Sunday, December 31, 2017

Happy New Year!

Dear Wind! You have been here since Christmas, making your presence felt continuously, at times in a rather forceful manner. Please fuck off. You've more than outstayed your welcome. I just want to have one single run without having to work like a trooper just to keep moving at times. Take that Storm Dylan with you as well on your way out and tell it to go elsewhere.

This might me our last Christmas in Kerry, which feels like the end of an era. We've been here since 2003, so I guess in some ways it is. To add to the feeling of moving on, our youngest daughter informed us that she no longer believes in Santa, which means that after all those years our house has now turned into a magic-free zone once more.

I used to hate Christmas for the shallow consumerism it promotes, but seeing little eyes light up at the mere thought of Santa is special and a much treasured memory. I'd like to hold onto that rather than concentrate on the superficial side of it.

On the running front, things are progressing nicely, a few hiccups notwithstanding. I always leave 2 relatively easy days after each speed session, including hill sprints, which is a nod to my ageing body and its reduced capacity for recovery, so Wednesday and Thursday were reasonably easy. The next session was on for Friday. My initial plans were another evaluation workout but the strong winds put me off, the numbers just don't make sense in those conditions, so I changed it to half-mile repeats, and since it was so windy I did them on the Ard-na-Sidhe road where it is a little bit sheltered. The plan was to run them at 6:30 - 6:20 - 6:10 pace and if I was still up for more at that point then do more at 6:10 pace. The odd numbered intervals were into the wind but net downhill (but with a nasty little steep climb) and the even numbered ones with the wind but net uphill, though the elevation change was not significant.

The first was fine, so was the second, though both could have done with a better sense of pace instead of starting out at 5:00 pace. The third was much more challenging, and it didn't help that the watch displayed slower numbers than later appeared on the web page after importing the data, which meant I inadvertently ran each repeat a few seconds faster than planned. Whether it was the pace or the wind or the asthma but I then spent the next 80 seconds trying to breath as if through a thin straw and knew that was the end of the speed session and made my way home. I also noticed afterwards that the second repeat was at a lower HR than the first despite being faster - the wind direction clearly being more significant than the modest elevation change.

Halfway through the way home I suddenly seemed to black out for a split second; I felt light headed and found myself stumbling into the middle of the road rather than running at its edge, feeling a little unsteady. However, it was over as soon as it began, and since I was on my way home anyway I  just continued on. I used to faint a few times when I was a teenager, which felt somewhat similar, and it was always related to low blood sugar, so maybe there's something in there as well. However, I sure was glad I had not attempted a fourth interval.

I was fine afterwards. I then made use of my last day in Kerry on Sunday to head for the local hills, in the freezing cold rain and the remnants of Storm Dylan still noticeable. It made for 2 character building hours.

And so ends another year. Race-wise it was disappointing with my one A-race a complete disaster, but things have picked up significantly since with an unexpectedly good performance in Dublin and some much coveted silverware in Monaghan and Sixmilebridge, and also coming first in the B2B in Howth. It leaves me with plenty of optimism for 2018.

2017 Yearly Mileage: 3062

27 Dec
10 miles, 1:17:31, 7:45 pace, HR 140
28 Dec
10 miles, 1:15:42, 7:34 pace, HR 143
29 Dec
6.7 miles, 53:28, 7:58 pace, HR 144
   3 x 800 @ 6:24 (163), 6:16 (161), 6:06 (167)
30 Dec
10 miles, 1:18:12, 7:49 pace, HR 146
31 Dec
16 miles, 2:08:59, 8:04 pace, HR 141

1 comment:

  1. All the best for 2018 Thomas. Nice going with the B2B marathons - very consistent. Funny reading about the yearly mileage of ultra runners - you almost hit 5000 km, and Martin Fryer was lamenting his lowest total for many years at 7000 km! I was happy with my highest for many years at 4000.