Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Asking for Help

I had planned to do a faster session on Monday but the legs were very stiff and sore, which I attribute mostly to the hours of gardening work rather than running. Still, during the first two miles of the run, when still warming up, I repeatedly tried to spin the legs and the pace never went faster than 6:30, so I decided to not even try a tempo session. Instead I thought I'd see if I could hold 6:50 pace for any real period of time, and was prepared to stop at any time. It started out reasonably well, but after less than 2 miles it became tough. I hung on for a bit longer – to the next bend, the next tree, the next house, until I eventually fell back into the groove. The same thing happened again after about 4 or 5 miles, and again I managed to keep going. After 6 miles my average pace was still about 6:48, but I did flag a little bit from there until I reached home and ended up with 6:50 over 8 miles and I don't think I could have kept it up for much longer. Thinking about it, that's not too surprising – a week ago I had not managed to run faster than 6:46 pace for a half marathon race. The strange thing was that today my legs kept complaining while at the same time I had real troubles elevating my heart rate, which was the complete opposite to what it had been like last week.

Sadly, the legs were really sore for the rest of the day, and I only did 5 miles today. On the plus side, I started out with really sore legs and returned home with perfectly fine ones. Endorphins are great stuff. Remarkably, the temperates were only around 2 degrees in the morning. No wonder it felt a bit chilly.

I have started another no-sugar diet. Since Easter my weight has ballooned from 144 to 153 pounds, which equals my heaviest reading for the last three years. Just like during lent, I'm cutting out sweets and chocolate. I decided not to be quite as strict this time. While things like sweets, chocolate and ice cream are banned, I do allow myself some more reasonable things like jam on my toast for breakfast. That way I hope it will be easier to maintain, but hopefully will still cause a few pounds to drop off my frame. On Sunday, when Niamh saw me in my wetsuit, she said “Thomas, how many pounds have you put on?” Thanks, honey! Of course we all know that if the roles had been reversed, she would have killed me.

But there is something much more important on my mind. You might remember that I'm running another marathon 5 weeks after Cork, this time for charity. I have created a donation page and would be thrilled if you could spare a few quid. The 32 marathon challenge is a really great way of raising funds and deserves support. Any donation, even the smallest one, will be gratefully received.
10 May
10 miles, 1:10:32, 7:03 pace, HR 159
incl. 8 miles @ 6:50 (HR 164)
11 May
5 miles, 41:03, 8:12 pace, HR 141


  1. I think you have the right idea of 'running in the moment' when you do your harder sessions, works for races too!
    Maybe a very strong coffee would get your wired and ready for your next tempo session, must be hard to wake your body up so early in the morning,
    could you do this sort of session in your lunch break, might work better!

  2. Just proves that black is not always "slimming"!

    A sure way to lose weight: Reverse the roles and you'll be on bread and water for a month.