Wednesday, June 02, 2010


No, I’m not about to reveal my undercover secret service identity, that’s my mileage for the last 3 days I'm talking about. I had told you that I had been sick over the weekend, but since the symptoms were all above the neck, I initially decided to go ahead with my normal taper program, which is easy enough anyway. I was just about to go to bed on Sunday when I just happened to read this article by Private on how stupid he had been running with a throat infection. It served as a wake-up call; I put my running gear back into the cupboard and re-set my alarm clock.

Since I didn’t feel great on Monday I didn’t run on Tuesday either. Since I picked up the infection exactly 2 days after Shea, I could see all along how I was about to progress. It started with 2 days of sore throat (Shea Thursday/Friday, me Saturday/Sunday) followed by 2 days of feeling exhausted and achy (Shea Saturday/Sunday, me Monday/Tuesday) and a really annoying cough (Shea Sunday /Monday, me Tuesday/Wednesday). Shea is fine now and I guess I will feel fully restored by tomorrow. Niamh and Maia are following in our footsteps 2 days after me, which meant a couple of rough nights due to Maia crying regularly (5 times between 1 and 4 o’clock on Monday, and Niamh insists she genuinely slept through it Every Single Time).

As if being sick were not enough trouble on its own, I went to the dentist today. My last baby tooth had literally started falling apart (they are not meant to last for 40 years), but it had been in there long enough to fuse with my jaw bone and the dentist spent half an hour breaking it into smaller pieces and pulling out what he could bit by bit, leaving behind the roots and the rest that was too close to the bone. The procedure was as lovely as you can imagine, but I kept thinking I’d be hurting a lot more on Monday, so I could easily take this. But by now the anaesthetic has worn off and I'm in agony.

Anyway, I was back on the road this morning for a marathon dress rehearsal, 7 miles altogether with 3 at MP. I went by effort and heart rate to gauge where my marathon pace was. The result were 3 miles at 6:56 pace with an average HR of 164, which means I am in pretty good shape but just that little bit shy of sub-3 shape.

This is not taking the effects of my illness into account, of course. I felt well enough this morning, but 7 miles are not enough to bring out the effects that you feel after 15 or 20 miles at race effort. I have run marathons after getting sick before; the result was always an ugly, painful race and a disappointing time. I only have to look back at Dublin last year, which is still very much in my memory. Chances are this will happen again, but I’m stupid enough to give it a go anyway and go down in flames once more.

Still, in the morning right after my run I was perfectly content to aim for about 7:00 pace, which would leave me shy of 3 hours but still get me a new PR. Then I heard that Mick Rice, a class act in more than one way, will be pacing the 3-hour group in Cork (he was supposed to do 3:15 and I was hoping to keep him behind me). Now I’m thinking that running a few miles in his company might be worth the inevitable crash, but maybe that’s just the sickness affecting my brain or the after-effect of today’s local anaesthetic shutting down the more reasonable parts of my mind. I guess I might stand on the start line on Monday still not sure what to do.

5 days to go. I’m about to do something really stupid, am I not?
31 May
1 Jun
2 Jun
7.1 miles, 50:48, 7:09 pace, HR 156
incl. 3 miles at 6:56 pace, HR 164


  1. Go for it! If you go down in flames it will be a blaze of glory. :)

  2. Well Thomas,
    If you can run as well as Scott, your have a big grin on your face by the end of the marathon, even with a tooth missing.
    Go for it, I want to see smoke and flames and spontaneous combustion!
    joking of cause:]

  3. Thomas, with all due respect, that is the oldest "baby" tooth I have ever heard of. Of course I am not a dentist but isn't it soem sort of world record in its own rights?

  4. Gotta stick that baby under your pillow and the fairy will bring you that sub 3.

  5. Thomas, when you get your wisdom teeth coming through at 48, 'then you're know your special'!

  6. Glad to be of service!

    Stick with Mick on Monday - I unknowingly tracked him in a marathon before. He run's a very even pace. That and the support of others around you should help no end.

    Best of luck

  7. I'll be waiting for you on the start line :-)

  8. Thomas, you're in shape to run a PB - 3:03 - 3:05, so why not aim for that? You'd have fun picking off runners that fall from the 3 hour group in the second half.

    Mike will give you plenty of dental sympathy ;)

  9. Sorry to hear 'bout you getting sick, but it looks like you've got it all in hand. Less is more at this point, but I don't need to be telling you that. All the best in the marathon!