Thursday, November 19, 2015

Attack Of The Purple Dinosaur

The weather has certainly been interesting the last few days, that's for sure. Storm Abigail wad followed by Barney and the weather front between those two had felt quite severe as well - there sure was not much of a respite for a wet and weary runner. The saving grace was that both severe storms had the good grace of hitting after I had already finished my morning run and blowing themselves out before the next run, but I've had more than a fair share of wind and rain in the last few days.

The legs felt pretty much dead on Monday morning so I took it exceptionally easy. Running on tired legs is not a bad thing in itself for an ultrarunner but you have to make sure it doesn't happen too often and it's always best to listen to your body and dial back the effort when needed, even by quite some bit as I did on Monday.

Tuesday did not start out well. It was pitch dark, I could not see a thing and got my angle wrong when running down our driveway and promptly ran right into a tree. Nobody witnessed it and nothing got hurt apart for a few scrapes but I finally relented and got out my headlamp (yes, I should have done that earlier). Things improved markedly following that calamity, the legs felt so much better and I decided to run a little bit faster. Nothing mad, always measured and in control but with the effort level just a tad higher to vary things. Things were helped by the fact that Tuesday morning had the best conditions for a while with little wind though that did not stop me from getting soaked because there simply was no getting away from the rain.

In marked contrast once again, conditions on Wednesday were atrocious. I got up very early, like in the good old days, to run for 2 hours. The wind and rain sounded ominous when I got ready and didn't disappoint either. The first few miles were almost acceptable but around mile 6 the heavens well and truly opened and it was bucketing it down. Add to that the strong gale force wind and you get the picture. It still wasn't the worst conditions I had ever run in but with the temperature dropping we're heading that way: once the rain feels icy cold we're at its worst. I had actually planned to run 15 miles but when I checked the watch after 10 I misread the numbers (which can happen quite easily  when it's pitch dark and you're running through a miniature hurricane) and thought I was running slower than expected and out of time, so I cut it short.

I had to get up just as early on Thursday morning but this time it was to drive Lola to the very early morning train in Killarney. I still had time to run 6 miles before work, which was twice as far as I thought I'd be able to, so that was an unexpected bonus. Because the run was so short I decided to spice it up a few times and put in quite a few surges and just generally played around with pace and effort. I managed to go out a second time after work but to be honest I didn't particularly enjoy running in the dark with considerably more traffic than I'm used to at 6 am, even if it's still a quiet country road.

What pleased me most about the last few days is the fact that 2 months after the Spartathlon the HR data has started to move fairly rapidly into the right direction. I think I'm finally getting over that race, though it will still take a bit longer until I can feel 100% recovered.

16 Nov
10 miles, 1:25:18, 8:32 pace, HR 134
17 Nov
12 miles, 1:33:43, 7:49 pace, HR 147
18 Nov
14 miles, 1:54:24, 8:10 pace, HR 143
19 Nov
am:6 miles, 45:30, 7:35 pace, HR 146
pm:5 miles, 38:57, 7:45 pace, HR 142

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