It has taken a very long time for my body to shake off the worst of the effects from Belfast, certainly a lot longer than I had hoped. I'm still not 100% recovered but I can feel a big difference, even if that is not yet reflected in the numbers displayed on the watch. However, I know my body very well and I can tell the difference.
While Dingle didn't go quite as well as hoped for, at least recovery is going very well. I did the usual short, slow recovery runs the first 2 days after the marathon but then the mileage took off. A 9 miler 3 days after a marathon was a first for me but with the HR limit at the usual low level it did not pose any problems. I had felt a tiny bit of DOMS on Monday but that was gone again on Tuesday and while the legs certainly weren't particularly sprightly, the distance did not pose any challenges.
It got even more serious on Wednesday with a whopping 14 miles on the program. I guess the coach doesn't intend to let me hang around the last few weeks before the Euros. The very first thing I noticed was how dark it was! It was still pitch black outside when I got up and not much brighter when I started down our driveway, so that felt like being plunged straight into darkest Winter. However, the next thing I could not fail but notice were the fairly high temperatures coupled with sky high humidity, which made for unexpectedly challenging conditions, even at 6 o'clock in the morning,
The plan had been to run 30-45 seconds slower than marathon pace. Even though I had just completed a marathon at 8-minute pace that had felt challenging enough over the last few miles, I was still under the impression that my actual present marathon pace was a bit faster than that, at least on a flatter course, so 8:20-8:30 was the training pace I had in mind. Obviously, that was before taking the conditions into account. Then the legs obviously tried to remind me that said marathon had only been 4 days earlier, all of which added a few extra seconds to the pace. In reality, I never once checked the pace on the watch and ran entirely by feel but I did raise an eyebrow or two when I saw the numbers afterwards. On the plus side, running for 2 hours did not feel particularly challenging, so I'll gladly take that.
There will be more to come.
- 5 Sep
- 4 miles, 38:36, 9:39 pace, HR 132
- 6 Sep
- 9 miles, 1:24:48, 9:25 pace, HR 132
- 7 Sep
- 14 miles, 2:03:26, 8:49 pace, HR 140