Time to throttle back

My 24hrs of enforced rest last week was as a result of something called acute pharyngitis.  It may well be as a result of ‘the ash cloud’ but I’m no expert and apart from having no appetite the 24 hours of sleep was welcomed. I was suffering from another acute condition as well: Suspicious looks from my wife – didn’t seem to be any cure for this one though.

I got a nice hill run in on Saturday but the pace was off due to the Friday illness and I had an elevated HR for the steepest hill section.

Yesterday was one of those days where my name was down to ride 3 horses in the same race but I only had the one ass. Looking back on it I am surprised I didn’t fall at the first fence.

The human alarm clock (2 year old son) woke me at about 06:00 yesterday morning. It was my turn to ‘mind’ him so I dragged my ass (and his) down to watch Dora/Max & Ruby/Ben & Holly/insert name of head wrecking kiddies programme. Lucky for me I can sleep anywhere so, unlike all the nutters who get out of bed at the crack of fast asleep o’clock for a run, I was back dreaming about what advice I could give Ryan Hall & Gebreselassie about the final kick in about 10 minutes.

My child minding techniques were not approved of by the commander-in-chief so I had to make busy with the breakfasts and the active child minding (as opposed to my ‘passive’ approach).

Then I had the side gate to paint – an easy 3 hours – except for the child minding associated with this. When I read the side of the paint pot is was missing the crucial bit of consumer advice: ‘not suitable for use while child minding’. Why do women think that any outdoor activity – grass cutting, painting, sweeping, washing the car, power tools – is a child minding opportunity?

After the painting I had to take a trip to the machine gun bunker to empty out the old part of the house (electrician, plumber on the way etc.) and had to hump boxes of junk from up-stairs to the car, from the car to my father-in-law’s house (up-a lane way on  a hand truck) and then up his narrow stairs to a spare bedroom. This went on for 4 hours (40 boxes). As I want to stay married for a few more years you can infer from what I have not written about my views on humping junk for a hobby (needless to say, it was not my junk).

And then I got home for 19:00 and had the prospect of a 22 mile run in front of me.  You might have noticed from the above that there was no mention of food during the day – that’s because apart from a doughnut and coffee and a lucozade, there was none –

I decided to crack on for the run anyway and to see how far I could go on mental strength and will power before I succumbed to being an idiot.

About 21 miles is the answer.

I was surprised I even got that far. I did have 2 energy drinks during the run but apart from a gradual fading of pace over the last 3 miles I didn’t fee too bad up until mile 18 or 19. I realised that as the pace was fading so much at mile 21 there was nothing in it for me physically or from a mental strength point of view so I strolled for a half mile and then I jogged the last half-mile home.

Like an OCD hand washer I had to tag on another 1/2 mile loop just to round it out to 22 miles. What must I have looked like jogging up-and-down the street outside my house looking at the Garmin at 11:30pm waiting for 22 miles to clock-up?

The only thing I realised from that run (something all Ultra people probably already know) is that you can go quite long on very little nutrition but your running form tends to suffer. I had about 8 miles of steep up-hill/down hill in that run and I was not really controlling my gait on the down hill sections. As a result of this I have pretty sore quads this morning.

Still, taper time is here. 3 weeks from today I will be all done.

Now, as long as the sun doesn’t shine I’ll be fine.


2 responses to “Time to throttle back

  1. I think where you went wrong, was not ‘spray painting’ the gate in the first place! job time 5 mins!
    Anyway I’m truly impressed by your mental Fortitude, and I’m pretty dam sure it will bid you well for the long relenting challenge that awaits you, and you should do pretty well in the Marathon also :]

  2. I like that last bit – I’m glad you spotted the difference between my general endurance and my running performance!

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