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).