Monday, July 27, 2015

The Light

I probably should have stayed away from Facebook the last few weeks. Reading about all those races my friends were doing broke my heart every time. However, I was delighted to see Fozzy Forristal win the 100k in Courtmacsherry on Saturday, and in a very good time as well. The next time Marcus Howlett introduces me as Kerry's best ultra runner he may have to qualify that statement. Well done indeed, Fozzy!

I awoke on Saturday morning with the thought that there were now less than 9 weeks until the Spartathlon, which did not exactly fill me with joy. Even if I were able to return to training sooner rather than later, I have missed so much training that it may well be too late already. Last week I ran all of 8 miles, which is about 92 fewer than I would have done had things gone to plan. I did cycle a few more, though that doesn't even come close to compensating.

I'm not dissing cycling, it's actually quite fun; certainly a lot better than sitting at home feeling sorry for myself. I'm working fairly hard on the bike and hopefully my cardiovascular system will remain somewhat intact, though I'm not quite sure how much of that translates into running. Of course, nothing makes up for the fact that I need to get my legs used to the pounding on the road.

I was quite surprised to see just how much more popular cycling is on strava compared to running. There are way more segments and they are way more competitive. I own a few local KOMs in running even though every single one of them is rather soft - I will never even come close to a single one in cycling, I think we can be pretty sure of that.

Anyway, on Saturday I made my way around the lake road for an hour long trip. Initially I was planning on turning around after 30 minutes until I realised that a full loop would take me pretty close to one hour, so I decided to do just that. However, just after the halfway mark I encountered a fairly big group of cows on the road. Initially they started moving away but then a big bull stopped dead in his tracks and started eyeing me suspiciously, at which point I decided to get back to the original plan and turn around after all. Shame, I had been looking forward to the 3-mile climb I had only just started on.

On Sunday morning I immediately noticed a big change in my hip as soon as I woke up. It felt a lot better than before, though there is the distinct possibility that this was down to the ibuprofen I had taken the evening before rather than a genuine improvement in my injury. It was raining, so I decided to go for a flatter route because I did not fancy descending on narrow, twisty, pothole-strewn roads in wet conditions. The last thing I need is to acquire an additional injury from a bike crash. Cycling felt fine, an hour passed very quickly and I got home without incident. The hip continued to feel okay and for the first time in weeks I was actually looking froward to my next run, full of hope that things were finally getting better.

Well, I did my by now customary 3 mile  run on Monday morning. For the first time in a month I felt like I could actually stride out properly, though the injury was still clearly noticeable. However, the discomfort level was now down to a 3/10, better than ever before, and the level my physio told me would be acceptable to continue running. I ran a little bit fast once more because I have lost my ability to judge pace and effort, though that's a minor issue for a 3-mile run.

I think I can finally see some light at the end of that far-too-long-already tunnel. Let's hope it's not the oncoming train.

27 Jul
3 miles, 23:55, 7:58 pace, HR 152


  1. Feel for you Thomas. My hip injury was slow to heal. Those little non-running stabilizing muscles are bastards. Keep with the program and even ask your physio guy if there are more you can do. Just takes time (which you don't have) but hang in there!

  2. Glad to hear that things appear to be on the mend, certainly has to be frustrating timing but hopefully things will return to business as usual sooner rather then later

  3. That's good news Thomas. I don't think it's the oncoming train, although an 8-week crash course ultra programme might see you hit one when you finish the race.
    I agree on not being able to beat running training for running. Cycling probably needs 3 x time of running to be equal in aerobic benefit - i.e. 3 hours of cycling = 1 hour of running.

  4. Great to hear things are on the mend. I find the same on the bike, I'm just hopeless compared to serious cyclists. Agree with Ewen that keeping fit on the bike takes a lot more time in the saddle than time running.