There must have been an incy bit of reluctance to go out because I started to read my email instead and there was a message from MC telling me to take it very easy this week, pretending I had run the marathon and doing my usual recovery routine.
That immediately did change things for that day of course, instead of heading out for a loop around the lake with the option of adding a few miles to make it 20 miles I was left with a short recovery run that would be over in less than an hour. I did defy him slightly by running 10k instead of 5 miles and 8 miles the next day because the legs felt good and had nothing to recover from. He did clear things up subsequently by pointing out that the legs are not the only thing to consider and my stress levels must have been sky high after the crash and dealing with its aftermath.
Apart from that one night I think my stress levels weren't too bad, I slept soundly again on Sunday night and every night thereafter and honestly think that I'm over it.
I did 8 more recovery miles on Tuesday but I did notice that the pace had been a bit faster despite the HR still being well within the Maffetone zone. I guess there is some sharpening effect coming through; the 10 fast miles on Sunday might explain that as I always tend to sharpen very, very quickly.
I got up early again on Wednesday and headed for the mountain for the first time in months. I think the frequent mountain runs I did all summer were a huge contributor to my successful run in Belfast, but I stopped them when my hamstring started hurting last October and then it had been too dark and icy recently to even think about the mountains.
The ice had disappeared and I brought a headlamp to deal with the darkness, so you might have thought I was covered. Unfortunately it turns out that turning on your headlamp for a few seconds to see if it's still working isn't fool proof; after a minute or so it basically stopped and eventually I twigged that no amount of fiddling was going to solve the problem of empty batteries.
The bright thing would have been to turn around and leave it for another day but I'm an idiot and a stubborn one at that so I kept stumbling up the stony, uneven mountain path more by feel than sight. I stumbled on several occasions and did fall twice, though no harm seemed to have been done. It was the slowest time I had ever set on that path but the legs felt surprisingly good and coped with the steep climb without even complaining, so my leg strength must be better than expected, despite the long hiatus since the last mountain run.
Thankfully the light was better by the time I headed for home, because running down these trails in darkness would definitely not have been a good idea.
I felt pretty good after the run but my right ankle really started hurting several hours later, so there was a price to pay. Thankfully it had cleared up again by the evening; probably just a stretched ligament from one of my stumbles and it looks like I have gotten away with it.
The legs were a bit tired on Thursday morning, so I had indeed done some work on that mountain For some reason I had forgotten to press the "start" button on my watch when I set off and only did so half a mile later (my subconscious must have twigged something was wrong., Usually I never even glance at the watch). Yet another sign of old age and oncoming senility?
- 8 Feb
- 6.2 miles, 49:47, 8:02 pace, HR 137
- 9 Feb
- 8 miles, 1:07:18, 8:25 pace, HR 132
- 10 Feb
- 8 miles, 1:04:19, 8:02 pace, HR 135
- 11 Feb
- 10+ miles, 1:42:28, 9:37 pace, HR 142
- Windy Gap
- 12 Feb
- 8 miles, 1:06:16, 8:17 pace, HR 135