Sunday, 11 May 2008


Every old man I see
In October-coloured weather
Seems to say to me:
"I was once your father"
(Patrick Kavanagh - MEMORY OF MY FATHER)
My dad passed away peacefully in his sleep in the early hours of Monday morning after a long illness, so my week has been pretty hectic and tiring. On the running front my first run of the week was 11.5 miles on Wednesday morning where my ITBS decided to tell me it had not gone away and although I completed my run without pain I could feel tenderness on the outside of my knee. I kept my scheduled appointment with the new Physio on Thursday morning. Much better that the last Physio. He advised against long runs (24 miles scheduled this weekend) but said that tempo runs and speedwork (except on the track) should not be a problem. With this in mind I headed out for 2 x 3.5 miles @ 06:30 pace on Friday morning but only got 2.5 miles into the first leg when I got a cramp in my left calf and had to stop and walk the 3.5 miles home (no amount of stretching allowed me to run comfortably).
On Saturday morning I headed out with other members of Eagle AC who were incorporating the second half of the Cork Marathon route into their long run, starting on the Marina near Páirc Ui Caoimhe. The minimum run on offer was about 15.5 miles with some opting for extending it to 20 miles and beyond. The run started off at an easy pace well over 8 minute miles but after a while the pace increased, for some at least, (don't quite know who was in the driving seat) until we were motoring in the straight road at 07:30 pace after 10 miles with no sign of slowing down. Mile 13 through town was close to 7 minute pace and by the time the loop to Pairc Ui Caoimhe was complete any thoughts of extending the run were long gone. While it was a good progression run and my ITBS did not flare up I didn't feel great and the dull ache in my left calf at mile 1 remained with me throughout the run - I was glad to finish. 15.5 miles is a long way off 24 when it comes to endurance training.
Plenty of calf stretching on Saturday saw me heading out this morning to see if I could get another run in the double digits on tired legs and at least get some long run endurance memory into my legs ahead of Cork. I did not feel great from the first mile (stretching at mile 1 and 3.5 did help somewhat) as my left calf continued to niggle. To compound the discomfort my ITBS reared its ugly head after mile 3 which forced me to concentrate on my gait - I increased my leg turnover and shortened my stride and the ITBS subsided (less heel striking) and the run became more manageable. I eventually finished after 15.3 miles but felt washed out and exhausted. I'll take a day off tomorrow and look after my left calf. The closer I get to Cork the more crocked I begin to feel. Next weekends MP long run will tell a lot about how prepared I am to run 26.2 miles in 3 weeks time.
The official results of the Half Marathon last Sunday have me finishing in 01:30:00 exactly, which means I didn't miss the mark - although I am not yet a sub 01:30 half marathoner either (A kind of Limbo). Still a PB by 02:29 though, despite what others may have thought (although my 10k improvement of 04:37 over the same yearly interval is far more impressive)
Wed 7th May 11.48 Miles in 01:27:36 (07:38 pace @ 148 HR) Fri 9th May 4.51 Miles in 31:48 (07:03 pace @ 145 HR) with 2.51 Miles in 06:34, 06:25 & 03:16 (06:26 pace) Sat 10th May 15.57 Miles in 02:04:00 (07:57 @ 141 HR) 09:01, 08:31, 08:18, 08:25, 08:30, 08:26, 08:10, 07:51, 08:06, 07:32, 07:10, 07:14, 07:02, 07:14 & 04:15 (07:23 pace) Sun 11th May 15.32 Miles in 02:02:35 (08:00 pace @ 137 HR) Marathon Training Week 21/24 - 46.88 Miles. Third consecutive injury induced low mileage week. Revised target for Cork I'd say.


  1. Grellan,

    Sorry to hear about your father and my prayers are with you.

    On the running front I'm glad to see that I'm not the only one with niggles (albeit for lower mileage) and that daunting feeling at mile 12 - 16 of fatigue and the desire to stop.....too early to taper? I've developed a sore calf, blisters and the recent heat is not inspiring confidence.


  2. I'm so sorry to hear about your old man Grellan. My thoughts are with you and the family.

    Careful management of the ITB and calf (and other niggles) will hopefully get you to Cork. Your base condition is pretty good, so it's just a matter of maintaining this and getting to the start line feeling good.

  3. I'm really sorry to hear about your father (nice poem).

    Glad to see you're able to continue with the runs but like Ewen said, take care with the calf and ITB. With the race not that far away, less is better now.

    All the best and take care of yourself and the family.

  4. Sorry about your loss. My thoughts are with you and your family.

  5. I'm really sorry about that, Grellan, even if it wasn't entirely unexpected.

    My sympathies to you and your family.

  6. Grellan,

    My most sincere sympathies to you and your family.


  7. Hi Grellan

    Sorry to hear about your father. That is something that I suppose all too many of us will face someday and I don't know how I will be able to deal with that.

    I know a little about the ITB thing as I had some of that a few years back. Fortunately, it just kind of faded away over time and hasn't come back. I do know that I had some stretching exercises that seemed to make a difference, but it certainly is a painful way to run.

    Congrats on the great half and PR BTW.

    Best of luck.