Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Mallow Photos

I found a few photos from Sunday’s race. The overhead shot (about 1 mile into the race) is as cool as it is unusual, and they didn’t even have to hire a helicopter for it. Brendan (22) and me (415) are running side-by-side, and Grellan (523) is not far behind. That’s when I still felt good of course. On the other photo, just before the finish, the strain of the last hour is clearly showing. I wasn’t even aware that it had started raining again at that point.

We were actually lucky with the weather. Sure, it was windy and we had some intermittent rain, but it really turned seriously nasty about an hour later, with torrential downpours and high winds. In light of that I did not expect to be able to cycle into work on Monday morning. When that happens I get a lift from Niamh into work and run the 5 miles home. Accordingly I cut my normal Monday long run from 18 miles to 15, otherwise I might end up with 23 combined miles the day after a race. Even I agree that that would be excessive.

I was caught by surprise when Monday morning turned out to sport a beautiful moonlight scenery with hardly a cloud in sight. By that time it was too late to change, because I had obviously set my alarm for just enough time for 15 miles, no more. Since the legs had been very stiff and tired on Sunday evening I expected to be very slow, but it went pretty well, actually. I regretted not having gone for the 18 miles, but changed my mind on the last mile when fatigue crept in all of a sudden, and was rather glad to be done. I also had John Walshe’s warning in mind; he advised me not to overdo the training when I chatted to him briefly after Sunday’s race.

I felt tired but ok for most of Monday, but towards the evening my appetite took off big time. After dinner I helped myself to a second helping, plus some chocolate. That didn’t satisfy me, and I ate some bread with cheese. Still being hungry, I devoured a bowl of cereal, and the hunger only abated after some more chocolate. Luckily I don’t believe in restricted calories when you’re training, or even racing.

With the legs still carrying the load of the race I expected to be very slow on today’s easy morning run. Again, I cut down the mileage, from 12 to 10, because of the weariness I had felt on Monday. I felt a lot better though, despite the worsening conditions. It started raining just as I left the house and shortly after the turnaround point I got caught in a hailstorm and had to endure a fairly painful few minutes. With the rain and wind it was rather freezing; long sleeves would have been the better option today. But what was remarkable was the vastly reduced heart rate. This is quite normal after a race, but the sheer amount of the drop surprised me. I checked through my logs, but unless I missed something I have never run even close to that pace at such a low HR. I’ll see how the training goes this week, but I think I’m already in good shape, aerobically. That’s good because on Monday the next phase of the training commences and the hills are calling.
12 Jan
15 miles, 2:02:18, 8:09 pace, HR 143
13 Jan
10 miles, 1:21:58, 8:12 pace, HR 134


  1. As wet as you look, I thought you'd been running in our neck of the woods! Your recovery sounds great, appetite and all. I think you are in remarkable shape, and you ought to have a great season!

  2. Thomas - A belated congratulations on the PR the other day!

    Good to see you not over-doing it.I share your belief in not restricting calories during training. Though I need to remember the training part.

    Well done on the weekly mileage.

  3. Be careful if you take on board Arthur lydiards bounding hill drills, many an athlete has become unstuck [ injured] attempting them!
    the high knee drill is good but the others are dangerous!
    many athletes missed the hills drills out for this reason inc JOHN WALKER and I tore a calf muscle doing the bounding drill.
    By the end ARTHUR had reduced the hill drills from 6 weeks down to only 3!

  4. Beware the vicious Rabbit of Caerbannog!

  5. You've certainly reached a new level with the great result on Sunday and the lower HR. Good things to come.

    After Sunday I also ate like a horse but forgot about the training part.

  6. I like the bridge photo. They always shoot one like that in our local fun run.

    The HR improvement is interesting. Perhaps you've moved to a new level of fitness?

  7. Your top photo shows a volunteer or policeman standing on the road with an umbrella. I wish as runners there was some way to thank these wonderful people for their willingness to brave the elements for our safety and enjoyment.

    Great work on your conditioning and performance in this event.