Wednesday, December 29, 2010

That Was 2010

This was supposed to be a post about my latest evaluation run, but that had to be postponed. Sunday's 20 miler was one of the toughest training runs I've done and left me severely exhausted (though I'm mostly blaming Saturday's run); when I inquired what to do the coach told me to run easily until the legs feel better, and that's exactly what I've done since. I left for 10 miles on Monday but cut it down to 8 after the legs felt really tired. I followed that with 10 on Tuesday but was knackered after 7 – though since I was already on my way back home there was nothing I could do but run home. I initially thought I felt better at the start of today's run, but after 4 miles into a strong headwind felt tired enough to turn around early once more and cut it down to 8 again. Funnily enough, the return leg felt much easier with the blustery wind now on my back, but I decided not to re-extend it. The last thing I want is to dig myself into a hole of exhaustion, and erring on the side of caution is definitely preferable. Later on we all jumped into the car and drove to Dublin to spend New Year with Niamh's family. I have started to wonder if the recent feelings of fatigue are just in my head. Maybe a change in scenery will do me good.

Since the year is almost at an end, I might as well do a review, and quickly look forward to 2011.

Miles so far: 2918, with about 20 still to come. That's actually the lowest mileage in a long time. I reduced my overall mileage when training for the ultras, otherwise the long weekend runs would have killed me. I'd try a different approach next time, to be honest.

Highlight: Running 5:15 in Connemara. It had taken me 3 tries to get that race right and it felt all the better for finally achieving what I felt was a very good time.

Single Best Moment: Crossing the finish line of the Dingle 50 mile Ultra. The euphoria of that moment cannot be surpassed. Better than sex. Better than drugs.

Lowlight: Getting injured twice in the last few months, first the Achilles, then the knee. I always prided myself in my very low injury rate for a marathon runner. Taking days off was a blow.

I'd set 4 goals for 2010: The major ones were a new PB in Connemara and finishing Dingle. Both were a complete success. The two minor goals were a new PB at one of the shorter distances and writing shorter blog entries. I failed in the PB task, but came reasonably close, missing my 5k time by only 7 seconds twice. Ewen will undoubtedly tell you that the blog posts one was an utter disaster.

I also did 2 triathlons, which were great fun, but they reinforced the fact that I'm a runner, not a multi-sport athlete. I still would love to do an Ironman one day, but I would have to figure out a way on how to do the swim training. Driving more than one hour from and to Killarney for each swim day is just not on.

I'm more than happy with how the year has gone and I really think it was a good idea to step back from the marathon and concentrate on Ultras. Now I have gotten them out of my system for the time being and will have one more go at the marathon.

I have only one goal for 2011, and that is to break 3 hours. No other goals, no detractions, no excuses.
27 Dec
8 miles, 1:03:05, 7:53 pace, HR 141
28 Dec
10 miles, 1:18:40, 7:52 pace, HR 146
29 Dec
8 miles, 1:02:06, 7:45 pace, HR 147


  1. Yes! Hope your marathon goal goes better than this year's blog post goal ;) I'm sure it will - you're a sub-3 runner in my book.

    Monitor the fatigue thing. When you next have a blood test, ask for thyroid hormone levels. If they're out of wack running performance can fall off.

    Anyway, all the best for 2011 to you and the family. I'll continue to wade through your blog posts ;)

  2. Great year Thomas and all the best for your ONE goal for 2011.

    I look forward to seeing how following the coach's training plan will help you.


    PS ... I really don't think you have experienced a 'proper' ultra until you do an off road one!

  3. Successful year indeed. I'll put money on you achieving your 2011 goal too.