Thursday, November 01, 2012


And there was me smugly thinking I had done a perfect job when pacing the 3:15 group in Monday's marathon, when I get a comment from the boss (no, not Niamh, the other one) that the brief had been to come home within 30 seconds of target, rather than 30-60 seconds as I had thought. So, the target for next year will be to run 17 seconds slower. Still, I don't think I did too badly. I certainly didn't get any complaints from my pacees, and that's the one group that counts.

Photo courtesy of Alan Murphy
There are lots of photos available of the runners, but I didn't see many of me, which is a bit surprising considering I was wearing a huge pink fairy wing. Actually that suits me just fine, I don't tend to be at my photogenic best when I'm running a marathon.

As regards to recovery, Dublin was just another training run (a rather long one, admittedly), and I never intended to take time off. You still have to respect the distance and therefore this week is a very easy low-mileage one, but training keeps going on uninterrupted. Walking down the staircase in Nana's house is an excellent indicator for the state of sore quads, and since I managed that without problems on Tuesday morning I went out of a short 5-miler straight away.

I thought I was running easily until I caught a glimpse of the Garmin and realised I was going at 7:30 pace, which is definitely too fast the day after a marathon. The HR reading was strange, very low. Either the Garmin was wrong or my leg muscles did a number on me. A low heart rate is not necessarily a sign of fitness, it can be a warning sign that the muscles are severely fatigued and most fibres just do not get activated, something I clearly cannot rule out in that case.

Anyway, I ran at a much more relaxed pace on Wednesday, and this time the low HR is certainly believable due to the easy effort.
Today, Thursday, the legs felt almost back to normal, though I know perfectly well that it takes a lot longer to be fully recovered, even after the stiffness has gone. I did an extra couple of miles (an extra two loops in Deer Park, that is), starting out slowly and gradually speeding up without even realising. In theory I should probably be running a little bit slower than that. In reality, I take the fact that the legs keep speeding up while on autopilot as a good sign.
There will be a few more easy days; I might do a longer run on the weekend; I will decide then, depending on how I feel. Next week I'll get back into proper training again. Last year I ran 2 weeks of 80-something miles after Dublin and had a fantastic race in Sixmilebridge, which came as a complete surprise. If I can replicate that, it would be great.
30 Oct
5 miles, 38:07, 7:37 pace, HR 138
31 Oct
5 miles, 40:11, 8:02 pace, HR 136
1 Nov
7 miles, 53:49, 7:41 pace, HR 150


  1. I'm voting for a fairy wing strapped to each upper arm for next year. Nice recovery. Good luck for the race.

  2. Hi Thomas, I have one photo of you running on the home stretch. I found it when I was browsing the photos my wife took that day. I can send you if you want or upload it somewhere, so you can download.

    1. That would be very nice if you could send me the photo. My email address is at the top of my blog. Thanks!