DIARY: A Night Out At Crusaders

Today was a very eventful night out at Crusaders; not only did we have our track training, there was a 1-mile challenge on to mark the launch of Lindie's new book "Let's Run", which I've had the time to preview a little over the last couple of weeks, and it does look great.

But first things first.

Royally Knackered

Even with my impromptu rest day yesterday, I was feeling knackered today. I tried to get out of office early so I could get at least an hours run done before the track session to compensate for the lost mileage yesterday, but got stuck for almost 1.5 hours and only managed to get in 6000m of slow track running before the session started.

I had a few strange pains today, in my left ankle and a sudden acidic feeling in my left knee (which did dissipate again, oddly), and generally the legs were clearly heavy, the weekend's two huge runs had taken more out of me than expected.

The 1-Mile Challenge

I was a bit disappointed with this as the 1-Mile Challenge is a great way to get a benchmark of your speed for later usage. My previous best is 5:42 but this was set during the first mile of a 6k race, so wasn't run at full speed. I ran the Rathfarnham 5k in precisely 6 minute miles, doing substantially below that half the route.

These results were set during a period of very heavy training with little rest before the races, so being fresh I should expect to do a mile no slower than 5:10, and I'm going to make that my benchmark speed for this distance for next season.

Not the Final Mile!
To get some useful marathon training done, most of us decided to not just do the time trial, but do three sets of one mile instead. This would bring my mileage for today up to 11km which is just about acceptable at this stage. We went off at a decent pace, and while I tried my best to rest the heavy legs, I couldn't resist giving it a little bit of a push on the 4th lap, which resulted in a time of 5:57.

Rachel Walters and Niamh both had excellent time trials and did 5:58 and 6:11, respectively.

For the next two miles I tried to keep myself from dropping to much in pace, while keeping a fine balance and not over-exerting myself. I am feeling a large degree of muscle fatigue at the moment and it's a rare day that I can work normallly without some discomfort. While I couldn't record my times today, I think the last two miles were both run slightly above 6 minutes (6:05 or 6:10 or so).

It was a nice session, but I'll be looking forward to doing it properly next time and see where I am at, and it reminded me how nice it'll be to get back to working on my speed again after marathon.

Lindie's Book Launch!

After the race, I went for a few rounds of cooldown with Aoife, Orla, Diarmuid and others, and we clocked in a nice additional 1.2km to add to the days tally, getting me to 12.03km for the day and a 160km for the month so far.

We then rushed up to the first floor to participate in the launch of Lindie's new book: "let's Run". I've had a sneak preview of it for a few weeks, and it does look like an excellent book for experienced and beginners alike. Production values are definitely superb, and it is nice to see a book full of familiar faces in the pictures, numerous Crusaders as well as such notaries as Moire and Clare O'Sullivan (the last featuring on a picture from the World Trial at Trooperstown).
Paul Kelly was serving tea for all (and well at that!) while there was plenty of biscuits to go around as we mingled and did our best to dodge the photographers lens (personally I wouldn't have minded being in the book, but they said something about "wouldn't sell" or something of the sorts).
Lindie put a nice final touch on the evening when she finished her short address to the assembled crowd by saying: "I started in athletics as a 17-year-old, quite a few years ago, but back then I didn't think running would change my life they way it did. But it did, and I hope it will change your lives just as it did mine."
Now I don't know about you, but if I think about those words, only 10 months after I took up this sport, yes, it's already changed my life, in more ways than I can put into words, and I can only begin to imagine how different the future will be from the future I would have had without running. The new friends, the fantastic experiences, the health and vitality. Oh yes, running is good, so with Lindie's words in mind, it's goodnight...