Friday, September 03, 2010

T Minus 12 hours

I'm so nervous I can hardly type; I keep hitting the wrong keys, so if this post contains even more typos than usual, you know why.

I haven't been as nervous before a race for a long time. After 13 marathons, they are no longer something to lose sleep about. 3 Connemara Ultras make me a veteran in that respect as well. But the 50 mile distance is new and I'm a bundle of nerves.

I could not sleep Wednesday night and despite spending 9 hours in bed I only slept for 5 of those. I figured that's not too bad, it might mean I should be able to sleep Thursday night, which was almost true. I fell asleep at 10:30, but was awake at 5 am, so only partial success on that front. I don't expect to sleep much tonight. I'll be getting up at stupid o'clock and have already set 2 alarm clocks, but I don't expect to need either of them, really.

The training was short but intensive. I took it easy for a couple of weeks after the Cork City marathon, but the Killarney leg of the 32-marathon challenge forced me to up the long runs faster than normal. This turned out to be a good thing, I had no trouble adjusting and it meant I got more long runs under the belt than I would have otherwise. The meat and bones of this training cycle were the marathon-or-longer training runs, and I managed no less than 7 of those over a 5 week period, starting with that Killarney marathon and ending with 2 weekends of 30+/26.5+ back-to-back long runs. This had been looking extremely daunting on the training schedule, but I managed it by never looking further than the next run. When it came to it, I just did it and it turned out to be much easier than anticipated, though of course I had started training from a very high endurance base.

If this kind of training was the right thing to do, I cannot tell. I do wonder if a marathon-style training with a few long runs would have been better, because that's what worked extremely well for Connemara, but at the same time I'm glad I did it this way, for no other reason than that I now know that I can handle this style of training.

Training (excluding taper):
7 weeks
Total Number of Miles (excluding taper):
70, 75, 79, 77, 64, 92, 85
Average mpw:
Highest weekly mileage:
# runs of 26.2 or more:
# of PRs:
1 complaining achilles tendon (didn't miss any training runs though)
1 nasty allergy attack (still scarred)

One thing that was different this time was the lack of races. Since most races take part over the weekend, I would have had to sacrifice a long run to participate and I did not think this would be a good idea. So I only ran one race in that period, the 4 miler in Kilgobnet that was held on a Friday evening and which had gone surprisingly well.

My troubles from earlier this week seem to have gone up in smoke. My knee is fine, my achilles is fine, my resting HR was back to 43 yesterday. Maybe it really was just your bog-standard taper madness.

One more night, sleepless or not, and then it's time. I have been waiting for this moment for an entire year.

1 Sep
5 miles, 42:28, 8:29 pace, HR 138
2 Sep
3 miles, 24:46, 8:15 pace, HR 135


  1. Lot of hay in the barn, time to burn it!!! You'll do great. Run smart, run hard, and have fun.

  2. Go Thomas Go! I look forward to reading your next race report

  3. Good luck! You'll do well, I'm sure. Have fun!

  4. All the best Thomas. You've got it bad when it takes a 50 mile race to get you nervous.