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Holding Back


From “Diary of a Rubbish Marathon Runner” After Tuesday’s tempo run I definitely went into taper mode. I had two easy days on Wednesday and Thursday, and the mileage has definitely dropped now. As always, the most important thing during the taper is not to do anything too stupid. With 10 days to go until the marathon I’m reasonably confident that I will manage to keep myself in check. I ran easily along Caragh Lake on Wednesday, but added 2 or 3 short pickups into the run. Maybe they were responsible for the average heart rate being a bit higher than expected. I certainly did raise an eyebrow when I checked the numbers, but I don’t think it’s a sign of impending doom.

I went even easier on Thursday with 5 miles on the Ard-na-Sidhe road. I remember doing a lot of 5 mile runs along that road when I was following the Pfitzinger marathon plan. It seems like ages ago now. These days the Ard-na-Sidhe road is part of my long runs around the lake, but I very rarely go there just to turn around at the 2.5-mile mark.

Much more painful then that run was a visit to the dentist. At the age of 38 I still had two baby teeth in my mouth, and for some unknown reason one of them split up all of a sudden last week. The dentist confirmed that it literally broke into pieces in my mouth. He managed to get most of it out, but one part had become fused to the bone due to being there for so long. He could not remove it, but had to file it down. I felt fine during the procedure itself, but when the anaesthetic wore off later on I felt distinctly uncomfortable, and it still hurt on Thursday. I’m fine now, but I still have to get used to that gap in my teeth. At least it’s far enough towards the back not to be visible.

I have mentioned a few times how I keep massaging my left foot to keep the PF in check. I could always feel quite a bump in that heel, and yesterday, while pressing at a sore spot a sharp pain shot through my foot, and when that had subsided the big knot was almost gone. There’s still a bit of a bump compared to the other foot, but it’s much smaller than it used to be. I think I just happened to hit a trigger point, which would be good news, I guess. Having said that, the foot didn’t feel any different this morning. But I will be fine during the marathon.

Despite not following the Pfitzinger plan any more I’m still doing that 3×1 miles workout 10 days before a marathon each time. I felt a bit apprehensive today, especially since I had not done any intervals for a while – I has eased off before the last race, and been recovering/tapering ever since. It took a bit to get used to the 6:00 pace during the first interval, and I concentrated mainly on keeping good from and remaining in full control rather than going all out. At the start of the second interval I got the same thought that I always have at the start of a second interval, namely to chuck it all in and go home, but I managed to do what I always do, which is to carry on. Funnily enough, the second interval would be the fastest of the three, despite being slightly uphill (the other ones being slightly downhill going to other way). The last one was done to the thought of just getting it over with. The end result was a set of intervals that were a bit slower than the same workout before the Cork marathon, but unlike then I always felt in full control this time round, and I think that’s what you’re supposed to do rather than an all-out-until-you-drop effort. There was also that little voice in my head telling me not to wear myself out too much before the marathon. In any case, it’s done now, and I’m reasonably content with the workout. Of course I’d like to have run faster. Don’t we all?

Good luck to all you guys running a marathon on Sunday of which there seem to be quite a few, i.e. PEI, MDI and Amsterdam. I’ll be thinking of you, and eagerly await the race reports.

15 Oct
8 miles, 1:03:36, 7:57 pace, HR 145
16 Oct
5 miles, 39:52, 7:58 pace, HR 140
17 Oct
6 miles, 44:05, 7:21 pace, HR 155
3×1 mile @ 6:10 (165/171), 6:07 (171/178), 6:13 (176/180)