Sunday, March 30, 2008


Now that those pesky speed workouts are out of the way I had to find a new way of inflicting immense pain upon myself, I guess. Why else would I have finally caved in to Niamh and visited the sports physio clinic in Killarney? I even took the afternoon off work for the pleasure.

I have to admit, the guy knew what he was doing. After a brief chat about my training I mentioned my cramping problems in my calves, and before I knew it he was having a good, deep poke around, and hit it pretty much where it hurt. He then used some acupuncture needles for a dry needle treatment. It took a few tries for him to find the exact trigger point, but when he found it my whole calf quivered, and I nearly jumped up to the ceiling in pain. That flippin hurt! He repeated the process on the other calf (where an identical trigger point was found on exactly the same spot), and then gave me a rather painful sports massage. Each time he asked “is that where it hurts” I could only confirm, and he kneaded the hell out of it. After a while I was tempted to lie about the painful spots, it hurt so much, but I managed to get through.

He also told me not to run on Saturday, but that I would be ok on Sunday. In the evening my calves were the most sore they had ever been (though, in fairness, I might simply have forgotten how much they hurt after my first marathon or last year's ultra), and with the combination of pain and the miserable weather I wasn't tempted to disobey his orders the following day.

But I felt fine on Sunday, and went out for my last double-digit run before the race. I have by now more-or-less chosen what I'm going to wear next Sunday, but each item has a back-up one, just in case, and today I wore all the B-list stuff, from top to toe. It meant running in a t-shirt, because I wanted to test if I can take the cold on my arms, after running in long sleeves every day since my recovery from pneumonia. All the items passed the test, and I'll wear the actual planned race outfit on Wednesday, just to make sure I get a proper dress rehearsal. The plan for the run was to run 8-minute miles for the entire 10 miles, which is my planned race pace. Initially it seemed harder than I would have liked, and it took about 7 miles to finally get into the groove, but from then on I was cruising, and I felt I could have kept at that pace forever, which is what I was looking for. Of course, doing the same thing 4 times longer is an entirely different proposition, but that's the challenge waiting for me.

28 Mar
6 miles, 46:58, 7:49 pace, HR 148
29 Mar
30 Mar
10 miles, 1:19:37, 7:57 pace, HR 143

Weekly Mileage: 44


  1. You are cracking me up with dress rehersals! I pack most everything, then decide that morning when I get up. Too hard to figure it out ahead of time.

    That acupuncture stuff sounds horrible - but the massage sounds great.

  2. The calf treatment sounded painful. I cringed as I read it. Hopefully it was worth it.

  3. Does sound a bit drastic. I guess it needs more than extra salt/magnesium in the diet.

    Good luck for what's left of the taper!

  4. If it's torture then he is doing a good job. Hope you survive the taper madness for the remaining few days.

  5. Hi Thomas

    Thanks for your comment on my blog about avoiding dead quads. I found it helpful. Interestingly I haven't suffered as much after Saturday's 42 mile run so that was encouraging. Maybe it's a combination of a number of factors but I hope it continues.

    Plus the web site the article came from looks really good. There is a lot of helpul stuff on there.

    Hope things go well this week and I look forward to reading all about your ultra on Saturday.

    Have a great run.


    Ps we won't mention Everton or Man City this week eh?

  6. Thomas,

    Thanks for your comment. I am wondering if i can run a faster pace in the first 10 km. :)

    Smart move on testing your plan-B gear. My race, i didn't plan as well and ended up runnign with a long sleeve fleece. Quite baggy. But at least it kept me warm.

    Have a great race this Sun :0