Saturday, May 09, 2015

A New Horizon

Oh shit! What have I done!

Right now I'm barely able to run 10 miles. I'm not even sure how I'm going to pace Cork in 3 weeks. And now there is the formal confirmation that I am going to run 153 miles in one go, across a mountain, in the heat, against some tough cutoffs.

A friend of mine once told me "you are looking for the race you cannot finish!" I cannot help but wonder if this is it.

Ah well. I still have over 4 month to get those legs into shape!

The past week has been a bit up and down, Wednesday felt tough, Friday felt good, and I can never quite put the finger down what is causing those swings because I did the same run every morning, at the same easy effort. I can't even blame the weather because on the one day with the most miserable conditions I actually felt my best.

The form graph is pointing slightly upwards but at  much more gradual angle than I would like and with a few dips in there as well. In past years there usually was a day when I suddenly felt a lot better. I'm still waiting for that day to come. Having said that, I undoubtedly feel a lot better than 2 weeks ago, there's no denying that.

On Saturday morning I finally decided to do something else or a change and headed back into the mountains. I had originally been planning on doing that last week but chickened out at the last minute because the weather was so bad. It was probably a good decision because my legs most likely would not have been up to it anyway. It was still tough enough this morning, no matter how easy I went. The first thing I did was to turn off the HR alarm, this was not a run for the watch to beep at me relentlessly. I was surprised how high the HR climbed on that steep gradient up to Windy Gap. The legs actually felt okay. I gave myself a free pass to turn around and go home whenever I felt like but managed it up to the top without much of a struggle. Mind, I took 30 seconds rest at the top before turning around - it felt unsafe to attempt running down that slope with quivering quads. I didn't pay any attention to pace and expected this to be the slowest mountain run I had ever done. Surprisingly this was several minutes quicker than back in February.

Maybe the legs aren't as bad as I thought? Anyway, I know I will feel the effects of today's efforts for a few days. Time to take it easy - not that I anything else would have been on the menu anyway.

6 May
10 miles, 1:25:40, 8:34 pace, HR 144
7 May
10 miles, 1:24:33, 8:27 pace, HR 142
8 May
10 miles, 1:25:00, 8:30 pace, HR 140
9 May
10.7 miles, 1:34:37, 8:50 pace, HR 155
   Windy Gap


  1. I can understand the urge to just go out do a tough run, break the mundane route for yet another easy run. If you aren't injured then I doubt there would be too much risk in it.

    I do wonder if sometimes our bodies get stuck in a rut, get a bit lazy when it comes to making the adaptations we want from our training. Giving the body a kick up the back-side to get the immune system back firing on all systems might be just what it needs to get back to normal.

    There is of course a bit of risk if your body is already over-stressed and needs more time to fully recover. Two weeks after the Fling and my body isn't feeling 100% yet, a couple of post race injury niggles are still there, but I'm lucky to not far away from being back able to start training harder again. I'm itching to get back a do hill run, or just less loose rather stick plodding along at 9 to 10 minute mile pace like I have. This is only after two weeks, I think I'd be bouncing off the walls if I had to be as patient as you have been over the last month.

    Kudos for your patience, figures crossed the hill run will kick start fitness once more.

  2. The prospect of a 153 mile race is good motivation! Mountains are good - keep on the steady as she goes approach for a while.