Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Recovery Redux

Sunday’s race can basically be described as 500 feet up, 700 feet down, 700 feet up, 600 feet down. Such a course profile guarantees sore legs and I was not exactly surprised to wake Monday morning with a distinct feeling of discomfort.

I wasn’t only recovering from that race but also from the Dublin marathon, and anything but a very short and easy stroll was never on the cards. In the end I even cut the planned 5 miles down to 4, partially because I was running so slowly that I might have ended up being late for work, but mostly because it wasn’t all that much fun. Cycling to work felt surprisingly good though and I felt right as rain afterwards. Sitting in the office chair, however, brought on the pain again, enough to go for another quick spin on the bike at lunchtime. Moving around was doing me good, but as soon as I sat down again the sore legs made themselves known.

Unfortunately Maia suffered considerably more that day than her daddy. By lunchtime she was still a bright toddler happily destroying the house, by the time I came home she had a temperature and a foul mood and was desperately clinging on to mummy; luckily she accepted daddy as a replacement, which allowed dinner to be served. The wonders of modern medicine provided a reasonably quiet night, but she required some extra attention in the morning, cutting my available running time from 8 miles to 7 in the process. A better day was followed by a worse night, which included a violent rejection of her medicine (that went all over me instead) and plenty of interruptions (Niamh missed most of those). But we made it through.

The alarm went off at 6:20, but for once the foul weather outside wasn’t an issue for me. Instead I hopped into the car and drove to Killarney where at 7 o’clock I found myself standing in a dark hotel car park in the drizzly rain, waiting for a guy I had never met before. Niamh had organised a swimming instructor for me and dryly responded to my question of how I would recognise him with “you’ll be the only two eejits hanging around”, which proved to be entirely correct. His first words to me were “you’re the guy from Killorglin with that blog”, which caught me entirely off-guard. I’m pretty sure this was the first time I have been recognised outside a race setting.

So, I had my first swimming lesson today. Actually, I can swim already, just not particularly fast, and I want to add this to my cross training repertoire. I think it’s rather obvious by now that I do intend to add the odd triathlon to my list of events, and for that I need to significantly brush up on my swimming skills. For the time being it is all great, new and exciting, but I paid for the fun by having an irritated left eye for the rest of the day, which is rather … irritating. The next item on my shopping list is a decent pair of goggles.

My hamstrings are still surprisingly tight, but I still think that tomorrow I can finally do a decent run again. Otherwise my legs are going to atrophy.

16 Nov
4 miles, 35:22, 8:50 pace, HR 147
17 Nov
7 miles, 59:23, 8:29 pace, HR 149
18 Nov
0 miles, 45 minutes of splashing around


  1. Thomas it is all relative of course. I'd happily take that 8:29 pace and low heart rate!

  2. With the odd comments of cycling to work that have included in your blog entries I'm not surprised that a Tri is on your list. Welcome back to the water world, I hope your swimming will progress faster than mine!

  3. Ha, yes Thomas those irritated eyes can be irritating!

    All the best with the swimming. I was a good swimmer in my day but after having returned to it after a couple of years away I found it took at least a month to feel reasonably strong at it.

  4. I fear another good runner has been lost to the dark side ;)

    All that's needed now is to tack a 2.4 mile swim and 112 mile cycle onto the front of your very good marathon.

    Swap you some of our frying weather for some of your foul!