Monday, August 10, 2009

Not much Point

It’s 10 Aug, and Killorglin has slipped into the annual state of anarchy that is Puck Fair. Since I’m aware of the hypnotic attraction of revelling crowds I try to give it a miss. Too many people at work have gone out at lunchtime for a meal and failed to return to their desks over the years.

Following my promise to take it easier between workouts I only ran easy miles over the weekend. The problem was that a gap in the otherwise incessant rain enabled me to spend some much-needed hours in the garden, to turn it from advanced jungle back into civilised lawn. It was only the next morning when I realised (and remembered) how much that takes out of my legs, and by then it was too late already.

I felt really good on Saturday. Despite taking it easy the miles just flew by, and at times I had to put on the breaks; I was cruising along at 7:20 pace, which, despite feeling so easy, is not exactly my usual easy pace. The 12.5 miles left me with enough energy to spend the next 6 or so hours in the garden. I guess that’s the problem.

As soon as I woke on Sunday I knew I was in trouble. The legs hurt more than after any training session I can remember this year. Since I only had 8 miles to end the weeks on another 100 I went out for those, just as planned, but every single step was a miniature test of character. I expected to feel ok after a mile or two. That’s what usually happens if I go running on tired legs. Not so this time, even the last half-mile was a chore, and I really could not wait to be done. At that stage I really doubted my ability to do Monday’s workout. I know I’ve said that on numerous occasions, but this time it was different.

The whole point of taking it easy over the weekend was to be rested for the next real workout. I was planning my standard 20-mile key run, with 10 miles at 90% marathon pace and 10 miles at marathon pace. This is an old favourite of mine; if it goes well it is a great confidence booster and I didn’t want to mess it up by starting on tired legs.

I set my alarm for 5am, in time for the workout, but when I woke up I immediately noticed my sore legs and, after several hours of staring at the ceiling unable to sleep, was extremely tired. The fact that I could hear the rain against my window did not help. For once I reset my alarm and tried to sleep for another hour.

When I eventually made it out of the house for 10 miles, I noticed 2 things. One, the weather was much worse than forecast, and two, my legs felt much better than I had thought an hour earlier. There wasn’t much point wondering if I could have done the workout after all. I ran 10 miles along Caragh Lake in fairly foul conditions, but feeling much better than yesterday. Maybe Sunday had just been one of those days, who knows. It’s too late now to ponder. Tomorrow I’ll try again.
8 Aug
12.5+ miles, 1:38:21, 7:50 pace, HR 138
9 Aug
8 miles, 1:04:58, 8:07 pace, HR 133
10 Aug
10 miles, 1:20:35, 8:03 pace, HR 135

Weekly Mileage: 100+


  1. That's a good lesson to avoid gardening at all costs! Or at least within 3 days of a key workout. Hope the next attempt goes well.

  2. Hi Thomas,

    I got your comment. Sorry I haven't follow your blog for a while. I glance it on in a while and see you are doing some crazy workout (low 6 min miles).

    I am going to hammer out the dates and the details of the trip tonight. Then spend the next week just do less and enjoy the event :)

  3. It's best that you don't try a w/o like that until you're ready for it, smart call on your part. Hope things come around. Rest & recover.

  4. Gardening play bloody hell on the legs, I spent 8 hours digging potatoes on Friday night and Saturday. My 30 km run on Sunday morning was much too hard.