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

13 comments:

  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.

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  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.

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  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 ;-)

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  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.

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

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

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

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

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  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!

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  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.

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

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  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.

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