Friday, May 09, 2008

Come On Bitch!

With Monday being a bank holiday, this was a really short working week. I can't believe it's Friday already. I'm not complaining, but just today a colleague asked me when the marathon would be, in 4 weeks' time? No, it's in 3. Wow! Just 3 weeks left. Time for some more training before it's too late.

I got up very early on Thursday, at 4:40, and before 5am I was out on the road. Luckily it's bright enough already at that time of day to run without light. The plan was to run 20 miles, and I intended to do it as a progression workout, the first 10 miles at whatever pace was comfortable, then 5 miles at 8:00 and the final 5 at 7:30. The 2 previous days had both been very easy, so I expected to feel fresh and ready to go, but that was not the case. Initially I felt really groggy and not quite awake yet (ok, it was ridiculously early in the morning), but even when that wore off my legs would still feel rather heavy and sluggish. I obviously still had the effects of Sunday's race in there. The first 5 miles, up to the highest point of the loop, took almost 90 seconds longer than on Monday. I had a bit of fun on the downhill part and ran one (steep) mile in 5:43, but the rest of it was more measured, and the average pace on the first 10 miles was 8:28. I did increase the effort at that point, but it took a while to get into the groove, and that section started with a short but nasty climb, and I was always playing catch-up after that. The undulating course makes it difficult to stay at a certain pace while trying to keep the effort steady at the same time, but I almost got it right. Then the really hard part began. I have not run longer than 15 miles since Connemara, and like on Monday the hamstrings started acting up. Then, out of nowhere, a mantra came into my head. “Come on bitch, f*ck the pain”. Now, this is so not me. I don't go for mantras, and I certainly don't usually use Americanisms. I'm clearly reading too many books about running written by authors from the wrong side of the Atlantic. I even know where it came from. The first part is from Running with the Buffaloes, the second one from Bob Glover's book. Anyway, it actually worked, I managed to push on and hit the turnaround point in 18:45, bang on time. I doubted I would be able to sustain the effort for the entire way back, but in actual fact I even managed to speed up a little bit. I was pretty much wiped out after that, but very pleased all the same.

Today was always going to be another easy day after that workout. I initially planned on running 8 miles but changed my mind and cut it down to a mere 6, mainly because I wanted to catch up on sleep. I really needed that, and even after a solid 8.5 hours of sleep I was still tired in the morning. The legs were incredibly stiff and heavy, and I felt like I was barely moving. Apart from plodding along at snail's pace I added a few strides into the mix, in the hope of injecting some life into those legs, and after 4 miles or so I finally started to feel a bit better, but I made sure I'd still keep at the leisurely pace for the rest of the run.

My left heel had been hurting for a while. It started about 10 days ago, and the race on Sunday clearly aggravated the symptoms, so I iced it rather aggressively on Monday. This kind of worked; it has not entirely cleared up, but it's a lot better. Unfortunately I must have overdone the icing, because I think the two big purple painful patches on my foot are frost bite. Have I ever mentioned that I can be a bit of an idiot at times? Anyway, that seems to be healing as well, and by the time my skin has recovered I expect the foot to be more or less ok again. But next time I'll take off the ice pad before the pain gets bad, not a minute afterwards.

8 May
20 miles, 2:41:54, 8:05 pace, HR 150
10 @ 8:27 (HR 145), 5 @ 8:02 (149), 5 @ 7:24 (162)
9 May
6 miles, 54:02, 9:00 pace, HR 135
incl. 5 or 6 x 100 strides


  1. Great mantra. My four year old daughter uses the same one when she is outside playing. All the kids are actually taught that fairly early in the schools here.

    Kidding of course. Unfortunately, the perception of Americans probably isn't too far off that anymore.

    I need to move to Norway.

    Anyway, nice workout.

  2. I thought they only used that mantra on the wrong side of the equator.

    Take care with the heel. You wouldn't want a case of plantar fasciitis... a friend went into the Canberra marathon with that (sub-3 shape) and had to DNF due to the pain.