Bank Holiday Monday here in Ireland, inevitably a showery, breezy one. Off I go down the river for my long run, 12 miles planned. My only companion is Steve Runner, this week broadasting from the Allagash River in North Maine and reading pieces from a book by the 19c environmentalist HD Thoreau. Pleasant listening, and no shocks such as in last week’s episode where he took everybody’s favourite running guru Hal Higdon to task for what he believes is excessive and injury-inducing mileage programmes. I expect some incoming flak for this and I’m surprised he chose Higdon, someone who has so many satisfied devotees, as a target. Not that Steve is ever shy of tilting against established windmills.

There are a few brave families on Sandymount Strand despite the weather – bracing is how Skegness used to describe itself as a selling point to Britishers wondering where to go for their fortnight’s holiday. At six miles I’m trotting along comfortably enough to add a mile, taking me to the salubrious edge of Dun Laoghaire at Salthill, across the railway bridge and heading for home on the far side of the tracks. I purchase a Lucozade Sport from the little shop, the owner possibly happy to give it for free to see his premises rid of this sweaty person. Back through Blackrock Park and onto the beach where I ‘bonk’ rather suddenly at 10.3 miles. Whatever, I’m in no hurry and I’m able to trot at an even slower pace and keep the run going to finish up 13.97 miles in a little over 2h30m.

There’s no doubt I’m getting a lot of base miles done right now, but nothing much else. I need to do some shorter, faster stuff – maybe some hill reps, a bit of gym work perhaps. Maybe I’ll get the chance now my latest work contract has run out and I’ve a little time on my hands! But tomorrow it’s off to England for a few days, back at the weekend.

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