Back in the not-so-sunny south east I eventually levered myself off the couch for my long run on this Irish Bank Holiday Monday. Back up the road the Dublin Marathon is taking place right now – last year I did my bit by stewarding and helping tidy up the start area afterwards. The weather will be OK with the high winds of the last two days having blown through.

Today I followed my familiar long run route – almost by default as I’ve yet to find a decent alternative. Maybe I’ll soon explore one or two of those roads that seem to be dead ends, though there is something dispiriting about having to retrace ones steps.

I take back all I’ve said about the friendly nature of Irish dogs. Today as I turned onto Knockhouse Road a little brute took a bite out of my leg and drew blood. I yelled at a nearby bloke assuming the dog belonged to him, but he (the dog) scuttled off in the opposite direction leaving me to humbly apologise to the bloke I had shouted at.

After this the run was uneventful enough. Without feeling entirely comfortable I found I was dealing with the (minor) hills rather better and was holding a reasonable pace. Once again I played around with my running style – hips higher, land mid or forefoot, lift up don’t push off, slightly quicker leg turnover. No other runners around – maybe they’re all up the road racing. Will I train for another marathon next year? We’ll see.

Certainly I am running better than for some time and I was pleased to see my average speed had significantly improved once again as I came back into town. Though I had to extrapolate for the 2.5 miles during which my Garmin was stopped. I’d stopped it after the dog incident and forgot to restart it.

Not good mileage last week. I need a target. Maybe the Waterford Half in mid-December is a good one to train for. And it would be nice to think I could have a pop at a PB at my advanced age.

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