Monday, December 01, 2008


I had a quick look at my mile splits on Saturday. As it turns out, my first 3 miles went by in 6:04, 6:11 and 6:17 respectively, meaning that I was well on the way to a new PR (which would have been 6:18 average pace) until I hit that hill. I guess it means that I really have to be satisfied with the way I raced, especially considering the fact that I had come into it with exactly zero speedwork under the belt.

I did have to pay a price though. The legs were not about to let me get away with running 2 minutes per mile faster all of a sudden. My quads were really sore all day on Saturday, and even more so on Sunday, when I went out for a 9 mile recovery run. I suspect the kamikaze style descent from Sunhill towards the end of the race is responsible for most of the discomfort but that’s ok, I gained 10th place that way.

Worse was to come though. As you know, I have spent quite a few miles running through icy cold wind and rain recently, and coupled with the fact that Maia had been sick for several days it does not come as a big surprise that I don’t feel well myself now. I was really cold on Sunday evening, and when I was shivering after going to bed I was all set and ready to cancel today’s run. Last year I started getting sick exactly at that time of the year, and because I didn’t take it seriously enough it developed into full-blown pneumonia that completely knocked me out for several weeks in January. I have sworn never to be so stupid again, and I’m rather keen to avoid that mistake this year.

However, I seemed to improve during the night, even though I did not sleep particularly well. I got up at 5:15 and decided that despite the fact that I definitely was not well I did pass the neck test (i.e. no symptoms beyond the neck), and was therefore ok to run. Maybe doing my long run wasn’t such a good idea, and I decided that I would bail out after 5 miles if I didn’t feel too good. I got another sign that things were not right when I strapped on the HR monitor. Usually my HR is about 65 when I put the thing on; today it was just over 100. That’s a significant difference, and I really wondered if I was about to do something monumentally stupid.

As I set off on the run, I felt ok though. The most recent rain shower had just passed and I was lucky enough to be dry. The first 3 miles were flat, and I noticed a distinctly raised HR level, but I was still able to remain under my self-imposed threshold. Then the climb started, and I was surprised how well I felt, even though the next rain shower caught up with me at that stage. When I passed the bailout junction I did not even consider taking the short cut home. But once you’re past that point it’s all the way around the lake without any further opportunity to bail out. With the quads still rather sore and the fact that I was not entirely healthy heavy on my mind I ran at a very easy level, almost Andrew-esque in its slow pace. On the plus side I did not bother the HR alarm, not even on the climbs, which convinced me that things could not be that bad after all. But I didn’t particularly welcome the next icy cold rain shower, about 5 miles from home.

I reached our driveway after 16.5 miles of an extended Caragh Lake loop feeling fine. But the second I stopped running I felt dizzy and staggered towards our front door like a drunk. I was quite shocked about how bad I felt, but luckily recovered within a minute.

Maia is much better by now, and I expect to feel better soon myself, but maybe running for almost 2.5 hours in the freezing cold today wasn’t such a good idea after all.
30 Nov
9 miles, 1:13:08, 8:08 pace, HR 146
1 Dec
16.5 miles, 2:25:17, 8:48 pace, HR 144
Probably not the smartest thing I’ve ever done

Weekly mileage: 70+
Monthly mileage: 245+


  1. Hope you are feeling better soon. I remember your long recovery after last years battle with illness. Take it easy for a couple of days and give yourself some rest.



  2. I'm hoping your lack of common sense doesn't jump up and knock you down. Take a break, especially after a race like that.

  3. Wow, Thomas! Nice job on the speed! Hope you are feeling better soon.

  4. Make sure you're taking care of yourself, i.e., train smart. No need to dig yourself a pit this winter (not with Bsoton in April).

    make sure you've got some good thermals and a shell suite plus a really big woolly HAT!!!
    keep warm! I hear its going to get figgin COLD!!!!

  6. The words of wisdom are all there in your post - however words are no good, it's action that's required.

  7. I'm agreeing with you - probably not the smartest thing you've done.

    Take it easy until you're well.