Sunday, June 21, 2015

Happy Solstice

Last weekend I thought I was developing a cold, with the usual symptoms of runny nose, sore throat, mild headache and so on. It took me a bit to realise that it was instead the start of my second annual bout of hayfever. I get this twice every year, once in April/May and once in June/July, but this year the second one came a little bit earlier than usual. For some reason it does not seem to affect me when I'm running but I can clearly feel the effects at any other time. Antihistamines do help but I generally avoid taking tablets, which means I just have to suck it up and get on with things.

Even if I can't feel the symptoms while running it's unlikely to help and I'm sure it does explain some higher HR numbers this week, though it is certainly not the only factor.

With the HR alarm now banned from the watch I was immediately looking forward to my next run. Thursday had been the company day out but I had managed to abstain from drinking and got home at a very civilised hour (yes, I'm getting old). The benefits of that were accrued on Friday when I was in good form, in marked contrast to some of my colleagues. I ran the Cromane loop for the first time in a while. With the HR alarm gone I was supposed to pace myself sensibly but got this slightly wrong. The effort had felt easy enough but one look at the pace afterward told me I had run a bit too hard for what was supposed to be an easy day. When I'm in good shape then 7:40 is easy enough but right now it's too aggressive.

The effect made itself known on Saturday. I was planning a similar run to last week with a couple of miles at easy pace followed by 8 miles at a faster effort. I looked at the HR shortly after starting the faster segment and it was in the low 150s , just where I wanted it to be. However, 3 miles later, by now running into a headwind, it had somehow crept up into the high 160s; not entirely sure how that had happened. After 4 miles I was completely roasted and pulled the plug, 8 miles were clearly not happening today. After a few miles of jogging I felt somewhat recovered to up the pace once more for one final mile. It might not have been such a great idea, I was knackered when I got home. At the same time, once the torture was over I was somewhat pleased that I had pushed the boundaries for once. I think I have made a mistake in running too many slow and not enough fast miles over the last year; however, I have to avoid going into the other extreme now, which would be a lot worse.

Oh, and of course 3 years ago my marathon pace was a good bit faster than the pace that now has me knackered after 4 miles. That sucks.

Sunday was a tired affair, as it was always going to be after those preceding runs. I was planning on running around Caragh Lake on a slightly extended loop. The first 3 miles are reasonably flat. I kept debating with myself if running those long steep hills that were to follow was really such a great idea on already tired legs until I finally told myself to HTFU and stop whining, one loop around the lake it was. While it wasn't a complete struggle it certainly was a tough run. I got home still in somewhat decent shape but would not have lasted for much longer, I think. How I'm supposed to run for almost 10 times as long as that in September I'm not entirely sure but let's not think about that just yet. Mind, how I'm supposed to run 4 times as long in merely 6 weeks I'm not entirely sure either but let's not think about that as well.

Monday and Tuesday will definitely be very easy days and if I'm still feeling tired then Wednesday will be as well.
19 Jun
11.25 miles, 1:26:14, 7:39 pace, HR 147
20 Jun
10 miles, 1:14:59, 7:30 pace, HR 156
   4 miles @ 6:55, 1 mile @ 6:47
21 Jun
16.5 miles, 2:13:13, 8:04 pace, HR 151
Weekly Mileage: 80+

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