Breaking 20k

in running

Fitbit running results for Poolbeg loop

Fitbit running results for Dodder loop

(I lifted the content for this post straight out of journal because I’m lazy. Why draft twice?)

August 19
By the winged heels of Mercury, messenger of the gods! This morning I ran to Poolbeg lighthouse and back home again, exactly twenty kilometres there and back.

My time time over the course was 01:48:30, which puts me at around 01:53:00 for full half-marathon distance. While this hasn’t been the pace I’d hoped for, I know well enough how great it is that I came in under two hours.

Before now I conserved myself. Come down to the wire, I haven’t had enough confidence in myself to push for 20k, even though that’s my bloody goal. Oh, I can’t do it. Oh, I don’t have the endurance. Well fuck, I got up, got dressed and ran it in good time. My knee fucking hurt after and my feet were sore, but those are all things that we hot showers, painkillers and foot balm to tackle.

I feel great. I had the stamina, had the mental fortitude, and now my biggest worry is how I bring down my pace.

Other random thoughts:

  1. Actual total time was 02:01:00. I lost time at a few points, like when I stopped for photos, took a halfway break, and got stuck at one light for five minutes.
  2. My total fucking shit Karrimor X Lite running belt cost me a good ten minutes. Run, not walk away from this as a purchase. I found it painful to get at my phone, get at my energy gel and to run without distraction. As much as I love being hands-free and unencumbered, this isn’t what I need.

August 26
Last week’s 29k run led to a waking up within me of my actual fitness, my growing technical ability as a runner, and how I seriously under-exerted myself out of a sense of “this I cannot do.”

Over the four days after I logged a further 35k on the road, 10-12k each over three days, with one off. Yesterday I took things easy, with a lovely nap to cap off an afternoon of doing absolutely nothing useful to anyone.

Comparing last week’s run with today’s loop out along the Dodder to the end of the riverbank park.


  1. This week I moved nonstop. Across the entire route are only two blocking roads to cross. I didn’t feel any the worse for it.
  2. The Poolbeg loop is as flat as it gets in Dublin. There are plenty of hills to climb on my way up and out of town.
  3. I left the shitty fanny pack at home and used my normal belt instead, with one gel tucked in for good measure.

Now I’m pushing mileage and feel more ready than ever for September’s Dublin and Galway.

Six Months in the Mountain Kingdom

in me

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