Wednesday, September 17, 2014

What A Thing To Train For

Well, plenty of comments on my last post and not one of them contained Rory McIlroy kind of abuse, great :). What struck a chord was "what a thing to train for" as well as "Unreal that you have the chance to run for any country", which is absolutely true.

I very vividly remember my 4:36 marathon in Belfast in 2005 (though there were some minor mitigating circumstances) when the thought of ever running a sub-3 marathon seemed less likely than reaching the Moon one day, and a 3 hour marathon still only leaves you in the "club runner" category. To actually have a realistic chance of being selected to represent your country is just ... wow!

I actually try not to think too hard about it. I am actually fairly confident that I will indeed get selected (I think only 3 Austrian men have the national A-limit this year and I'm one of them), but what if I get injured or sick? Better not to dwell on it. My injury history is pretty damn good, in fact I don't know any other runner who gets injured less (and no, I didn't just curse myself, I've been saying that for years already) and I very rarely seem to get sick either, so I guess my chances of indeed standing on the start line for the Big Boys' dance are looking good.

I hope I won't wake up any time now and it was all just one rather elaborate dream. Mind, if it is then it's been going on for quite some time now.

Anyway, recovery from Dingle has been going rather well. Running 50 miles over a very hilly course is a serious enough undertaking but I seemed to have taken it in my stride. The pace over the weekend has already gone sub-8 for an easy run, though I made very sure to run very easily on Monday, just in case. I certainly could not feel any ill-effects on Tuesday, but the mountain run on Wednesday did not go entirely without a hitch. Despite the forecast of a beautiful warm sunny day it was very overcast and as a result much darker than expected. It wasn't a problem on the approach roads, but as soon as I hit the trail it became an issue. Visibility was poor enough for me not to spot a few holes and I got a fair amount of rather unexpected bumps. The steep climb up to Windy Gap itself felt as hard as ever, but with the footing being so unsure it is hard say how much of the fairly slow pace was down to heavy legs and how much just to visibility. Anyway, I got up and down without any falls, which is probably as good as it gets on a day like this. I had been intending on doing these mountain runs all through winter, weather allowing, but for future runs I will either have to bring a headlamp or I'll have to move them to the weekend when I tend to run a couple of hours later and light conditions are bound to be much better.
15 Sep
10 miles, 1:20:34, 8:03 pace, HR 136
16 Sep
10 miles, 1:18:49, 7:52 pace, HR 142
17 Sep
10.8 miles, 1:33:01, 8:36 pace, HR 145
   Windy Gap


  1. Congratulations Thomas! That's great news. Don't get injured or sick! Your story reminds me of Martin Fryer, a good club runner who developed into a great ultra runner and represented Australia. All the best.

  2. Well said Ewen, thoroughly deserved , a green shirt now and it will all make sense Thomas ;-) .