There’s something in the Dublin air today. The stars are in alignment. Maybe it’s something to do with the euphoria drenching the city after the D4 Pretty Boys’ dismantling of the Munster Machine at Croke Park yesterday evening – what an astonishing performance and totally deserved result that was as well.

Still feeling a little way off my best form running-wise I set off on a 10-miler this morning, and it turned out to be an unusual couple of hours. At the north end of Sandymount Strand I hesitated. Not once in all the months I’ve run up and down here have I taken to the beach instead of the pathways. So, with absolutely no time targets or anything and with the tide out I found myself trotting gently south towards Dun Laoghaire on the sand. Reasonably firm and easy along the first section the beach becomes more unpredictable once you run beyond the south part of the Strand. Here we find more sea vegetation, flotsam and jetsam, an astonishing cuttlefish graveyard, drainage outflows. One of these outflows involves a choice of (a) wading across or (b) clambering up the sea wall and down the other side. I chose the latter and, whereas a younger person would complete the traverse easily I must have resembled a spider trying to escape from a bath as I eventually completed the mission. A little further on I came across the derelict Blackrock Baths, one of several old municipal seafront bathing pools along Dublin Bay which are awaiting a decision as to their future.

Sadly the beach was no longer runnable beyond this point so I turned for home the way I had come. The whole thing was thoroughly enjoyable and a reminder that one ought to keep one’s running fresh by seeking out different routes and trails. It certainly wasn’t fast but 10.74 miles in a respectable time considering my Garmin made no concession to me having to pick my way through the various obstacles set in my way today.

For the last half mile or so I popped my iPod on shuffle and – what are the chances of the first song being your mobile ringtone – in my case the Placebo classic Pure Morning. And second was I Feel Free by Cream.

Of course these omens mean that Birmingham will beat Reading and gain promotion in the match just about to kick off…

Edit (later) Reading 1-2 Birmingham. I believe an extra pint at Mulligans later is in order.