Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Clear Progress

A few days ago my daughter asked during family dinner, "if you suddenly had loads and loads of money, what would you do?", and I immediately responded with "fly to Death Valley and run the Badwater ultramarathon", which even my own family found bonkers. Maybe I'll settle for the Spartathlon next time, though I expect an identical response (but at least I do have a realistic chance of making that start line).

And while I'm on family business, the twins just finished primary school, even though it was only like about yesterday when the photo of their first day as junior infants made the local newspaper (with an even more adventurous spelling of their names than usual). Where has all the time gone?

Talking about time, as scary as the passage of time over the last 8 years, or the fact that half of the present year has already passed (how did that happen, did I blink or what?) might be, it is definitely crawling this week, which may just be related to the fact that the countdown for the 10in10 has reached single figures. I can't remember any of my other recent training runs slowing time as dramatically as this one (ok, these ones).

Training is going very well once more. I was surprised to find myself in possession of a pair of fresh legs on Monday because I certainly expected Sunday's run to have left some marks, but no. I had enough spare energy to drop the pace over the last few miles without feeling particularly pushed. If I wouldn't remember for sure that I had run a 50k not so long ago I would not believe myself because I am not able to tell from the pace, the HR numbers or the feeling in the legs.

Because everything felt so fresh I went up into the mountains again on Tuesday, though I happened to pick the one rainy day of the week. No matter, while it did spoil the otherwise breathtaking views, they were not the reason for me venturing up there anyway. The climb up to the Gap was mostly on autopilot, always an excellent sign, but I was still surprised at the end when I saw that I had just completed one of my faster mountain runs even though I really had not pushed the effort, as can be seen by the low HR.

These mountain runs do usually leave me with slightly sore legs, but not even that is happening right now (though it may still come tomorrow). I think aerobically my engine is just about as developed as it can be. I wouldn't be in top racing shape because I haven't done any fast paced running at all over the last few months, but I bet I could fairly comfortably break my marathon PR this summer if I switched focus. Now, that is clearly not going to happen, especially since they just announced the date of the Connemara 100, 10th August (I hope to be finished before the 11th starts), though I still have to organise a crew (anyone fancy spending one very, very long and exhausting day looking after an increasingly cranky runner, please join the queue).

Before that, I have the small matter of the 10in10 to attend.

Still 8 days to go. How can a week take so long when 8 years have just passed me by?

24 Jun
10 miles, 1:12:13, 7:13 pace, HR 146
25 Jun
12+ miles, 1:47:16, 8:48 pace, HR 141
   mountain run, Windy Gap x 2
26 Jun
10 miles, 1:14:33, 7:27 pace, HR 140


  1. Finished the 100 mile ultra before the 11th of August starts? As the race kicks off around 5 or 6 in the morning a 18 hour run should be well within your ablity

    1. It starts at 6 and I do indeed expect to be finished under 18 hours. But things can and do go wrong in such a race (e.g. look what happened to Shane James Whitty last year, and I thought he might have a shot at winning), that's why I said I hope.

  2. What's the 10 marathons in 10 days? I see there's only one participant, so I might put a lazy $5 on you for the win ;-)

    1. Funny guy. There's 21 of us, but put the fiver on me anyway and we split the takings, ok?

  3. Good to see that you've bounced back from the 50km quickly. Recovery quickly from the hill run suggests your quads are toughening up, the marathons and 50km will have help this too. If you'd have time I'd suggest it's time to tackle some more serious hills to up the stress on the quads and force a bit further adaptation.

    However, with 10 in 10 coming up you'll be wanting to take things easy and settle the little niggles you've got. What are you plans to the 10 in 10? Do you have a target time to finish each marathon in?

    1. I think I want to finish the first one in about 3:30 and after that I play it completely by ear. I deliberately do not have any targets apart from finishing.

  4. 10 sub 4s will suffice Thomas, don't be embarrased and ask your supporters here to sponsor you, the dumb priest as they say......

    Very best of luck K