By Thursday I knew I was over the worst of the man-flu, which was a short-lived nuisance, thankfully. I slightly upped the mileage to 8 on Friday and felt good all the way. The heart rate was also reduced compared to previous days, so I figured I was well on my way to recovery from both marathons as well as the head cold.
I ran a bit faster on Saturday in an attempt to not complete lose my leg turnover, and also to have a bit of fun. I found it hard initially to get my heart rate up; it seemed stuck in the 150s, despite working against a (slight) headwind. The HR graph afterwards was revealing, it climbed constantly for the entire duration of the run. The last mile was good bit faster than the rest, about 6:10 pace, all the other ones had been much more restrained. It felt really good to get the legs moving again.
Niamh was away for much of Sunday and I had to squeeze my run in after lunchtime. Since I did not want to run with a full stomach, it pretty much meant cancelling lunch itself. I did pay the prize late into the run with a few hunger pangs and I had turned into the ravenous beast by the time I was back home, but I don't think the run itself suffered. Running in the afternoon always throws out my pacing, I started out at what felt like an easy effort, until I looked at the Garmin and saw that I was doing about 7:00 pace. I quickly left the road behind and got onto the Kerry Way, climbing all the way to Windy Gap and down the other side towards Glenbeigh. I turned around at the gate and went back the same way, which made for a nice twin peaks shape in the elevation chart, but of course it was just the same hill twice in a row.
The views on this route are just out of this world, amongst the best the Kingdom has to offer. I looked across the Glenbeigh horseshoe with Drung and Beenmore mountains, and could not help but go hmmmm. Tempting. Running (ok, hiking more like) along those ridges is either fantastic ultra training or a waste of time, depending on who you believe, but it sure would make for a few interesting hours. The Reeks weren't bad looking either. The IMRA Carrauntoohil race is on in two weeks, but I'm doing the Cork marathon instead, of course.
I met quite a few walkers on the trail, but I think I was the only one under 60 out there. I felt like gatecrashing an OAP party. I'm certainly not dissing the older generation - quite the opposite, I'm disgusted that the younger one obviously can't peel itself away from the damn telly.
Climbing all those steep hills (the Windy Gap trail has a gradient of well over 20 percent) is an attempt to strengthen the legs. After running a couple of marathons, today I tried to get a different kind of stress into the legs, to help build up muscle strength rather than endurance. It was badly needed. The quads were quivering after the second climb and I was more exhausted than after last week's marathon, even though the distance was less than a half.
I have to figure out what I'm going to do next weekend. With Niamh gone, I might not get any training done at all, which is a right pain at a crucial time.
- 18 May
- 8 miles, 1:01:20, 7:40 pace, HR 145
- 19 May
- 10 miles, 1:07:20, 6:42 pace, HR 161
- 20 May
- 12.25 miles, 1:42:15, 8:20 pace, HR 158
off road on the Kerry Way