Monday, November 09, 2009

On the Road Again

After what seems like an age without running I hit the road on Sunday morning for the first time, two weeks after the Dublin marathon. And since I hardly ran at all the week before the marathon it’s been a very long absence from my usual haunts.

Having said that, the weather last week had been truly appalling and being tucked into my bed was definitely more appealing. The break saved myself from a thorough soaking each morning, and since I’m still recovering from a cold there is no doubt that the break was required.

I could not wait to lace up the shoes and was as excited as I would have been for Christmas 30 years ago, but after the first quarter mile it became apparent that the effortless gliding over the tarmac that had been playing out in my head would not be happening for some considerable time. The heart rate was sky high despite my best efforts to take it easy, but at least the slight discomfort in my atrophied legs didn’t match the alleged output from my heart.

I have 5 months to get ready for the Ultra. The cardio-vascular fitness will return in no time, but the muscular endurance to run for over 30 miles is something I never had in the first place and will take a tad longer.

In the meantime I have to decide if I should give Sunday’s stroll through the Gap a miss. After willingly parting with a significant amount of money for the outrageously overpriced entry fee I would pay for my absence from said race with a bleeding heart, but the money is gone no matter if I take part or not. I guess it could serve as a test if I am able to swallow my pride and not run all out in a race.

Slightly longer term I have to make a decision what my training should look like. I still have a few weeks to make up my mind. For the time being a few easy miles will suffice, until the legs and the mind are able for some real training.

Running on Sunday was all fine and well, but getting up at 6:45 am this morning came as a bit of a shock to the system. Running through the woods near Ard-na-Sidhe I came across a lady jogging with her three dogs. “You’re up early” she chirpily responded to my “Good Morning”, and even though I was feeling the same, it wasn’t really accurate. It’s just the dark November morning that made it feel like an ungodly hour. A few weeks ago 7:20 am would have appeared much more bright and friendly. I better get used to running through the darkness soon.
8 Nov
4 miles, 33:05, 8:16 pace, HR 165
9 Nov
5 miles, 42:33, 8:30 pace, HR 159


  1. Glad you're back after a well deserved break. The heart rate will be coming down soon, but you know that. Best wishes as you ease back into things.

  2. That was a nice short post Thomas. You should have more time off ;)

    Good to have a decent break at least once in the year. If the weather was "appalling", I can hardly imagine how bad it was. Just as we're enjoying the long daylight hours of summer.

    Anyway, take your time coming back. You could always run Sunday as a test - keeping the HR below a certain level for the first half, then picking off the strugglers.

  3. My advice is to skip the race. Yes the money part will sting but it's time to rebuild. If you do it as a total fun run, I think it could be worthwhile, but if you try and pick off stragglers, you'll end up back on the sick bed. Your immune system doesn't want this race, even if your legs, heart and mind do.

  4. I still haven't managed an early morning run since Dublin. I seem to need the sleep more at the moment.

    Those heart rates are high alright but to be expected given your lingering illness. Enjoy the run on Sunday if you decide to do it - hope the weather holds up.