DIARY: Back on the Feet

The marathon rest is over, and I've taken up running again.

Thursday evening I went for an enjoyable 7.3km slow run around the neighbourhood. I wanted to follow up Friday, but it got late, so I decided to go and do another slow 3.5km and then do an hour of weight training on my long neglected bench focusing on some upper body work only to give the legs somewhat of a rest.

Sunday - Powerscourt Ridge Looms
I took another day off Saturday to prepare for a busy Saturday. Team Borg-O'Hagan was planning another shot at not finishing last at the orienteering event in Glen of the Downs and then join the Powerscourt Ridge recce from Crone Wood car park.

Sadly, we strayed to and fro finding nothing in the area around Glen of the Downs and had to give up on finding the orienteering in time. We were somewhat consoled when we later learned that Caroline Reid had looked for it in vain as well!

A Busy Mountain
Earlier in the day, Turlough Conway and Colm Mullen had already set out on the Powerscourt Ridge race to do "lonely" runs, so when we arrived a bit early the busy car park was still devoid of IMRA runners.

Then arrived Caroline Reid, Justin Rea, and Brendan Lawlor. Cormac and Niamh were running a bit late, so Brendan staid and waited while Caroline, Justin, Jackie and I went on ahead.

Steep Stuff
There is something awful about this route, in a good way, and while I'm not sure what it is, it's probably the amount of climb! (918m!!!)

Going up we discussed how we could create a tape-roll big enough to get a Blue Line put out for the whole route showing the precise distance, but gave up as we figured Barry would just break it and leave the rest of us in the rut....

Justin had some interesting thoughts on getting a Jones counter up on the mountains, and I started working on a motion for the AGM in my head right there and then.

Back on the running side, though, we ran slowly over the awfully steep grassy path leading to the ridge below Maulin itself.

Once out on the forest we turned left and found the path up to the summit of Maulin, where we had now spotted Cormac down behind us, which prompted us to take a short break on the top and "gather the troops".

Many Ways to Rome
Running off the right path on the top of Maulin, we saw Niamh and Brendan heading towards us, having decided to take a short cut to enable them to catch up with us quicker.

The descent here is really great so Justin and I skipped on a head and, for a short while, felt not a jolt of pain in the overworked muscles and bones. Running down the stony bit and over the bridge, I soon felt myself alone, and arrived at the top of Djouce a few minutes ahead of the others.

I decided to take a medium-hard pace down off Djouce, but even so slid and fell on a big rock getting a few scrapes off. My hamstrings were getting pretty tight now and the marathon had left it's toll on the ability to sprint.

The Power of Jazz
Coming back on the Wicklow Way, I stopped for a few minutes and joined up with Justin who was now really enjoying himself, having just recently come back from injury, as he was swinging away on the descent with jazz music in his ears.

There was not much to be said about the rest of the run, we kept a decent pace, and arrived a bit ahead of Cormac and Brendan, who were followed some minutes later by the girls, Jackie noticeably impressed by Niamh's gift for keeping a running gait even on the steepest of steep slopes!

The day was capped off by some delightful carrot cake brought by Justin in his vintage blue wagon, and then of course the obligatory cuppa at a nearby pub!

The Race Statistics
Here are the Race Statistics for the route as measured today:

Ascent: 918m
Descent: 918m
Ascent Grade: 13%
Descent Grade: 11%

(which Niamh, having now been assimilated into the "ForeRunner Collective" should be able to confirm! :))


Justin said…
Enjoyed that immensely. Especially the run back from Djouce. That last climb up from the Dargle is a killer.
Renny said…
Seconded! Another climb is the last thing you want to see at that stage, at least we had a burning digger as distraction!