Thursday, October 22, 2015

Winter Is Coming

It really is getting dark in the mornings! I can't believe how quickly the mornings have changed. It's pitch dark when I leave the house and it's still barely dawn when I come back home from my run. The clocks are going back this Sunday, which will make a big difference again but only for a few weeks. That time next month it will be Winter running, basically.

We had some unexpectedly nice weather last week. The sky was totally clear in the morning and the first thing I saw when I opened the door was Orion in all its beauty. It was also very cold - that goes hand in hand with clear skies, and one morning it got as cold as 2 degrees! The last few days it has turned again, Wednesday morning was fairly wild with wind and rain but it also got warmer again. I'm not sure what the weather is going to be like for the Dublin marathon on Monday - it could be windy or they could get lucky. I still can't quite believe I'm not running it this year!

Monday morning was an early call at stupid o'clock, just like in the old days when I used to do my long runs in the middle of the week. I left the house at 5 am, which was my only chance to run that day. I had considered skipping that run, after all I'm not training right now and still very much in my recovery phase from Sparta, but then decided to go ahead anyway. I don't want to get into the habit of skipping runs but you can call it OCD if you want.

I was back to my normal times the other days. My main concern at the moment is that the HR is really high, even when the effort is easy. It seemed to start coming down but that stalled or even reverted back. Obviously I'm aware that things are still out of whack after that extreme effort in Greece but at the same time I'm pretty sure I'm not suffering from overtraining - I sleep soundly, my appetite is good and all other signs are fine as well.

The HR often starts coming down when I start introducing a few runs at a higher effort, though I am hesitant to do that while I'm still deep in recovery. In an attempt to get the legs moving at a higher pace while not overtaxing my system I did a 60/60 on/off workout this morning, which I call a Kenyan fartlek because that workout is described in this book, though the Kenyan element clearly refers to the structure of the workout, not the pace. In fact, I made sure to take it reasonably easy and never pushed particularly hard. What I found interesting in the graph was how I seem to switch pace by changing my cadence rather than stride length, though I don't think that has any real practical implications.

During the last couple of miles my right foot was bothering me slightly - I thought I had developed a blister, which would be highly unusual - the only time I developed a blister in about the last 8 years was when I was running a race in excess of 100 miles. Anyway, when I got home I checked it out and it wasn't a new blister - it was a dead piece of skin hanging off, the last reminder of the one blister I got in Greece. Bloody damn big it was too, almost the size of  Euro coin. The other reminder I have from that race is a dark toenail on the left foot but I noticed it started growing back "normal" coloured already, so I guess it won't fall off, which means I still have never lost a toenail, which means I'm still not a proper runner!

19 Oct
8 miles, 1:08:57, 8:37 pace, HR 139
20 Oct
10 miles, 1:25:38, 8:34 pace, HR 145
21 Oct
8 miles, 1:05:25, 8:11 pace, HR 151
22 Oct
8 miles, 1:05:42, 8:13 pace, HR 150
   Kenyan fartlek

1 comment:

  1. Wow, you have never lost a toenail!