Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Niamh Was Right

Moving back to Caragh Lake was definitely the right thing to do. Within 24 hours of leaving Valentia I noticed that the angry red markings on my body were receding quickly. I stopped looking like a lobster in boiling water and slowly started to take on a more human touch. The nights are still rough; while the worst of the itch has gone, it is still there. I had troubles falling asleep on Sunday because every time I was about to drift off I was jerking awake with yet another itch somewhere on my body. When I finally managed to sleep, I kept waking again and again. Last night was similar, but slightly better. But things are clearly improving.

I didn’t even think of running on Monday, but this morning I went out for 7 quick miles in the morning. With 11 days to go, this was my last strenuous training run. I knew that the long runs for the ultra would destroy my leg speed, but just how much that happened has left me slightly shell shocked. I really struggled to keep the pace below 7-minute miles. Not so long ago, that was my planned marathon pace, even though I never quite managed to keep it going for the entire 26 miles. Now this is basically a half-marathon effort.

For Connemara, I had to hold myself back to run 8-minute miles at the start and I managed to average that for the entire 39 miles. Now this feels unreasonably fast. After crossing the line in Connemara in 5:15, I thought that I could easily have managed another 11 miles in 2 hours, which would have given me a 50-mile time of 7:15. Right now, on the other hand, I would be delighted with a time of 7:30 for Dingle.

Should I have fewer really long runs for Dingle, and done more of a marathon-style training cycle like I did for Connemara? Or are these just the usual taper-induced doubts?

Of course it’s too late to change anything now. All I can do is get rid of the remnants of the allergy, stay healthy for another 10 days, and show up at the start line well rested. I should be able to do that.
24 Aug
7 miles, 48:08, 6:53 pace, HR 167

10 comments:

  1. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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  2. Thomas Good luck - hope you manage to relax during your taper time and get a couple of decent nights sleep.

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  3. Yikes, man! That itch is sounds miserable. I suppose it's good it happened during the taper when the hay is already in the barn, eh?

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  4. "Show up at the start line well rested", those are words to live by. I only ran a hanful of ultras and didn't ever nail the training, in that respect I think they're worse than training for a marathon. You do what you think is right and hope for the best. Good luck on race day, I'm looking forward to the result... I think you'll be surprised (sub 7:30 should be easy).

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  5. I wouldn't be surprised if the rash is causing additional stress to the cardiovascular system, making those paces seem harder than usual.

    All you can do is continue the taper. I think you'll run well.

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  6. Forgot to say "Isn't Niamh Always Right?"

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  7. I thouht you knew that by now Thomas, you're married long enough. Glad the itch problem is finally solved. Strange how something so simple can have such an effect. If I did 50 miles in 8 hours I'd be happy, especially for Dingle.

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  8. aint nice feeling, its too uncomfy to keep running with that itchiness..i've experienced something like that earlier this year and it made me missed some events :( you still lucky you can keep going..

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  9. Brilliant website, I hadn't noticed rubbishrunner.blogspot.com before in my searches!
    Carry on the superb work!

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  10. Good luck, Thomas. I think you'll be pleasantly surprised with the result in spite of the recent drama. Have a great race!

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