Monday, April 27, 2009

Short Update

I cannot believe it is already seven days since the Boston marathon. Since then I have managed to run exactly zero miles as I’m ever so slowly recovering. I generally seem to recover rather quickly from marathons, but this one has taken its toll. My quads are STILL sore when I get up from a chair; it’s a sign just how much my legs had been torn apart on those downhills.

There have been a few photos of me on the course courtesy of Mike and Jeanne, as well as the official ones. Jeanne was also nice enough to send me some more, one of which is my favourite:

Jeanne's reward for putting my name on a sign is to get a big sweaty hug from a smelling runner at mile 23.

Thanks to Davey the Clown for taking it and Jeanne for emailing it on to me.

We spent the weekend in Trabolgan, a family holiday village in county Cork where we celebrated the twins’ birthday. There were so many things to do that we had 48 hours of non-stop action and still not managed to do all the things they wanted to do. I even joined Shea in climbing a 33 feet high tower, and then do a zipwire off it. Stepping into the void was the scariest thing I had ever done since … actually I think it was the scariest thing ever, but once you realise the rope is actually going to hold, it’s great!

I saw some of the footage of Sunday’s London marathon and really felt the urge to go out and run another marathon myself. When I mentioned that to Niamh I got one of her looks, combined with the dry remark that she doesn’t feel the urge to go through childbirth again when she sees that on TV. I guess the implication was that she thinks I’m nuts. What’s new.

I still haven’t caught up on the sleep I missed on the journey home from Boston, and getting up at 5:45 today because we had to drop Niamh off at Cork and drive home in time for the kids’ school and my work means that I’m wrecked today. I won’t set my alarm tomorrow, but if I wake up early I’ll go for my first run in 8 days, otherwise I’ll delay for at least another 24 hours.


  1. Thomas, 3:10 is an awesome time for Boston, great job!!!

  2. Wow, I can't believe you've gone 8 days without running. Enjoy the recovery and beer!

  3. The question of how best to prepare the legs for downhill running is an interesting challenge. I am very cautious about downhill training and about plyometrics, but I think that preparation for Boston probably does require a slow but steady build up of downhill running, with focus on developing a short fast stride. I recently experimented with adding trampolining to my training before a recent increase in length of longer runs (I am not preparing for Boston, or at least not before 2015.) I found that the increase in training volume did not cause me any problem with DOMS - so maybe the trampoline prepared my aging legs for eccentric contraction.

  4. Ahhh Trabolgan... is that place still around? I remember going there with my under 11s football team many, many moons ago. Good times!

    McMillan has a good marathon recovery program - I hope to follow it somewhat this year, albeit after at least one weeks complete rest

  5. I hope you enjoyed East Cork. I worked in Trabolgan for years (in the pool, bar, sports hall (all over really) - it was our local student employer!! like Private .. Ahh the memories....

    Enjoy the recovery and don't get injured I hear it's catching!! :)

  6. Thomas - you did well to survive Boston. Sorry I was unable to attend...things have been a little shaky at work. If you send me your address via private email, I'll send you the home made maple syrup.

    Again, congrats on pulling out a tough race.


  7. Imagine my surprise when a friend of mine who ran a 3:15:27 at Boston passed me at about mile 37 of the 50 mile race I did last weekend. My 17 mile bonk didn't help. You can check his web site at

    The hill in the picture on my blog is actually steeper than the picture shows. It's one area where even the toughest elite runners fall back to power hiking. The chunky trail slows you down a bit as well.

    Glad to hear that you are actually giving yourself some recovery time. Your travel distance from Ireland is fairly close to the distance that we travel from Washington State to make it to Boston. The trip combined with the sites and the race all add up to really tucker a person out.

    Take it slow and walk if something starts to hurt really bad. As far as the downhill goes you just need to get up in the hills and run some long downhill trails to hammer your quads into shape. It's like pounding the impurities out of the steel when a samuri sword is forged. If you don't do it you will end up with an inferior result. It's also the reason I take a lot of ice baths after my long trail runs because they usually include many miles of steep downhill.

    Beer is a good recovery drink!

  8. That is a good photo.

    Your quads must be sore! Sounds like me after 6'. Next time do some serious Ryan Hall-like course specific training ;) Either that, or run London!