Thursday, August 12, 2010

Puck Fair

Considering how much I ran over the weekend, I felt amazingly good this week. There was no muscle soreness to speak of; even the quads seemed in perfect condition. My one problem was my right achilles, which was really sore Monday evening. When I started moaning about it, Niamh cut me short, stating that she would be surprised if I had no troubles after all those miles. Maybe she knows more about running than me, because I was indeed surprised. Of course, this is the same achilles that had acted up a few weeks ago, but I thought I was over that as there had been no beep from it since.

Anyway, I iced it on Monday and resolved not to go running if it was still as sore Tuesday morning. Immediately after getting up it felt perfectly fine so I put on my gear, including an ankle wrap just to be on the safe side, and went out for a very easy 5-miler. The soreness was almost completely gone for the rest of the day and I thought I’d cracked it.

Imagine my surprise when it felt worse again on Wednesday, after another easy run, this time over 8 miles, but it was still nowhere near as bad as on Monday. Stubborn (read stupid) as I am, it didn’t stop me from doing my one faster session this week on Thursday, 10 miles with 2x3.5 miles at HMP. This went reasonably well. If I were training for a marathon I would be a bit unhappy about paces of 6:44 and 6:47, but I’m training for an ultra instead and I’m fine with that.

That tempo run brought me into Killorglin, which even at 7 o’clock was much busier than usual. There were several traders already putting up their stands for the last day of Puck Fair and I passed King Puck the 467th, looking very content and relaxed 3 stories up. We have already done our thing there, bringing the kids to the Fun Fair on Tuesday evening. With 4 children, each ride costing a minimum of 2 Euro each and lasting for maybe 2 minutes, the money was flying out of our wallets, unbelievable. There is always a great buzz in town when Puck is on and it puts Killorglin on the map, but the downside can be seen as well with people lying in the gutter passed out from drink on a regular basis. Allegedly it is the festival in Ireland where the most Guinness per head is consumed, though I cannot vouch for the accuracy of that statement (looking around, it sounds believable, alright). Obviously that kind of stuff isn’t compatible with training and I tend to stay away as the evening progresses.

There is just one more big weekend in store, then it’s already tapering time. I can’t believe Dingle is only 3 weeks away! I’m confident I’m in shape and I have trust in my training; bring it on.
10 Aug
5 miles, 44:06, 8:47 pace, HR 128
11 Aug
8 miles, 1:06:36, 8:20 pace, HR 133
12 Aug
10 miles, 1:11:29, 7:09 pace, HR 154
incl. 2x3.5 miles @ 6:44, 6:47


  1. Watch the achilles, it’s not to be messed with. Say, didn’t it flare up a few months ago, perhaps last year during your marathon training? Regardless, I hope it sorts itself out. My advice would be to a) allow for long warm-ups, b) ice, and c) avoid short/intense intervals.

    P.s. the photos of the children are fantastic, looks like good fun.

  2. When you ice, best method is put a your foot in a container with ice and water. Don't just try to hold ice against your foot. Doesn't work nearly as well..dare I say a "lame method" 8)

    Trust me on this.

    Also, take a couple of ibuprofen after your run.

  3. for the Achilles, take maximum care...
    maybe I am over-reactive after my personal experience, but you would better tackle the problem with all the weapons before it gets too serious.
    I do not think that Icing alone is a cure and Ibuprufen only mask the pain

  4. Afriend who had bad achilles problems was told to start each run with a 'walk' by a top sports physio in London who looks after quite a few pre footballers.
    It worked!
    The Achillies does not have a very good blood supply so a steady warm up is needed.
    As you run first think in the morning you need that walking warm up even more!
    you should also try calf raises and lowers on a stair, raise up on a count of one and lower slowly to a count of 3, this gives a good concentric stretch as well as strengthens the tendon.
    I read a report that this exercise fixed 80% of sore Achilles!

  5. Take care of the achilles Thomas. You've put in excellent work that I hope pays off in a big way in a few weeks.

  6. Yes, good tip by Rick re the walking warm-up. I remember de Castella used to do a very slow jogging warm-up the first km or so of his Sunday long runs.

    The Puck Fair looks almost as good as the Sydney Royal Easter Show ;)

  7. Hey, beer is a great running companion! :)

  8. I'm sure you've heard all the stories about how good Guinness is for you. But 1 or 2 can't hurt once in awhile? Stay healthy now!

  9. I have had achilles problems in the lead up to most of my marathons but it has never affected me on the day. Don't worry about it Thomas you're going to have a good race. You must be lighter after you emptied your wallet at the fair so you'll fly ;)