Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Questionable Rewards

The marathon was over two weeks ago, but I’m still in the “I deserve a reward” state of mind. Even before the race I had firmly decided to let the discipline slide. I had been very restrained for a lot of weeks, eating raw food, going to bed early, cutting down on sweets (apart from Niamh’s desserts), no caffeine, and so on. But now is the time to relax, and that’s exactly what I’m doing. I discovered that drinking coffee black with 2 sugars gives me a massive buzz that rivals that of several illegal drugs, and that’s why I’ve got one beside my keyboard right now (NO! Not an illegal drug. Black coffee!). My sweet tooth is in paradise, and the chocolate bars in the kitchen cabinet are cowering in fear whenever I go anywhere near. Extra cream and sugar on the porridge? Ah go on, have another one! At some stage I’ll have to start reigning myself in again, especially since the weighing scales start whimpering whenever I step on them; I’ve gained 6 pounds since the marathon (well, since 3 days before the marathon, when I started carbo-loading). I hope they’ll melt off once the mileage goes up again.

The worst of the last storm left us on Monday morning, but not until after my run which left me rather frozen. 4C/40F feels cold, especially in the rain and gusty wind. I was thinking about digging out the long sleeves and the tights, but luckily the temperature has picked up again.

The Garmin seems to behave again, or at least the HR readings are believable. With my fitness picking up/my recovery going on it gets easier to stay under my self-imposed HR threshold, and yesterday was the first run that passed by without the HR alarm going off even once. Today I went out alongside Caragh Lake for the first time since the race and managed to repeat that feat, even though the road is much more undulating than the Ard-na-Sidhe road that I had been using up to now. I would have enjoyed it more if the wind hadn’t been quite as strong and quite as cold, but that too is supposed to improve tomorrow (if only for the rain to return on Thursday).

My mum is here this week, and with the improving weather she can hopefully enjoy the scenery if Niamh can drag her away from the housework she keeps insisting on doing (she broke our Hoover yesterday, which should make this easier). She was thrilled when Maia managed to say “Oma” (German for grandmother) last night, but it might have been a once-off. The kids all love having visitors, but if that is because they enjoy the company or the presents that these people invariably bring, I’m not quite sure.
10 Nov
8 miles, 1:06:20, 8:18 pace, HR 143
11 Nov
7 miles, 58:39, 8:22 pace, HR 144


  1. If getting close to 3:00hr for a marathon requires giving up coffee I am hanging up my shoes now! I go through 7 cups a day (2 espressos with the porridge in the morning!). It's red wine and peanuts for me since the marathon (I know it makes me sound like I've got cravings á la pregnancy but hey!)

  2. No don't, leave the coffee alone. I don't think you should be drinking it, just pass it by and there'll be all the more for the rest of us.

    [I sit here with a warm cup of black coffee in hand]

    I'm glad to see your recovery is going well.

  3. If anyone deserves a bit of reward it certainly is you. Watch that scale though.

  4. I think you have enough sense to enjoy the sweets for a while and not let it get out of hand before turning back into the running demon that you are. As the great Willy Wonka once said, "A little nonsense now and then is relished by the wisest men."

  5. Working nights drinking red bull or on my wages tesco kick is a vital part of staying awake through the night, but I had to laugh when I heard that one of the young managers could not understand why he could not sleep when he went to bed in the morning, seems he was downing 4 red bulls before his bed time!! DUMB OR DUMBER!!! COMES TO MIND.

  6. Sheesh Thomas, live it up a little! That's the joy of running, allowing yourself to indulge in something. I know what you mean though, I'm always watching it because I don't want the scale creeping up.

  7. Special treats are the runners reward for any day of the year! Enjoy your replenishment phase of training, my personal favorite.

  8. Surely it wouldn't be the presents!

  9. Staying off caffeine for 3 months is very commendable, but did you not blow it all away with the red bull 30 minutes before the marathon - or was this a depletion/loading thingy.

    You've got me thinking with this healthy eating lark - I wonder if my marathon times would improve if I didn't eat 2lb of assorted crap every evening after dinner.

  10. Enjoy it while you can. Soon enough the training will demand the discipline, but until then have at it.

    It all feels cold in rain and gusty winds.