Wednesday, November 13, 2013


My youngest daughter is now 6 years old and she is showing worrying signs of following in the footsteps of one of her parents as far as her behavioural patterns go. 3 days ago she wrote a letter to the Tooth Fairy telling her about her wobbly tooth that will be up for collection soon. The next day, thrilled by receiving a reply from Fairy Land by her Magic Highness herself, she wrote no less than 6 (six!!!) letters, all saying pretty much the same thing. This was followed by yet another letter (this time with a drawing) yet another day later. If I were the Tooth Fairy I'd be thinking about getting a restraining order. We also might need to have a talk about obsessive behaviour.

Myself, on the other hand, carefree as I am, did a little bit of running in the meantime. I lost 10 minutes on Monday morning trying to get a Garmin working that steadfastly refused to even look at the satellite signals coming from the sky. Eventually I left sans GPS device on my wrist, that should teach it a lesson. I probably ran a bit faster than I should have due to being a) late and b) frustrated, but since I had neither watch nor HRM I can't tell. Things were restored back to normal on Tuesday (an IT background does have its advantages), though the legs felt a bit off, which was either a hangover from Sunday's longer run (even if it was far from being an actual long run) or a result of having run too fast the day before, with the former sounding more likely to me.

I took the unusual step of checking the weather forecast for Wednesday and Thursday to set my schedule, and with a windy morning predicted for Thursday I fixed my next evaluation workout for Wednesday. It was a little bit breezy, a bit more than I would have liked. Wind is the enemy of the evaluation because it can really mess up the numbers to the point of making them utterly irrelevant. It was mostly fine but I did notice it picking up for miles 3 and 4, though it was never particularly strong and unlikely to have a significant impact on the actual pace.

        Mile 1    6:49   HR 161
        Mile 2    6:52   HR 161
        Mile 3    6:59   HR 161
        Mile 4    6:57   HR 161
        Recovery to HR 130: 49 seconds

The pace is roughly comparable to the beginning of October but the recovery time is rather excessive, which shows that while I might feel good at the moment I clearly have not yet recovered from the Dublin marathon, which should not come as a great surprise, seeing as it was only 16 days ago. Somehow I was hoping for a better result but that's exactly what the evaluations are for, to take hope and guesswork out of the equation and replace them with cold hard factual numbers.
I won't obsess over them, I think.

11 Nov
8 miles, 1:01:00 (estimated)
12 Nov
8 miles, 1:03:38, 7:57 pace, HR 139
13 Nov
11.8 miles, 1:26:41, 7:20 pace, HR 151
   incl. 4 mile eval: 6:49, 6:52, 6:59, 6:57, 49 sec recovery


  1. Your evaluation figures really do suggest that you have haven't restored your fitness yet. I'm so used to you reporting rapid progress it seems odd to see a tempering of recovery rates this Autumn.

    Each time I hear of your doing an evaluation I ponder of doing them myself, I can see the value in doing a very specific test that is repeated and can be tacked over the months and years. I find the idea of running back and forth over the same route a bit tedious though so haven't yet brought myself to do an evaluation like the one you've been doing. I probably need to get a bit more discipline in my training and get my head around doing it.

    One thing I do which might be somewhat passable as an evaluation is to simply record the average HR, pace and calories used as reported by my HR monitor for all my runs and races. This gives me a rough indication of fitness without need for doing anything specific. I don't have anything equivalent to the recovery time though.

    One thing I have noticed about my own measurement of fitness is that my efficiency typically drops the week after race and can stay suppressed for a while, especially if I don't engage in much training. Right now my efficiency looks to be 10% lower roughly two weeks after last race than it was beforehand.

    This time around I suspect my drop in efficiency it's as much down to lack of running volume (<20 miles per week) as it is recovery from racing. However, after the Devil O'the Highlands race in August it was more than four weeks before I saw anything near to efficiencies I had before the race. There muscle damage and repair was clearly a big factor.

  2. Best of luck at six mile bridge!