Cold Oslo Run

A long day of work in Oslo. I thought it might be nice to do a bit of late night sightseeing while de stressing with a run.

Apart from the early stages of frost bite on my knuckles and getting lost several times it was enjoyable. Nice and hilly.

There is nothing in the world like burning legs and lungs and ice cold air.

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7am. Magnolia

A 7am dog walk and finally winter is over. My running is still ticking over with some good weeks and some weeks filled with work.

I had a few painful weeks in January due to running like a 7 year old every day over Christmas. My body has fully adjusted to the Altra Escalante shoes. Over Christmas I had the nostalgic urge to experience the chronic exhaustion you can only get after an ultramarathon (or, I’m guessing, chemotherapy) so I think I need to focus on reaching 50 miles.

Frosty dog walk

Foggy Christmas

Lots of Sugar

Not me – I’m still eating cheese, avocados, peanuts and salad (well, when I’m good I eat them)

No, the hot summer just gone has pumped the leaves full of sugar and as the nights draw in this autumn we get the rare treat of a beautiful display of colour. Reds, oranges, browns and yellows.

Running through these leaves brings back childhood memories.

Live in the moment – enjoy it now.

My latest experiment

My hiatus in posting on the blog is just because it’s easier to stick a photo on twitter and there’re only so many ways you can say I woke up, drank some coffee and went for a run.

I finished off my last pair of HOKA Cliftons after a 50km ultra marathon in late August (report later but basically I finished; I’ve been slower and faster) and realised the fact that the soles are made of a material less durable that nougat means that I end up wearing one shoe faster than the other. This shows up as a pain in my shoulders. And when I say pain I mean so painful I can’t run.

So like a man going for a public waxing of his back, sac and crack I had nothing to lose except my money and my dignity when I bought a pair of Altra Escalantes.

These shoes are part of the more is less running shoe phenomenon we are currently experiencing. To be clear – they want more of your money for less shoe. Like the Emperor’s new clothes, soon we’ll be paying €500 to be able to run in our bare feet.

They’re zero drop, zero support, zero sugar and very well cushioned for their weight.

Their unique selling point is that the toe box is big enough for someone born with a few extra toes on each foot.

They also reveal all the biomechanical short comings of your lower limbs. I’m building up my distances in them at the moment and have made it to about 15 miles (that’s code for I’m growing new muscles to compensate for the lack of shoe)

Apart from that the shoes are so light and lacking in seams and additional elements you don’t need socks for distances up to about 10 miles.

And finally. They’re as ugly as sin. But then the HOKAs were like running in platforms.

Cork City Marathon 2018

A short and belated report on the Cork City Marathon 2018. It all seems a long time ago now – 6 weeks – and any ill-effects of the day are long behind me at this stage.

The Cork marathon occurs just before the start of the State Exams for secondary school children in Ireland. A time of the year when the sun finally comes out to taunt the  kids with blisteringly hot (by Irish standards) days of unbroken sunshine (by Irish standards). The implication for the running fraternity of this sudden seasonal shift is that months of training in horizontal rain and single digit temperatures are replaced by a race day of double digit temperatures, high humidity and no breeze.

Thankfully my race plan was so modest the hot weather on the day was more of a discomfort than a show stopper. I was running with my Brother-in-law and we had agreed a get around in one piece pacing plan that saw us aim to hit under the 4-hour mark. Easy-peasy on paper.

As my thumbs started to sweat by the second mile and the flags hung limp I knew that the perceived effort for the pace would be high.

And so it proved to be. We cruised along for the first 10 or 12 miles chatting and commenting on the Noah’s Ark of runners we passed and then, on the Mahon walkway it suddenly seemed to be a much harder run than it should’ve been. The sweaty thumbs had become sweaty ears and other body parts normally immune from sweating and the lack of a breeze meant that the sweat was pooling in our socks and arse cracks at a rate faster than we could shift it. We stuck together until mile 15 where we got to High-5 our families and then we agreed to run at our own pace.

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Mile 17 – Little did he know it was about to get much more painful

The exposed section of the course from miles 16 -20 proved little respite from the muggy conditions and like an unwatered flower we wilted further.  The copious amounts of water provided by the organisers, the classically sarcastic encouragement of the spectators: you’re flyin’  and the encouragement of my family meant that I made it around the second half of the course with a negative split on the first.  the last mile saw the traditional fast sprint that has characterised my failure to pace races recently. My Brother-in-law followed me home and we regrouped with his wife (running the half-marathon) and my family and walked home………….slowly.

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I’m not moving but I’m still hurting!

A good day out.

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A failure to pace leads to a fast finish