Monday, August 10, 2015

Change Of Scenery

This time I'm sure, things are definitely improving, and finally at a faster rate as well. My hip felt ok(-ish) on Saturday morning and I chanced it for a longer run. Up to now 6 miles had seemed long and every time I tried to push the envelope I was firmly put back into my place, but I could feel a definite and significant improvement in my hip and dared to go out for 8 miles. Whoop-dee-doo! Everything went well, in fact I felt great, I think I got my first proper dose of endorphins in weeks, which would have helped. Once that wore off a couple of hours later I could feel the hip again, but no worse than on previous days and I figure this was a really good sign.

Sunday was all about travelling, so the idea of running or any other cross training wasn't rally on the agenda. We caught a flight from Dublin to Bratislava and hired a car to drive to a lake in Austria where we are going to spend the next week. Temperatures in Dublin had been 13 degrees. Here it is 36! It would be roasting but with that lake almost literally on our doorstep that is a problem that can be solved easily. We all swam for a good while (I guess some form of cross training was had after all), and that's what we're going to do for the next week.

With the temperatures that high it seems important to get my run in before it reaches boiling point. Luckily I'm an early riser anyway, even on my hols, and I was out of the door at 7 am. I used the run to get a good look at the surrounding area (and found a bakery and a supermarket, what else do you need!), got lost (invariably!), and ended up running a good bit further than initially planned but still feeling great. It was just over 11 miles but at a slower pace than I would have done at home - the heat and the new surroundings have both impacted on my base but I think running a bit slower is better for me at this point anyway. Depending on how the hip will feel for the rest of the day and tomorrow I will adapt my mileage - it may be time to give running on consecutive days another go, but let's not get ahead of ourselves.

It was already 28 degrees when I got back home, running any later would have been problematic. I guess it will get the heat acclimatisation going. It's a bit early for that for Greece, which is still almost 7 week away, but what can you do, our holidays were not planned with race preparation in mind.

Talking about THAT RACE, ever since I decided to give it a go anyway, even with my less-than-ideal preparation, I invariably started thinking what I would do if things just happened to go better than expected. I am aware that the Spartathlon is exceptionally tough and the finisher rate low, and if I stand at the start line without the right mindset I will not finish even if the body would be capable - winging it might not be the best option!

As it happens, I just got an email from MC about all that - he must have been reading my mind (he's good at that!). His advice is to take a chance and try and race - it might not be pretty but the base I have built over the last 10+ years is not going to erode away that quickly. So maybe, just maybe, I'm still in with a chance (MC tends to be right much more often than not). At the very least I will get a good feel for the race, which may come in handy in 2016.

8 Aug
8 miles, 1:03:54, 7:79 pace, HR 154
10 Aug
11.1 miles, 1:34:22, 8:29 pace, HR 151

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