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Happy Birthday, Cian


From Diary of a Rubbish Marathon Runner When is a child’s birthday present the perfect one? You could argue it should be educational as well as entertaining; something you make yourself is better than something bought in a shop; it should not be connected to some overhyped cartoon character; it shouldn’t be made from plastic. I tell you what, forget all that snobbish highbrow crap. If the child’s eyes light up like candles, you’ve hit bulls eye. It doesn’t matter that you overpaid for what is essentially a cheap piece of plastic; that it’s a mass-produced bit of crap with several thousand identical items sitting on store shelves around the world, and the cynical advertising doesn’t matter to a 5-year old. Cian loves his Ben10 watch. He’s not taken it off his wrist, and I’m pretty sure it will stay there for a long time.

I slept in on Sunday until 8 o’clock and went for an easy 12 mile run. The world around me was frozen over and the footing was treacherous at times, but I made it through without incident. The long sleeves and the running tights both got a first airing of the season, and I was glad for both; I would have become frozen solid otherwise. In the afternoon we went to see Santa, an annual event that has been long awaited by three members of our household. Now they better be good for the rest of the month, or the Christmas list might get cut down.

We stayed up late on Sunday making a Rocket Birthday cake (2 actually), though I cannot take any artistic credit whatsoever, that belongs entirely to Niamh and her sister. I had taken Monday morning off work, so I got yet another lie in, until 6:45 am (I have a different concept of a lie in compared to the average adult). After two clear, if cold, days I could not believe my ears when the first thing I registered was the rain against our window. Why does it always have to rain on my long run day? Because of last week’s four off days, I cut today’s run from 18 miles down to 15, in an effort to somewhat ease back into running. I had luck of some kind, it stopped raining while I got ready, and I had 2 dry miles; the 13 following miles were divided between light and heavy rain, and the wind wasn’t particularly pleasant either.

Whatever, I made it through, and the legs held up fine. However, I was about to start writing hate mail to all those scientists and coaches that tell you that you don’t lose any fitness after 4 days of not running. I knew how my legs had felt before my enforced break and how they felt this morning, and a loss in fitness seemed more than noticeable. However, I ran home from work tonight, and all of a sudden it was like everything clicked again. I was running easy at a decent pace and seemed to effortlessly float above the pavement. More of that, please.

Now that the mileage buildup is over, I will gradually add a few faster runs; the first of which will be on Wednesday. Somehow I’m both looking forward to it and dreading it.

7 Dec
12.1 miles, 1:38:31, 8:09 pace, HR 150
8 Dec
am: 15 miles, 2:05:55, 8:24 pace, HR 150
pm: 5 miles, 37:55, 7:35 pace, HR 147