Just Running

No deep ‘what life really means‘ thoughts in this one.

I had a pretty poor few weeks running with a weird chest infection that not only made running harder than normal but robbed me of my motivation to do anything.

I blame the fact that I’ve given up the booze for Lent.

It really only hit home to me on the morning of the Ballycotton 10 – as I was starting to recover but still not running – that that was the first DNS I have ever had. I knew it was the right decision but it felt strange to be looking at the other race reports and realising that I wouldn’t be collecting my finisher’s mug, banana and mars bar.

Still, I have put in a pretty solid week, since then, with about 49 miles on the clock including a set of hills – great for emptying your lungs of anything that shouldn’t be there – and a decent long run.

The long run was one of those wake up at 06:00 for 3.5 hours of running before 11:00. They kill me as I cannot see the attraction of climbing out of a warm bed with a lady in it to run around suburbia pissing in hedges.

I managed 24.2 miles which went better than I thought it should have with a decently low HR (for me) of about 144 with the last 2 miles showing the missing week of running with the HR climbing to about 153. It was pretty mild as well (up to 14 deg C) so I had plenty of time to learn how to sweat after a winter out of practice.

I didn’t get to chug down any banana milk but I tucked a few energy drinks and a few rice crispie bars away. I haven’t done any runs with the water bottle yet (the one strapped to your ass) and I’m having sad fantasies about buying a Camelbak pack until I realise that 2 or 3 kg of water on your back is very heavy and a bit pointless as all the races I run are well supported with intermediate water points and drop bags. Still, all men love gadgets so I’ll keep dreaming.

the best part about the long run was I felt fine afterwards. No serious DOMS the next day and a nice recovery 4 miler this morning. I’ll put in another decent week this week and I might trim the long run back to 20 miles as the Wicklow Way is in about 10 or 11 days from now.

I had long ago decided to run the Wicklow Way Ultra as a training run. I’m not sure what I mean by ‘a training run’ as all these hilly ultras are run at a slow pace anyway through a combination of the terrain and the pacing strategy. I suppose the idea of running around suburbia for 30+ miles on your own is just too much for me. Running through a bog with nothing but sheep for company is much more sensible…………..

The lack of a taper doesn’t really worry me as I didn’t rest up before last Sunday’s run and it did me no harm. I sometimes think that tapering or ‘resting-up’ before a race (one with a number on  your chest, not one where you might win it)  can be more damaging mentally than just getting on with life.

So, another week of about 45 – 50 miles if I can fit in all the runs (it’s St. Patrick’s Day on Saturday and that is a day off Lent so I may have trouble getting all the runs in 😉 ) and then a bit of a mini-taper and we’ll see if the Wicklow Way is a bad  as I think it might be (almost 2,000m of climbing).



One response to “Just Running

  1. 14C is nice. An ultra with 2000m of climbing will be worse than you think it might be. Our local ‘mountains’ around here have about 300m of climbing and they’re hard mothers. 12+ times that – wow.

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