Monday, April 26, 2010

Worn Out

Three days of Trabolgan have left me more exhausted than the Connemara Ultra a fortnight ago. Constantly running after 4 pesky kids turns out to be the equivalent of a long distance run; maybe I should have worn my Garmin during the day. The kids did climbing, zip wire, go-karts, trampoline, archery and probably a few other things I forgot to mention, in addition to plenty of time on playgrounds and 2 hours in the swimming pool every day. The pool was big with a massive water slide and a wave generator, but the one thing you could not really do was actual swimming. It was too crowded and even though Niamh and me shared the roles we still had to constantly keep our eyes on two children each. Shea especially demands constant attention, he keeps getting drawn to the deep end like a moth to the light and I had to drag him out of there on more than one occasion every single day. Triathlon training this was not.

I did some running as well, but certainly less than anticipated. On Saturday I headed out for what was supposed to be a fairly short run at easy pace but I got lost, the hills were unreal and somehow I managed to speed up with each mile. Towards the end, when I had finally managed to figure out the way home, I wondered why I was breathing so hard only to find that I was doing 7:15 pace uphill against a strong headwind. That’s not quite easy pace, then.

I did pay for that with rather sore quads for the rest of the day and the fact that I was on my feet constantly did not help either. Accordingly I opted for 6 much easier miles on Sunday, running towards Whitegate on the only flat piece of road I could find (it still had one nasty hill in there). Whitegate would have a lovely view over Cork harbour if only that would not include a power station on the right and a gas terminal on the left.

Unfortunately, the short run did not sort out my quads, and I reluctantly shelved the planned tempo effort. On Monday I ran even less, but included a set of 10x10 second hill sprints. When I got to the grass hill inside the holiday village ground it turned out to be a lot less steep than I had remembered it from the day before; carrying Maia up the hill must have increased the gradient, and now it appeared a lot flatter. But it had the right length, one sprint took exactly 10 seconds, and I did a big semicircle on each descent, marking a huge D into the dewy grass.

It was only late into the weekend that it dawned on me that Connemara had only been 14 days ago, and the main reason why my quads feel like they have run an Ultra a fortnight ago is that they have done exactly that. Maybe running a half marathon a week from now isn’t such a great idea, but I’ll do it anyway. The best way to learn from my mistakes is to make them in the first place.

And big congratulations go to Rick, who ran a fantastic PR of 2:47 in London at the age of 49(!!!!), giving hope to geezers all around the world, including myself, and to John MacLaughlin at the same race. 18 months ago we shared a few miles in Dublin, both hoping to break 3 hours and both missing out. After a few more attempts John finished yesterday’s London Marathon in 2hrs 59mins 38secs. Well done mate, and that’s the only time I’ve ever knowingly called a ManU supporter my mate, so you better feel honoured.
24 Apr
10+ miles, 1:14:48, 7:24 pace, HR 159
25 Apr
6.25 miles, 49:25, 7:54 pace, HR 142
26 Apr
4.2 miles, 34:58, 8:18 pace, HR ?? (forgot HR strap)

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