Sunday, January 17, 2010

Back At Last

So far I have failed miserably at my 2010 goal of writing shorter blog entries. Luckily there’s still plenty of time for improvement.

Since next week is the first of the heavy training I tried to keep this one reasonably easy. Saturday turned out to be a nice, fresh day after heavy downpours and stormy wind all through Friday. I wish I could have gotten more sleep but a certain hyperactive 8-year old who seems to have problems grasping the concept of a lie-in put an early stop to my rest. But the roads were ice-free, finally, and I set off for my first set of hill repeats in ages. I wasn’t sure how many to do and decided to play it by ear.

The first ones were no problem, but as soon as I finished the third one I felt light-headed and wondered if it was a good idea to continue. I did one more, just to test how I felt; not great, but let’s do one more just to be sure. And one more. Ok, just one final one more. After 7 repeats all-in-all I called it a day. It was not a particular exhaustive workout, but with my history of tachycardia I thought I was already pushing my luck more than necessary.

Rather than turning homewards I turned right towards Killorglin and ran into town to pick up my bike that I had left at work because the storm had been too wild to cycle home safely last night. Two miles after the hill sprints the quads had recovered somewhat and I ran along at a good rate, close but not quite at 7:00 pace. The 5-mile cycle home rounded off the workout. Any plans of going swimming afterwards had to be sacrificed for the good of family life. That will always come first.

Sunday arrived all too early again, this time in form of a certain 6-year old who had felt lonely in his bed. I’m sure one morning all our kids will sleep in, however long that may be from now. This was an easy day with only 6 miles on the cards and I set off on my standard, reasonably flat, recovery route. I turned around after 3 steps to bring along my mp3 player (Niamh’s present to me). I don’t wear it on most days, but recovery runs don’t require much attention. The first half went pretty much to plan, when I glanced at the Garmin shortly before the turnaround point I saw the pace at about 7:50 or so. That’s a bit faster than intended, but the HR of about 140 told me I was really taking it easy. Maybe I should change the music on the mp3 player; I don’t quite know what happened on the return leg but the next time I looked at my wrist, back home, the average pace had dropped to almost 7:30, and I must have done the return leg at about 7:10 pace without even noticing what I was doing. Maybe the mp3 player isn’t such a great idea on recovery runs after all. Having said that, the average HR was still pretty low.

I also managed to measure my resting HR on Saturday. Ever since September it had been elevated, around 45 or slightly higher at times. Well, it finally dropped back to 42. On Friday I wrote that I felt recovered from the autumn marathon double, and that reading pretty much confirms that. I think I’m back, at last.

The cold had more or less gone away but I felt really mucusy on Saturday (even if that word doesn’t exist) and kept coughing. I had just read a remedy in one blog, I can’t remember which one, namely two cloves of raw garlic, chased down with orange juice. No, it wasn’t the most pleasant thing I’ve ever ingested. It certainly worked – the mucus is gone and so is the cough. But I think I will hear Niamh’s complaints for years to come, and she, well, let’s say she indicated that I was not to repeat the same treatment again. I can vouch for the effectiveness, but you have been warned about the side effects.
16 Jan
9 miles, 1:12:43, 8:03 pace, HR 151
incl. 7 hill repeats, ~30 seconds each
17 Jan
6.1 miles, 46:12, 7:34 pace, HR 145

Weekly Mileage: 61+


  1. I live in hope ;) One day we'll get "Had a good race today - broke 3 hours in the marathon".

    Garlic and OJ is the perfect cure for a cold (but you both must take it).

  2. That's an impressive pace for a recovery run - you're certainly back on track.

    Now that your out of the base phase is it your weekly mileage, intensity, or both going to increase and if so by how much?

  3. Ha ha ha, glad the garlic + OJ worked for you as well! I swear by it.