Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Struggling Already

It’s only Tuesday, but I can already see that this is not going to be an easy week. 67 miles in singles on unfamiliar routes is going to be a challenge. And the fact that I’ll spend several hours on Friday in a car on the journey back to Kerry is definitely not going to help.
Monday’s 14 miles left me completely exhausted. I guess I still had some fatigue from Sunday’s 12 miles (and the race on Friday) in my legs, and after 10 miles I started to feel really knackered. I guess the change in diet doesn’t help. Niamh is a vegetarian, and every time I come here my mother-in-law decides to feed her poor suffering husband as much meat as possible. I managed to struggle back home, and just about the first thing I said once I had regained enough breath to speak was to demand a carbohydrate dinner.
Thinking about it, the fact that I run later in the day won’t help either. I’m used to running at 6 am in the morning, and at 9 o’clock it is a lot warmer. Running along busy roads and inhaling tons of car exhaust fumes, at least until I reach the cycling path, isn’t exactly the ideal running environment either. I guess I’m spoilt in Kerry.

I did 6 easy miles today, and felt much better (and the pasta last night went down a treat). Running 20 miles tomorrow will be a challenge. I’ll have to work out a way to get some water along the way, and I’m undecided on the route. I could run from Stillorgan towards Dalkey and Killiney, or I could do a few laps inside Cabinteely Park, or I could combine those routes. As I’m running for time, the exact distance won’t matter that much; I know my pace and it should be reasonably accurate – as long as I manage to stay on my feet for the required time.

And now for something completely different. Am I the only one who was distinctly underwhelmed by the football on display during the World Cup? The fact that Italy won it despite a rather unconvincing and uninspiring display in the final was rather fitting, I suppose. When Germany are playing the most attractive football it doesn’t speak much for the other teams’ approaches. Argentina were sublime for the first 2 games, but completely lost their nerve once the knock-out stages started, and Brazil were at their worst in living memory. The fact that the supposedly best player in the world, Ronaldinho, had a tournament to forget, and the actual best player, Zidane, was sent off for an ugly foul in the final just underlined the disappointment. Now I’ll have to wait another 4 years to see some decent football – it better be worth the wait.

10 Jul: approx. 14 miles, 1:56
11 Jul: approx. 6 miles, 55 mins


  1. I've discovered any change of environment or diet make a difference in the run. I just have to remind myself of that,as you did.

  2. I only watched a few games during the World Cup, but was disappointed in what I did see - it seemed like too many games were decided at the very end - maybe an indication that winning depends more on luck than playing well.

    Of course what totally rubbed my nerves was that the celebration for the third place German team completely overshadowed the final game - okay the world cup was held in Germany, but let's get real...

    My unqualified opinion anyway.

  3. Hello. Joie of Stillwater Heron recommended your blog to me. Reading the recent entries about running through chest pain was quite the introduction! I hope you're feeling okay now!! I am actually headed to Ireland next week (Dublin, Galway, Aran Islands) and I was wondering if you had any running tips. I know you're not from those places, but who knows where your travels have taken you? :) I'm sure I'll be able to figure something out in each of those locations, but if you had anything specific to add that would be great. But no worries if nothing comes to mind. I look fwd to following along with your training-but do take care!!

  4. Thomas, my mother does the exact same thing to Eric and my boys! "Oh, you poor things, you need meat!" She has learned over the years to stock up on bananas and bagels when we come to visit.

    Are you there on vacation? I think the other thing that throws a wrench into training when you are traveling is the sleeping thing. It's hard to follow the normal schedule - you are up later, you sleep in later, and often don't sleep quite as well as at home. The whole rest cycle is disrupted, which shows up in the runs. Then throw in the change in typical diet...On the plus side though, I love the chance to run in new places!

  5. Since I was cheering for Italy, I can't really find complaint. However, I agree that the best games of the tournament weren't the semis or the final - they were the round of 16 matches where the action was a little more free-flowing. It seems the closer the teams get to winning the Cup, the more they hunker down and just play defense.

  6. I find sometimes just different weeks feel different. May be it's overtraining? I usually don't pay attention much, though it probably would be wiser to do so:)

  7. Agree entirely about the World Cup, very disappointing with one or two highlights thrwn in, but nothing to make you remember fondly in years to come.

    As to 4 years of waiting, you can always take up cheering on Stockport County - My new shirt arrived this morning, just hope it's a better season than last year.

    Are you able for a run on Thursday?
    And Audrey, if you are heading to Dublin and fancy a run in the Phoenix Park some time, let me know.

  8. Mother-in-laws...so endearing. They always want to fatten you up. Running in a strange place is quite frustrating for sure. A while ago I ran in the city closest to me and got all messed up by the traffic lights, people, curbs, bicycles...it was terrible. I hope you adjust a bit. Runners are supposed to be flexible (yoga apparently helps - I wouldn't know).

  9. When we went to visit my Dad last month, my son and I both got the "your too thin, we must fatten you up!" treatment. We ate things and amounts we never do at home :)
    God bless parents and in-laws!
    I'm with everyone else here.
    Traveling knocks you about and throws you off the "norm".
    My answer for everything is to eat some carbs and take a nap!
    A little snooze would do you good...

  10. Hmmm... I actually started running because I went home and my mother pointed out that I was putting on some weight while patting my stomach. Three years later, I'm too skinny. I think mothers(-in-law) just like to worry over the kids(-in-law). At least when they try to fatten you up, you know they like you. (I hope that's what it means, because when I visit my in-laws, T-Bone steaks are always involved.) Enjoy your week as a carnivore, Thomas!

  11. Looks like even the better ones have this days, it could be some type of the body´s adaptation to this new milage don´t you think?