Saturday, June 27, 2020


Jesus, has it been 4 weeks already? I know time flies as you're getting older but this is going at hyperspeed.

The one thing I had genuinely forgotten about mountain runs is that your quads get shredded on the downhills and then you're in for a couple of days of pain. Which is, of course, exactly what happened to me after my first sojourn into the Wicklow mountains, tentative as it was. I repeated the same loop 2 weeks later, and while the DOMS struck again they were nowhere near as bad as the first time round, so I guess things are adapting already. Unfortunately the weather has turned again after a few days of nice sunshine, and there is not a hope in hell I'll go running in the mountains when there is a possibility of thunderstorms. Mind, my road runs are starting to accumulate a lot of elevation as well ever since I discovered a few new routes towards Enniskerry, which should hopefully help, but I know from personal experience that the only thing that properly trains you for a mountain run is a genuine mountain run.

Last week Niamh mentioned that this will be the first year in a very long time when I'm not doing any races, as the day of my cancelled Ironman passed, though I did remind her of the fact that I had done Donadea in February, so it's definitely not going to be a year of not racing at all. However, I did not hold out much hope for an autumn race, with DCM being cancelled long ago and the lockdown still in place. However, someone pointed out to me that the Ecotrail race was still on, at least for the time being. Initially I wasn't interested - I had done it last year and the pain of all those hours nursing my cramping legs across those mountains was still too fresh in my mind, and I sure thought I'd had enough of that kind of stupid masochism.

Then it was still on, and a few friends signed up, and then Norbert pretty much talked me into it, and so, eventually, I dug out my credit card and signed up. While there is no guarantee that it will indeed go ahead, I think there is a good chance that it will. Trail running makes it so much easier to enforce social distancing - hell, you'd be hard pressed to violate social distancing at times as you struggle across empty spaces far removed from civilisation for hours on your own. The only problem is, now I need to get fit for yet another 50 mile race, this time with mountains. I managed to drag my sorry arse across the Donadea loops in a sorry state, but there is no way you can fake your away across the mountains that way, so some serious training will have to be done. Let's hope the weather will improve. As I said, there's no way I'd head into the wilderness on my own in bad conditions. Growing up in the mountains does teach you a few things that won't leave you, even decades later.

And thanks for the shoutout this morning "how's the rubbish marathon going!". It's actually still nice to get recognised from time to time :)

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