Monday, April 18, 2016


People keep congratulating me on my time in Manchester and I keep feeling like an ungrateful sod because I don't really want to be congratulated on a race where I missed my target. I know it wasn't a bad race, just not as good as I had hoped.

Ah well, I guess I'm still a bit in the "what if" post-race scenario.

Recovery is clearly taking its time. I can still feel the marathon in the legs, though it is definitely getting better. As always, my weight went up by several pounds and only started to come down on Saturday, 6 full days after the marathon, and it's still elevated compared to my pre-race weight (and no, it's not down to me overeating).

I tried to take it easy most days, which worked until Saturday when the HR was 10 beats higher all of a sudden. The pace had been a tad faster but the effort had been the same all along, so I'm really not quite sure what exactly happened that day. I never check the watch during my easy runs and only noticed the high numbers when I looked at it afterwards.

Despite that I headed up to the Windy Gap on Sunday. That route is unlikely to match anyone's description of a recovery run but I felt a change of scenery would do me good, and whatever pounding your legs get on a mountain trail is very different to the one you get during a road marathon so it wouldn't produce a setback in recovery (or at least that's my theory). Anyway, the HR levels were back down on Monday morning - in fact the pace/HR figures are very good, just looking at them in isolation I might think I'm in good shape.

However, on Sunday evening my left knee started to hurt. I'm pretty sure it's not caused by running, not even mountain running, but by sitting too many hours in the car driving. Niamh and me have spent a ridiculous amount of time in the car the last few weeks. Early last week I drove the road from Kerry to Dublin (or back) no less than 3 times in less than 48 hours, and all that sitting in cramped conditions is taking its toll. The good news is that running does not hurt at all, so I won't be taking any time off, and the stupid amount of driving should stop next weekend.

There isn't much time before Limerick, and since I won't be back in proper shape I won't be racing it. At least that's the plan, though I'm known not to stick to the plan occasionally when I pin a race number onto my chest. There are a few more long runs to come after Limerick as well - the only sure way to stop me from racing marathons I have found so far is to carry a pacer's balloon. It won't happen in Limerick but I did put my name down for the Lakes of Killarney marathon 2 weeks later. Let's hope I still enjoy running as a pacer more than I do running with a pacer.

15 Apr
8 miles, 1:02:42, 7:50 pace, HR 140
16 Apr
8 miles, 1:01:20, 7:40 pace, HR 150
17 Apr
10.65 miles, 1:31:39, 8:36 pace, HR 151, Kerry Way
18 Apr
8 miles, 1:03:09, 7:53 pace, HR 140


  1. What group are you pacing? We were chatting about it today - how many pacers get it wrong by having too much variation in pace (speeding up then slowing down etc, especially on hilly courses). I think it's due to them being way fitter their pacing group. A 20-minute 5k pacer for instance, was running 19:30-odd pace then slowed way down in the last few hundred metres to be spot-on 20 minutes.

    1. I'll be doing 3:15. Pacing 5k must be really tricky. If you ran a mile 10 seconds too fast in a marathon it's not a big deal. In a 5k it can be a show stopper.