A holiday hill billy

What a difference a new route makes!

I was away last week, visiting the in-laws in Ireland. Not something I always look forward to but we always end up enjoying it. Lots of sleep, good food and the best Guinness. This is also one of the few times my husband and I are able to go out running together. I am not a big fan of running with others as I prefer to control my own pace, route, distance etc but every now and again it can be fun. Mind you, the only people I have run with are my husband and my sister-in-law’s husband’s Iron Man brother (you got that, right?). Can you see why I might not enjoy running with them – not like I was setting myself up for a failure or anything…

My husband is a very occasional runner. He plays football with colleagues once a week but other than that doesn’t do much exercise. Yet he has this magical ability to just pick up where he left off and run like it was the easiest thing in the world. This naturally pisses me off as I bust my ass trying to work into a decent level of fitness and it is HARD – he just puts on his 15 year old runners and goes “la di daa, I might run a half marathon today”.

As you know, I wasn’t feeling great and my running had been pretty crap lately. I was struggling. I did warn P. that the running would be slow and the route probably very short. The first run we did, the weather was gorgeous. It is not often in Ireland (in October!) you get blue skies with gorgeous sun warming you up. The route took us on a very hilly (undulating I should say) run up a mountain.

Pace of run #1
Pace of run #1
Elevation of run #1
Elevation of run #1

The first (and the worst) hill came just after 1km and it was enough to make you respect the rest of the run. But the good thing about early hills is, that they wake your body up and the running gets easier much faster. So off I go, leading the way. To my surprise my husband is flagging behind. Quite far behind and he does not look like he is having fun… By the time we got the the point where had decided to turn around, he was waaaay behind

me and I did an extra hill to let him catch up to the turn. The first run was 9.28km with an average pace of 5:59/km which is ok.

We decided to do the same run later in the week and I think we were both more prepared for the hills this time. I certainly had more respect for the killer hill. And it has been a long time since I last felt this good running. I grew wings again.

See how the pace gets quicker!
See how the pace gets quicker!
The route is symmetrical as it was a basic "there and back" run
The route is symmetrical as it was a basic “there and back” run

This route barely had any flat parts, you were always either going up or down and it was FUN (or maybe I am MAD). The amazing thing was that I basically sprinted up the hills. The pace was pretty darn fast for such a hilly route and we extended the run to 10km. RunMeter says the average pace was 5:53/km though it did feel a lot faster than the first run. Our time for the 10.08km was 59:14.

I did listen to you guys and we only did two runs during the week. I also did my 22km run on Saturday and though it was was hard, it wasn’t as bad as my runs before the break. And I think I discovered that part of my “running burn-out” is due to the same route every bloody time. I need to mix it up – just need to figure out where to go.

So there you have it. The last place I ever would have expected to find my lost running mojo was Cavan but wonders never seize. My husband might not struggle as much next time to going over…

A Cavan mountain and a Gaelic football goal
A Cavan mountain and a Gaelic football goal
Hand on heart - no filter was used. The clouds really were that colour
Hand on heart – no filter was used. The clouds really were that colour
Ireland really IS that green, even in late October
Ireland really IS that green, even in late October


9 thoughts on “A holiday hill billy

      1. have you ever used the app “endomondo”?i have it on my phone when i run, and it has other people’s routes saved on it for the location i am running in. you can run their routes and try to beat their course bests. you can also join challenges within the app. it really combats boredom. i use it when i am in the middle of a marathon training slump, because i am running a shit ton of miles and there are only so many ways to run it in the area i am in.


      2. No, haven’t tried it but have heard about it. Might take a look. I have a few ideas for routes but I would do anything to be able to run somewhere remote. Away from tourists and dog walkers…


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