Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Easing Back

Training was curtailed over the weekend by the fact that I had 2 children to mind. Unlike Saturday there was no time for myself on Sunday and it ended up with a total of 0 as far as sporting activities were concerned. However, minding only 2 kids is a complete doddle. I don’t know what some people are complaining about. I also didn’t realise that I would be assessed for my parenting skills afterwards, apparently I got 9/10 with special praise for the cooking but deductions for not giving them a bath or shower. Ah well.

Anyway, after a one-week absence I was back on the road on Monday. I had no idea how this would go and ran 5 easy miles on the Ard-na-Sidhe road, as I have done on countless previous occasions. I was a bit surprised to see the pace below 8:00, but the HR was slightly elevated which was always going to be the case. I added a mile this morning, which went even faster even though the effort was still rather easy. One thing I noticed was the relatively cold temperatures early in the morning, it was between 3-4C (37-39F) degrees. Since I have done virtually all my training runs in those conditions, I am even more surprised that the 20C (68F) in Connemara didn’t really bother me. I know that isn’t exactly hot, but it was considerably warmer than anything I was accustomed to.

The weather is still rather nice and I used the opportunity to add some extra miles on the bike. Yesterday I went the long way home, more than doubling the distance, and today I took the bike out for a spin during lunchtime. I got slightly lost and took almost an hour to get back, arriving at my desk 10 minutes late. Oops. But the 18 miles were worth it. I just wished the roads were not is such a bad shape. A few spots were in absolutely appalling condition and took the fun out of riding. Halfway through the ride it struck me that I neither knew where I was nor had any kit with me in case of a puncture. It would have been the most pathetic phone call of my life: “Niahm, I did a cycle at lunchtime and my bike broke down and I don’t know where I am. Help!” Luckily, nothing happened and I was spared the embarrassment.

It struck me that the Wexford Half is only 3 weeks after the Ultra and yet I had no hesitation signing up. I already feel recovered, there is no noticeable leftover in my legs and I feel ready to rack up the training already. Instead, I’ll play it conservatively and take it easy for a bit longer. Some extra cycling and swimming will be on the cards, partially for cross training purposes but also because I do have a triathlon in less than 5 weeks. Eek! During training for Connemara I managed to focus purely on that, but now I have come to realise that the time when I have to swim in open water is getting rather close. I now understand why some first-time triathletes were rather freaked out by the prospect. Only too well, in fact.
19 Apr
5 miles, 39:16, 7:51 pace, HR 147
plus 35 km cycling
20 Apr
6.1 miles, 46:09, 7:33 pace, HR 148
plus 43 km cycling


  1. Looking forward to seeing how you manage the bike/run/swim gig. Once again, congrtualtions on the ultra. Oh, and when do we see some efforts on the bike?

  2. I'd have got docked more than one point for not washing the kids.

    Are you going to get some open-water swim experience before Valentia? Either way I don't think you'll have a problem given your determination.

  3. You should try some open water swims before the race if you get a chance. Even a few hundred metres in the lake will give you an idea of what to expect.