Saturday, March 27, 2010

The End of Magic

The other day, just as I came out of my shower, Niamh stormed into the room. The kids had just voiced their skepticism about the Tooth Fairy (Cian has just lost his first 2 teeth and bagged 3 Euros in the process), started inquiries about the Easter Bunny, and then *gasp* moved on to Santa, at which Niamh left the kitchen in a hurry to avoid digging deeper into that subject. I guess it was always a matter of time; the twins will be 9 in a month and we got as far as we could with that story, while avoiding telling an outright lie. They still haven't got absolute confirmation – one week before Easter isn't the best time for those revelations, and I'm afraid Maia might grow up without the magic.

Oh yes, running. Even three easy days had not been sufficient for a complete recovery from Ballycotton, and when I took my first step on Thursday morning I could immediately tell that the race was still in there. The run followed the same pattern as pretty much all of the previous long ones; a very slow start for the first 3 miles (which happened to be 8:26 pace), then a few miles of long hills and a stronger finish. The quads felt uncomfortable all the way through, but I was pleased to see that I could keep 7:30 pace without problem over the second half of the run, even with aching legs. I also figured that running for over 2 hours with painful quads would be good preparation for Connemara, because that's exactly what's going to happen there.

The weather was reasonably cooperative, the wind was manageable and I never got more than a few raindrops at a time, and that pattern held for the next few days as well. I did 5 miles on Friday with even heavier legs, but recorded the lowest heart rate of the present training cycle. I think that if I can run at sub-130 HR without having to crawl, I must be in good ultra shape. My race speed could be a tad better, as Ballycotton showed, but hey, who doesn't wish for that. On the other hand I really think that my endurance at comfortable speeds is better than ever before. Today's run felt just as easy as Friday's but was much closes to 8:00 pace, which is what I hope to hold for 39 miles in Connemara. That's good. Now I have to avoid doing anything stupid over the next 2 weeks.

25 Mar
18 miles, 2:22:41, 7:56 pace, HR 142
26 Mar
5.1 miles, 43:17, 8:29 pace, HR 129
27 Mar
6.2 miles, 50:05, 8:05 pace, HR 136


  1. Ah, tough times. When our oldest son figured it out, we talked about myths, and the value of those myths - and the idea of a magical childhood. Then we told him that part of the responsibility of his new knowledge was keeping the magic alive for his little brother. It worked like a charm - he felt like he got to be a part of the grown up world for a bit. Maybe something like that will work for you.

  2. Hey Thomas, The magic will continue. At least it has in my household with a 15 year old and a 14 year old. The figureheads all died horribly one morning while driving in the van. It started with the Easter bunny and then the rest all fell like dominos... the kids were 7 and 8!

    Enjoy the taper leading to Connemara. You've had a great build towards this race.


  3. Try and keep the magic going for as long as you can - there are ways of doing so and still avoid the "white" lies.

    Hope the magic sort of continues to Connemara - enough so that Grellan just beats you in a sprint finish and I collect my winnings from Centrebet!