Monday, October 05, 2009

Bugs around me

The weather over the weekend was unexpectedly nice, something that carried over to Monday as well, actually. We had planned to make the most of it and go to Dingle to re-live my recent triumph sample the delights of the local Food&Wine festival. Alas, Cian came down with some bug that caused him to sleep through virtually the entire weekend, and neither Niamh nor me fancied going on our own. To top it all up, this doesn’t seem to be the only sickness doing the rounds in the family because Maia has developed a consistent cough that kept her awake and me busy during the nights.

Normally the weekend is where I catch up on some sleep, but both Maia and Cian made their way into our bed each night, and wedged in between 2 sick children I a) got no sleep and b) almost certainly got exposed to whatever they’ve got. I felt slightly unwell on Sunday, and today I had a sore throat in the morning and a low-grade headache all day. It’s not enough to stop me from running, but with only three weeks to go before Dublin I do feel a bit worried. Apart from taking my vitamins there isn’t much I can do – staying away from the kids is not an option.

Anyway, training goes on. During the Dingle training the Sunday tempo run on the Cromane loop was pretty much a constant feature that I revived yesterday. As ever I was hoping to break 7-minute pace, and once that was achieved tried to break 6:50, which has so far eluded me. While this doesn’t bode well for a sub-3 attempt, it does indicate that a personal best may be within reach. It wasn’t my fastest run on that course but it was reasonably close. What pleased me was the fact that I managed to pull through a low point around 7 or 8 miles and accelerate again for a strong finish. I hadn’t managed that one before. Of course, with the Dingle marathon only 3 weeks gone my legs are not yet back to their best. That’s where the taper will hopefully work its magic.

I made the mistake of telling Niamh that I didn’t feel too well last night, which immediately prompted an interrogation.

N: you are going to take it easy tomorrow then, aren’t you?
T: Er, … yes, of course
N: what’s on your plan?
T: 18 miles

In the end I slightly adjusted the figure and cut the run down to 16.5 miles, which also gave me a few more minutes of much-needed sleep. Thanks to the Full Moon I didn’t need a headlamp and avoided tumbling off the road for a change. I did test a few things for the Dublin marathon: I wore the shoes that I’m planning to use, and the compression socks I’m still unsure about (Niamh isn’t overly taken in by the looks, it has to be said). I also carried a drink with me, spiked with a tablet of Nuun. Again, the jury is out on that one. I have worked out the logistics of carrying them with me on the marathon, the fact that Dublin use water bottles rather than cups works in my favour, the taste is nice, but it did seem to cause reflux on more than occasion. I might do a second trial run and decide on result of that.

Oh, and I tried to run today’s final 5 miles at marathon pace, to make this a double-header workout. It didn’t work out entirely; my pace over those last few miles was 7:18. While not a disaster, that figure did disappoint me; I had been hoping for 7:00 pace. Yes, the course is undulating and sports a 50 feet net elevation gain, and yes, the lack of sleep and possibly compromised state didn’t help, but I was annoyed by the fact that I seemed to work hard and yet was unable to raise the HR over 160, unless going uphill. Canute probably has some theories how the subconscious brain tries to stop me from overdoing things, but I felt like miles away from my threshold. I felt I could have continued that effort level for ages but wasn’t able to run any faster. If it hadn’t been as cold and if I would have had a buddy at my side and if that had been a race, …. Ah, forget it. I’ll move on.
4 Oct
10.5 miles, 1:12:47, 6:56 pace, HR 163
5 Oct
16.6 miles, 2:09:34, 7:48 pace, HR 148
last 5+ miles @ 7:18 pace

Weekly Mileage: 63.5


  1. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  2. 7:18 instead of 7:00 pace is indicative only of a cold and a lack of sleep. you definitely seem to be heading in the right direction.

  3. Do I detect that you may not be going out at 6:52 pace in Dublin and hanging back with the rest of us 3hr+ mortals.

    I'm glad you're not worrying too much about training performance when you're run down and sharing you bed with sick children. Your work is long done. It's all, about maintenance now.

  4. I like Niamh in all-caps. I can hear her from down here!

    Yes, Canute's the man if stress or central governor is involved. Perhaps your body telling you to hold back due to the bug?

  5. The Nuun's work pretty well (I find) against salt loss - something I think you suffer from but I have learned two things with them -

    one - if you are pouring water over you they will dissolve in your pocket.

    two - don't be tempted to suck on one and wash it down with water. I tried this at a, ahem, 'low' point in Rotterdam and I can confirm that it doesn't work.

  6. Thomas, I agree your brain is not letting you exert yourself too much this week; this is the natural consequence of being tired, and possibly of having a mild cold as well. But as Grellen points out, you have already done the long training. The only requirement for the next week or two is sharpening up again after you have recovered from your present tiredness.

  7. It's in the post (mail), or at least it will be tomorrow. Sorry to hear about the sick children, but then you do have a few weeks. Much like Mark is donig, rest up!

  8. i think i read on boards that DCM will be using water in cups not bottles this year.