Saturday, 27 October 2007

Final Countdown

Less than two days remaining to the Dublin City Marathon. Nothing to do now except wait. I went back to the Physio yesterday for a final session. The tenderness in my Soleus had certainly subsided since Tuesdays visit, a few muscle fibres at the core were still sore when the physio worked over them - overall though the improvement was noticeable. The alternate hot bath and ice pack certainly helped. I went to the gym for an easy run after work with the intention of covering about 4 miles to test drive my legs after the long rest - I was beginning to think that I had never run and it was all a dream. I warmed up for a mile @ 11.5 kph (08:24 pace) stretched and continued on @ 12 kph (08:03 pace). While my legs felt fine I noticed that my heart rate was 154/155 which is waaaay too high for that pace. I put it down to the higher temperature in the gym and decided to cut the run short at 3 miles - no point in taking a risk. I ran a 5.2 mile loop this morning just to get some outside air in my lungs and real road under my feet. I took it reasonably easy - about 8 minute pace, which I increased towards 07:30 pace over the final two miles. I can't say the run felt easy though and again noticed my heart rate about 10 beats higher than expected with a finishing HR of 158. On the plus side my calf didn't trouble me at all. My elevated heart rate is a concern heading into Mondays race - I'll certainly want to take it easy over the opening miles and ensure I don't head into the anaerobic zone. I think this is what happened to me last year when I began to tire before the half-way stage, struggle at 20 miles and endure the last four miles with terrible pain (lactic acid) building in my calves - those were the worst four miles I have ever run and ever want to run. I was so out of it I didn't notice anything going on around me. It was a relief to get over the finish line - it was only 20 minutes after I finished (my first marathon) that I took any joy out of my achievement - not the way I wanted to finish my first marathon.
I did the opposite of this in my second marathon in Barcelona on the 4th March this year where I headed out at a relatively conservative pace and enjoyed every minute of the the 26.22 miles, taking in all the sights on a beautiful sunny day and managed to cut 13 minutes off my Dublin time. I only felt some pain about 2 km from the end. I crossed the finish line on a high and felt like kissing the ground and crying - running brings out some strange emotions. This was the best run I have ever had - I wouldn't mind experiencing this "runners high" on Monday. Unfortunately I haven't yet found the key to providing it on demand.
I'll travel to Dublin tomorrow, pick up my race bib at the expo and stay with my brother in Dun-Laoighre tomorrow night. Adrian, my ex running partner has decided to provide support by cycling some of the course with me and providing drinks as required. The jury's still out as to whether this will be of benefit or not - as long as he doesn't expect me to be chatting away we should get on ok. Todays run saw a new weekly record of 8.2 miles as follows:- Fri 3.0 Miles in 24:27 (08:09 pace @ 145 HR) Sat 5.2 Miles in 40:41 (07:49 pace @ 146 HR)


  1. If you find out how to provide the runner's high on demand, let me know ;)

    I hope it all goes well Grellan. Definitely worth being extra conservative in the early stages by the sound of things.

    Good luck!

  2. I feels weird not running it this year.

    Good Luck on Monday. Relax, you'll be fine.

  3. Rest well and have a great day Monday!

  4. Good luck!! Wishing you a fast, relaxing run with a nice calm HR!!

    Looking forward to the race report! :)