Sunday, August 13, 2006

Holy Smoke – Did I Just Do That?

For once I didn’t feel apprehensive about my long run. 18 miles just sounded so much more manageable than the 21 miles the week before earlier that I really didn’t worry about it. But I didn’t fancy doing it in Valentia and then drive 45 minutes to work, so I stayed in Caragh Lake overnight and ran on my usual routes on Friday morning. I managed to zen out again for most of the first 10 miles, which was kinda cool, but I think now I know what’s causing it: lack of sleep. I woke at about 4:20 and didn’t sleep much after that, until I finally got up at 5:20. The full moon might have something to do with this; it’s not the first time that I’ve had trouble sleeping around this time. Anyway, after the first 10-mile loop I was running consciously again, but it still went really well. I felt so good at mile 17 that I decided to have a bit of fun on the last mile and accelerated, first to 10k pace, then to 5k pace, and nearly all-out-sprinting over the last bit. When I checked my time, I realised that I had run the 18 miles at sub 8:00 pace – oops. Of course the last mile would have raised the average pace, but still, I must have run at just about 8:00 pace for the other 17 miles. I suppose the 3 easy days beforehand made my legs feel fresher than I’ve been used to over the last 3 months.

Saturday was a rest day once again, and I hoped to be more or less fully recovered on Sunday for a tempo run, but that didn’t prove to be the case. As soon as I started, I knew that I would be struggling because the legs had the leaden feeling to them. I warmed up for 2.5 miles, ran 6 miles out-and-back at LT effort, and cooled down for the final 2.5 miles. Two weeks ago I said that 5 miles is rather long at LT pace. Guess what, 6 miles are even worse, especially if your legs are tired to start with, and the blustery wind didn’t help either. For the tempo effort I managed an average pace of about 7:20, which is a good bit slower than last time, but today the legs simply didn’t have any more in them. No worries, I put it all down to Friday’s run, and take it as a sign that the body is still being stressed – and make no mistake, that’s a good thing.

I didn’t follow your advice, guys, about running to the Fair. Last year I went down at lunchtime to have a quick pint. The Guinness just tasted too good, and six or seven pints later Niamh had to collect me from there. With her being in Valentia, I didn’t want to tempt fate.

And as for taking a break from running while on holidays: thanks for your concern, but no thanks. There are times when I feel great about running, and there are times when I have to drag myself out of the house, and at the moment I’m on such a high that the mere thought of not running for a whole(!) week(!!) is just too dreadful to even contemplate. I’ll pass on the break thingy, and rather hit the road while I still feel good about it.

Weekly mileage: 64 miles

11 Aug: 18 miles, 2:23, 7:56 pace
13 Aug: 11 miles, 1:27, 7:54 pace, with 6 miles at 7:20 pace


  1. Those are two pretty impressive workouts there. There's no way I could do a tempo run right after a long one. Nice work.

  2. You are putting in some miles, Thomas. And what a strong pace. You are right not to back off now, as long as injuries aren't a concern.

  3. Probably a good call with the fair! I'm thinking about bringing my running shoes with me when I go on vacation in September, I consider this normal, don't you :-)

    p.s. You need to stop running your long runs so fast, you make it embarrassing for me to post my speed ;-)

  4. Ha! I just did the same thing on Saturday. Finished the long run and said, "Holy cow! It didn't seem that fast." Great job. I hope the confidence boost from this run'll pay off on race day.

  5. You rock Thomas!
    Great time..
    Don't listen to us, just keep doing what you do.
    It's working :)

  6. AWESOME run Thomas. You're doing something right that's for sure.

  7. Great runs :)... + 7-8 pint....oh that's good..i gotta try that sometime :)

  8. You continue growing so much!
    The best is to hear how you enjoy it and have fun, wow!

  9. I'd bring the running shoes on vacation, too.

    17 miles at 8:00 pace? That's a tough workout! The easy days must be paying off!

  10. Big miles Thomas. I relate to the part about forcing yourself out the door. Some days it's tough and lack of sleep is a killer.

    I like running very early in the morning because the first several miles are sort of blur together.

  11. Wow, Thomas, you are burning up the roads these days! Way to go!

  12. This was a great description. I really like how you can sleep for 10 miles. I'd get flattened by a car if I tried that. Excellent pace though. You've come a long way. Congrats.