Friday, April 02, 2010

A Joke

What do you get when you pour boiling water down a rabbit hole?

A hot cross bunny!

Not the funniest of jokes, and believe me, it gets a lot less funny when you have heard it a dozen times already. Unfortunately, it seems to be the only Easter themed joke my kids know, and it’s getting tad old by now. And the Easter Weekend has barely started yet!

Rather predictably, the taper madness is getting hold of me. I’m itching to get out, run or bike, just do something. Instead I’m supposed to relax and not expend too much energy. And with 9 days still to come, this is only going to get worse. As nice as it is to have a long weekend, if I get any more jittery Niamh will throw me out of the house sooner rather than later.

It could be the reduced mileage, but I have been finding it very difficult to slow down over the last few days. I did my last hilly 15 mile run on Wednesday. Usually, when I reach the top of the climb, an average pace under 9:00 is a sign that I’m moving well. When I checked the Garmin and saw 8:19, I initially thought I had turned it off by mistake before the climb started. But no, I was indeed going a lot faster than usual. Even though I tried to keep the effort easy I ended up with 7:36 average pace by the time I was back home. While this is definitely not the pace I can hold over 39 miles a week from now, it is almost scarily fast considering the low effort (and HR) level.

Because I’m tapering, I went swimming on Thursday. It didn’t go quite as well as on Monday, but I was still pretty happy. I bumped into my coach on the way out, and he said he had watched me over the last few minutes and thought I was doing well. He certainly has no doubts about the Valentia tri, and once mentioned that I should aim for a swim time closer to 15 minutes rather than 20, which had been my dream goal a while ago. It’s great to have a wildly optimistic coach! (Disclaimer: I don’t know who accurate the swim distance in Valentia actually is. On the map it looks closer to 500 meters rather than 750, but I simply don’t know)

The long weekend started with a nice lie-in, as always cut short by the steadily increasing number of children joining us in bed until there was no room left. Still, getting up at 8 o’clock seems like pure luxury! Once out on the road I found it impossible to keep the pace slower than 8:00 pace and I ended up with 7:40, much faster than anticipated and much faster than it had felt like. While the fresh legs from the reduced mileage are bound to have an effect, I’m convinced by now that I had indeed been anaemic and that the iron supplements are having a positive effect. I’m no longer feeling tired, the dizzy spells have almost stopped and the pace on my runs seem to have increased by 15 seconds per mile. Having said that, I have felt the same effect in previous tapers and it’s impossible to compare them. Still, I’m very much looking forward to Connemara, and I’m wildly optimistic about crushing my old PR (one of my goals this year).
31 Mar
15 miles, 1:54:06, 7:36 pace, HR 149
1 Apr
45 minutes swimming
2 Apr
6.15 miles, 47:08, 7:40 pace, HR 147


  1. It certainly sounds like you're ready for Connemara. Enjoy the taper... I always loved the shorter and faster workouts.

  2. Glad to hear that you sorted out the low energy/dizzy spells issue. Taper well an see you on the start line next Sunday.