Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Be Careful What You Wish For

Nana arrived on Sunday, bringing Maia with her for a long-awaited family reunion. The only one not to make a fuss was her little Ladyship herself, she almost blanked Niamh but had some hugs for me. But if we thought our adventures were now over, we could not have been more wrong.

On Sunday evening Shea started complaining about pains in his feet, ankles and wrists, and he was unable to walk because putting weight on his feet was too painful. We rang the doctor who advised us to go straight to hospital. It was pure luck that Nana was in Kerry to look after the other children. Unlike every other time I had been to A&E we were seen almost immediately, and after two very thorough (and painful) examinations, Shea got a room in the children’s ward. Niamh stayed overnight, while I drove home.

For some reason I felt guilty about running next morning while my boy was in hospital, but of course staying home would not have made the slightest difference. As promised, I cut the 20 miles down to 15. The first half went pretty well but on the homeward stretch I got more and more tired, and after 12 miles I was really dragging. Having said that, the pace was decent enough. I think I was dehydrated, when I weighed myself back home I was 4 pounds lighter than the morning before. The humid air does not agree with me, I have sweat pouring off me at an alarming rate without much cooling effect. The thought that this might be responsible for me recent sub-par performances did cross my mind.

On Sunday I had not relished the thought of going back to work. With my boy in hospital, I ended up getting my wish, not that I would have wanted it. I spent all day there keeping him company, which for some reason completely wore me out. Niamh arrived in the evening to swap; I was so tired I conked out in bed. Unfortunately, Maia had a nightmare and woke screaming for Nana, but was perfectly content with her Dada instead. She spent the rest of the night in my bed, and if you’ve ever had a thrashing toddler beside you all night you know that it’s not the best way to get some sleep.

I had been wishing for the temperatures to drop, and when I awoke today to heavy rain I had gotten my wish – again not the way I would have wanted it. But wet as it was, the run was much better than any other I’d done recently. Keeping to a slightly toned-down schedule I did 10 miles with 2x3 mile repeats. The first one, with a net elevation drop was at 6:39 pace, much faster than any others in this training cycle so far, the second one, with a net elevation gain, was at 6:48, still not too bad, though with a significantly higher heart rate. In any case, I felt refreshed and energised after that run. With both London and the humid weather behind me, things are moving in the right direction again all of a sudden. Maybe I’m not overtrained after all, which would be a great relief.

Talking about great relief, Shea was released from hospital after two days in the ward. He still has to take some antihistamines that seem to make him slightly drowsy, but otherwise he’s pretty much restored. They still don’t quite know what exactly the problem was. They’re calling it vasculitis (inflamed blood vessels) and seem to think that it was a reaction to a previous infection, but his symptoms were atypical. But he’s much better. Since he had gotten use of a Playstation for much of yesterday, I think he rather enjoyed his stay in hospital.

With all of us on the up I’m now actually looking forward to Friday’s race. I have to decide how much I want to rest up beforehand, but I’m rather sure I’ll do better than last week in Dulwich.
29 Jun
15 miles, 1:59:17, 7:57 pace, HR 151
30 Jun
10 miles, 1:11:30, 7:09 pace, HR 153
incl 2x3 miles at 6:39 (-67 ft, HR 155), 6:48 (+81 ft, HR 164)

June Mileage: 388.5


  1. glad shea is feeling better and good luck for a fast time on fri

  2. Dramatic times, glad it all worked out ok in the end!

  3. +1 on the humid air - it makes me feel like I have lead weights in my shoes.

  4. Scary - nothing worse than one of your children hospitalized. I'm glad he's better!

  5. Glad to hear Shea is alright. All's well that ends well. You certainly can afford to have a few cutback days without impacting on your training.

  6. Glad she feels better. I know what it means. I had my son hospitalized for a surgery in the kidney.
    P.S.: congrats for your rugby team. The O'migos (O'Gara, O'Driscoll and O'Connell) are terrific players.

  7. It is good to hear that Shea is well again, and that a few lighter days, together with some rain, have put the spring back into your stride