We’re cruising along quite nicely,I am well and truly over the Dublin Marathon now. The only glitches seem to be ongoing seasonal coughs and splutters. Not helped with never ending days and weeks but there is no time for taking feet off the gas unfortunately. So unless I’m actually about to die I’m going to keep plugging away.

The weekend after next, is my first real back to back runs with 25kms both on Saturday and Sunday. Nothing too major to be honest it is just fitting these two hour jaunts with life that can causes logistical strain.

In an ideal world every weekend run could have been like last Sunday’s. Relatively mild super dry and the most wonderful winter light illuminating land and bovine creatures all around the backroads of Crossmolina and Ardagh. The Deel castles in the morning in such winter light and early morning fog are truly underestimated in beauty and as a destination. I often wonder how many millions would it take to bring them back to splendor.

In a stroke of luck, local Marathon Ireland enthusiast Cezary is organizing a 100km run in February. This is bang on perfect as regards preparation and as a psychological stepping stone towards the Marathon Des Sables itself. Otherwise I would have had to do three marathons back to back and it is far easier get buzzed up for a race. especially my first 100km which feels like a milestone.

I am doing shy of 90kms now a week mixed with two to three self practice Yoga sessions and two to three strength sessions. Unless specific work on glutes etc I am just enjoying doing the clean and jerk. As an olympic lift, it has many different features and benefits from pulling and pushing , triple extension, rate of force development. My buddy Neal meets me at 05:20 and we bang out a few full clean and jerks then derivatives of the clean and jerk such as power cleans, front squats and push press finishing with further clean and jerks. I know my coach who is reading this right now is not overly happy. Which is understandable as it is not overly sports specific. If at all.- But i have to say I just really enjoy the lift and horsing a hape of weight over my head and feeling altogether very manly and dripping with testosterone and endorphins until approximately 2pm where then, I need a nap!

Because I am putting myself in a calorie deficit with fasted runs and a plant based lifestyle, and the fact that I am only lifting twice per week on average I am not worried about bulk. If anything it is really leaning me out already some five months away from race start.

Sarah from Marathon Des Sables emailed me yesterday, this year one can organize their own tent mates. There is a UK and Ireland Facebook group for organizing. There does not seem to be much of a bust from the Irish folks to do anything, and i could not be arsed organizing it. So I told Sarah to throw me in wherever. With three kids under 5 in our house how bad could eight in a tent be. I like the idea of random to see what sort of characters I will meet- lifelong friends or do the river dance on some bucks head.

The unknowing, is exiting.


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