Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Why do I do it?

It’s on days like this that I have to question my sanity. I got up at 4:30 am (that wasn’t too difficult, I went to bed shortly after 9 and therefore still managed over 7 hours of sleep). The weather forecast had predicted rain and, starting early morning, gale force winds. Luckily, they wind wasn’t quite as bad as predicted, but it didn’t exactly make for ideal conditions. My left hamstring was still a bit sore, but it is definitely getting better. As soon as I started out, my right Achilles was rather painful. I hoped it would be just one of those niggly things that go away after 10 minutes, but that turned out not to be the case.
The strong wind made the Caragh Lake road a no-go area, so I settled on four 5-mile loops to Ard na Sidhe and back. I hoped the elves might help me if I broke down on the run (Ard na Sidhe is Gaelic for “Circle of Elves”). I left out 2 gels at the end of our driveway, together with some water and an energy bar, should I need it. My feet got totally wet, especially as I managed to step right into a puddle early on. At 8 miles I thought I felt a blister developing on my right foot, so I went back home after the second loop to change into dry socks, and also put on a new t-shirt, because the other one was already soaked through, despite me wearing a wind jacket, which, by the way, made me uncomfortably hot. I took the second gel after 15 miles, and headed out again for my last loop. To be honest, it wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be, but I sure was glad when I finally made it back home.
As I lay on the kitchen floor, Niamh went by and started “well, …” I went “don’t say it!”. “Ok”.
To recapitulate: I got up in the middle of the night; ran 20 miles in complete darkness; two days after a tempo run; five days after an 18-miler; in the rain; in the wind; feeling too hot under the wind jacket; with a dodgy hamstring; with a painful Achilles, that hurt more and more as the run went on; with what could have been a blister.

Yes, it’s on days like this that I have to question my sanity.

9 Jan: 5 miles recovery run, 46:41, 9:20 pace
10 Jan: 20 miles, 2:56, 8:42 pace

12 comments:

  1. You sound like a completely normal runner to meet, I wouldn't consider any of what you said to be out of the ordinary ;-) Great pace, I wish I was 10 years younger so I could keep up!

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  2. Yes, it sounds so crazy doing it, (specially in the darkness for me)but while you were there struggling, there was nothing that could stop you... that is an amazing feeling!!

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  3. well, anyone can run when it's sunny and 70 degrees. weather makes you tough, both physically and mentally.

    good job!

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  4. Nice job Thomas! Sounds like a great way to get the week started.

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  5. Why? It's who you are man. Your kids will most definitely benefit from seeing their dad's impressive work ethic. Put this run in the bank and you can revisit it during a dark period in a race. You're doing the work, so well done!

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  6. Way to go on a tough run! I hope your Achilles is feeling better!

    I happened to look at a map of Ireland the other day, and found your town on it! Pretty amazing that I "know" someone from Killorglin!

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  7. It's on a day like this you realize you are a real deal! I am so happy for you!

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  8. You sound perfectly sane to me. Or may we are ALL crazy. Great training.

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  9. I think we are all a bit nutty. Ok I should just speak for myself. Nice pace!

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  10. I too question your sanity - are you mad man??? Why of course you are crazy...the craziest bit to me is the wardrobe change in the middle!!!!! I would never have made it out of the house again!

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  11. Impressive workout. The last time I ran in the darkness a big white dog decided for me: no more!

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