Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Must Try Harder

just imagine what I would have looked like had I tried hard enough ...
A bit of rain doesn't bother me, after living in Kerry for nearly 14 years there's nothing Dublin can throw at me that I haven't experienced to a greater extend our Wesht. So I jogged towards Cabinteely on Saturday morning through some puddles and got there in time for the parkrun, already thoroughly wet. The idea was to push myself for 5k but not race it all out, maybe 90% effort. I was in around 10th place right after the start but caught a few runners after a mile, though was caught by the female winner myself. The parkrun course is very hilly for a 5k, and you have to climb that hill no less that 3 times. I tried not to kill myself going up the hill by turning the intensity down a notch, and I also tried not to kill myself on the downhill by taking care on the slippery, extremely wet path. I was breathing pretty damn hard, and sure thought I was running pretty damn hard, but when I checked my time after finishing I did a double-take in disbelief as the watch displayed 20:39, when I had been sure I had definitely run at sub-20 effort. Not even close, how wrong can you be!

My first theory was that what few fast-twitch fibres I'd had in my legs had given up and died at some stage in the last 2 years, but when I got home and had another look at the numbers I got a second shock when the average HR for what was supposed to be almost a race came back at 160!

You gotta be kidding me! I ran a race and barely even matched the intensity of an evaluation, which is a very moderate workout to start with! I have a higher HR whenever I race a marathon!!!

So, on one level, a complete failure. I had intended to (almost) race it. I clearly didn't. I have completely forgotten how to race a 5k.

On a different level, not bad. HR 160 for 6:33 pace on a hilly course is pretty damn solid.

Also, not racing on Saturday meant I didn't have to recover on Sunday. The legs were perfectly fine. I had agreed to meet a friend and run 18k with him, at his pace. The rain was supposed to stop any time soon but it was still pouring down buckets as I ran the 5 miles to Blackrock DART station, and the paths were basically flooded, so I just ran through all the puddles, there was no point whatsoever in prancing around them. I met up with Julio and we proceeded to run towards Poolbeg, chatting along. We slightly changed the planned route by running out all the way to the lighthouse, which meant 20k for him but nobody complained. At some point halfway through our run the rain finally started to ease but of course we were already soaked to the bones and the paths were still flooded. Once we were back in Blackrock we had a coffee before going our separate ways and I ran the last 5 miles home again for a total of 22.5 miles today, albeit with a break.

it stopped raining!
It was slower than usual, and the difference that made was astounding. I had been rather exhausted after my last 20 mile run; today I was what Lydiard would have called "pleasantly tired", almost ready to go out again and run some more. Interesting. Maybe I should slow down on my long runs.

Anyway, the mileage itself sure didn't tax me as I felt great on Monday's run home from work, though I suspect some tailwind had provided assistance, because I sure felt the headwind when going the other way on Tuesday morning. Still, the legs are definitely in good shape and seem to like the mileage picking up again.
20 Jan
10+ miles, 1:20:56, 7:52 pace
   incl. Cabinteely parkrun 20:39, 6:33 pace, HR 160, 7th place
21 Jan
22+ miles, 3:13:31, 8:34 pace, HR 133
22 Jan
9.75 miles, 1:15:15, 7:43 pace, HR 138
23 Jan
9.7 miles, 1:18:11, 8:03 pace, HR 140


  1. Anytime you want to slowdown on your long runs these days just let me know. I can take care of the slow part ;).

  2. Send some rain our way please Thomas - these dry 35C days are driving me crazy.
    Looks like you're fit but just haven't got the 5k race legs. You'd probably be in the low 19s on a flatter course at closer to race effort. Certainly nothing to worry about.