Sunday, July 13, 2014


I know I'm not the only runner who hates the taper. It goes completely against my nature and my running OCD isn't being properly satisfied. I can count down the days before the race to remind myself that this won't last long, but I'm still itching to go out and just run.

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


  1. It's been awesome to follow you on the training cycle for this Thomas. Cannot wait to read about the finale :-) I'm back on a training cycle for another marathon in October and as always your journey always bring home the fact that with commitment and discipline you can achieve anything. Of course I know that an understanding wife is also key to this!

  2. I'll predict in advance a 12-hour PB en route. Enjoy the week and carbs.

  3. I'm trying hard to comprehend what lies ahead for you. I don't think I'm able to.
    Best of luck in belfast. I was going to recommend a nice place to stay but sure your not going to bed!

  4. Looks like your all set Thomas, I've a very relaxed pace for the 2nd half planned but fear the unknown time on my feet will test all my old injurys & mental ability to keep pushing forward. I look forward to running with you again & I hope this week goes well for you & you arrive at the start like in top form. All the best my friend.

  5. Taper messes with your mind. You're almost there!

  6. "Time to start getting scared."?? Are they planning to release werewolves at midnight?

    I can't see any reason not to be confident. You got some great training behind you, taper looks to be tuning you into perfect ultra runner. Time to enjoy the last few days, nerves will come and go but it's all your mind and body tuning up for race day, so enjoy it - if you can training yourself to enjoy the ups and downs of emotions prior to the race you'll be able to react more positively to whatever happens in the race.

    It's your day coming up, it'll be your time to shine and enjoy finding out just what your amazing things you are now capable of. From now on make everything you do a positive thought or action right through the the finish line.