Thursday, March 03, 2016

Chasing Away The Demons

I probably should give some kind of explanation for my last post. It's a long story and there is much more to it than I would ever divulge publicly but basically a family member is in hospital with a serious condition. When it first happened we felt helpless and alone but since then we've had offers to help from so many people and so much support that it all becomes a lot easier to bear. Thank you to everyone who has sent us some form encouragement, you have no idea how much this helped!

I am actually amazed that my training didn't break down completely with all the stress and sleepless nights but somehow I always kept feeling very good physically. Despite all those extra factors I can suddenly feel my training coming along, after weeks of stagnation of even seemingly going backwards. Running in the last week or two wasn't really focused on training as such but more on getting the head sorted and enjoy some hours of freedom but the training effects accumulated nevertheless.

I felt pretty good after Sunday's run but still kept Monday to a very easy 5-mile run. I did up teh distance a little bit on Tuesday but kept the effort at the same easy level.

Because I felt surprisingly good and also because of Sunday's 10-mile race in Ballycotton I toyed with the idea of doing this week's midweek workout on Wednesday rather than the usual Thursday but the weather solved that problem for me with storm Jake striking on Wednesday. While it is possible to run in orange weather warnings it is probably not really advisable as there is a certain amount of risk involved, even if it's a small one. But it's definitely not possible to do a proper workout in a mini-hurricane; believe me, I've tried.

So it was an easy hour on the treadmill watching a recording on the telly to pass the boredom while teh storm was raging outside. It was actually by far my best treadmill run yet, maybe I'm getting used to it or maybe the wind blowing through the slightly opened window ensured I did not get as overheated as usual.

The real workout followed as scheduled on Thursday, a very calm if surprisingly dark morning. The workout was 15 or 16 miles with 4x1 mile repeats at 10k pace bang in the middle. Seeing as my last attempt at a long run with a fast middle section had almost killed me I was a bit nervous but once I got going it went much better than expected. I ran 39:10 in a 10k last month, and even though I was definitely disappointed with that time it pointed to a present 10k-pace of about 6:20, maybe a couple of seconds faster and that was the target.

I ended up with 6:20, 6:13, 6:21 and 6:13. There was very little wind and the road was reasonably flat in either direction so I can't really tell why one direction was faster than the other one but with such a small sample size it may well be just coincidence, or just plain old bad pacing. However, I felt pretty good and definitely had at least one more repeat in me, which is how you want to feel at the end of a speed workout, especially so if the plan calls for an extra 5 or 6 miles! Those miles went pretty well as well, very much in contrast to the horror show back in February and I figured that had been my best workout in that training cycle yet. While I would gladly swap every single ounce of fitness for a healthy family, I'll have to be content with what I have at the moment. Having a race to look forward to helps with dealing with all the other stuff, though.
29 Feb
5 miles, 41:22, 8:16 pace, HR 138
1 Mar
8 miles, 1:03:16, 7:55 pace, HR 144
2 Mar
8 miles, 1:03:16, 7:55 pace, HR 138, treadmill
3 Mar
15 miles, 1:53:52, 7:35 pace, HR 145
   4 x 1 mile @ 6:20, 6:13, 6:21, 6:13


  1. Hope it all reaches a happy conclusion

  2. Sorry to hear that dreadful news Thomas. You will all come out the other end of this safely and soon I hope, and in the meantime keep on running.

  3. Sorry to hear about the family illness Thomas. hang in there and best wishes to all concerned. Don't overdo Ballycotton and leave time for recovery.

  4. I'm sure it helps to reveal what you can in this very public forum. All the best for the 10 miler - you'll run well.

  5. Hope everything turns out well Thomas!! Good job in the training!