Hill, birds and rocks

The title says it all. The pictures shall do the rest:




What a way to start the day! Hope you enjoy yours.

Btw. remember the spotted game? I think it’s time to play again! I got 3 tags in today, how many can you spot on your next adventure?

I couldn’t dig up my list so here is Paula’s summary and entry: https://neveradullbling.com/2016/07/15/spotted/

Dawn at sea with an old friend

Dawn is magic around this time of year. The air is crisp and clear.


As the tide was out my friend was back at his breakfast table:


I enjoyed today’s 44 minutes. It was easy and effortless, which is probably related to an average heart rate of 139. What can I say, sometimes you just have to enjoy the view and let it flow.

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?

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?)!


Work Hard – Play Slow

Good morning! … is always a good start for a post and it was a fantastic morning out there at the beach.

First thing first … the running. I was lazy on Friday which usually doesn’t happen. I didn’t go for a run. I also didn’t really feel like getting out for over 2 hours on Saturday, but I did my usual trick and lied to myself, so in the end I just ran up and down the beach to keep the legs remembering that they where not made to sit behind a desk all day. I enjoyed the time, but my heart and head were not in it. Not sure what happened and I don’t have to. I know I was working hard last week. There are bits in my work that are “harder”. Bits where I have to block off all communication and work on something concentrated for hours. Nothing like I imagine a doctor has to do during an operation, but still “harder” than normal. Maybe this impacts my overall stress level or something, but it doesn’t matter. What matters is that I am aware of it and I can tune down the running which I did.

Today was different. I only worked a couple of hours in the very early morning on Sunday and no running. Work should be all done now and I can think of convincing myself to give me the rest of the month off.

Back to today. Now … what to do on a vacation day? Sleep in! So I slept till 6am and went for a slow, stress free run – just a bit over 40 minutes. I tried to find back to the easy I remembered from last week and just play with the wind and the sand … and I realized something …

With the blogoversary (thanks for stopping by, the moderating of the comments is different to my site, so be patient – it’s a slow party! 😉 ) I had taken a look at all my stats and numbers, improvements etc. Based on those numbers I can be confident in my formula/plan, but it’s much more important now, to forget it!

Huh? My plan is a guideline for me in which I can move (pun intended) without risking injury or over training. I also want to improve my running and one day partake in races – ideally really long ones where I don’t have to run fast and can eat all day. The most important ingredient for running long is the attitude – the mental part. That’s at least what everyone tells me! To run long I need to love running. I don’t love running while I hunt for stats – I love running while I hunt for experiences. This is why I need to forget all the stats and improvements again and just keep going out there and keep having fun! In another 3 months I can look at my improvements and I hope I played with enough waves and ran up enough hills to catch a rare sunrise or bird so my cadence improved and I’ve gotten faster again.
… and if not? It doesn’t matter, cause I got the experiences and it will all be here for me to go back to and say “well at least I had a heck of time”!

+10% and the new easy

Finally recovery week is over and I decided to do a 10% increase this week. This will have me running 44 minutes on my easy days (Mo/We/Fr), 88 on Tuesdays and Thursdays and 132 minutes on Saturdays. While I get used to it, I will try and only run at or below my target heart rate. Once this gets easy I’ll switch back to 80/20.

Today’s run was fantastic. Let me tell you about it. Weather is perfect at the moment – not warm or humid at all, the air clear, clean and fresh. The sea was nearly still and the clouds and everything … just … perfect:


The weather and beautiful area isn’t the only perfect thing. Last week I had found the perfect music to work on increasing my cadence, but it turned out I had done the math wrong. After reading something completely unrelated about brain waves over the weekend I realized that 60 bpm wasn’t just perfect for the brain … it can also be multiplied by 3 and we get the magic 180! Now everyone that is laughing right now, you could have told me! … anyhow … after realizing this over the weekend I got the classical music back out and it just works!

Not that my cadence was now magically at 180 … sorry no. It was 159 however it felt easy! Now it gets a bit more complicated … stay with me. I also mentioned before that I got faster at my existing heart rate. The faster wasn’t yet comfortable and I was working on making this easier. Today it both came together and my cadence is at least improving and my new 8:35 average beach pace feels easy.

With this and my new increase in duration I’ll be clocking in a 5k on every easy day … the week before recovery week I ran 44k in one week. I am curious how things play out and if I can actually manage to run at my new easy pace for the rest of the week.

Searching for the mountains

Today I took off in search of the Dublin mountains again. To find them I figured I just follow The Dublin Mountain Way, which is marked by yellow men and it is close to The Chimney. It is also great fun to run a route more often and see how much further I get!

Here is a map showing The Chimney.


After around 1 hour I found this treasure – an unmanned aid station! Unfortunately I didn’t have anything with my to eat or drink and so I continued.


I was extremely happy to see what the yellow man had in store for me:


Let me tell you … no let me show you:


I didn’t find the mountains, but I didn’t care. I found the perfect trail at the end of the perfect hill. Can’t wait until I can go even further!

I also #spottedTheBird – yes it’s a tiny one, but …


I get points for figuring out what type of bird it was! A Jay 😀


Oh and I brought something home for Paula, as she had a hell of week and loves old stone structures! I found out that this is called Puck’s Castle! Now I have no idea who Puck is though …


All in all happy with my heart rate, you wouldn’t know there was a hill (250 meters) and I am quite happy with my average heart rate of 140 at 9:35 min/km. I had to walk the steeper sections and avoided running over the ankle breaking ones as well as walking some of the steeper down hills. Yeah you read right – I am getting more clever, let’s see if my quads thank me for it.