Thursday, May 25, 2006

Shock to the System

My 10 miler yesterday started just like any other 10 miler I’ve run recently: get up at 6, get some breakfast for me and Shea, pacify Shea with telly to prevent him from waking the rest of the house, and leave. It looked like it was going to be a nice day, with the sun peeking through the clouds. The run went well until about 7 miles when I started to get all kinds of aches and pains. Not just in the legs, e.g. my right shoulder was really sore. As I continued, my eyes started to get more and more sore, and when they started itching, I realised that I was suffering from an allergic reaction. I’m very familiar with allergies, having suffered from hay fever since the age of 12. I got home and had a shower, but my eyes were so swollen that Niamh wanted to send me to the doctor straight away. I started to feel better after 30 minutes or so, and decided to skip the doctor and buy some anti-histamine in the pharmacy instead. I felt like crap until lunchtime (and the tablets made me drowsy), but felt better and better in the afternoon, and was fine by the time I left work around 6pm. I’m not sure about the cause, but suspect that it was fairly severe hay fever from some pollen. This could cause a real problem with my running schedule if it happens again, but for the time being I’ll carry on as usual.

On the plus side, I’m feeling much better than a few days ago. The head cold is mostly gone, and the achilles/calf issue (I am back to thinking that it was the achilles) seems to have disappeared as well. I’ve started to do some specific strengthening exercises, mostly to get the feeling that I’m doing something about this.

Today’s recovery run went very well, I really got into the “slow running” mode. At one stage I felt like I was gliding just above the ground with very little effort. When running the Connemara marathon, after about 11 miles or so, one of the ultra runners overtook me (it was mile 24 for him) and I noticed his peculiar running style, his feet hardly left the ground – he still went past me like a rocket of course. In some ways I got that feeling today, I hardly seemed to lift the feet, and the heart rate was very low despite the fact that I was running uphill at the time. Maybe I’m finally getting a handle on that running economy thingy.

There was one more very unusual occurrence: another runner! Yes, it’s unbelievable, I know. I was rounding a corner, and all of a sudden I saw another figure trotting along about 100 meters ahead of me. I tamed my competitive instinct to catch the guy and kept to my recovery effort, and we ran about a mile at the same pace, him maybe half a minute ahead of me. Then he turned around and headed towards me. My cheerful “Good Morning” was completely ignored though; I didn’t even get a nod in reply. Ah well – must have been from Dublin, I suppose.

24 May: 10 miles, 1:23, 8:18 pace
25 May: 5 miles, 47:05, 9:25 pace


  1. Wow, that's some kind of allergic reaction! Must have been something in that particular part of your run. Strange.

    Most runners and walkers answer when I greet them (which I always do), but occasionally one won't. Seems like the ipod takeover has affected that some - sometimes they don't seem to hear me!

  2. Sorry about that crappy allergy:( but your pace for 10 miler is something I am jealous of!

  3. That allergy don't seem to affect your pace, well done as always!

    I would like to say that all runners are nice, but no, many should come here from Dublin as you say...

  4. Yes, watch out for the pollen. Usually, a good rain will cure it.

    I read something today - 70% of runners use wear an ipod. Not many say hello anymore. Sheesh, nowadays I've got to make a horrific face to get any attention!

  5. I have terrible allergies that only affect my eyes. When I'm on a field watching by guys play lacrosse, I look like I'm crying the entire time!

  6. Tis' the time of year for allergies.
    I usually don't have much of a problem with them but the past two days I have had to take something to get relief.
    Hope it was a one time thing for you.
    I love that floating above the ground feeling!

  7. Thomas,

    Just to let you know. My last comment about I sent the shoes. Well i actually sent it on Wed. They told me it will take about 10-12 days. So expect a box with really bad wrapping in mid June. :)

  8. it's the same here...i get all excited when i spot another runner - since they are rare in these parts - and i don't even get a nod or a wave. jerky heads.

  9. Allergies are the worst. I have them too and pollen does me in - I spit and look like I'm crying.

  10. Hi Thomas,

    Just thought I'd drop in and invite you and all your running buddies to my online launch party at: which takes place from 8-15 June.

    Well impressed with your post as a total plodder!

  11. Thomas, re-reading this post again.

    I do notice right now i try not to lift my feet too much. I focus on lifting my heel and kinda shuffling my feet back and fourth (well shuffling them forward).

    As for about Da Vinci Code. Our church talked about it. From a fiction novel..i have no problem with it. But when someone takes it as a historic view on it and base it as facts...well that person is mistaken.

  12. I have a cousin with serious allergy issues, not fun!

    More and more MP3 players and the like are appearing in German road races. I still prefer to leave mine at home.

    I have noticed runner's who seem to glide effortlessly as they run, I think - it is definetely something that I need to learn to do.

    Have a good week!

  13. allergies, yikes!!!

    another runner, how cool. but not even a "runner's wave" or a nod?