Day 4 – The Sunny South-East

Posted: January 8, 2012 in Uncategorized

This is more like it. Of the three triathlon disciplines running is by far my favourite, more than likely because it’s the one I’ve spent most time on, and for the same reason it’s the one where I feel most comfortable. Unfortunately that also means it’s the one that’s going to get least attention this year. I am still going to do a few running only races this year, including a couple of marathons, but in the training leading up to the triathlon it’s going to have to take a lesser role, particularly compared to swimming. For the moment though, and certainly until I get my swimming lessons, I’m going to enjoy my runs.

As I leave our friend Sandra’s house in Tramore, where I stay every Wednesday night, I have to remind myself about the whole enjoyment factor. Thanks to the tail ends of the storms we’ve been catching it’s extremely windy, not to mention cold and wet, but I love running around Tramore so I ignore the whinging voice in my head and just get out there. After five minutes or so of running the body is always up to temperature and as I pull my sleeves down over my little cold hands they’re warm a couple of minutes later. I normally head out the coast road so I can do Rocky style sprints up and down the steps at the lighthouse but I haven’t brought my head torch so I stick to a route around the town.

For those who don’t know it Tramore is a very traditional seaside Irish town, consisting of a strip of beach skirted by some amusements and rides that flirt only ever so briefly with health and safety regulations. What makes it fantastic for running though is the hilly nature of it. It’s streets and roads are up and down like a rowboat in a stormy sea and it’s a godsend for someone like me who (a) lives in the flat-arse midlands but who (b) competes in races which invariably involve large hills or mountains. After an initial uphill couple of kilometres it’s all downhill towards the beach and then it’s the sole piece of flat land along the seafront, where I’m yet to run without meeting driving, horizontal rain. Despite this I’m enjoying my run so much I’m grinning like a loon and give what I imagine might be a slightly sickeningly cheery wave to the large group of runners, mostly clad in high-vis green and grimaces, I meet coming the other way.

The steep, looming hills that hove into view soon wipe that grin off my face but as always I keep teling myself that this is what counts, this is the training that’s going to stand me in good stead when I’m slogging up various hills along the western seaboard, so I ignore the pain and just enjoy the japes of the Off the Ball lads on my mp3 player, my constant companions on any of my longer runs. After the initial couple of kilometres of really steep drag I manage to up the pace for the last couple and then return back to Sandra’s as I always do, tired and wet but deliriously happy, having managed just under 9.5km in 52mins. God I love running.


Survivor – Burning Heart


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