It's not all roses, however, because I still have to pay a price for Achill in the form of a sore throat. Upper respiratory tract infections are fairly common after a long race and I've had a fair amount of them; usually they disappear very quickly. I don't have a temperature, just a sore throat and a mile headache and as long as it doesn't get any worse I won't be too worried.
I am signed up for the Dingle marathon on Saturday. I got a free entry after finishing third in last year's ultra, so I wasn't going to miss one of my favourite races if I could help it. Obviously I had wondered what shape I would be in after Achill but that seems to be no problem. The infection could still prevent me from taking part if it gets worse but chances are I will indeed run that marathon (sadly, the Dingle ultra is no more, though that's almost certainly a good thing this year with the Spartathlon just 3 weeks later).
I got through Achill much better than expected. The cramps are a bit of a worry - if I start cramping in Greece after 30 miles it's game over. However, I have never cramped in any of my 24 hour races (or 100 miler), no matter how exhausted I was; the slower pace certainly makes a difference.
Of course there was a certain lack of fitness that was clearly on show in Achill. That very same race, however, will hopefully have done a good job in rebuilding that fitness again and with another marathon in the legs on Saturday at least I will have gotten some long runs done, against all odds.
Anyway, I've run 5 miles each morning since Achill. The legs felt good enough on Tuesday to plan an 8 mile run on Wednesday but then the sore throat got so bad on Tuesday evening (I eventually had to take a paracetamol just to let me sleep) that I changed my mind and re-set the alarm. However, I felt much better in the morning and decided to sneak in a little workout, just to get the legs turn over properly for once without taxing them too much, so I did a 60 seconds on / 60 seconds off fartlek, while varying the intensity of the "on" parts. I could feel the right calf muscle again during that run, the one that had misbehaved so badly in Achill, so something still isn't 100% right.
One more thing: after the race on Saturday, Donna generously decided that I should receive a special prize for coming first Irishman in the World championships in April (my performance in Achill sure did not warrant a prize!). She is an artist and gave away some props that had been used during a performance art session a couple of years ago, so now I have a real piece of modern art in our driveway.
I think that's really cool. Niamh and the kids are a bit confused.
- 31 Aug
- 5 miles, 44:23, 8:53 pace, HR 135
- 1 Sep
- 5 miles, 43:37, 8:43 pace, HR 135
- 2 Sep
- 5 miles, 39:56, 7:59 pace, HR 150
- 60/60 fartlek