Wednesday, September 28, 2005

This will probably be the last entry before the marathon, because we will drive to Dublin later today, and fly to Zürich tomorrow. I did a fairly easy 7 miles in the morning, and felt good, though the thighs are a bit heavy now. It was still very dark when I left the house, and I had to be careful on the driveway, but it was ok after a few minutes of running. At least the roads are quiet at that time of the day. ;-)
I’ll probably run 2 or 3 easy miles on Friday and Saturday, just to relax, and I sincerely hope for decent running weather on Sunday!

Monday, September 26, 2005

Marathon tapering is frustrating. Really, it is. I know that rest will do me good and that I will be in better shape for it, but I feel the urge to go running again, and it really is frustrating to stay in instead.
For my previous marathons I tapered for 4 weeks, and it definitely was too long. By the time I got to the starting line I felt stale rather than fresh. This time I have opted for a two weeks taper, less than most experts recommend, but not outrageously short, because I felt I still had to put in some extra effort because I missed quite some training time due to my shin splints.

I went for a short but fast 6 mile run yesterday. I really have to be careful not to run too fast in the early stages of the marathon, because I will feel very rested and raring to go, but I know full well that a fast start would be the single biggest mistake I could make.

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

I ran my last high-intensity workout in the morning, 3x1mile intervals. I had a sore throat when I woke up, and was very tempted to just turn around and sleep for another 90 minutes, but somehow managed to summon the energy to get out of bed and go running. If it had been raining I would definitely have turned right back into bed, so I guess it was lucky that the rain started 20 minutes later, and by then I was already in the middle of my first interval.
My left thigh hurts, the same pain I had last week, and my right shin, the one with the shin splints, doesn’t feel 100% either, but neither hurts enough to stop me from running. From now to the marathon it’s mostly rest and recovery anyway. I’ve stopped the soccer because I don’t want to get injured the week before the run, and am all set to go.

Monday, September 19, 2005

Maybe it wasn’t the best thing to do, running 16 miles just 2 weeks before the marathon when I was supposed to be in my tapering period, but after last week’s horror show I really needed a boost, more to my confidence than to my endurance. And I’m glad I did it, because it went really well, the miles just flew by and I never felt particularly tired. The one thing disturbing me was the blister I got on Friday, it burst open at some stage and felt rather painful. In fact, whenever I thought about it, it hurt a lot more. I managed to ignore it for most of the time though, and as a result feel much more optimistic about the marathon than at any time in the last few weeks.

Friday, September 16, 2005

Oh the pain

I got up early at 6am for a 9-mile LT run. The run itself was fine, but I felt a pain in the following areas of my right leg: my heel, my shin, my achilles tendon and my knee. To balance that, I developed a massive blister on the inside of my left foot. That is weird, because I've never developed a blister on any of my feet before, not even during my marathons. I think it really is time for the marathon, because my body seems to be in need of rest sooner rather than later.

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Today I ran the 4.5 miles into work for the first time. It takes a lot of organisation the day before to leave everything you need at work (outfit, shoes, towel, shower gel), but it meant that I can get a run in the morning without having to get up early.
Of course there was a problem with my plan: I left a bit late and was anxious to get into work on time, and ran much faster than the scheduled recovery run pace.
I’ll have to run back home after work (I’m writing this at lunch time), and then I can run in a more relaxed manner.

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

After Sunday’s horror show, I was eager to do a proper workout as soon as possible, but managed to wait patiently until Tuesday morning. Getting up at 6:15 was not a problem: the kids had ensured that I was awake since 4:47, without being able to get any more sleep after that.
It’s hardly the best preparation for a VO2max session, but what can you do! The running actually went well, apart from the fact that my brain switched off completely (probably due to oxygen depletion) and I was running totally on auto-pilot until the middle of the sixth interval – that’s when I realised that I had only planned to do five! Never mind, a bit of extra workout doesn’t do any harm, and it’s not like I don’t need it.

Monday, September 12, 2005

Oh Dear

I had planned a 20 miler three weeks before the marathon as a big last boost to my endurance and my confidence. What I got was a painful stumble in the heat, with a full stomach and full of pain. I had to turn back after 9 miles, I really wasn’t in any position to run any further. The heat certainly didn’t help, but I feel the main problem was that I ate too close to the run and the stomach was still full of food by the time I set off, and therefore I didn’t have any energy left for running. I had a break of about half an hour, maybe more, then set off for another 5 miles run, which went better, but also slower.
So, instead of a big boost for my endurance, a big blow to my confidence. Damn.

Friday, September 09, 2005


This morning, I refused to go out for a run for the first time since training began, despite getting up at 6am. One look out of the window was enough to send me back to bed. Not only was the rain pelting down in bucket-loads, the wind was howling as well. Maybe it’s the tail end of Katrina, or maybe it’s just plain old bad Irish weather, but it certainly didn’t invite running. I also missed soccer last night due to work overtime.
Ah well, at least the old shin splints are getting some rest.

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Yesterday I had to deliver our car to the mechanic for a service. I combined this with a little run. The mechanic’s house is about 3.5 miles from us, and with a little detour I made it a 6.5 miles run in the evening. So far so good, unfortunately I got stomach cramps half way through. They never stopped all evening, and I still got a sick feeling in my stomach the next morning.
Not sure what caused them, originally I thought I was just hungry, but dinner didn’t help much. I still managed to complete the run though ;-)

Monday, September 05, 2005

I had chickened out of my long run the previous Sunday and went home after 10 miles; therefore I really had to put in some effort yesterday. The weather was miserable, cold and rainy (not very windy though), and I begged the wife to give me an excuse not to go running. She must have wanted me out of the house though, because she pointed out that a bit of rain doesn’t bother you while running. So off I went, and it went ok actually, 17 miles, and it wasn’t raining all the time, and never heavily. The first 10 miles were easy, the next 7 less so but I got home in reasonable shape. I will try and go for another 20 miler next Sunday, and then start the taper.
I think my shins are improving, I haven’t got any pain today. They did hurt on Friday evening, despite the fact that Friday was a rest day, and have been fine ever since. Weird, but I’m not complaining.