2017 can be broken up into 3 parts;
- The Warm up
- the race
- the demise
The Warm up
Early in 2017 I set 3 target for 2017 they were
- sub 20 5k
- 4 half marathon in 4 day
- Raise 3k by doing number 2
As you can guess 2 and 3 went hand in hand. Number 1 would be tricky as normally you can focus on either speed or distance and this year distance would be the important part.
Running 4 halves in 4 days would be tough as it would be my first venture into a multi day race. Also added in i would have to do the above 3 while working full time and studying for my final tax exam.
For January the plan was to keep ticking over. I started off with a parkrun double on New years day first time it was possible in the 26 counties. Was very nice way to start the year. Overall january was a simple start to the year 7 activities and 50k travelled. I was more interested in setting up for the year ahead.
This easy plan continued into Febuary with 7 activities and 44k as my months work. I also entered my first BHAA race in the Garda 4 mile cross country. I also ran my 50th parkrun meeting the head of parkrun and founder Paul Sinton Hewitt. I may have been fangirling a little that day.
In March the gentle start was over with my mileage jumping to 110k in march over 14 activities. Two interesting events came in March i was back to my 5am runs before work and also due to bus strikes I ended up running into work on the 31st. giving me a nice 13.1 mile run before i even got to my desk.
April was a similar level to March with 12 activites and 109k distance covered. While the mileage had increased it was more about the base work still June/July would be the real fun.
May was a month that would really test me as I also had to do my final tax exam along side running. The distance picked up to 129k for the month while interval sessions made their way back into my life. I also ended up as tail runner for once race as i tried to mix and easy run and a race never a good mix.
At this stage the fundraising was going well and my singlet sponsors were all signed up abd I was well on the way to my target.
I always promised June would be an interesting month. Running a half marathon is one thing getting back up and doing it again the next day is a totally different story. So i started June of by being guest Run Director at St Anne’s parkrun but also doing two long runs back to back on the Saturday and Sunday. Also in one of my brighter moments I decided one day to run to waterstown park to do a freedom run with a group from the UK. I slightly judged my time wrong and was about 10 minutes late arriving so had to join everyone in mid run opps. But i covered 144k in 17 activities in June. Things where looking very good for August.
July is where the wheels started falling off. The plan was to complete 3 half marathons in 3 days at the start of the month. This I did manage but i seemed to get very last after that only completing 3 from 16 activities for the rest of the month. My thinking for this may have been personal and a small bit of depression from work not going well. But I did manage to pass my final tax exam. I did make sure in July that my long runs were not missed. But i did take one sunday off from a long run to do the Celbridge 5k.
August could only mean one thing it was race month. Very little else was done in August bar the race for two reasons. 1) I was tapering 2) I was job hunting. On August 16th I headed up to Donegal to the inishowen peninsula for my race. 2 nice shiny singlets already to go. I went for a leg loosener 5k on the Wednesday. My plan was to run around 2:10’s for the first 3 days and go hell for leather on the last. This was based on the training runs I had completed. 11 O Clock on the Thursday we were all set to go. 780k run since January was all for this moment.
Day 1 was amazing what ever troubles I had were left on the streets of Inishowen. Day 1 ended in a time of 1:59:59. I felt as good at the finish line as I did at the starting line. Home to rest up for day 2
Day 2 was tougher then Day 1 but that was expected as it was alot hillier than day 1. Got some nice help along the way from Inishowen AC who gave me a lot of support of the weekend as a whole. We also passed an area that was used in the star wars film but that fact is wasted on me i would not know Luke Skywalker from R2D2. Day time I finished around 2 hours 3 minutes. But I had been warned Day 3 would separate the walkers from the joggers.
That day 3 did, Monmore Gap was put in place to test us all. Most people did not even try to run it that included me. I walk Monmore Gap saving the energy for the rest of the race. Which played it part as I finished the race about 30 seconds slower then Day 2.
Day 4 a cheering squad arrived for me. My brother in Law and his parents came to join me for the last day. My sister nieces and girlfriend come along to cheer us over the line. After the day before day 4 seems easier as it was pretty much all downhill. My first two kilometres were 4.15 and 4. First 17k on the Sunday was a dream but then it got very tough. I think the pace may have been to fast to that point. Also an issue was the last 10k of the race was pretty much a straight line along the coast so was tough going. But 1:46 after I started I finished in Red Castle car park. Overall it was a sub 8 time for the 4 days and €3600 odd raised for Charity. Which for me was very good going.
As you can tell from the end of “The Race” section somewhere in July my mojo left me and I was not running much. weather this was depression from work or simple the long training year taking its toll im not sure.
After the quad i went to France for a week despite the blue skys and sandy beeches I managed one 5k over the week and that saw out my August. 123k run in August may sound like a good month but remember 84k of that was run over 4 days.
In September i did try to keep up my long runs as Dublin was still to be run getting a 18 and a 20 mile run completed. Aside from that i managed 6 5k runs but the feeling and want was not there.
In October I managed 3 5k runs along side 2 8-10 mile long runs aside my Dublin Marathon its self. I was not helped by my ankle acting up during the 10 mile run which was part of the reason for a less training as I hoped by cutting back on the training I would still be able to complete Dublin.
I will do a separate post to talk about Dublin but overall was not a good day but i got around which was the main thing.
In November as i wanted to rest the ankle while i was getting it looked at i only managed one 5k run in the month.
In December I aimed to put a little more distance on the ankle to see how it was after the treatment. So I attempted a tempo session on the 5th while i was felling alot better then earlier session a temporary blockage in Castletown led to an early finish to that run. The following saturday at parkrun i tried again to put speed on again and managed ok over the 5k course finishing in 9th in 22.23. The following Sunday I distance on the ankle and while it was a little iffey it was only for the last 500m but overall the 10k was good.
Christmas week i ran my normal parkrun in Waterstown. It was tough going but that may have been the take away the night before rather then my running ability. On the 27th i then did an easy 5 mile just to keep the legs ticking over. Then on the 28th something strange happened my plan had for me to do 6k tempo run. Two things came out of this run. I did the 6k without stopping which is rare for a tempo run as its pushing at a high pace. The 2nd is that i enjoyed the run and at no part did I think i would not complete the run. So perhaps as we see out 2017 I may have found my mojo again.
I did my final parkrun of the year on December 30th at Castletown as an easy run finishing in 25:40.
I closed out the year then with a 12K long run on new years eve.
So as the finishes i seem to have my mojo back we will see when I add work back into the mixture next week also hopefully my ankle injury stays in 2017 but I will aim to do more prehab in 2018 to ensure this.