Running since the marathon has been something of a trial. In this particular trial, the prosecution is pushing hard for a ‘guilty for being an eejit’ verdict. And who am I to argue? I think my defence is going to crumble. The evidence is clear. The accused tried to run a marathon dressed as a fireman on Sunday morning, on the 30th of October, your honour, and then to make matters worse, managed to catch some class of a viral infection… sorry, counsel; are we talking about Covid here? No, your honour, the accused did a test, and it was negative… just the one test? No, your honour. Two. Very well. Proceed…
Well, your honour, he has subsequently missed quite a number of training days as per the prescribed programme (audible gasps from the gallery), as you can see from Exhibit 25… that’s on-screen now… this amounts to a paltry total of five runs since the marathon attempt… Objection, your honour! My client finished the marathon! Sustained. Carry on, counsel…
Anyway, you get the gist. I should have had nine runs since the Dublin City Marathon, but have only managed five. The first week after the race is understandable, really. As it happened, the soreness was in the shoulders, lower back and hips, and the legs were largely okay in comparison. As unironedman devotees (what, now?) understand keenly, having hung on my every word of wisdom when it comes to running, it’s all about the pace. It always is. If you want to run faster times, you have to run faster. And sometimes, you will feel marginally better after a five-hour marathon than a four-hour marathon. These are the rules, and I don’t make ’em!
My first run was a four-mile easy pace with Mark, followed by hot chocolate, on the 5th. The following day, I did a reasonably decent 8 miles, then there was a genuine rest day, with Tuesday’s repeats as a special treat (spoiler: I hate repeats). This was a warm-up followed by one kilometre repeats around the pitches with a short recovery jog in between each lap. Horrible stuff. And I was sweating like a hog too, as the illness was catching up on me, so I skipped the next two runs and managed a handy 5 plus miles on Saturday just gone. The weather was unseasonably mild, and had I one of those ripped torsos, I would have cheerfully stripped to the waist. Indeed, it was so warm, even the canal itself looked quite inviting. But I refrained from both, and kept the foot down, so to speak, so that we finished with a reasonably pacey 5:24 min/km average. I credit the new shoes. I was but a humble passenger.
Today’s run will hopefully get me back on track. The programme, I note, called for 20 miles, but that was out of the question. Instead, I drove up to Gary’s and we mooched along the canal from Maynooth out towards Ferrans Lock and back for a nice half. We were both feeling the pressure, I think, but we took care of business, which is the main thing. Came in just over the two-hour mark, but that’s not bad, considering. And by a fine margin, we managed a negative split into a headwind, so bonus points for us! Huzzah!
As predicted, I busted the 200k ceiling for October with around 228k in total, but I suspect November will not reach such lofty heights. No matter. The main thing is a little bit of consistency now, and to remain uninjured. The truth is, I can feel my left hamstring most days, even if I am not running. Feel in the sense that it’s that mild little nagging, not quite stinging sensation. So it’s clearly never been right since it went wrong over a year ago. I can’t blame anyone else, of course. That’s all on me.
The images above are a smorgasbord of nothing in particular. The Vetch was a welcome splash of colour on a recent dog walk, and the mushroom was spectacular. I like my ‘Still Life with Flowers and Chocolate Money’ and the way the economy is going, it may well be the best coinage to have around the house. The last pic is Odi alone in the dog park, overlooked by a Blood Moon. There will have been some spectacular visions of this celestial wonder over the last few days, so I thought it was important to redress the balance with a really crap version of my own.
And finally, after soaking away most of the aches and pains from the run in a hot bath, with the weather still mild, we headed up to our local park for a special commemorative walk to remember a dear friend who was well-loved in the greyhound community, lost to us all so suddenly in tragic circumstances. Of course, Kate would have been well-loved by many folk for many reasons, but for the sighthound people like ourselves, we met Kate through hounds, so today, lots of her friends met up in the park where she often walked with her own gaggle of greyhounds. We all wore something colourful, with an emphasis on bright yellow. I hope it’s something we can do each year. Miss you, Kate.