Thursday, December 21, 2006

Working on it

The kids are getting more and more excited by the day, Santa is nearly here, and all they want is for the days to pass. Christmas is a truly exciting time for young children. The one thing that they don’t really subscribe to is being good. I think they managed to work out last year that the presents will come anyway.

The alarm was supposed to wake me at 5:55 on Wednesday, but the boys managed to beat that by half an hour, and after making breakfast for Shea and trying to get Cian to be quiet it was pretty much time to get up – just as the boys were heading back to bed (mummy and daddy’s bed, that is). The weather has definitely improved a lot recently; there was no sign of rain and very little wind, but it was quite cold. For the first time this year I wore running tights, and two layers at the top, and I got it right, anything less would have been too cold. Like on Monday I tried to run relaxed and easy but still at a decent clip. It worked very well on the first half, and on the return leg I added 12x100 strides into the mix. This of course increased my average heart rate, but once again I was quite pleased with the low reading at the end of the workout. The one thing bothering me slightly was the darkness, it was still pitch dark by the time I got back home, but there’s nothing I can do about it but wait.

On Tuesday I was slightly dismayed at my low HR at what should have been a faster run, and especially after reading Andrew's comment I made sure to work harder today. I made a mistake when choosing the route. It had stopped raining for two or three days and I figured all the dirt roads should now be easily accessible and passable again. I wanted to get off the asphalt surface, but I miscalculated. It turns out that the road was still wet and muddy and uneven, and running the dirt segment in the dark wasn’t the best idea. Since this was supposed to be a tempo run I still tried to push the pace, until I very nearly twisted my ankle. On a slippery slope my foot turned one way and my leg the other, and I don’t know how I managed to get out of the situation without hurting badly. I did heed the warning and slowed down until I got back to the proper road again, which was only half a mile away at that point. I accelerated again and finished the rest of the run at a good pace. I probably overdid it a bit, because the HR was a bit higher that expected, and I must be careful not to run too hard. Still, I was happier with today’s run than Tuesday’s.

My right Achilles is bothering my a little bit. It’s not really hurting, just a slight feeling of discomfort, and I can feel it every evening and on occasions in the morning as well. The one time it doesn’t bother me at all is when I’m running, which is why I’m not too worried about it. But I will keep an eye on the situation.

I’ve got two more days in Kerry before we drive up to Dublin once again. I hope I’ll be able to keep the training going day in day out, despite the predictable objections of my mother-in-law, who seems convinced that I’m about to drop down dead from over-exertion. She’s a lovely woman, really, but her constant whining about my running can grate sometimes (and no, she doesn’t read this blog).

20 Dec: 11 miles, 1:33, 8:27 pace, avg. HR 147, including 12x100 strides
21 Dec: 7 miles, 52:41, 7:31 pace, avg. HR 163


  1. Thomas,
    Maybe it's time to invest in a headlamp. Eric uses his daily, I use mine depending on the route. It does help in the really dark places, though I find it bugs me to wear it for a long time. Both of us prefer to wear it over a hat or cap.

    I miss having little ones in the house for Christmas - it's a lot more laid back now days. My Mom thinks a)we run too much and b) Eric and the boys need MEAT and lots of it. I hear a lot about how they are all too skinny. Oh well...

    Enjoy your holiday!

  2. sounds like a tough, but satisfying, run.

  3. Headlamps are good but so is running in the daylight. I don't know how you can do it day in day out (getting up so early). Good luck at the in-laws!

  4. yeah, yeah, running, etc. meanwhile, you've been tagged!

  5. I think that the falling down dead when you are doing something line and grating nature are requirements of being a mother-in-law. Have a nice holiday and hope that you can sneak some runs in.

  6. You're mother-in-law will never understand why you run and the distances you run just seem to be outlandish to now runners (and very impressive to us runners).

    Running in the dark on muddy roads for a tempo run sounds a bit suicidal to me. You're one foot fall away from an accident; but again, you seem to be able to run across all sorts of terrain with ease. For me, I'll stick with asphalt if the weather is at all dodgy.

    Have a great Christams with your family Thomas.

  7. I think many of us have that certain someone that nags us about our running. I have someone in my life that talks about how unhealthy marathon running is yet she drinks excessively, smokes, and is overweight. Go figure.

    Christmas is so much more fun when there are small children around! Merry Christmas Thomas!

  8. You are a trooper. And your mother-in-law is exactly my mother (and father, and sister). Try not to explain. Smile and head out. Merry X-mas!

  9. Thomas,

    It sounds like we have the same mother-in-law. Does yours have little horns on her head and an evil hiss too? I lost a bunch of weight when I started running and my mother-in-law was convinced that I was sticken with cancer. She is constantly trying to fatten me up.

    It is wise to watch that Achilles Tendon closely. Sounds like you might have some micro-tears. Stuff like slipping on the trail could really aggrivate an injury like you have. That said I occasionally have some soreness in my left AT which I run with since it does not hurt while running.

    Have fun with the kids during the Holidays!


  10. Whoa! My Mom isn't quite as bad as Eric makes her out to be. Though the cancer/too skinny thing is true. Trust me, I'm nothing like her, I'm as sweet as the day is evil hiss. Really.

  11. Good luck keeping the running up while visiting the in-laws. I always have a tough time running when I am visiting my in-laws as well. It seems I am expected to let my wife enjoy herself and I am supposed to watch the kids. This is why I try to run and be back before anyone is awake.

  12. Have a happy holiday season. Bring on 2007!