Running along the Dublin Coast – North to South

I left the house around 10 to embark on a little adventure. Things I packed were Wilson (my bottle filled with water, salt and a bit of apple juice), 4 dates and my visa card. While I was sitting at the Dart station I was already hungry. Maybe I should’ve eaten something before heading out. I ate one of the Dates and noticed the drink sucks … it just doesn’t work without cranberry juice! The Dart is one of the main mode of transportation in Dublin and it took me from South to North, conveniently along the coast where I would run back. The journey there took already 1 hour.

I started in Sutton and would run all the way down.


It’s a nice lovely coastal road – usually … right now it’s being worked on … I ran on grass and trail as much as possible.


You can see Howth in the background. Lovely cliff run hiding there!


Then I spotted birds. I was told that this tree had been struck down by lightning and an artist gave it new life! Will have to research that. How beautiful is this!?


I ran past St. Anne’s park, one of Dublin’s parkrun parks!


I saw the first ship.


Huge ship detected!


Tried to quickly leave the city behind me, but was already on the look out for an aid station.


Aid station anyone?


When I finally found a gas station, I realized that happiness can be bought and that it tastes like salty cashews!

And then I arrived in heaven …


Yes … just imagine running on mostly roads for a little over 10k and then your feet get this sand … for kilometers … because tide is out.


I took frequent breaks, but the best one was on a grassy field, sun shining … just after around 15k. Lying in the grass, sun shining down, but with a light sea breeze … nothing beats that (in this moment). I was actually surprised, how easy it was to get up and move again.

In the end I had eaten all the dates and I am really really fond of them during running. There is something so satisfying about it … and combined with the salty cashews … I think I found my “stuff” for now.

Here is the Garmin mapping. I can recommend this route, it shows all of Dublin’s facets.

2016-08-25 16_40_03-Garmin Connect

Of course I did it all super slow and stuck to my aerobic heart rate. I don’t think I would feel as good now, if I hadn’t. I took my Altras and am happy about the level of cushioning they provided.

Only one more week!

Yes you read right. Only one more week and your daily sunrise SRG channel will be back broadcasting again as usual!

Until then I’m in vacation mode. Vacation means deviating from the norm and I am looking forward to getting back to it!

Today I went for an easy run on the beach to check up on the bird gang and see if my legs still know how to do their thing. Yes, the gang is still there. They spread their wings and bathed in the sun.

Sun?! You read right, the sun has returned as well. There might be a correlation between my running and the sun appearing, not sure though which way around and I leave that to you to figure it out. I might go and test your theories out tomorrow.

Other than that, what’s new? I’ve built myself a standing desk and plan to get used to it until I am back from vacation. I know all the sitting during working on the computer is bad for me. Especially after hours of focused work I tend to slouch more than sit. One of those episodes was responsible for a stiff neck which made me unable to run last year. I can’t have that! The past year I’ve implemented some huge changes, but little by little. Steps so small I didn’t notice. I want to keep doing that and the next item is to be more active during my working life. I’ve tried a standing desk situation before, when I had the neck issue actually, but as soon as the issue was gone, my comfy ergonomic super chair tempted me again … this will change I tell myself as I am standing here typing this on my new standing desk setup.

Another reason for me to do this, is to get used to increased TOF (stands for Time on your Feet as I learned from Randall). This will become more important the further I plan to run.

Today I didn’t sit down after my run and haven’t been sitting so far. What I am already noticing is the following: I keep shifting around a lot. I’m definitely not standing still. I plan to increase the time I stand bit by bit. A first goal could be to stand half the time. The first part of the day. Get to sit down for lunch.

Have you ever tried a standing desk or are you using one? If you might already work on your feet … maybe you could share how you got used to it?

Irish Summer

Is it over? Has it begun yet? Did I miss it?

So many questions … I tried to find the answer at the beach today. My first conclusion is: no – summer is not over and it is happening right now! I saw people surfing the mighty waves and brave souls swimming. Therefore I can’t have missed it.

The last few days have been real Irish – grey and rainy. Perfect to stay inside, switch up all routine and do a house cleaning marathon. It’s kinda fun, to see how much energy I have if I don’t go run. I couldn’t continue like this though and went out today. I had to check up on my beach. Good that I did! The storms have changed all the rocks around again. Someone has played around with the saturation level of the ocean and taken all the color out. Kelp is everywhere.

A slight drizzle accompanied me, when I headed up the hill. If I ignore all the fallen leaves I can keep telling myself it still is summer …

Vacation Lesson

I’m slowly getting the hang of vacation, thanks to you guys! Over the weekend I tried to implement what I learned from The Unironed Man. Or at least the gist I took from it! Do things differently during vacation and that includes running!

I didn’t run on Saturday which usually is my designated long run day, but chilled. Instead I hiked on Sunday for a couple of hours. It was marvelous and I saw so many sheep that I now fear I will never see any again on my runs to tag them properly.

Today I went out and played on the beach first thing, saw my favorite dog for a quick cuddle and as I checked my daily photo, I realized I spotted a bird (can you see it? It’s a bird isn’t it?)!


Death-spiral of holiday lazies

This is how yesterday went:

  • 5am “I can’t go out that early, it’s vacation. I can procrastinate! Procrastination is great!” *drink coffee*
  • 7am “I can’t go out that early, it’s vacation. I can procrastinate!” *drink more coffee, read running book*
  • 8am “I’m usually back by now … I need to relax I’m on vacation” *check the tide times*
  • 9am “I’ll run when the tide is down, that will be awesome” *read running blogs, drink more coffee”
  • 10am “Why am I getting hungry? How do I deal with this? I can’t eat before I go for a run. No wait I can I just need to make something like energy bars. I wanted to perfect the recipe anyhow.” *mix mix chop chop click click* (If you wonder where the “click” comes from, that’s the photos I took for Paula! Spoiler: they turned out great, now I “just” need to upload it all)
  • 11am “I’m hungrier than before, but the energy bars are sweet and I don’t want sweet now.” *switch on the oven”
  • 12am “Broccoli is the best veg in the world! I should write a post about broccoli and sweet potatoes and how the caramelize …”
  • 1pm “Tide is perfect now, I’m not hungry, but I can’t move”. *read more running books and blogs”

…. I think I fell asleep at this point, so let’s quickly distract ourselves with a panorama from today’s run, where I defeated gravity and played with the waves.


As you can see the tide was not yet quite done with cleaning up the mess (footprints) all the tourists left:


Quite fortunately for some of the structures:


All in all here is what I learned: Get out of the house in the morning! If I don’t run in the morning I go down the death spiral of vacation lazies … bouncing from a state of hunger to sleep to book worm or gamer chick – which it is, depends on the amount of energy I have left … and if I don’t go run in the morning, there doesn’t seem to be much energy.

The third gear, birds and plants

Since I could still feel the downhill running from yesterday in my quads, not too bad just noticeable, so it was an all recovery day today. I think I found a new slow pace! My watch shows an average 135 heart rate at 9:35 min/km. This means I now have 3 gears! First gear is my recovery gear, where I don’t even know I am running. It’s great to practice cadence as well. Second gear is my MAF pace, which I am trying to make easier and then there is the “higher” gears. Some of them I didn’t yet dare to touch, so I’ll group ’em all just as third gear for now 🙂

As you can see in my latest posts and today’s featured image, I’m fascinated by the birds. Take a look at the picture in your browser or zoom in. You can see the typical rock where the gang hangs out everyday. They spread their majestic wings and seem to enjoy the slight breeze – or dry their feathers, not sure. Sometimes they all take off on a whim, after not having moved for very long. They hunt and glide over the ocean, effortlessly. This is how I want to run.

Today is Wednesday! I know it’s a shock, wish somebody had told me. Wednesday is one of my favorite days because I get my weekly organic veg delivered. I love to find out what’s in the boxes this week and get all excited! As I am in vacation-mode I ran later than usual and so I was hungry when I came back, seeing all the fresh veg in front of my door. After I had roasted some broccoli and devoured it, I noticed something. (Stick with me it will take a bit to explain).

Usually I only run “long” on Saturday. Every Friday I make a giant portion of Baba Ganoush and have some baguette (yeah the easy carb white flour gluten stuff). I eat the left-overs on Saturday on my long runs. During the week, I eat whenever I am hungry and usually some veg. After yesterday’s run I didn’t have any Baba Ganoush *shock*, but I wanted to eat something. (I found out the sooner after a run I eat whatever my body wants, the better I recover). As it was Tuesday, I had no more veg left, so I did my typical “fast food”. Brown rice in rice cooker, heat up some baked beans, mush it all together in the rice cooker once the rice is done and put some relish I fancy in there (the relish contains loads of veg, but it’s not fresh so no choppin’). So … long talk … the point being that after yesterday’s 3 hours I fancied loads of carbs, today after my easy recovery run I didn’t want much more than yummy broccoli with olive oil, salt and pepper. I guess that’s probably quite obvious to the more experiences runners and I don’t know if it has any significance, but I want to write down my observations here to possibly learn from it, so that is what I am doing. While thinking about nutrition, I also might add, that I ate and drank something on the run yesterday for the first time. One of the barriers to going longer seems to be gone and I did like the drink I made as well as the dates/vegan cocoa bricks. I look forward to test and play with different sugar types for energy soon. I think I’m pretty spot on with the dates. They are like natures energy gel and don’t have a plastic packaging. Unfortunately they come at the price of sweetness. That’s what I made the cocoa bricks for. I think after yesterday I at least have a picture of my ideal fuel source. I know the exact consistency I want to get and the taste. I also have a rough idea how to do it. Maybe I get some done before the weekend.

SRGs 10 Steps to Happiness

Step 1: Start at the beach and admire the birds


Step 2: Find the sign (aka the Yellow Man marking the Dublin Mountain Way) – do you see it?


Step 3: Follow the sign! (Do you see it now?)


Step 4: Keep going and don’t get confused


Step 5: Find clarity in the woods


Step 6: Deviate from the path planned


Step 7: Find a hill and run up


Step 8: Eat self-made, plant-based chocolate flax bricks and medjool dates.


Step 9: Don’t leave a trace and pack up the foil.

Step 10: Enjoy the views:

IMG_20160809_102303 IMG_20160809_102312 IMG_20160809_102446 IMG_20160809_102827



All in all I spent 3 hours on my feet and now excuse me, while I look through all the photos I took to find a sheep … there must be one on there … (FYI “The Sheep” is the latest addition to the spotted list and was officially announced by Benjamin just yesterday!).