Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Nibble, Nibble Little Mouse

Just to clarify a few things about my new diet, it's not entirely raw food. I mostly followed the recommendations in that book, where the author suggests getting 50-75% of your food in raw form, which suits me very well. It means we can still have the usual family dinner together, without me easting something else, or forcing the raw food on Niamh or the kids. And there is definitely no question about me having less energy. The way the 17-miler on Friday went I'd say the opposite is the case. However, I get the sneaking suspicion that Niamh must have thought I was getting too thin as well, because how else can you explain this:

I could not resist! And as if that wasn't adding sufficient calories, then last night's meal surely did the rest. We celebrated our 11th anniversary with a night out at Jack's Restaurant in Cromane. The food was spectacular, as was the bill. We both very much enjoyed our evening out, which made it totally worth it. We took a taxi home, and in the morning I ran back to the restaurant to collect the car. Niamh had to agree that from time to time it can be handy to have a runner in the house. Anyway, my weight is back up where it came from.

The running over the past few days has been very good. Normally I would feel like this when the marathon date is getting close, approaching my peak fitness. I surely hope that this doesn't mean that I'm peaking early, with 13 weeks to go. On the other hand, if I'm not peaking yet and there is yet more to come then it means that I have never even remotely approached my real peak. I guess I'll find out soon enough.

Sunday was an easy run, and I duly ran the first mile in about 9 minutes with heavy legs, but then started to feel better and better, and by the time I came home I had pushed the average well below 8:00 pace, and I even added an extra loop to the run because I did not want it to end.

Monday was fairly similar; over the past few weeks I always felt beaten up on Monday, and the runs were slow enough to reflect the fact. Yesterday I somehow felt much better (maybe because I didn't race for a change?), and again I pushed the average pace below 8:00 pace, without straining at all. In fact the heart rate was so low that I initially though my HRM was malfunctioning.

I iced my achilles injury several times on Sunday, which seems to have done the trick. While the issue is not entirely resolved, it feels a lot better already. I have to admit I'm very relieved.

I've now moved into the second phase of the marathon training, and the hill repeats got replaced with 10x400 repeats, to be run at 3k pace with 3 minutes rest. This made it a very similar to last Thursday's fartlek workout, and I felt well prepared to do it. What could have caused a problem was the aforementioned night out, especially the fact that we had shared an entire bottle of wine between the 2 of us, which in reality meant that Niamh drunk a quarter of the bottle, and I the rest. However, it seems like the quality of the wine reflected the price tag, and I didn't have any hangover to speak of. The fact that I had only gotten about half my usual amount of sleep, and that it was raining heavily did weigh on my mind, but since I had to run to Cromane anyway to collect the car meant I didn't even have a choice.

400s at 5:41 pace means running them in about 85 or 86 seconds, and what I produced was this: 87,82,85,88,84,85,88,83,85,83, with an average of exactly 85. I still felt good after the last one and could have gone on further, but I was out of time. I'm not sure if less waterlogged roads would have produced a faster time, but with no wind to speak of the conditions were very favourable, really. I was happy enough with the run, but got a lift from Niamh into work, so as not to arrive at my desk drenched like a drowning rat. To safe Niamh from having to pack the entire family into the car to collect me, I ran home in the evening – which was excellent timing, because the schedule had prescribed a double for today, and circumstances just kind of fell into my lap.

27 Jul
11.2 miles, 1:26:10, 7:41 pace, HR 144
28 Jul
8 miles, 1:02:40, 7:50 pace, HR 138
29 Jul
am: 9.1 miles, 1:09:29, 7:38 pace, HR 152
incl. 10x400 in 87,82,85,88,84,85,88,83,85,83
pm: 5 miles, 37:46, 7:33 pace, HR 141

Weekly mileage: 68.5


  1. Happy Anniversary! Congratulations on eleven years together, and hopes for many more.

    So, what's a raw food breakfast? And what would a raw food ultra runner eat during the run?

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  3. I got hold of a copy of brain training for runners and must say am finding it interesting reading!
    your times for the 400's are quite impressive,i look forward to reading about your progress and marathon to come!

  4. Happy Anniversary Thomas. You're progressing well with the programme.

    I was also concerned with peaking too early when I used it for Cork - but my problem was that I picked up an injury on a recovery day - so be careful when recovering as there is no requirement to push the pace.