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Easy Now, Thomas!


from Diary of a Rubbish Marathon Runner Lola declared Easter Sunday as her third favourite day of the year, behind birthday and Christmas Day. I tend to agree, getting 4 days off work without having to take a single day holiday id something I could get used to. In fact, I only have three days of work left before I’m off to Boston. Blimey, time’s moving! Yesterday I woke earlier than I would have liked ideally, but one look out of the window revealed such a stunningly beautiful blue sky that i didn’t mind; I was merely looking forward to hitting the road. I had to wait a bit longer, but once the kids had their breakfast there was no stopping me, I had every intention of running easily but I felt so good that I just let the legs go as they pleased. Maybe it was the fact that I was finally able to wear a singlet rather than a t-shirt, but the miles just seemed to melt away. Looking at the Garmin and seeing that I was doing about marathon race pace I regretted the fact that I was wearing my heavy trainers rather than my racing shoes, but I just kept going. Originally I had planned on running 6 miles, but when I thought of all the Easter chocolate I was bound to eat later on I added two miles just to burn a few additional calories – not that it would make a real difference. Anyway, by the time I was back home less than 55 minutes had passed and I felt great. In marked contrast to some earlier runs I was sorry to be done.

We spent the rest of the day doing Easter things (see the end of this entry for proof). Thankfully the meteorologists had been utterly wrong and we had a beautiful day. They tried to make up for their errors and predicted the rain for today instead. Wrong again. I had been expecting to cover today’s mile soaking wet, but again I was out there in a singlet, enjoying the early morning sunshine.

The legs were a bit heavy to start with, which didn’t come as much of a surprise. I just intended to take it easy, so I didn’t even look at the Garmin until 4 miles later. Then I did a double take, because I was almost at 7:30 pace. The miles had been downhill and, as I found out on the second part of the loop, must have been wind-assisted, but I really hadn’t expected the easy effort to be faster than 8:00 pace. I then switched the Garmin into menu mode so that I wouldn’t be tempted to peek at the readings and ran just by feel. As it turns out, that feeling was misleading; by the time I was back home I must have sped up even more, despite the second part being uphill and against the wind. Honestly, this was not a tempo effort, I had kept it easy all along. It just shows the effect of this week’s reduced mileage.

I remember the same thing happening before Cork and Dublin last year; 7:30 pace suddenly feels like jogging. But I have to be careful, the marathon is only a week away, and I must not get carried away. I now have two easy days ahead of me, and I really have to take it genuinely easy. Thursday will see the last workout, sharp and short, and then it’s off to Boston.

Things aren’t all hunky dory, though. Cian threw up last night, and while we originally blamed overindulgence of chocolate he did do so again this morning and it looks like he has picked up a tummy bug (some friends of his had it too). I keep my fingers crossed that I won’t be affected this close to Boston – or even at Boston. Banish the thought! Not that I would want to leave Niamh on her own with 4 vomiting children on my weekend away, either.