the half marathons ended so I never really experienced it after my last one, the Royal Parks, but, now, I’ve got nothing and, I guess, it has hit me doubly hard as a result.

I have nothing left after a year of having plans, a next race and so on. I wouldn’t be as dramatic as to say I’m suffering a sense of loss but there is definitely an absence there.

It can be very rightly argued that I need a rest. I do, I know I do. Not from running as such but from races and ‘big’ miles. Yes, I could just run for the love of it, but, I also know my mind, and I know that I need something to keep me motivated and focused.

We are now into November and I know it’ll be far, far too easy when the weather turns not to go out for a run. One day missed will turn into two, two into three and so on, and pretty soon I’ll start to worry that everything I’ve worked hard to build up will be lost. Logically, I know it won’t but, as I said, I know my mind.

So, I’ve decided to give streaking a go. Now, steady on, I don’t mean ‘that’ kind of streaking (at least not in this weather, think of the shrinkage!!!). I’m talking about a run streak, trying to run every day.

I’m not putting any pressure on myself. There are no hard and fast rules regarding this, but I’m aiming to run at least a mile a day for November. I’ve often read about people running for hundreds or even thousands of days in a row but I have no such lofty ambitions. I’m limiting it to attempting a RED (Run Every Day) month, hence the modest target of just a mile a day.

There’ll be days I’ll run for longer – I still want to hit 100km for the month to keep up my collection of Virtual Runner monthly medals – but I reckon that by doing as little as a mile per day it’ll give me a good base to build on, and maintain my fitness without taking much out of me.

It might not happen. I might get bored with it. I might get ill. I’ve also got a foreign holiday in the middle of the month so will I even want to go running? I usually do when I’m away somewhere just to explore a new place, but you never know.

But I’ll give it a go. It can’t do any harm, and if it gets me over this current malaise I’m finding myself in then it’ll be more than worth it if it does just last a few days.

I also want to use it to catch up on a load of Audible books I’ve downloaded but haven’t listened to. I’m too easily distracted when I attempt to listen at home, but I find them great company when I’m out running.

So I started tonight.

This was my first attempt at a run since Dublin. Maybe too soon, but today was the first day my legs felt normal again and, since it was the 1st of the month, I decided to test the waters with a simple mile around my local area.

I wasn’t sure how it’d go but, much to my delight, it went very well. Admittedly I didn’t push the pace at all at the start but the further into the mile I went the looser my legs felt and the faster I went. I’ll be honest, it felt fantastic. A mixture of relief that my legs still worked, and the sheer joy of a pressure free, short run.

Book wise, I could think of nothing better than to start listening to Ben Smith’s “401: The Extraordinary Story of the Man Who Ran 401 Marathons in 401 Days and Changed His Life Forever”.

Ben has been something of an inspiration to me in my running. I had the pleasure of meeting him at the National Running Show earlier this year and he seems like a thoroughly decent bloke too.

I have a feeling his book is going be littered with meaningful, poignant and motivational quotes. Indeed, right from the start, this jumped out at me …

“Running is just putting one foot in front of the other – that’s the simple bit – the hard part is choosing to go running in the first place. But once you make that choice, you can start putting distance between your old life and closing in on a new one.”

Anyway, let’s see how I get on with this.


Next stop: Dublin

So that’s me all done and dusted for Dublin on Sunday, my ‘big’ race of the year. It’ll be my fourth marathon (if you include the Shine Cancer Research Walk) but they don’t get any less daunting despite all I’ve done this year.

Tonight’s final run was week seven of the Kells Couch to 5k scheme organised by the club. This week it was 2×15 minute runs which was just the ticket for a little loosen up ahead of the weekend … nothing particularly taxing but also just about long enough to keep my legs ticking over nicely.

As ever, it was good to help, in some small way, those beginning their running journeys clock up another little milestone.

My legs felt fine, apart from the usual rustiness at the start of a run, but that passed the more I got into it. A slight niggle in my left leg but that’s always there, although I’ll make sure I have copious amounts of Deep Heat applied to it on Sunday so, in a way, feeling it tonight was a useful reminder.

All that remains now is to dig out my marathon packing list, see what potions I need and get everything ready for the rocky road to Dublin.

Relive my run