Day Six in the Big Brother House

Okay, so that reference will mean nothing to most folks beyond the English Channel, and that’s no harm. As a programme, it’s a pretty odious piece of work. But certainly as a cultural reference, it’s seeped (like leachate from a landfill) into the public vocabulary. I wonder what Eric Arthur Blair would have made of it? After all, it was Eric, writing under his pen name of George Orwell, who conjured up Big Brother, so perhaps he might see the gag whereby there is no coercion required to get us all watching the screens; we do it of our own volition.

Anyway, enough of that crap. There is precious little ‘reality’ about most reality TV shows, and Big Brother takes the whole biscuit tin, right down to the soggy Rich Tea that no-one ever wants.

What I was getting at (in a round about way to prove my own point) is that I have finished the first official week of training for the Dublin Marathon. And in typical pre-season training mode, post a holiday break, I am suffering from leisure sickness. This is a known phenomena when you get the sniffles or a sore throat when you go away on holidays. The phrase was coined by Dutch psychologists (go on, read the abstract… you have nothing else to be doing, right?) and suggests there may be something, well, psychological in the whole gig (no surprise there). Other more pragmatic medical folk suggest you pick up the bugs because you are travelling on planes and trains, and these are notorious carriers of bugs of all kinds as you are thrown in amongst your fellow man (as in people) with some dubious air conditioning.

I suspect it may some combination of things (my head cold is mostly done now, and I don’t see it getting any worse). I certainly didn’t have to slum it on a plane with a load of strangers; we drove down, en famille. We stayed in a rented house on our own.

So there may be a situation whereby you get used to your own local ‘climate’ of bugs and beasties, and develop some form of evolving immunity. This wouldn’t protect you against the ‘flu, for example, but it might keep the basic sniffles away. Or acute viral nasopharyngitis. You know that one. And so once you step out of your normal bubble into a new environment, you are exposed to other things your body is not used to. It’s my theory, and if you don’t like it, I have others 🙂

Monday was a 10k recovery run. Technically I wasn’t recovering from anything but it was on the programme sheet, so it was done. In about 57 minutes, or 5.42 pace, so that’s the marathon pace. Probably too fast for recovery running. Note to self. Slow down on recovery.

Tuesday: Speed Work. Lovely. A mix of one kilometre at 4.55 pace followed by the next at 5.05. Rinse and repeat three times in all. With warm up and warm down that clocks up about 9k, and the overall pace was 5.11. The key of course is to stick to your given pace for the kilometre. I use the local pitches as the grass is nice to run on and the total boundary is pretty much bang on a kilometre.

Wednesday: Another recovery run. About 6.5k.

Thursday: Tempo Run. After a warm up, run at 5.35 pace. That’s a decent pace, but not outrageous by any stretch. But after the holiday slump and four consecutive days in the warmth… yeah, it was a sweaty enough spectacle.

Friday: Another recovery run, which in the normal course of events I would have happily skipped. But. The programme obliged. 7.5 odd k in about the right pace for the recovery runs, which is anything over 6 minutes per kilometre.

Saturday morning. And Day Six in the Big Brother House. My programme is watching me from the back of the kitchen door. It can see all. There is nowhere to hide. Did a handy enough 13k with Mark and Ciaran in the park at bang on 6.05 pace which is what the programme demands. I am nothing if not its dutiful servant.

I suppose I should be thankful there is no hill work in there.

Sunday is a day of rest. That seems to ring a bell somewhere…

holly
Holly says, well, nothing really. She’s so chilled out she can’t even be arsed to get her leg onto the seat…

P.S. The Dublin Marathon is officially sold out. I did warn you last week. It’s a record entry of 20,000 and sold out in record time too.

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