Friday, February 27, 2009
No news either. I have done everything possible to get rid of this knee pain. It is still there but I may jog 20 minutes tomorrow anyway. I feel more lethargic then I would if I was training hard. Sitting around all day watching movies is actually very boring and I end up drinking too much tea and snacking too much. The general feeling of fatigue is directly related to my lack of movement. I probably should have gone to the gym today but I want to do NOTHING on my leg until tomorrow. I am quietly optimistic so we'll see. Updates to come in the AM,
Thursday, February 26, 2009
A day off, lots of massage, ice, Difene both in gel and tab form, and lots of coffee. Not running tomorrow either. I had a chat with Ray and the plan is 2 days, maybe even three days off and if I feel like I can warm up on Sunday I am going to run and run very hard. I will deal with the consequences after. I am not giving up this chance, I am too close to the starting line and on the starting line I will be, unless of course the knee has no improvement.
Depeche Mode have a new album coming out and a tour to promote it. Check out this fantastic video.
Sounds Of The Universe is out 4/17 in Germay, 4/20 internationally, and 4/21 in the US via Mute/EMI. Tour's lined up, venues TBA and I will be attending Boston on July 31st and maybe New York as well.
I want to thank everyone for the kind words and positive energy. Remember, Sunday is a minor goal in the grand scheme of things. Its all about Euro Cross but Sunday will be important to see how I can handle myself against the best of the home based athletes.
Peace and Love,
Wednesday, February 25, 2009
I am only writing a quick post. The reason is that my knee is killing me. I decided to run to see if it would ease out the stiffness and while it was not bad while running it has become even more stiff than before.
Question, Can I take 2 days off completely, do a light jog on Saturday, warm up on Sunday and run 12k and expect to do well? I know I can get through the race if I take the two days off. I will talk to Ray tomorrow but right now that is what I am thinking. I am fitter than I give myself credit for.
Its not all bad though. I heard the best song so far of 2009 last night and I listened to it through about 25 times at least since. Its below and if you don't like it I need to understand why. Vinny is here and we are watching a show about the 80's in Ireland called 'Reeling In The Years', man Ireland was depressing in the early 80's.
Much respect and love for the support,
Tuesday, February 24, 2009
PM: 6 Miles, 40:04, Ramparts
Did the same run AM and PM with a few laps of the football fields on the AM run. My knee was sore on both runs and I am just getting myself to the line and through 12k on Sunday. If I was back in P-Town with no races of importance lined up I would most certainly be on the bike for a few days or maybe even resting 100% of the time. But I am not back in P-Town and I have a lot of excitement heading into the race this weekend so I am not going to let my annoying pain wreck this trip. On a positive note my knee did not get worse after the runs and tomorrow morning I have a nice massage lined up with Barney. Hopefully he can loosen up the quad and hammy to allow all attachments around the knee to settle. Combine that with lots of R.I.C.E and I should be set.
Flotrack have footage of the Ras on their site. Mark did a super job considering it was really windy and he had to leg it around the course. At least the mud was not present. Its been so dry that it is pretty odd. I might get through 2 weeks in the winter with no rain. Believe me, this is extremely unusual. Anyway, its good to see I still look like a horse when I run. Fixing my form is not going to happen so I just need to deal with it and embrace my curved spine and horrific strides.
Spent a lot of time today listening to The Ting Tings, I love the track "We Walk" but really today was all about the Pet Shop Boys. I have been buzzing off the PSB since their appearance on The Brit awards last weekend. Check out the video below. Its one of their new tracks. Still sounding so fashionable.
Peace and Love
Monday, February 23, 2009
Sunday, February 22, 2009
So after it was all said and done I finished 4th. This placing has always been considered the worst position. The first runner up, the first person to not make the rostrum, the forgotten finisher. But for me it is none of the above. It is another step in the right direction. Lets spell it out. 6 months ago I retired from running and vowed never to commit to serious running ever again. Enough was enough. Now I am disappointed at finishing 4th in a competitive xc race in my home town. Basically and very simply put, I am thrilled. Had I another month of training under my belt I would have won the race. Everything about today was fantastic. I lead most of the race, pushing the pace, and feeding off the home crowd. The course was in great shape, easily held in sharp contrast to last week when we were told it would be a mud bath. And I ran hard to finish 4th, a place I would not have expected given the competition. The Irish team won too, with Carroler and Vinny right behind me. Back in the days of fast finishes I would have kicked with the top 3 but I am missing a little thump, a little turnover that only comes with workouts and racing. However, November is a long way away. With such a good buzz I endeavored to enjoy a few pints. Nationals is next week but tonight is good times.
Vinny picked me up today and we listened to Bizzarr Love Triangle by New Order. What an amazing song. It got me really fired up and to be honest there is nothing like good sounds to lift spirits and encourage a positive attitude. The goal is to maintain this attitude over the next 7 days before nationals. I have a lot to deal with regarding work and life so music and friends are all that matter to me. On Sunday we run 12k XC in Santry and it will be emotional. My first senior xc race, running against friends, and running on energy fueled by great people and great sounds. Should be amazing. The dream is still alive.
Saturday, February 21, 2009
Friday, February 20, 2009
PM: Armagh International Road Race 5k
Friday: PM: 7.4 Miles Easy, 52 Minutes, Phoenix Park
My routine of daily posting is being seriously disrupted with this travel and lack of computer. I really should have hit up the Internet last night in the Armagh Hotel Lobby but more pressing tasks were at hand, such as getting a pint of Erdinger with Carroll, Mulvey and Flo agus some grub.
So I did my first race of 2009 and the first race of my last gasp attempt to convey - via this blog - how hard it is to make a comeback after a mental and physical "hanging em up" period. Last October when I started this blog and discussed the goals and reasons I would have said and maybe did say that by Feb I would like to be in good shape. Never did I think I would be in 14:16 road 5k shape, nor did I think I would be able to race and push myself in a good quality field. So I don't need to tell you how happy I am. I had a fantastic time and finishing 8th and running sub 14:20 has never been so exhilarating. I feel like I did as a college freshman running in the colors of PC down in Ralaigh at the annual Ralaigh Relays. I had a breakthrough race winning the freshman 5k running 14:26. How I felt then is how I feel now.
The race went off pretty quick although I missed the jump seeing as I was in the third line of athletes. Not that it mattered because I had no intention of running with the lead pack, in fact Ray and I discussed running a pretty controlled effort. I found myself with Vinny (not on purpose) and a couple of English lads and I was tucked in with the group. This was it, there was no sandbagging, I felt like I should be able to run with this chase pack and at times I was leading the group, sharing duties with Vin. We were steady at 2:52-53 per k and that is where my rhythm was based on recent sessions. On the last lap I put in a bit of a hard effort with 800 to go and basically knew that once I got to the home stretch, which is 400m, I would not let myself get passed. And that is how it played out. Pretty tired after but not so tired that I could not accept the Lucozade Sport and Mars bar handed to me by a very nice volunteer. The results can be found HERE
And as quick as it started, it was all over and the cool down brought great vibes and energy. Mark ran really well to place 3rd and break 14 mins and Vin was just behind me by a couple of ticks in 11th. So all roads lead to Oldbridge for the Ras, a 6k cross country race against the same field. I would like to think I can do better at the Ras but really I could do much worse. We were all so close and even though I have always fancied myself as a cross country runner I have not run an xc race since I broke my back running down Bearcage hill in Franklin park back in 2003.
Today Vin and I ran in the Phoenix park for an easy 50 minutes. We were both pretty battered but I think for me personally it was more to do with the fact that I did not sleep last night. The three melatonin pills I took did little to aid me in sleep and I just lay there until breakfast was ready. All good though, nothing to worry about. It just means I'll sleep better tonight.
I don't want to keep waffling about the race because thats all it was, just a race. I am hardly ripping it up but for me and for my long term goal this is a really positive opener. I was also introduced to some new music and I will be reporting more on this tomorrow. For right now check out Flotracks coverage of our travels up to Armagh and the race will be posted tomorrow. Great craic was had and it is so easy to enjoy these events with mates and good positive energy which there was pleanty of. Brilliant.
Peace and Love,
Flotravel - Ireland 19th Armagh International on Flotrack
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Thursday, February 19, 2009
Nice run on the grass at Malahide castle with Mark Carroll, Vinny Mulvey, and Mark Flotrack. Felt really good although my knee continues to be a problem. We hit the road after the run and arrived into Armagh last night. Met up with Gar Turnbull who I haven't seen in a long time and that was as usual fantastic. Also got stuck into the tea and Easter eggs with Tommo and his lady friend Gemma which contributed to my inability to fall asleep despite taking up to 4 sleep aid pills. The race is tonight and I am looking forward to getting a nice stretch of the legs. I will be conservative since this is just a precursor to my main two traces, the Ras and National XC. I just want a steady effort, harder than a workout but not killing myself because I am not strong enough to do three hard races in 8 days.
Peace and Love,
Tuesday, February 17, 2009
PM: 7 Miles Steady, 42:56, around streets of Drogheda.
Got back into routine pretty quickly with a solid kip last night and two great runs today. This morning I jogged around the 800m grass field near my house and I now know why I was a good XC runner as a junior, the mud was everywhere. I have seriously softened up because I was runing laterally trying to avoid all the soft bits. I was very unsuccessful so I started to just plough on and it was a lot of fun even if my Zoom Elites are filthy.
For the PM I stayed on the road and did one of my old club loops around the town. I did a 7 mile loop that I used to think was so long when I was younger. In fact I was suprised that it was only 7 miles when I was done. Back in the day I would have called it at least 8 or maybe even 9. I am very happy to see more and more people out running these days. I must have passed at least 15 people running around the streets, trucking on and getting involved in fitness. I find this to be very inspiring because Drogheda is the furthest from a running mecca you can imagine. Its all pavement because it is too dark and too soft to run on grass. The fog is thick and the roads are dangerous. So to see people out running is fantastic.
Tonight I went to see Slumdog Millionaire. I usually don't like flicks that everyone says I have to see. In fact it turns me off films when I am bombarded with "I can't believe you haven't seen it yet". Well I hadn't until tonight and yes it was great. Very uplifting and a nice story that was well adapted to film. Danny Boyle did a great job.
Before I go, I have posted a video of Moz from Friday night with Jonathan Ross. He does 'I'm throwing my arms around Paris' and 'This Charming Man', the latter being a song he has not played in a long time. As much as I admire Boz he does not get the guitar lick nearly as clean as Jonny Marr. Please excuse Mozzers horrible tuck in to the Jeans. It is very unbecoming of such a handsome devil.
Monday, February 16, 2009
Haven't slept today in an effort to get right back into routine. I was going to take the day off because my knee swelled up on the flight last night but I really wanted to get out for a shakeout run and I am glad I did, even if it did hurt my knee. I ran a 4 mile loop around the old housing estates and only my knee was sore, the rest of me was really nice. I will do a double day tomorrow and meet up with Vinny to get on some grass to check out my spikes. No news to report, I just hung at home and I spent all day drinking tea and eating too many Classic bars.
Peace and Love,
Sunday, February 15, 2009
Sunday: AM: 12 Miles easy
Just a quick note since I am in Philly Airport with Marko. We are awaiting news about our plane departure since we were kicked off the plane we were supposed to be on. Here is the quick rundown. On saturday I ran 19:24 for 4 miles in some strong winds. I then did 2 x 3 minutes coming through the 1k in about 2:52. It was a fantastic workout and another confidence booster. I did it all on my own and it was beautiful.
This morning I ran with Tarpy, Wykes and Fagan. Lovely, great chats and even better energy. Bare in mind I was pretty tired and drained from the emotions of the BU Valentine invite where PC had an outstanding showing with Davey and Hayden running 3:57 mile and Dom running a NZ junior 3k record of 7:58 in a race won by Fagan who was running in flats and a t-shirt. Amazing stuff!
So on a nice high I completed another solid 80 Mile week with a couple of nice workouts.
Week 16 Ended As Follows:
Monday: AM: 8.3 Miles, Blvd, Fruit Loop, 51:40 PM: 5 Miles, Blvd, 32:00
Tuesday: PM: 12.2 Miles, Blvd, Pawtucket, Fruit Loop. 1:17:32, YOGA
Wednesday: AM: Workout, 6, 5, 4, 3, 3, 4 min reps, 2 min rec. Hard. 27 wu, 19 cd (13 Miles)
Thursday: AM: 12.2 Miles, 1:14:20, Pawtucket, Blvd, Fruit Loop.
Friday: AM: 50 Minutes Trainer Ride with 10 x 1 min hard efforts.PM: 8 Miles, 49:45, Blvd, Fruit Loop.
Saturday: AM: Workout, 4 Mile Effort (19:24) followed by 2x3 minute efforts. (11 Miles)
Sunday: AM: 12 Miles easy
Week Total: 81.7 Miles, 8 Runs, Bike Session, Yoga, Core, Tempo, Reps.
It seems like the trend recently has been that each week is my best but in this case it is indeed. Another step up from last week and lots of positive energy as I head into my first real racing period in a long ass time.
Peace and Love,
Friday, February 13, 2009
PM: 8 Miles, 49:45, Blvd, Fruit Loop.
I decided against my morning run because my knee was hurting. Not really bad but defo sore and enough to have me mildly concerned. I lashed in a lot of anti-inflams and got on the bike while fagan, Tarpy and Moulton hit the road. As the day progressed my knee loosened up and I tested it with some easy miles with Fagan and Wykes who is also in town. Overall, it was 80% and I felt great otherwise. We ran easy and did some nice strides at the end. I think I am ready for my session tomorrow morning so all is happy.
Fagan hit me up with some new sounds that I did not yet purchase. This is a moral dilemma for me because I love the music and I want to buy it but with that being said I spend a LOT of money on music and taking music that I had intended on buying from Martin while being wrong is also a reflection of my current situation. I am unemployed. I need new music all the time. I will give to the artist when I have money and I will promote the music with all my heart. Each day this week gets some new album reviews.
Mary Cullen broke the Irish Indoor record for 3k at the BU Valentine invite. Fantastic. I'm tired so I am getting off my computer to drink tea and hang out with good friends.
Peace and Love,
Thursday, February 12, 2009
Nice run but man it was windy, really windy. I felt pretty flat to be honest and the workout yesterday was still in my legs. It was nice to feel tired again as a result of hard training. I feel like I am in that mode right now but my knee has been acting up and getting me down. Not really bad but enough to send me into some darker places. I've found listening to 'The Album Leaf' has been helping, combined with a dose of 'Telafon Tel Aviv'. Both bands produce post-rock, ambient, electronic, IDM etc. They are both amazing and perfect for days when you need an emotional injection to make things bright again.
So I have Martin Fagan with me for a few days and thought this might be a good opportunity to catch up with the fella with some questions since I get emails from people inquiring about his form and plan of attack. So here is a few questions that should answer most of those queries.
KK: Great start in Austin. What was the buzz with that and how do you feel since?
MF: After my disappointment at Euro XC I wanted to get over it quick and Austin fit in with my plans, it was a great race to start the year with. I knew I could run faster than I did at Great North run and I wanted to prove the fitness that I had prior to Euro XC. Austin is fast so that was a perfect opportunity. Greg (coach Greg McMillan) knew the shape I was in would suggest an Irish record so my goal was to run 4:40's, I came close and just fell short. I feel great since, definitely gave me a lot of confidence running over a minute faster than my PB and I felt really comfortable in the race. Just like post Great North I've come out feeling like I can run faster and that is what I hope to do next month.
KK: What sessions suggested that you would run so fast in Austin?
MF: The workouts didn't necessarily say I was going to run a certain pace but for me to hit the times I was at altitude suggested to me and Greg that I was extremely strong. An example is my 8 mile tempo runs at 5 minute pace @ 7,000 feet These suggested to Greg that I could run 4:40's at sea level. At altitude we do everything on the road so its not as specific as the track and the confidence I get from training hard up there and consistently running 120 miles a week just makes me feel strong and fast.
KK: So whats next in racing and training?
MF: Right now I am continuing on the same phase/plan I've been on since December and I'll keep the training consistent and continue to build because I know I can run faster and with more competition I believe I can run the Irish Record. I am going to run Pier City Pier in Holland against Ryan Hall and I believe Geb is going for a world record. I had planned on running Boston but it didn't work out and we will look to a marathon later in the year. Right now I am running a sneaky 3k in Boston just to test my turnover and my goal is to run under 7:54, I don't need to run fast but I would like to believe I can run a euro indoor standard. I am also very excited to run the 10k Bupa Great Ireland run. I don't often get the chance to run at home.
KK: Whats a typical training week in the life of Martin Fagan?
MF: We do everything in minutes because we train in a group and we are focused on time on our feet.
Sunday: AM 70 min, PM 40 min (9-11 miles) (5-6 Miles)
Monday: Threshold 8-10 mile @ goal marathon pace, PM 40 min
Tuesday: Same as Sunday
Wednesday: Leg Turnover, 10 x 200m hill or 10 x 200 on-off (track), PM 40 min
Thursday: AM 80 min, PM 40 min
Friday: Same as Sunday
Saturday: 20 mile long run, sometimes last 5 mile at marathon pace.
KK: Do you listen to shuffle if running by yourself and what kind of sounds inspire you?
MF: I run my afternoon run by myself and I always listen to my shuffle which helps me reflect on my days training. Lately i've been listening to 'Wold Parade', 'MGMT', 'Sunset Rubdown', and 'The Dears'
KK: Why are you not listening to copious amounts of post-rock?
MF: I don't find the need to, I mean, I would only listen to that when I'm alone and not running. I don't want to be looking at the mountains and be getting all soppy!
KK: Your attitude towards the post-rock ambient sound is embarrassing.
MF: Its gets me too emotional.
KK: What do you do in Flagstaff when your not training?
MF: Usually look after my dog Ponyboy and bring him for a walk, and I take a nap. Its pretty simple and boring.
KK: What about Ladies and 80's on a Wednesday night?
MF: I attend that night, mid-week, it helps me break up the week. I don't typically dance but sometimes i'll have one too many and get out there. It also depends on the music, the DJ can confuse 80's with 90's. When a good song comes on I'll get after it but I am not known for my dancing. In general its the highlight of the week.
KK: So despite the very hard training and rigorous lifestyle, you do let your hair down with the group?
MF: Yes, its a great time.
KK: Do you miss Providence?
MF: Yes, very much, which is why I like to visit as often as I can.
KK: And Mullingar?
MF: I love Mullingar, love my home but I find it hard to concentrate on my running when I am home so I only like to spend time back home during my down period.
KK: Have you found any tattooed lady friends up in Flag?
MF: Found a few tattooed/mountain girls which has taken some getting used to. Not saying anything else about that. Lets say its slim pickings......
KK: Thanks me man, you have just increased the cool factor of my blog. Up until now it was all about Thom McArdle and we both know how uncool he is.
MF: Is he even running?
KK: Check out his blog at whatiswrongwithtommcardle.blogspot.com and you will find out everything you need to know.
OK, great day of training and great to have spring break here. Will be meeting Carroll and Tarpy for some miles tomorrow so it will be old skool here in P-Town.
Wednesday, February 11, 2009
What a day. 55 degrees never felt so warm. I'm talking shorts and t-shirt with the temptation to go skins. The session was a fartlek style workout with hard running on the efforts and jog on the recovery. I had Pat Moulton with me which made the session even better. We ran the reps around the blvd so we only had a measurement for the first 6 min rep where we came through the mile at 4:41. I was buzzin big time. After that the reps were sustained effort at a similar pace or maybe a little slower. It was a great run and a great confidence booster. Last week Mark and I did 4 minute efforts and this was a good progression from that point. I will have another session on Saturday mixing some tempo work and reps before my first race in over a year.
After the session I came home to the sounds and on a lovely warm day when the mood is high only one band was getting play, thats right, I stuck on some Amiina. I first heard these guys in 2005 when they opened for Sigur Ros. I have seen them 3 times since always opening for Sigur. The band is 4 females that are super talented and who make beautiful music. Not only have they performed with Sigur but have helped out with production on () and Takk. They also play live with Sigur and offer strings and other instrumentation on stage. But in their own right they are awesome. I listened to Kurr today and played my favorite song 'Sexfaldur' about ten times. It summed up my mood after the workout.My knee did hurt but never got worse at any point which is positive. If I feel good I should not miss any days between now and my races. Tomorrow calls for 12 miles with Mark and Pat and then a day of more job hunting. I have posted a youtube of the Amiina track. Please listen to it because it will move you and if you don't like it then we need to have a conversation because I can't understand why anybody could find this music anything other than inspiring.
Peace and Love,
Tuesday, February 10, 2009
Myself and Francine started out together tonight. I ran with Frankie for the first 20 minutes of my run and then I picked up the pace to 6 min miles and brought it home. I had a workout scheduled but I put it off until tomorrow due to both physical and mental fatigue coupled with some stress. You see, I had an informal interview today and even though I had a great time and met some great people it kicked in that a month has passed in my three month severance period and I only had my first meeting today.
Anyway, on a positive and keeping it that way, I decided I would be better served to just go out for a refreshing training run and do the session in the morning when I am mentally ready for it. My meeting today was with some folks from a shoe company I respect and who are doing great things in the industry. They have some fantastic people in the organization and it was very refreshing and inspiring to hear them talk so positively about running. I did not interview for a position per se, rather I had an informal meeting with people in various different positions within the company to see if there was a place I would fit in. I'm sure there are many places I can fit so long as the position opens and I am the right fit.
I had a wonderful yoga practice down at Eyes Of The World tonight. I missed last week since my nose blockage was still present therefore restricting my ability to breath. I figured I would get frustrated so I opted out. It was great to be back this evening and I felt really strong and comfortable in the postures considering I missed 2 weeks. I will miss the next two weeks here so I'll have to find something back in Drogheda!
I found a blog hosting the Radiohead -- 15 Step from the Grammys. You can download it from this site. I listened to the track on my run tonight and I really love it. The marching band drums sound so vibrant and alive, they are the perfect compliment to Thoms vocals and Jonnys guitar.
Peace and Love,
Monday, February 9, 2009
PM: 5 Miles, Blvd, 32:00
How nice and natural it was to be back in routine today, running my 8+ mile loop in the AM after a lash of Coffee Exchange. I felt extremely good although my knee was very stiff which means there is still some inflamation in there after my tempo run. In the PM I still felt amazing but my knee was really annoying me. Not in an injury sort of way (although many of the injury free may think of it as a problem) rather just an annoying niggle sort of way. I took a dose of Advil and its seems to be doing alright now. Today was a fantastic day of training. I used to want to get back on the 5+10 double kick I did back in college but now double days will be 8+5 or 8+6. The negative effects of the extra couple of miles are too much to risk for marginal gains in fitness.
I downloaded the Grammy version of 15 step today and listened to it frequently. I think its a great performance. Of course I'd like to see the full band on stage but the inclusion of the marching band was perfect for the song. I wonder if everyone in the band appreciated the genius they were playing with. Probably not, but from this point forward they will be forever Radiohead fans. One of the guys in the front row tagged himself in facebook. I was going to friend him and ask him about it but then I thought that is getting way to weird and creepy. I mean they are my favorite band but enough is enough!
I will post a link to a download version tomorrow. I am off to the airport to pick up Frankie.
Peace and Love,
Sunday, February 8, 2009
Sunday: PM: 10 Miles, Blvd, Fruit Loop, 1:05:25
There was simply not enough time to post yesterday. I ran in the AM with Pat Tarpy and it was fantastic. Felt unreal and had no fatigue from the tempo on Friday. Tonight I did an easy 10. I was tired from yesterday and last night. I was due an easy day and only intended on running 40 odd minutes but since it was so nice I just kept listening to tunes and forced myself to stop at 10 miles. Higher and higher....temptation.
Week 15 Ended As Follows:
PM: 6 Miles, No Time, From Rhode Runner
Thursday: PM: 11 Miles w/ 5 x 40 second pick ups, 1:10, Run From BSC, Core
Saturday: AM: 11.2 Miles, Blvd, Fruit Loop, 1:11:50
Sunday: PM: 10 Miles, Blvd, Fruit Loop, 1:05:25
Week Total: 80.5 Miles, 8 Runs, Core, Yoga, Tempo.
15 weeks of training in the bag. Of course the first 5 weeks aren't really worth talking about since I was suck below 30 miles but they were important weeks none the less. The past week is exactly the kind of week I want for the next 15. I want to stay below 80 miles but I want it every week. Consistency is what I have missed since 2003 but I am super motivated and willing to be patient to make it right in 2009.
So back to the weekend. Francine ran the Double Bridge Run in Pensacola, FL. She finished a great third! Amy Rudolph was the returning winner and Mark finished second in the mens race to Jimmy Carney. A Great start to the day! I hit Boston right after my morning run to join John Clark and Mark Davis in the Phoenix Landing Liverpool supporters pub in Cambridge. It was epic. We played Portsmouth and although we should be on cruise control through these games it proved very difficult with a weakened team on the field. Pompy had the lead twice and at 2-1 down with 8 minutes to go I was begging for a draw. JC was very relaxed and told me that we would win and it would be epic. And how right he was. Kuyt and Torres in the last minute. The pub erupted and there were man hugs a plenty and everyone was joined in song as we did the Torres bounce. What a start to the day.
After this we hit Reggie for the games. It kicked off with a fantastic run by Chris Hartner of Naperville Running Company. He was one of the guests of Reebok and used the opportunity to jump in the masters mile. He had the lead over the last 100 but was just pipped on the line. Fantastic stuff. After that the meet just had great race after great race. Ro McGettigan broke the Irish record in the mile. And Mary Cullen just missed the 5k record while Shelane Flannigan broke the American Record. The PC boys ran 4:01 in the mile and Charley D nearly won the college 800. Willis won the mile in 3:53 with Chris Lukezic running a great 3:56 for third. You will be able to read all about it at his ultra cool fifteen hundred meters blog.
After the meet we hit up '33' and had some great conversations with former co workers and the dealers who have become mates outside of all the running shoe stuff. T'was a great day and I woke up this morning actually feeling fresh. Only downside was having to watch Man United scrape another win, this time away to West Ham.
I am watching the Grammys right now, only to see Radiohead perform. So I want to save my music stuff for during the week but I am so excited right now that I need to talk about this one thing. I heard my favorite track of 2009 thus far. It is Bat For Lashes - Glass. It will be forthcoming on her new album Two Sons which will be out in April. The link will take you to stereogum and you can here the track there. Please listen to the song from start to finish. At least give it some respect, you know? I can't listen to it once, its that good. Her new album is going to be amazing and I will be buying it and reviewing it here as soon as its available.
Ok, thats the buzz. Keep running, keep listening to great sounds, and keep spreading the peace and love,
Friday, February 6, 2009
Tempo runs are my favorite training session and have been since secondary school. Ray uses tempo runs throughout the whole year to build fitness and I have found that nothing gives me more confidence or a boost in fitness like 6 miles running at a pace I could hold for 10 miles. Today was no different. I did the session with Pat Tarpy and we had Max Smith along on the warm up. Despite the cold we were all in good form and I actually felt quite comfortable in the balmy 25 degree weather.
The splits for the run were, 4:55, 5:00, 4:56, 5:01, 5:00, 4:51. I wanted to really sprint at the end, it was one of those days but I kept it relaxed through the finish and had a massive smile on my face. It never got hard and I never felt tired. Now, even though I am extremely pleased I am not delusional. I used to do this loop in 29 flat with ease but it is just another step in the right direction. I still have no pace but I have a good level of fitness and this low volume approach to milage is really helping me. In two months time I imagine still running the same 6 mile loop in better weather 3 or 4 ticks a mile quicker. This is the kind of training I plan on doing all year until November.
Yesterday I was talking about 'Lights Out Asia' and I spent a large portion of my day, from the moment I woke up, listening to them. They have a couple of tracks for listening to on their site. If you want to know what they sound like listen to "Knock Knock" and don't listen to a few seconds and say ah Kelly is away with the clouds, actually sit down and listen to the track from start to finish. It is awesome and today when I was running the short vocal loop and piano was stuck in my head. Nothing could have suited my mood better. Beautiful music by talented musicians.
Tomorrow is the Boston Indoor Games and I will be attending again. It will be the 8th odd version I've been to and even though tomorrow will be a little odd due to my departure from Reebok (the sponsor) I am still looking forward to meeting friends and watching world class track and field.
A very happy camper writes this blog entry and to show commitment to my training I actually didn't stay up to watch Morrissey perform on Jimmy Kimmel live, rather I just watched it on youtube this morning!
Thursday, February 5, 2009
Man, it is so cold. Tonight was a solid 13 degrees but felt like 0 with the wind. I had to run steady because even though I wanted an easy run I needed to get the blood pumping and energy levels up. I started throwing in long strides at the end while I was warm because I knew that if I stopped I would most likely just get back into the gym. I did my usual core routine and hung about the gym afterward. I met some people including a G-Town 800m runner who graduated a year before me. We know a lot of the same people.
I drank enough coffee today to wire a small town. And while sitting in Blue State almost pulling faces like the ravers of yesteryear I listened to some post-rock from Mogwai and Lights Out Asia
These are the two albums I got. I have loved the work of Scottish outfit Mogwai for a while now and in particular a track called "I know you are but what am I". I knew they did stuff with Sigur Ros, and I had random tracks and remixes by them but when I heard this track I fell in love. Simply beautiful work. Their new album has some nice moments and I found myself listening through very quickly and again on my run tonight. The album will take more listens because I started getting tracks mixed up seeing as I also listened to Lights Out Asia. I have never heard about this band and I still don't know much about them other than information from myspace. This album is really good and because it was an instant journey for me I will check out and maybe buy their previous albums although I am trying to limit my spend on music so I might have to search the blogosphere and check them out first. Bottom line is that I am getting more and more into the 'post rock' genre and I am finding that this music inspires happiness and belief in whatever I'm doing. It can be as simple as drinking a cup of coffee or running a hard 11 miles either way it makes my day and what ever activity I'm doing a little bit better.
Wednesday, February 4, 2009
PM: 6 Miles, No Time, From Rhode Runner
Running hard on treadmill in a sweaty gym takes it out of me. I am not one to sweat excessively like some of the other people I train with but that goes out the window when I run in BSC. Anyway, my point is that this morning I was tired and felt dehydrated. I started out easy and was pleasantly surprised to see I was running 6 min miles after a few minutes. Its a sign that basic fitness is back.
In the PM I joined the Rhode Runner crew for an easy 6 miles. It was actually nice to run slower than 7 min pace as it is not something I do very often. The perfect precursor to the PC-Nova game I went to at the Dunk.
Last Wednesday I saw one of the best PC performances in years when we drained 100 points against Syracuse but last night was just frustrating. We looked asleep out on the court and we couldn't buy a basket. Nova at one point had a 20 point lead. However, about mid-way through the second half the Friars rallied and started hitting 3's and forcing turnovers. We brought the game back to within 5 points. As quick as that happened the lead was 12 again with 2 minutes remaining. Since Frankie was picking me up I called her and was ready to go. Now bare in mind that I really dislike fans that leave games so early. It was an uncharacteristic move for me but Frankie had an early start and the game was late. When I got home I jumped on the box to see the final score and the game was still going. It was down to 1 point 92-91. I nearly lost it. Alas Nova had the ball, got the foul and went to the line for 2. PC never got the shot off before the clock ran out. 94-91. If the first 3/4 of the game was anything to go by this score is a victory for the Friars and shows that the early mistakes, missed free throws cost us. I know that there is always a way out if you take care of the simple things.
With this in mind I approach my last 2 weeks of training before my first race in one year. I find myself getting worried about miles, workouts and getting everything right but in effect it all means nothing if I don't stay the course and prepare for November when my real goal of making the Irish team for Euro XC starts. I need to make the little plays and maintain consistency. That means, getting out for training everyday but never trying to do too much. That means, doing workouts and not worrying about how fast they are compared to my previous life. That means enjoying the fact that I am not fat and out of shape. That means making the start line healthy and ready to run rather than beaten up.
The Ras press conference was yesterday and it was good to catch up with Vinny who was in the community center back in Dunleer. I was asked am I fit and I don't really know how to answer that because yes I am fit, very fit but I won't be winning any races because other guys happen to be fitter and stronger. So I was honest and said I've been fitter but yes I am fit however I wouldn't put money on me unless you fancy some really long odds. Two weeks and counting to my three race series in Ireland. As you can tell, I am getting very excited.
Tuesday, February 3, 2009
The BSC was a hive of activity tonight. After all we did get ANOTHER snowfall today. Not a terribly bad snowfall but a solid 3 inches on top of ice and enough to force me onto the mill. I don't know why I did 80 minutes. I am off schedule after my illness but I really should be using the head on my shoulders and not running this much. With that being said I did have an excellent playlist on my shuffle and it was impossible to stop. Cut Copy, Crystal Castles, Radiohead, Joy Division, The Cure, Depeche Mode, Moz, Apparat, The Knife. I am patting myself on the back for not running 13 miles. It showed some level of cop-on.
In addition to having a fantastic run I had a lovely day. Met up with Mark Flotrack for coffee at the exchange. He is in town doing some stuff with the Providence girls and the BIG. I love the energy the Flotrack crew bring, and I love what they do for the sport. Brilliant stuff.
So the above video is "Hearts On Fire" by Cut Copy and I finished my run with this tune today. Its a fantastic, uplifting track and epitomizes my general mood. Some Fox Soccer Report and then bed, a lovely way to end a solid day.
Monday, February 2, 2009
My first run back and even though it was very slow I was really pleased to get out. I did my usual loop and I nearly passed out at one point. I stopped for a pish and I actually think I lost consciousness. It was extremely weird but after it happened I kind of laughed and trucked on for the remaining 8 miles. I have never fainted and I loved the fact that I kind of did. Fantastic.
There is a new Doves album coming out. I have always had a soft spot for Doves (the band) and "Last Broadcast" is a mainstay on many of the mix CD's I make for friends. Anyway, you can check out This Blog, which is awesome and there is a link to one of the new tracks. The album is out in April but I'm sure more tracks will leak. I will be buying it but will also take advantage of all early mp3's. I don't feel bad because I can let the lads know that they will be getting 10 bucks off me. I got a suggestion for some tunes to listen to from a comment yesterday and that is what I'm off to do. Today I got back into the training and got fired up for my upcoming races by talking to Vinny. Lots of training to be done over the next few weeks.
Peace and Love
Sunday, February 1, 2009
Feeling sick is the worst. I have always been a baby when it comes to being run down or ill in any fashion. The reason why I tend to act in such an soft manner is that I am typically full of energy and full of life. Any feeling less than awesome tends to disrupt my mood. When I'm sick and feel like ass which was the case for the last three days I'm simply miserable. I can't fake it at all. I had planned a big workout on Saturday that I couldn't do and it was depressing. Today was a bit better, I actually had some energy but not enough to run. Tomorrow I will be back in the saddle. Lots of people like to "run through" sickness, but I have never understood this. It is like some people can't bare to see their training diaries take the hit of a few days off. Francine thinks it was a blessing in disguise, that I was doing too much and maybe increasing the training a little too much. I don't believe in signs but I guess this could be construed as a sign. Around this time last year I began to ramp up the volume and by the end of Feb I was flying, only to blow out my knee. The subsequent surgery knocked me out of action for 6 months. Basically, three days off is nothing compared to six months.
Week 14 Ended As Follows:
PM: 5 Miles, T-Mill, BSC 32:20, Core Work
Week Total: 47.15 Miles, 5 Runs, Yoga, Core Work
I was heading for a great week of training and that is all I care about. It is very positive. The session with Mark was fantastic and I had some great running. The three days off were necessary and now I will build up the defences so I should avoid all illness heading back to Ireland. All good.
A major highlight of this weekend was today and in specific about 88 minutes into the Liverpool-Chelsea game. Fernando Torres scored and has perhaps saved Liverpools season. It was fantastic.
Peace and Much Love,