Friday, December 19, 2008


What a difference a day makes!

Running 15 miles on Tuesday, albeit on 2 runs, was a mistake. This was supposed to be my easy day, much needed after a tempo run on Sunday and a long run on Monday, and with all those miles I didn’t recover sufficiently for a decent workout on Wednesday.

I had my doubts about the workout from the first step, but decided to give it a try anyway. I was doing mile repeats at MP effort again. Last Tuesday I had left 2 minutes between each mile, which had been too long so I cut the recovery down to one minute. The run was 12 miles, and I did 9 mile repeats altogether. The break between the miles did not really seem necessary from a physical point of few, the pace was not fast enough to warrant a recovery, but it helped a lot from a psychological point of view because it meant a break from the harder effort was always near. The first few miles were ok, but I got slower towards the end. That in itself is not too surprising because on that loop the first half is net downhill and the second half accordingly net uphill. But I felt a lot more tired than I should have, and was utterly knackered by the end. I had originally intended to add a few minutes of additional exercises to the end of the run (skipping, bouncing, and so on), but I gave up soon, my legs were toast.

I did not need anyone to tell me to take it easy on Thursday. I could not have it taken differently any other way. I can’t remember the last time my legs had felt so sore, certainly not for quite some time. To add to the woe the wind was absolutely brutal. Normally I would have gone on the Ard-na-Sidhe road in those conditions, but for some reason I cannot remember I chose to brave the Caragh Lake road instead. It was tough, and I toyed with the idea of turning around after 2.5 miles and do the second half on a more sheltered loop. But with my tired legs I didn’t trust myself to pass our driveway without calling it a day. I’m usually very disciplined when it comes to running consistently, but there was no need to tempt me unnecessarily, and I continued on the Caragh Lake road, weary as I was. Of course, cutting the run short on an easy day would not have been that big a deal. However, I don't want to get into the habit of cutting runs short. Next time, it might be a more important workout.

However, I did notice that I felt ok for the rest of the day. By contrast, on Monday, after my first 18 mile run in a while, I had felt sore all day. I was therefore reasonably optimistic that I would have a decent run today. My main worry was the weather. We had a major storm coming, and I wondered if I would be able to run at all. However, when I woke at 5:30 I was pleasantly surprised by the calm outside. I headed off on my loop around the lake, hoping that the weather would hold at least for a few miles. It was very windy up in the hills where the area is completely exposed to the elements, but otherwise it was fine; in fact it was a lot better than the day before. As far as my legs went, the difference to Thursday was simply amazing. I felt good, and ran the last 5 miles faster again. I managed an average pace of 7:27 on those last miles, which is a lot faster than last week’s 7:35 but a lot slower than what I used to do before the Dublin marathon. Initially those figures worried me a bit, but when I checked my logs from the summer I came across two 15 miles runs in July at almost exactly the same pace. This was reassuring; at the very least I’m in no worse shape now than I was 3 months before Dublin. With all of the marathon specific training yet to come, that will do me.

17 Dec
12 miles, 1:32:12, 7:41 pace, HR 159
incl. 9 x 1 mile @ 7:12 avg
18 Dec
10 miles, 1:24:01, 8:24 pace, HR 148
19 Dec
15 miles, 1:59:21, 7:57 pace, HR 153
last 5 @ 7:27


  1. I stand in awe of all those miles you're racking up. Figured out the English to Metric measures yet? Canada converted to metric 30 years ago but old habits die hard.

  2. Metres invented in Oxbridge

    q-icon-champagneHot off the radio: the Metric System was invented by an English Bishop, John Wilkins.

    This story was first covered by the Daily Mirror Science Blog :

    In a bit of a blow to those who want to cling on to good old British Imperial measures like pounds and ounces - it turns out it was an Englishman who invented the “foreign” metric system.

    Or so claims Pat Naughtin, a metrication specialist from Australia, who carried out his research at Wadham College in Oxford, at Trinity College in Cambridge, and at the Royal Society in London.

    He says John Wilkins, founder of the Royal Society, first published his ideas for a metric measure in 1668 - 120 years before the French adopted the metric system.

    Wilkins’ system was complete in that it was based on decimal numbers (10s, 100s, and 1000s) and its measurements were to be based on an internationally agreed ‘universal measure’, which would become the basis for other measures.

  3. Hi Thomas thanks for your comment on my post; OF course we English have reason not to go completely metric, after all, now with the credit crunch and the fall of the west from power we plan to turn the country into a national museum and as Asia is the new world power we plan to attract hordes of Malaysian and Chinese tourists to our welcoming shores and they can marvel at our miles,yards and inches and of course drink copious amounts of our British real ale in pint glasses !
    And anyway THE GOLDEN 1600M just don't sound right!
    And what would happen to the mile high club!
    And quaint English sayings such as " I'm miles away from any where" would be lost forever!

  4. Looks like the miles are back, which certainly can't hurt. Like you, I think it's more how you feel the rest of the day that indicates your recovery, rather than how it feels while you're out there. Sounds like it's getting better so that's a good sign.

    Hope you and the fam have a great Christmas.