Dublin Marathon, Mile 3

Monday, December 24, 2012

Week 49 - end of year

I havent really had time to keep this training blog up to date in the last few weeks. As usual, work has been hectic but in the last few weeks of the year its been crazy busy and we ended up with a record sales month in November and December. Both James and I were very happy with that and hope to build on that to have a good start for 2013. Our team is growing; we now have an admin assistant and are looking for a sales person to join early next year.

Training wise - i have been keeping up with it for the most part. I joined a new gym that opens at 0600 everyday and have been going there in the mornings before work which i strangely enjoy. The weather in Mannheim hasn't been the best for training outside recently so this new gym has been working well, but i did get to do a couple of outdoor runs recently. i went for a half marathon run last Sunday. It was meant to be a half marathon race that i entered but as the weather was so bad i didnt drive there and ran locally instead. The plan was for a PB but i didnt prep well - no breakfast beforehand and a few glasses of wine the night before meant there was no PB! My heart rate was up to 177 by Km 5 (181 is my max HR) so i had to pull back. i was going for a sub 2 hour time (2.07 is my best half) but once i knew this wasnt happening i just relaxed some more, took some walk breaks and started to enjoy the run. i ended up with a 2.17 time but hey, you cant win them all. I think the fact that it wasnt a race environment didnt help either.

Anyway, 2012 has been a great year for me. I've lost 20 or so kilos, ran my first marathon and started a new business. Although i wouldn't recommend marathon training and starting a new business in the same year to anyone, its been a good year for me and i am looking forward to what 2013 brings. I plan to run London marathon, Mannheim Marathon and hopefully Berlin too. Oh, and take our business to new heights!

My aim was to hit 87 kilos before the end of the year, which was the weight i was when i got married 9 years ago. I missed it by 0.4KG but thats good enough for me!

It was a nice feeling to lock the door last Friday knowing that I could relax and take some time away from work. As i write this i am sitting in a hotel in Austria after a days skiing. Michelle, me and Piper came down here for a couple of days over Christmas. Back to work on 27th and 28th and then meeting up with some friends for another ski trip over New Year, great! (If you know me then you know i love skiing more than running!).

After the New Year ski trip it will be back into training mode 100% for London. Thats going to be tough in
the winter months but no one said it was going to be easy... :)

Thanks 2012, its been emotional. :)

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Week 48 - back in training, again

The week just gone was the last week in our sales month at work, and it was pretty hectic. Nonetheless, I managed to get in 5.5 hours of training in this week which i was happy about. November in general wasnt really a great month for training, but i put that down to the winding down after the massive build up to Dublin in October.

Monday - X
Tuesday - AM Gym, weight and some light treadmill running. 2km
Wednesday - AM Gym, 6km good run with focus on midfoot striking, (new to me)
Thursday - X
Friday - had a double session day today but couldnt do the evening one, so i combined the two into the AM session. Bike, weights and then 7km as 2km warm up, 2 x 2km hard with 500 meter recoveries. This was a pretty tough session but i enjoyed it.
Saturday - caught a cold yesterday so i skipped todays swim session.
Sunday - Had a big bike session booked today but the snow came down big time this morning so i went to the gym. Done 1 hour on the bike and then 35 minute "hill run" on the treadmill. Very hard session and i was wrecked after it! 25 mins weights after too.

Total time - 5 hours 35 mins
Weigh in - 89.2 KG

Its good to be back in training mode again as the last few weekends involved big nights out and a few hangovers! Due to work commitments i cant manage any evening sessions at the moment so its up at 0530 for me and hitting the gym for early sessions.

Race wise, i now have a confirmed place for London marathon in April, and a half marathon in Germany in December. Hoping to pull a PB in the half.

Game on..........

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Week 45 - game on, kind of...

This week was the full first week back in Germany after my time in Dublin. I was given a full weeks training plan by my instructor but when i got back to work it was a hectic week so I couldn't get the sessions in early week.

I managed to get a good hour session in gym on Thursday, including a 4k run on the treadmill which was my first run since the Marathon it felt good! Also got in a 6km on Friday and 10k this Sunday morning, so all in all my legs, knees and ankles are feeling fine and I am looking forward to getting back into some proper training next week.

Here are some pics from the marathon:

Monday x
Tuesday x
Wednesday x
Thursday - 57 mins at the gym
Friday - 6km AM run. good tempo
Saturday - x
Sunday - 10km. 1hr 24 seconds.. Fast

Sunday, November 4, 2012

The Dublin Marathon

So this post brings me right up to D day - the Dublin marathon! I am very happy and proud to say that I ran the race and finished in 4 hours and 39 minutes - half an hour quicker than planned!

But the few days before the marathon was nothing short of a nightmare. For reasons I still dont know, my knee swelled up again and I was unable to do any kind of training whatsoever. On the Thursday before we flew to Ireland I managed to get in a Sports massage .The massage lady suggested that i rub cheese and honey into me knee, which sounds strange but must have helped as on Friday I was feeling better and more confident that I was going to at least get to the starting line on Monday 29 October.

Then, disaster.

On Sunday we went to the Expo to collect our race numbers and soak up the atmosphere. There were some  massage beds there so I got a rub down which seemed to help at the time, but an hour afterwards my knee swelled up again! It got so bad that i had to go back to our apartment and put an ice pack on my knee to bring down the swelling, I was starting to think that i wasnt going to even make the starting line, which was stressing me out big time. It didnt help that lots of "good luck" messages were being sent to me whilst I was lying on my bed with an ice pack on my knee!

I woke up on Monday morning to find my knee feeling tip top and in perfect condition. Feckin' Amazing!! If i  was to find something posative in the weeks injury, it was that the injury was out of the way and i was delivered to the race day in what felt like peak condition. BOOM!

The race was fantastic; really well organized and quite flat. The so called "heartbreak hill" that is an infamous hill at mile 20, felt like only a little blip. I was expecting much much more from this hill, and so when i reached to top and was told that was the end of the hill, i was like .- "Thats it"?? !!

I have never ran more than approx 20 miles so everything after that was uncharted territory. I kept expecting something to go wrong; my achilees to give up, knee to pop or to hit "The Wall". But nope; I felt strong the whole way round. And when I started to realize i was going to finish in under 5 hours I was even more happy with myself!

Coming back into Dublin, the crowds amassed even more and the atmosphere was picking up again. I remember listening to my ipod hoping for a classic song like "eye of the tiger" or something similar to take me home, but the last song i heard was "love is all around" by Wet Wet Wet!! Didn't even know that was on my ipod!! After that i just took the earphones out and listened to the screams of the crowd...

On the final 500 meters i bumped into my cousin Sheila who was also running. Mad! 15,000 people and you bump into a family member on the last bit of the race. :)

Aftwerards we went to the Porterhouse bar for a few pints of the black stuff. I have to say, i was feeling much better than expected. We met up with our friends and supporters Jon, Racheal, Sylvia, Garret, Maike, Lisa, Ben and Michelle and had a good few beers before heading back to the apartment.

Day after, legs were v sore but i was still beaming so all was great.

We are still collecting monies but right now I think the numbers are reaching the dizzy heights of approx 3500 pounds! Thanks to all who donated; it really means a lot.

There were so many people who helped me in getting to the end that race, but special thanks goes out to the following people:

Darryl, my personal instructor, for getting me fit and keeping me mainly injury free all year
Mike Hamlin for putting me back together when i was injured!
Mum, John and James Carolan for speaheading the offline sponsorship in Cambridge
Michelle, for putting up with me through it all

In the days after the race I have been eating and drinking a bit more than usual (to say the least!). As of Monday morning though, its back in the saddle and head down for more training. Some people train for a marathon and see that as the end goal, but this is just the start for me. The London marathon is already in the calendar and looking forward to many more............

Sunday, October 21, 2012

one week til race day!.... WEEK 42

WEEK 42, Oct 15-21, 8 days till race day!

What a difference a week makes. I am happy to say that my knee has made what seems a full recovery and I have been running fine this week. I managed a tad over 7.5 hours training this week; mostly in the gym/treadmill etc, with a couple of outdoor runs and a ride. The weather was very nice this week and there have been some amazing sunrises; thats one of the few perks of getting up and out early :). Here's a couple of pics I took whilst our this week. The first one was out riding from Mannheim towards Heidelberg in the week and the second one was today in the forest behind my house - lovely Autumn scenes!

Monday - AM weights and conditioning at home
Tuesday - AM - gym: weights, treadmil, cross trainer etc
Wednesday - PM gym, including 5km run
Thursday - PM 10km run after work, on the streets
Friday - gym, including 5km run
Saturday - AM - 1 hour ride
Sunday - 13.5k run in the forest

Total - 7.5 hours
Weigh in - 88.3 KG

So thats the marathon training almost done! I have a few small runs and swims in the coming week, but the aim is to keep the legs fresh, carb up a bit and dont pick up any more injuries!

Regarding my finishing time - I would love to come in under 5 hours but in all honesty i will be happy just to finish in one piece and without any permanent damage! I feel fit enough to run the race, but the only concern I have is my left Achilees. Time will tell!

DONATIONS - right now we are very close to 1900 GPB for online donations which is great. I am confident we will hit the 2000 online target by the end of the race!

Thursday, October 18, 2012

A collection of Numbers

This Tapering lark is a bit strange. I am normally outdoing some sort of training right now, but in the 2 weeks before the race you have to taper down and cut down the hours. So right now its 0615 and I am uploading CDs to iTunes to create a playlist for the marathon. Thought i would also waste some time writing down some associated numbers, just for fun:

My  Race number: 12908

Number of people running this year: 14350
Number of KM in a marathon: 42
Number in miles: 26.2
Approx hours of training per month this year: 30 (ish)
Estimated number of hours for me to complete the marathon: 4.45-5.30
Fastest time ever recorded for completing Dublin Marathon: 2.09!!
Target amount to raise for charity: 2000 GBP
Estimated final amount raised for charity in total: 2500 GPB :)
Target amount of pints of Guinness to drink upon completion of race: 12
Estimated amount of pints to get langered after the race: 1!

Just found something pretty cool on the Dublin Marathon site: if you put a race number into this URL you can track that person around the race. its also available as an app for ipone and android...


Knee is 99% back to normal now which is a huge relief! Done 5k on the treadmill last night and felt fine, so fingers crossed all is well for race day...

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

week 41, Oct 8-14, injured!

WEEK 41, 2 weeks to go.........

The last week wasn't a good one unfortunately. Not exactly sure how, but I managed to pick up a knee injury on my ride side. Maybe it was something to do with the previous weeks run whilst having a pain in my right foot (and as a result i might have been overcompensating on the ride side), but it could have been anything. What I do know is that I noted some pain on Monday evening and from Tuesday onwards i was unable to do any kind of training for the week. Devo'd! I have been very careful with the training all year and avoided injury for the most part, so was very frustrated to have picked up an injury so close to race day. As of today (Tuesday 16th) i am still icing it every night but its getting better. I asked my mate Mike the Chiropractor to take a look at it on Sunday and today had a sports massage, so things are moving in the right direction again.

I managed 1500m swim on Saturday and 1.5 hours in the gym on Sunday, so totaled 3.5 hours along with some walking in the week. Disappointingly I didnt get to do my longest run last week which was meant to take me up to the 30k mark, (would have been my longest run ever) so I will just have to do it was whatever is already in the bank now!

Last Tuesday (the 10th) was the 1 year anniversary of Tommy's death which was quite a sad day and brought a lot of memories of last year back. Also reminded me of when i decided to train for this marathon - it was the day after Tommys funeral in Cambridge. I decided I was going to lose weight, get fit and stop drinking so much beer. That idea evolved into running a marathon, which evolved into the Dublin marathon which in turn evolved into running the Dublin marathon in memory of Tommy and to raise money for a relevant charity. That was over a year ago now and although I am no saint (and doubt i ever will be!), I have lost a good bit of weight and don't party as much as i used to! We have nearly raised 2000 pounds online and more in the Rathmor and Labour club so its been good going. Now all I have to do is fix this knee. Oh, and then there's the 26.2 miles of running i have to get through in 13 days time............

Monday, October 8, 2012

Mid week beer fest and only 3 weeks til race day - WEEK 40

Week 40, three weeks til the marathon...

So I guess its not common practice to get langered at a German Beer festival three weeks before your first marathon, but thats what I did last week. However, I always knew that the date was coming and had informed my training instructor to block 2 days out this week so it was all planned and above board. What i didn't plan for was the 3 days it took to get over the session! 
Myself and my brother James took a bus full of lads down to the annual Stuttgart Beer Fest for a bit of a corporate jolly up, and the craic was brilliant. It started early on Wednesday morning with beer and bacon butties for breakfast in our showroom, and ended up around 0400 on Thursday morning! As i get older these days really take longer to get over, and the fact that I hadnt been partying much due to the training, made it hit me even more. (And I'll admit it; I am a lightweight).

Some pics of the fest:

Managed to get a bit of training in before and after the midweek hangover though, so it was a completely wasted week.

Monday - PM; 4 km run
Tuesday - AM - 1 hour 30 in the Gym, 6k run, weights and row
Wednesday - BEER
Thursday - X
Friday - X
Saturday - X
Sunday - 18.5km run. 06.30 per km pace. 

Total 3 hours 29 mins.

Notes - right ankle a little sore before starting running. As i wright this on Monday eve it feels fine.

DONATIONS - we are up to 1432.60 pounds with the online donations! Thanks to Tessa for her donation this week!! The target is 2000 pounds so we are getting closer but still a ways to go!

So with 3 weeks till race day, this is my last big training week, and boy it looks big. Lots of sessions in the week and 3+ hour run on Sunday which should be up to around 30km will be the longest ever for me so fingers crossed........

Monday, October 1, 2012

4 weeks today!

Week 39, 4 weeks til race day:

Another week of training done and dusted, and another week closer to the marathon. This last week I managed to clock up 10 hours 20 mins of training. Having to get up v early to fit everything in, but I am getting used to getting up at 0530 now. Finally got back to the swimming pool for a session and over the weekend we met some friends in the Black Forest, an area in Germany that is great for outdoor activities. The Saturday was pouring rain so we hit the swimming pool, but this wasnt a training session. It had a swim up bar and relax area so we spent the afternoon at the bar!

Sunday the weather was better so i got my bike out and hit the hills for 2.5 hours ride. We then went to the "action forest" and done 2 hours of a high ropes course which was very hard and sore.

Monday - rest
Tuesday - AM 1h 40 gym, row, bike, run, weights
Wednesday - PM - swim in Schwetzingen 50 mins
Thursday - AM 1hr 10 mins run before work, PM, 50 min run after work
Friday AM - 1 hr 30 gym, row, bike, weights, run
Saturday - X
Sunday - AM 2.hr 30 mins hill ride, PM - 2hr ropes course

Total - 10 hours 20 mins

DONATIONS - thanks to Mike and Kirsty for their "double" donations this week!

Sunday, September 23, 2012

5 weeks til race day..........

A decent week this week. 6.5 Hours of training done and dusted! The week didnt feel too hectic as I managed to stay at no more than one session on any given day. Nothing to crazy in the week but today I knocked out the longest run I have done in years - 26 km, and still in one piece! Very happy with that and it has given me more confidence in crossing the finish line in Dublin as I could have done more if need be. I did get a bit of a twinge in my left ankle but nothing too bad, so should be good for the marathon. Most training plans dont take you past 30-35k before race day, so I am nearly there. :)

DONATIONS - since the last post I have had sponsorship online donations from David Chow, Jennifer Kim, Steve and Shelley Dewar and Sean Partridge! Thanks Guys!!

Monday - rest day
Tuesday - AM 1hr 05 mins Gym session. bike, run, weights
Wednesday - AM 5km run, 32 mins
Thursday - missed the swim session AGAIN
Friday - PM bike then run, 1 hour 30
Saturday - x
Sunday - 26km run, 2 hours 55 mins

Total - 6 hours, 32 mins
Weigh in - 88.9

NOTES - High5 carb drink was very good, as were the powerbar gel shots. will use them for the marathon.
10 hour plan this coming week!

Sunday, September 16, 2012

6 Weeks 'til Race Day!

WEEK 37, 6 weeks to go......

This week ended up just about getting in my allotted time of 7 hours. Due to the work commitments (and not beating myself up about missing training sessions) I didn't get in all of the weekly training, but made up for it today with a 4 hour / 82 KM bike ride from Mannheim-Schriesheim-Wilhelmsfeld-Heidelberg-Mannheim. Michelle came and met me in Heidelberg for the last 27KM home too. Lovely sunny day but loads of tourists around.
In general the week was much less stressful than previous weeks (see below post) and I am now refocused on the work ahead. For next week I have decided to limit training sessions to a maximum of one per day which will make things easier.

Flights and accommodation to Dublin are now booked! After the race on the Monday, Michelle and I will head over to Mayo on the west coast for some R&R.

DONATIONS - Thanks to Mick Cafferkey, Martin Moloney, Ade Ingrey, Pat Mcleish and Mat Knight for their donations recently! Its great to know people are still donating for the charity. We should be pretty close to the 2000 pound mark soon when putting everything together from the pubs and online. Plenty more to go though!

Monday X
Tuesday X
Wednesday - AM 50 min run
Thursday - AM 50 min run
Friday - 1 Hour run
Saturday - X
Sunday - 4 Hour /82km bike ride

Total - 6 Hours 40 Mins
Weigh in - 89KG

Already got my training plan for next week - 8 hours including 3 hour long run on Sunday. Lets get it on! :)

Friday, September 14, 2012


Its been a stressful couple of weeks trying to get the training and work in. Our new business is taking off nicely and is creating long hours including the commute. I am not worried about that at all as busy is good, but i have been stressing about fitting in all the training that i have to do. Came to a bit of a head last weekend where I went on a bit of a session.
So this week i decided to de-stress a bit and took the foot off the gas (training wise). Normally I would get up at 0545, walk the dog, do my hour or so training, shower, drive to work, but this morning I have decided to skip a session and have some relaxing time before I head off to work ( I am writing this before work which is unheard of!). Made myself some scrambled eggs and toast with coffee and have another 45 mins before I need to leave too, so nice and chilled.
Checked my donations page and also, and saw that 5 new people have sent money, which was awesome!
So all in all, I feel much less stressed than last week and have slapped a "no booze" ban on myself up till race day (one day in October aside) as you can kid others but you cant kid yourself...
I am sure the next few weeks will involve a lot of training but this "relaxed" (still 5 hours though!) week has motivated me to want to get stuck in again. :)

Monday, September 3, 2012

Marathon Training and Donations for TICK TOCK -

Week 35........ 8 weeks to go.

So I managed to get in a pretty decent week, with 7 hours and 40 mins clocked up. Still, it was meant to be a 10 hour training week so I missed a few sessions, but it was crazy busy at work (which is good!) and there are only so many hours in the day. In general, things are going well and no knee or foot injuries to note.

As of today we are exactly 8 weeks away from race day! So, I have to really knuckle down and get all the sessions in that I can, keep a more strict eye on my diet and minimize alcohol consumption so that I can get down to my target weight of 87KG by Oct 29th. I sometimes think that because i have done a training session I can have an ice cream after dinner or another beer but that is not going to help get across the line in October...

DONATIONS - coming along well. We are over the 1000 pound mark online now, and thanks this week to Kevin Briggs, Paula Land and Joel Chudleigh for sending monies to the Just Giving page. I have been told that there is over 300 quid in the Labor Club too, and I am sure the Rathmore collection is also going well!

Monday - Rest Day
Tuesday - AM1H 25 mins in the gym. Cross Bike, weights, cross bike
Tuesday - PM 40 minute light run
Wednesday - Missed a session due to work
Thursday - Missed the swim session - gutted!
Friday - AM 1H 5min run before work, PM 1.10 run after work
Saturday - X
Sunday - 3H 20 mins / 67KM bike ride. Mostly flat but off road.

Total - 7 hours 40 mins.

Garmin stats - http://connect.garmin.com/dashboard

NOTES - watch the calories and eating crap foods from now on in!

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Training and donations for Tick Tock - UPDATE

........ WEEK 34, 9 weeks to go!

Monday was the first day back to work after my vacation to Croatia, and it was a busy one! Busy is good though, so no complaints there. Missed Mondays session though, but got back into it on Tuesday and had a good week after that. Great swim on Thursday morning - got up at the crack of dawn and was in the pool by 0615 for 2200 meters (90 laps). Pool was empty apart from three other people which makes a big difference.
Todays run was a good one too - my brother James and I hit the hills of the Pfalz in Ramsen and some some hill trails out there. All in all a good week! With only 9 weeks to go till the marathon I am feeling good.

DONATIONS - very close to the 1000 pounds for online donations at the moment! Big thanks to our friends Mike and Nadine and Auntie Bea who donated this week! Buckets and sponsorship sheets are now in the Rathmore, Labor Club and Cafe Brazil. Will try and get an amount from there to see what the grand total is.

Monday - X
Tuesday - AM: 40 minute light run - http://connect.garmin.com/dashboard?cid=14140216
Wednesday - Dentist AM, overnight in K town eve, no training.
Thursday - AM 2200m endurance swim.
Friday - 8.4km / 50 min run, good tempo - http://connect.garmin.com/activity/215332015
Saturday - AM 47 min/ 24km bike ride before work.http://connect.garmin.com/activity/215332081
Sunday - 21.67km / 2.33 hours hill run - http://connect.garmin.com/activity/215332117

Total time - 6 hours 10 mins
Weigh in - 91.8KG

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Week 32 and 33 marathon training and donations for Tick Tock - update

.......... 10 weeks to go. 

Its been a couple of weeks since last update on here. Mainly due to it being a crazy busy time of it recently! Week 32 (starting Monday 6th August) was always going to be manic. Things were getting busy at work, then I had my mate Henry's wedding in Italy mid week so Mich and I flew to Treviso Tuesdays morning, flew home Thursday night, work all day Friday and then drove to Croatia for a week on Friday night! Arrived Saturday morning (12.5 hours drive from our home in Mannheim) and hit the beach.

I wont bother reporting full stats for that week but I still managed to squeeze in 5 hours 15 mins! Got some lovely runs in Italy done; here are some pics:

And here is a picture of Henry, me, his dad and Dave currid having a few bevvies at the wedding!

Total time 5 hours and 15 Mins.

WEEK 33 (week starting August 13th, a week in Croatia.

Monday: AM - 40 minute run, then 25 minute sea swim PM
Tuesday AM - up early, 1 hour 15 min run, lovely hills, on trails, then hired kiyaks for the day and toured some islands. very nice! (2 hour 30 mins Kiyaking)
Wednesday AM up early, 15km run out on the island. very warm, very nice.

It might sound like all i was doing was training on holiday but that wasnt the case. we were out having dinner most nights with our friends that came with us (Martin and Sylvia) and having a beer or two in the day on the beach, so it was a very nice week away. After Wednesday the training slid off the schedule anyway!

Some running pics from Croatia:

Total time for the week was 6 hours 40 - not bad for a holiday!

Weigh in - nah next week. :)

Since August 6th we have had a few donations online! Thanks to Sylvia, Margaret, Steffi and Rose Coffee! We now finally have the donation buckets and sponsor sheets in the Rathmore Club and the Labor club so should see some monies coming in from there too. Thanks to Pete Wyhnam for the donation behind the bar in the Rathmore!

We are now up to around 950 quid, so getting there!

NOTES: 10 weeks to go, time to get ramping up the miles for race day!

Sunday, August 5, 2012

training and donations update WEEK 31

....12 weeks to go

This week was a recovery week after the previous weeks high intensity training. Was "only" 5 hours 45 mins which meant I felt like I had some time in my life again! In general things are going well and there is now only 12 weeks to go till race day in Dublin on October 29th. Sometimes 12 weeks sounds like a long way away and sometimes it sounds like its only around the corner and I still have loads to do. The training will ramp up to levels I have never ran before soon enough (I have never ran over 27km in one session before) so that is scary, as the last time I ran 27 km my Achilles tore as I was out for months. I hope that the slower ramp up to long distances, the time spent in the saddle and in the pool and the lots of stretching will keep my in good stead and injury free so that I can complete the marathon in Dublin..

DONATIONS - Thanks to Martin Kennedy and Jon Rundal for their donations this week! We are now up to 786 pounds but still have a long way to go....

Monday - REST
Tuesday - PM - 50 minute run
Wednesday - AM - 25 mins on the bike, PM - 40 min run
Thursday - PM - 45 min swim in K town. Nice pool, opens early 2x per week
Friday - REST
Saturday - AM 1hr 33 min bike ride, fast
Sunday - 1hr30 light run.

TOTAL 5 hours 43 mins
Weigh in - 89.2kg :)

Monday, July 30, 2012

training and donations update for TICK TOCK

Its been 2 weeks since i updated this diary/ blog for my training and donations efforts. Week 29 (week before last) wasnt an amazing week. It was meant to be an 8.5 hour training week with 4 of those as a long bike ride on the Sunday, but i went to a party on the Saturday night, had a few too many beers and woke up in no state to ride anywhere! So WEEK 29 was 3hr30m - nuff said.

This week (WEEK 30, 13 weeks to go) was a better week for training. In fact, it felt like all i done was training, working and sleeping. Managed to fit in a nice night out in Mannheim on Saturday night for dinner and drinks without going overboard and feeling rough the next day, so went out for a mammoth bike ride on Sunday into the Odenwald area of hills behing Heidelberg. The sun was shining and it was a lovely day. The route i chose was also beautiful but had a monster hill in the middle of it! If you click on the below link for Sundays training, you will see the elevation profile went from under 100M to over 440m in a fairly short distance. The payoff was the downhill on the other side which was great fun and I hit over 62kmh at one point. ;) The end KM for the ride was 79.5 km which was the longest I have ever done in one session and i needed an ice bath to cool the legs afterwards! Some pics of the ride:

DONATIONS - The last 2 weeks have been a bit slow. Only Eileen Mannion has sent money in since my last update (Thanks Eils!), but there is still plenty time and still plenty of people out there that i know will donate to this cause. We also have the fund raising buckets for the Rathmore and Labour Club coming soon and anyone reading this that wants to donate can hit the purple button top right to do so. Thanks.
Also, the Addaction race pack arrived this week so got my t shirt etc this week.

Training stats:
Monday: 55 minute run
Tuesday: PM - evening bike ride, 1hr 20
Wednesday: Late home, then 10KM fast tempo. 1hr 01
Thursday: AM bike session: 0H53m
Friday: late home, then 14km run 1hr27min. VERY HOT @ 32C at 2030 at night!
Saturday: no training
Sunday: 79.5km hilly ride, 3hr43 mins - http://connect.garmin.com/player/204287348
TOTAL: 8hrs 23 mins

Weigh in: 89.8 (finally under 90kgs... :)

NOTE: need more donations!

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Training and donation update - WEEK 28 (15 weeks to go)

Another decent training week this week.

Managed to chalk up almost 7 hours mostly running. Made a massive cock up on Wednesday morning though! I stepped out early morning for a 12k run and had in my head that i wanted to try out a new circuit which involved running up to a bridge about 6km away, crossing it, running back the other side of the river and crossing back at another crossing, to total 12k. What I didn't realize what that on the other side the riverbank scoots off in another direction and i was channeled into a small town. I then tried to make my way back to the riverbank route but it all went a bit wrong and long story short is that the 12k morning run ended up over 22km! Didn't eat anything before i left the house either, so was pretty knackered when I got home, but Michelle had some food waiting for me, fair play to her.

Friday night I stopped in the Pfalz area on the way home from work and had a good 8km hill run which was nice, and today i found another really cool new place called Ramsen that had an awesome 11km trail run that i ran around a small lake and forest. I am really liking finding these new places to explore in the area around where we live. You have to drive approx 30-40 mins to get there but its worth it. Here are some pics from today:

 After my run Michelle and Klaus came out for lunch and we ate at the Hotel on the lake which was very nice. On the lake there were rowing boats to rent and a German couple were getting into the boat, then the man fell in! It was very hard not to laugh out loud but the dude was not smiling so we kept quiet. He just got into the boat all soaked and rowed off as if nothing happened!
Bought a new running rucksack with water bladder on Saturday which is great. only 20 euro too!

DONATIONS - had some more donations this week! Thanks this week to Sarah Perris, Sheila Mitham, Ali Bari, Bridget Keady, Sweetcorn in Aus, Tony Solimeno and Sandra Young! The amount raised so far is now GBP 626.00! Going well but we still need more! We will be making donation forms to put in the Rathmore and Labor Club soon for those that don't get online.

Training stats:

Monday: REST
Tuesday: 1Hr 15 mins Bike ride on the Altrip route. Fast and hard.
Wednesday: 22.5km run in the AM. http://connect.garmin.com/activity/199533127
Thursday: Missed the AM run, PM swam 1200m after work
Friday: 8KM hill run in the Pfalz after work
Saturday: no training, went out in Mannheim in the evening for food and drinks
Sunday: 1hr 30 mins trail running in Ramsen. Very nice! http://connect.garmin.com/activity/199533206

Total - 6 hours 53 mins
Weigh in - 91.5
Knee and feet all good.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Training and donation update - WEEK 27 (16 weeks to go)

This weeks training was pretty good. Only had 5hr 30 on the plan, and managed to do 6hr.13 so happy with that.. Didnt get out Monday or Tuesday due to work, but Wed, Thurs, Fri, Sat and today (Sun) i managed to squeeze it all in. Worth noting was the 10k race that James and I participated in on the Ramstein US Air Force Base in Germany. It was to raise money for a soldier that was a friend of a friend. He has a rare blood cancer and so there have been fund raising events to raise money for the family. Approx 100 or so people attended the race and all paid entry fees that went to the cause.
The race was around the air field and it was a nice warm day. This base is huge though! There are nearly 35,000 people working on it so you can imagine the size. Anyway, i ran my best ever 10km time at 55.45! Thats nearly 4 mins off my previous record so i was well happy with that! We got T shirts made with the logo for our new business to wear at the race too - here is James sporting one of the Shirts!

On the way home i stopped in "The Pfalz" which is the Germany wine growing region and went for a 5km hill run. As luck would have it i came across a lovely restaurant in the forest with possibly the nicest beer garden in the country!

Donations for the charity is up to GBP 491 this week, thanks for some donations from people. Still a long way to go, but there is 16 weeks left till the Marathon in Dublin so i am sure we will get to the target. There are plenty of people out there still to donate! 

Monday - x
Tuesday - x
Wednesday - 40 min run before work
Thursday - 40 min run before work
Friday - 16km ride before work and 2000m swim after work.
Saturday , 10km race, then 5km hill run in Isenach
Sunday, 1200m swim and 1 hour bike ride.

Total - 6 Hours 13 minutes.
Notes - knee and feet ok. 
weigh in - 92.1

Another busy work week ahead setting up our new business but no worries, there are 24 hours in the day! 

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Tick Tock Tommy

Week 26,
well i was meant to do a 10 hour training session this week but work keeps getting in the way. i am getting up at 0600 but still cant seem to fit it all in. will aim to work harder at it next week. I  ended up with 7 hours including a big feckin run today!! very happy with that but have not lost any weight this month.
More importantly, this week i decided to commit to a charity to raise money in memory of my ole mate Tommy. This is what its all about after all. I have chosen Addaction, and hope to raise 2 grand for Dublin Marathon and 2 Grand for London next year. I am amazed that in the short space of a few days, i already have donations from John, Scott, Mich, Lea from Cov, Tim Collins, Kathy collins, Mary Munnelly, Nina and Nico! Thanks to you all for your efforts. i will keep running in memory of Tick Tock!

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Week 24 - all work work work..

Week 24 (11-17th June) was a tough one. Not tough training wise, but work wise. My brother James was away on vacation so i had to cover him in the office for the best part of two weeks. As i have been working from the sanctuary of my home office for the last 6 months (internet car sales), this was a big shock to the system! An ten hour day book ended with an hour commute each way meant there was little time to fit in much training. Working from home meant i could plan my day around training sessions and as i will be leaving the internet sales company in a few weeks to join James in our new venture, i need to find a way to fit in the marathon training around work. Being away from home also meant bad food choices as i was eating on the go, so will need to watch that too. Good thing is that i really enjoyed being out of the home office and had a very good work week!

Monday 11 June - REST
Tuesday 12th - 1000m swim late night after work. Plan was for 2000 but i was knackered.
Wednesday 13th - 5km Run in the forest
Thursday 14th - One hour run around Kaiserslautern.
Friday 15th - X
Saturday 16th - X
Sunday 17th - 2 hour bike ride up the Rhein river trail. Very nice.

Total time - 4 Hours 10 mins
Weigh in - 93
Notes - early mornings will be better for sessions than after work. plan runs in mornings and any evening sessions for swimming. Get up early!

Monday, June 11, 2012

Training update WEEK 23- a record breaking week!

So things went well for week 23, June 4th -10th. I managed to get three PBs! Got my best time ever in 500m swimming time trail, then also best time for a 5km run mid week and then clocked my fastest ever 1km on Saturday morning before work! i think i also clocked my fastest 1km on a bike on Sunday too, but i wont count that...
The week in general was good; managed to cover more than the full 6.5 hours that were in my training plan, but managed to put on approx 1kilo as was eating some crap in the week. (was working away from home office so had to eat on the go all week).
Monday - Rest day
Tuesday - gym session, 1 hr
Wednesday - 5km run, 28 mins, 17 seconds! Fastest ever. My old PB was 29.57 so i smashed it! Very happy with that. :) http://connect.garmin.com/activity/188095325
Thursday - AM 1 hour swim including 500m time trial @ 10.50, PM bike ride, 2 hours. Found a really nice paved trail that goes all the way to Speyer and beyond. will be using this trail for long distance running.
Friday - REST
Saturday - Speed training. fastest 1km was 05.01, 55mins. http://connect.garmin.com/activity/188095360
Sunday - bike ride, 2 hours from Mannheim Altrip to Speyer and back. Found some great restuarants and even a swimming lake that i never knew was there! http://connect.garmin.com/activity/188095394

Total Time  - 7.5 hours
Weigh in - 93.3
Notes:  need to not eat crap when on the road!

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Training Update week of May 28th, WEEK 22

Monday - swim was on the plan but i couldnt get it done due to first day back to work and i was swamped. good news is that the local swimming pool is back open after 2 years! will save me some time driving to and from Schwetzingen where i go to now.
Tuesday AM - 50 min Gym session. Evening - 5.6km run in the forest behind the house. was very warm but a nice run with Michelle. Stats: http://connect.garmin.com/activity/183469878 37 mins.
Wednesday AM - 1.30 on the bike. Its tough to figure out where to ride for 1.5 hours just after getting out of bed at 0600. Note to self - plan the route the night before next time. Ended up biking out down the Rhein past the Zollamt, then back past the house and out to Schwetzingen. Was a nice ride, no traffic, sun shining, averaging around 22kmh.
Thursday PM: Finally got down to the new swimming pool in my area! Was very excited about this as i have been travelling 20 mins each way to another pool all year. That makes an hour session into a 2 hour trip which was a pain. Anyway, got to the new pool. All very nice and the two ladies at the front desk were very polite and showed me how the new systems worked for the changing rooms lockers (over complicated).
When i got to the pool it was very nice but it was busy and no dedicated area for "serious" swimmers. You had to fend for yourself amonsgt it all. And it was all going on. there were loads of (dare i say it) youths jumping off the boards going crazy, old couples swimming in tandem at 1mph etc etc. I used to be one of those kids jumping off boards the whole time so i shouldnt really say anything, but it was a bit annoying!
Managed to get in 1500m non stop, then 3min rest, then another 500m and i was done. Had buger and chips for lunch today so i hope the extra 500m burned off those calories. :) Gym session tomorrow AM before i hit the road to work.
Friday AM: Had a nice 50 min before work. kept it "fast" for me and tried to keep to a 05.45per km pace, but it was too tough. not sure i will be running any sub 2 hours half marathons this year!
Friday PM: was a great day at work today! Some very good news so i hit the Champagne after work with some buddies, and well that was the start of a great night out in Mannheim. :)
Saturday AM: Had a run planned but my head was banging so i went to the new pool instead. Had a sauna before and then 1500m to clear out the cobwebs.

Total stats: 6 hours training
Weigh in: 92.5kg
Notes: need to make up more hours next week and leave off the big weekends!

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Marathon training - update

Its been a while since i update this blog - lots of things going on. As this is a running diary, i will fill in the training since last entry:

Week starting May 14th (after the half marathon), was feeling ok in general but quads and Achilles were very tight. Has one 50 min gym session on the Tuesday and then went in search of a Sports Massage place to help with the legs. Found a place approx 30 mins from my house and booked an appt for Wednesday evening. I have to say it was fantastic! The masseuse didn't speak a word of English but i explained to her where to problems were and she done her thing very well. If it wasn't so far away i would book one every 2 weeks whilst  marathon training, but i think i have found somewhere more local.
Thursday 17th, first run in a long time without the knee brace! 6km.
Friday 18th an hour in the gym, done. That was it for WEEK 20.

Week starting May 21st (WEEK 21)
This week me and Michelle were in our vacation home in Croatia, a place near Split called Ciovo. Got off to a bit of a dodgy start as i had a few beers on the previous Friday and forgot to bring my passport home from work, which was an hour from home. So, we had to drive to the office in the middle of the night on the way to the airport once i realized i didnt have it with me. (oops).
Once there the weather was crap for the first half of the week but we made the most of it. Hired some bikes and done some good mileage.
Tuesday 1hr30 mins, hilly
Wednesday, no rain! So went running for 1hr40. This was when i realized i didn't have my GPS watch with me, gutted! would have been great to have logged the altitude and route etc. I did have my camera though and took some photos along the way:

Thursday AM - no rain! Went for a pretty extreme ride. Lots of hills up, but an awesome off road trail back into town downhill for 20 mins!

Thursday PM - beer on the beach! OK, more than one. Quite a few but hey, i was on holiday. :) Saw a big storm coming in and caught some cool pics here:

Friday AM - awoke with a little bit of a hangover, but decided to get up and go for a run. So i did, and i ran. for a long time. Clocked up three hours! Thats a lot more than i have ever done but the sun was shining and it was awesome. i didnt have any GPS or music (i normally run with both) but maybe that made it more enjoyable. Was definitely one of my best runs ever and i was very happy with myself for being in one piece at the end..
So seven hours of training whilst on holiday - not bad me thinks.

Home on Sunday and got my training plan for this week from my instructor - 10 hours. TEN! Thats the most ever for me! (Thanks Darryl, if you are reading this :) ) Will give me a chance to run off the calories from the holiday anyway...

Weigh in - Nah, next week.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Weekly recap and Mannheim Half Marathon

Recap -
This week was pretty quiet on the training front, in anticipation of the weekends Half Marathon in Mannheim. Monday was 1 hour light bike ride, Tuesday was 50 min gym session. Noted a pain in my Achilles (old reoccurring injury that comes back to haunt me all the time). Lots of knee/quad stretching as my knee hasn't been 100%. Wednesday was 5km run; knee was ok with this. Not perfect, but was good enough for me to decide to run the Mannheim Half. Thursday was run/walk with stretching and using the new "blackroll" self massage thing. This is sore as hell, but works well!

Mannheim Half Marathon - Saturday 12th May 2012

The Mannheim Half and full Marathon is in the evening, so i worked Saturday morning from home, and then went shopping for a new camelback to use in the race. (i know you shouldn't try something new on race day, but it had to be done). The weather was changing all week from rain, to wind, to 34C so i was happy to see that come Saturday lunch time it was sunny, dry and around 18C. That was perfect for me.
The Mannheim race is organized really well and has around 12,000 runners. The start was a bit congested but i got off ok. Looking back though, i could feel the pull on my Achilles right from the start.

Pre race i was hoping to do this race in 1 hour 59 mins and for the first ten km i was keeping a pace of approx 05.45-05.50. But half way through the achilees was getting sore and i needed a toilet stop. After the toilet stop at 13k the achilees was getting more than just uncomfortable, so i decided to pull back the speed so as to avoid any injury. My pace time dropped down to approx 7mins+.

Final time was 2 hours 20 - ten mins slower than the weinstrasse race 3 weeks ago, but the good news is that i am still in one piece and can continue the training for Dublin!

Post race was a good craic - there was a good gang of us having a few beers. Friends had come from Ireland, England and Switzerland. Will need to find another race to put in the diary now!

Total training time for the week: 7 hours and 7 mins
Weigh in: 92.kg

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Training Update

Unfortunately for me, on the Wednesday after the half marathon 2 weeks ago, I injured my left knee. Not out running, but getting in and out of the office at work! The step is higher than normal and I felt it was uncomfortable at the time, and by evening when I got home and sat on the sofa, it was swelling up. GUTTED! How could it be that I ran the race so well and then injured my knee at work??!! (As it turns out, I probably aggravated the knee in the race from a lack of warm up and stretching pre-race, and the injury was a result of that).
Had a few days in the UK to see family and friends from 26th – went to the Isle of Wight which was awesome and then to a mates party on the Saturday night which was great fun too, and then on to Cambridge to see the family. No training at all that week as the knee was still too sore.
Managed to get a swim in at Parkside Pool on Tuesday May 1st. Must have been 20 years since I was there last so it was a bit weird but cool at the same time. (2000m good form).
Got another swim in on Saturday back in Germany (1500m) and this morning done a gym session with knee/quads exercises, weights, Cross trainer, and finally some running. J (90 mins total).
Need to keep working on the knee/quads/hamstrings this week to make sure am fit for Saturday’s half marathon in our “home” town of Mannheim. There are some other friends running and my mum is coming from the UK too! Its an evening race starting at 1830 and should be good fun afterwards…

Was aiming for 2 hours so will see how that goes. J

Note: time this week – 4hours 30 mins.
Weekly weigh in  - 92.0KG.
Ordered this item to assist with the knee/quad rehab: http://www.blackroll.com/home/

Monday, April 23, 2012

Weinstrasse Half Marathon 12.4.2012

April 22 2012 was the Weinstrasse Half Marathon and Full Marathon.

I got up early and had my usual scrambled eggs with bacon bits and brown toast with coffee. The start was at 1000 so Michelle and I left home around 0815 then picked up our friends Carsten who was also running, and then Sylvia who always comes and supports us. It turns out that Carsten was out on the beer the night before so wasn’t looking 100% when we met him!

The weather has been terrible for the last few days; rain, wind, hail etc and the forecast for Sunday said there was a 50% chance of rain later in the day, but that between the hours of 1000-1300 it should stay clear, perfect!
Here is a picture of me and Richie and Paul who also were running:

I wasn’t sure what time to expect to come in at as the last time I ran this race I was in good shape and ran it in 2Hrs 20 mins but I was injured for most of 2011 and haven’t ran a half marathon since May last year, so I thought If I came in somewhere around the 2hr 20min it would be ok.
Heres a picture of me setting off, waving to the fans! 

Got off to a good start; the road at the beginning was a little tight for all the runners as it starts off in the village of Bockenheim which is really old so all the streets are narrow. But after a while it thinned out and I could concentrate on keeping my pace up. This was the first race I ran with my Garmin 310XT sports watch and I loved it! It shows you what time you will complete a KM in if you keep to your current pace so I was able to be consistent most of the way through. I knew it was going to get hilly in the middle part of the race so I went out quite quick (for me!) at the start but was also holding some back too. Then when I got to the hilly bit I done that no problem and carried on, still feeling good!

At KM19 there is a monster hill climb for the best part of a kilometer and it’s bloody tough. A lot of people were walking up this but I could see that I was on for a good time if I didn’t slow down, so I kept on pumping and got to the top without walking. Then looking at my clock I could see that if a went like a bat out of hell I might get in around 02.12 so I started running as fast as I could. Luckily the end is either flat or slightly downhill so I managed to pull off the fasted 2 laps of the whole race and landed in at 2 hours 10 mins!! VERY HAPPY with that!

I normally have a beer or two to celebrate after a race but I am off the beer for now so it was an alcohol free hefe weizen and then round to our friends Garret and Maike for a BBQ which was great. I fell asleep there for a bit but all in all I was feeling good, with no injuries or issues to note. All in all, a fanstatic day and looking forward to the Mannheim Half Marathon on May 12th.That race is much flatter so I will hopefully have a faster time there… 2 hours maybe?

Notes: 21.1 Km, 2 hours, ten mins
Food - eggs and toast, coffee for BF, energy bar in run, orange power drink mix in camelback which worked great.
Cals burned - 2063.