Tuesday, May 12, 2009


Have I mentioned how much I hate hayfever? It’s the bane of my life, and I get it twice every year. I’m currently in the middle of my first annual stint, and I’m sneezing my way through the day. Last year I only felt it when I was outside, not in the office building itself. Either the airconditioning has changed or the pollen situation is worse this year, because the symptoms are clear for everyone in the vicinity to see and hear. Even Niamh is affected, and she let me know that “every time my nose tickles, I think of you” (how romantic). For reasons unbeknown to me I am ok when I’m running. I don’t understand the physiological background for this but I am grateful; otherwise my training would be severely hampered.

I managed 46 miles last week. This week I’m aiming for about 60, and then, if everything is ok, I’ll try and add about 10 miles per week until I’m at 100 towards the middle of June. If I feel too tried, I’ll scale back. I know I’m not following the 10% rule, but since this is not the first time I’ve been building up to this mileage level (and not the second time either) I think I can be a bit more aggressive. In fact, I’ve followed a similar protocol before, and haven’t got into troubles.

Right now things are still pretty easy going. I ran 6 miles yesterday, and I’m pretty sure the stiffness in my legs was from the hours of gardening work and not from the comparatively tame weekend mileage. I added a few strides, something that I think is very useful, but also something I simply tend to forget. I hope I’ll be able to keep those up. The one thing I noticed was that the heart rate was very low, but since today’s HR was markedly higher, it may have been a false reading from the HRM. I’ll see. Today’s run was a joy. Not a cloud in sight and Caragh Lake was stunning in the early morning hours. Not even the blustery wind could dampen my spirits. Sadly, the nice weather is not supposed to last.

Maia kept torturing us last night. She is a pretty good sleeper for a baby, but there are nights when she prefers to keep herself and us awake, and last night was definitely one of those. Judging form the whoops and giggles she seemed to have a lot of fun and didn’t seem to register that her bleary-eyed parents weren’t quite as enthusiastic.

Oh, and this race was brought to my attention. I have ranted and raved about the lack of ultras in Ireland before. Things are clearly changing. For a while I was really tempted to forget about Dingle and head further northwards, but in the end the head won out over the heart. I don’t think I’m ready for that kind of race, there isn’t enough time to prepare properly, and they might not accept me for lack of experience anyway. But next year, or the year after … let’s put that thought aside for now.
11 May
6 miles, 47:51, 7:58 pace, HR 145
incl. 7x100 strides
12 May
8 miles, 1:01:59, 7:45 pace, HR 153


  1. I am highly tempted by the first 100 mile race to be held in Missouri (The Ozark 100) but I'm holding out on that until I've done Comrades next year.

    Next year is Comrades 85th running. That would be a great time for you to knock out that race!

  2. Whoa! That race looks AWESOME! I am salivating. Hmmmm, perhaps in 2010 I'll plan a trip out there. I've never been to Europe and this is a damn good reason for me to finally get out there.

    Given your level of athleticism, you would do great at a 100 miler. If I can do it, you definitely can. Really hope you go for it.

  3. But can you talk the missus into crewing for you? ;)

    That would be some adventure. I'm pretty sure we'll be reading about it here some day.

  4. I'm sure you'll be doing the 100 in the future. You need to think about lining up some crew, and a pacer or two. It'll be fun (for them at least)!

  5. Okay, I'm back. There don't seem to be any details - like is it all on roads? Elevation gains/losses? And aid stations 25 miles apart? That's crazy - you would need a solid crew for sure.

  6. Michelle, I think the 100 miles are all on roads. Accordingly, the elevation peaks are unimpressive - maybe a few hundred feet. On the other hand the area is very undulating, you'll struggle to find 100 consecutive yards of flat road.

    I think they needed to minimise the number of volunteers to enable to whole project in the first place, which is why the aid stations are so sparse. That's why everyone is required to have a crew of at least 2 people and a car - they will serve as additional individual aid stations, as far as I understand it.

    Never mind, I'm sure things will be a lot clearer next year, or the year after that. As Ewen very rightly pointed out I might have troubles convincing Niamh to crew for me - in fact, I'd say the chances of that happening are approaching zero. But I guess I've got plenty of time to come up with an alternative plan.

  7. Maybe you could pace/crew for someone this year - return the favour and all that.