Last week’s running was the best in a while (from a relatively low base).
I was able to include an interval session (6 miles), a mid-week medium length run (8 miles), some recovery runs (4 miles), a set of hills (7.5 miles) and a long run (20 miles).
More of that and I’d be away on a hack.
But and series of schoolboy errors has led this week to being less that spectacular.
If you go back to last Sunday’s 20 miler I should have listened to my body and noted the slight trace of congestion in my chest.
Of course not. I’m a man. I laugh at illness but in most instances, and this is no different, it has the last laugh.
So out I went for 20 uneventful miles in the early morning mist and drizzle. Everything went fine – drenched to the bone for 3 hours. About 2:50 for 20 miles is a bit fast for ultra training but the rice crispie bars are back on the diet for these runs and they went down OK. It was about 340 cals in and somewhere between 2,00 and 2,600 cals (depending on what you believe the Garmin tells you) out.
When I got home I immediately noticed that I wasn’t right. This manifested itself through a bout of mid-afternoon narcolepsy with the newspaper draped over my chest like a dad from my childhood.
Monday was a day off anyway so I let the chest thing keep developing. It was bad but not seriously worse. No need for anything useful like medicine or rest.
Yesterday I had a day of meetings in the middle of Ireland where I had to sit around all day in a suit saying ‘constructive‘ things and ‘moving onto the next item on the agenda‘ .
The sort of meeting where you wish you had more biros to play with and you wondered if Bic actually tested the biro tops for ear wax removal efficiency.
After the meeting I made my way back home and decided that once I was in the door of the house I’d never be let out again for a run. The 9-year-old is doing some sort of piano exam in a few days that looks like it might not end in gold stars for everyone so extra curricular activities are not getting much support at the moment.
With this in mind and a day spent coughing I decided that I’d do 4 miles of hills just to ‘shift the cough’.
I always read the blogs of runners better than me who describe a bit of a niggle (a leg hanging off) that they can just shrug off and run through it until it goes away. A bit of hurting the injury will make it better, if you will.
Well, I have discovered that eating to lose weight, smoking to cure lung cancer, shagging for virginity, fighting for peace and running to ‘shift a cough’ are all in the same category of fringe homeopathic ideas that don’t really work.
The 4 miles of hills is basically 2 miles up-hill and an about turn and 2 miles down hill.
I was in such a bad way after the up-hill section that I had to stop and rest on the down-hill section.
Not big and not smart.
I made my way back home and was wrapped up in bed with a movie-style temperature by 8:30pm. This didn’t attract the Florence Nightingale attention I was hoping for. It was more of an Irish Mammy ‘pity-about-you’ that I got.
So, 4 days out from the Ballycotton 10 I have the lungs of a coal miner.
This will either end with the enforced rest (i.e. today) being a bit of a mini-taper and me doing better than I expected or me wheezing my way around the course on one lung.