I felt pretty good on Monday but with less than 3 weeks to go before Dingle it's slowly time to cut back a little bit. I guess I am supposed to start tapering now, but I'm not entirely sure what I am tapering from as I haven't done any real training since Bangor, everything I did was just recovery from that race.
Monday was a beautiful morning and the legs felt very fresh. As I stated already, as of last week I am feeling really good again and my HR/pace numbers have improved on an almost daily basis, backing up that subjective feeling with some real, objective, numbers.
My key workouts before Bangor had been a few mountainous runs, especially one where I crossed the Windy Gap 4 times, which added up to an elevation gain of ~3000 feet. In an attempt to get my leg strength back to the same level, I repeated the same workout on Tuesday morning.
The weeks of rain have turned much of the dirt road into a mud bath and the rest is quite stony, so I wore my off-road shoes but started suffering after a while because they provide virtually no cushioning and the stones really started hurting my feet. However, I was more concerned about the slow pace; I ran 10 minutes slower than the last time and if I had returned home any later Niamh would have called a search party. I know that time on feet is more important than pace when it comes to ultra training, but it definitely bothered me.
Anyway, my experience from the Bangor training cycle was that I recover very quickly from these mountain runs but not only did I feel rather stiff this morning, I also felt some discomfort in my right calf muscle. Strangely enough, the only time of the day when it did not hurt was when I was running, but that may be purely down to the endorphins. I took it very easy today and expect to bounce back quickly. The Stick will also see some use.
Normally I would be counting down the days to Dingle at this stage, willing time to pass faster, but actually I am feeling the complete opposite right now. I know that every day will make me a bit stronger after Bangor and that race day will come a bit too soon for me, so I am actually hoping time will pass more slowly (I know, it doesn't really make sense). I have no idea how Dingle will go. I will play it by ear. It has the potential to turn into a very long day indeed, but I'm hoping for better.
- 13 Aug
- 8 miles, 1:02:27, 7:48 pace, HR 137
- 14 Aug
- 14.75 miles, 2:30:23, 10:12 pace, HR 138
Kerry Way: Windy Gap x 4
- 15 Aug
- 8 miles, 1:04:36, 8:04 pace, HR 139