DIARY: St. Patrick’s activities

As I expect many mountain runners and outdoor enthusiasts would, St. Patrick’s Day is a welcome excuse for me to stay as far away from Dublin and any other urban centre as I can. Since moving into the mountains, cities have generally lost their lustre for me and I visit them strictly out of necessity and always drive back out with a sense of relief.

But here in Glendalough things are obviously not quiet as it remains one of the busiest tourist spots in Ireland and we had plenty of visitors around the place today. My foot had not been fully ready to absorb all of the weekend’s work, where I had followed my fast 10k out and back run with my first long mountain run of the season, so I returned to cross-training for three days and consulted John who concluded that while the original three biomechanical failures had now settled (each one of them having caused the next), my tibia remained somewhat inflamed as a result of me having run with a tense lower leg to protect it. “A very rare injury,” he said, before testing my pain levels and finding himself satisfied that they were minor and we should be able to fix this last obstacle reasonably soon.

He know, as I did, that my last 3.5 weeks have been messy and we have to contain the problem now or risk some serious disturbances to my season preparations. It’s been slightly gutting as the hill phase is one I had looked forward to, reducing the mileage and really starting to hit the quality work but you never get a perfect run of training, you merely aspire to it, and with my cross-training I remain calm for now.

The hills did not completely elude me on this Bank Holiday as John instructed me to run for 20 minutes before seeing him again tomorrow. I decided to get the best bang for my buck by doing twenty minutes of running up Camaderry. The leg doesn’t mind the uphills, only the downs, so this put some good use to the twenty minutes and allowed me to do my second run with the new Inov-8 X-Talon 190 I got myself for Christmas. Apart from the Danish colours, early indications are that this is a great shoe, super-light, comfortable and grippy although I could not fully put the latter to the test as I walked back off the mountain as I had planned.

After the run, we had Aoife’s parents for a brief visit and then we embarked on a short hike down to the Miner’s Village before impromptu deciding to go up the “high road” which allows you to overlook the old mining village from a few hundred metres off. This trail had a lakeland feeling to it with its green forested beginning and spectacular rocky terrain further up.

The activities have left a bit of soreness which I keep treating with icing as ordered and armed with my new orthotics (the old ones having fallen apart), I am hopefully soon back running fully and can start looking forward to the new season with full confidence.