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?)!
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”!
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.
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.