After Wednesday's tempo effort I did some recovery runs in the following days, much more recovery in fact than I am used to. I only ventured out for 5 miles on both Thursday and Friday, and at crawling pace. It didn't feel all that great on Thursday, it just felt awkward and not properly running. I got much more into the groove on Friday when I managed to tune into that effort, in marked contrast to the previous day when I had to force myself to run slowly and had to consciously put the breaks on on far too many occasions. As a result, Friday's HR was a whopping 5 beats lower than Thursday's, even though the pace had be quicker!
The HR was higher up on Saturday again, but on that occasion I blame the very humid conditions. It wasn't particularly pleasant and I was absolutely drenched in sweat even with the low effort. I noticed a few reasonably local runners complaining about the humidity as well, so I clearly was not the only one.
I went up to Windy Gap on Sunday again, enjoying the views once more, even if the weather could have been better (mind, it could have been worse). I pushed the effort a bit on the final miles home, just to get the legs moving one last time. They won't be doing that again in a while!
The taper madness is definitely trying to take hold. Early during the week my left knee started hurting; phantom pains like that are just part of every taper and the less notice you take the better. One thing I did not imagine was a cough that developed midweek one evening and was followed by a headache the next day. I might have been fighting off some mild infection, who knows, but that is now gone as well. Better last week than the next week, I suppose.
The effort I ran on Friday was exactly what I am hoping to do in Belfast. If I can get into the groove early on like that, I will have a good race. Of course I am not expecting to run 8:45 pace in Belfast for 24 hours, but if I can start out at that effort, I know I can hold it for a very, very long time. I averaged 8:15 in Portumna for 100k and on a decent day 8:45 should therefore be maintainable for many hours. Mind, I'm not sure what running through the night will do to me this time round - it was by far the worst aspect of last year's race.
5 days to go. Time to start getting scared.
- 10 Jul
- 5+ miles, 44:46, 8:51 pace, HR 131
- 11 Jul
- 5 miles, 43:42, 8:44 pace, HR 126
- 12 Jul
- 8 miles, 1:09:26, 8:40 pace, HR 132
- 13 Jul
- 10.75 miles, 1:32:51, 8:38 pace, HR 144
- Windy Gap