Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Two weeks after the Terenure 5 Mile, and as I found out to my horror only three weeks from Portumna 50k, I decided at short notice to do another five mile race. I’ve been struggling a bit to get out for consistent miles so thought I may as well sign up for a race after work, and at least that way I’d get a decent run in. And considerably harder than I’d be likely to run by myself. With that I signed up for the BHAA Government Services 5 Mile in Dunboyne, my first BHAA race of the year despite swearing after the K-Club 10k last year that I’d be back as soon as possible.

I was a little surprised driving up there when I started seeing handmade signs for race registration when I was just going past Blanchardstown. Irish geography, in fact geography of any kind, is really not my forte but I thought Dunboyne was in Meath, which was surely a little further up the road. I realised then it was more to do with the fact the urban sprawl of Blanchardstown has leaked practically right to the border than any ignorance on my part (well, maybe a little from column A, a little from column B). It turns out that Dunboyne is only a couple of minutes drive past Clonee where my good friend Pony (and his far better half Claire) live, something I knew despite my geographical ignorance and utter absence of sense of direction from driving Pony back out there on many, many occasions. Despite his proximity to the race, and my repeated attempts to contact him I couldn’t get in touch, which unfortunately means no pictures for this particular race report (nope, not taking any pictures of myself).

The advantage of the race’s proximity to my workplace meant that even with rubbish evening M50 traffic I was there well in advance of the start time so collected my number, went for a nice long warm up where I tried to replicate what I had done before Terenure, and then just waited for the off. It was a beautiful evening, very sunny and quite warm, and even though it was a little windy running down narrow country lanes we would end up being quite sheltered. The start line was on a road outside a housing estate where, as is the Irish way, everyone had been milling around, waiting until the last minute and then just jumping in rather than going to the back. Where I had thought I had a reasonable starting position – sufficiently back from the front that I wouldn’t impede any slower runners, not that far back that I spent the first portion of the race running through traffic – now I was suddenly surrounded by capri pants and iPhones in arm wallets. Sure enough when the signal was given to start there was a very slow, congested shuffle to the line and I spent the bulk of the first kilometre trying to run around people, which was a bit tricky considering how narrow the road was and the amount of people on it.

Once I finally did get moving properly I tried to settle into a rhythm. In Terenure I’d run a time of 34:50, which worked out at an average of 4:19/km, so my plan here was a first kilometre of 4:30/km just to ease into it, then try to get my average pace down to around 4:19/km and keep it there. Which I did, for about four kilometres. Everything was going great, beautiful conditions, nice flat country roads, feeling good, slowly but consistently moving up through the pack. I’d passed a lady who I heard say she was running at 7mins/mile or a little quicker so I just moved ahead of her and kept at that pace, knowing I didn’t need to go any quicker. Another lady I’d passed obviously didn’t like being passed so pushed back in front of me, and then stayed there, just in front of me for the duration.

At the three mile mark I was starting to struggle. Breathing was getting heavier, legs were feeling leaden, arms and torso were tightening up so the conversations started – slow down, pack it in, ease off, come on now, you know you can do this, you did this two weeks ago, yeah but you really wanted to crack 35 minutes then, you’ve done that, whats a few seconds here and there, etc etc. Its funny, you know you just did this, literally two weeks ago, yet there’s a part of you saying “nope, no chance, you’re not able for it”. You want to look at your watch, you want to see that its nearly over but you don’t want the crushing disappointment of seeing you’ve only covered 200m since the last time you looked at your watch, so I just kept focussing on the heels of the lady who’d passed me. She’d been very strong and consistent up until this point so I assumed she was going to keep the pace up all the way until the end. No more looking at my watch, just keep her heels the same distance ahead.

There were a few people now, all running around the same pace, all struggling a little bit, all fluctuating back and forth in position. At the four mile mark I was dropping back a bit, but then all of a sudden I could hear the finish line PA in the distance and my pace picked up a bit. I saw the half mile to go mark and was now moving a little better, gaining on those just in front of me. With the entrance to the club house visible just up ahead I resolved to make a final push, catching and then moving ahead of the small group just before we entered the Dunboyne AC gates. One last effort through the car park, almost there, thank God this was just about over when I saw a couple of stewards at the top of the car park where we entered on to the running track directing runners away from the finish line. What the hell? What’s going on? The realisation that we had to do 3/4s of a lap of the track hit me then and I just crumbled. The impending relief I’d been feeling at being almost finished, the knowledge that it was just about over and in a matter of seconds I’d be laid out on the grass with a feeling of satisfaction washing over me just evaporated instantly and instead I was left trudging miserably, shuffling disconsolately round the track while those people I’d worked so hard to pass not five hundred metres back just streamed past me, well into their finishing flurries.

Only when I got to almost the very end of the lap where I saw the clock and saw that I could still nip in under thirty five minutes did my spirits raise at all. In the end I managed it in 34:57 (gun time, it was 34:48 on my Garmin but it obviously took those few seconds to shuffle to the line from where I was) so almost identical to my Terenure time but  due to how I cocked up the end nowhere near as satisfying. Still, my original plan was to go out for roughly 12k, with 8 of those at pace, and have a few little triangle sandwiches and maybe some cake afterwards, and I managed to do all of those things so I suppose its mission accomplished.

For anyone wondering how to get to Naas Parkrun, at Naas Racecourse, do not do the ‘logical’ thing and head to the entrance of the racecourse. There you will just find a locked gate and an air of confusion settling upon you. You may be able to see some neon and lycra clad people milling around in the distance but you won’t have any clue as to how to join them. Unless of course you check the Naas Parkrun website before you set off, in which case you’ll find directions as to how to get there via the Tipper Road entrance.

We had spent a good twenty minutes milling around with no clue as to how to get to the start before eventually checking the website which finally saw us pull up and park at about 09:29, giving us plenty of time to prepare for a 09:30 start time. Things got worse when one of the very nice stewards told us it was about a ten minute walk to the start line, but she kindly rang the start line steward and asked them to wait for us (see I told you she was very nice). At least the distance to the start line gave us a bit of a chance to warm up before attempting to run my first 5k in approximately two years.

We got to the start line and offered a quick apology to the poor punctual souls who were gathered huddled together on a very windy, drizzly grey morning, among them my old Wyeth chum “Inappropriate” Gavin Scott and his longtime ladyfriend/relatively new wife Sue, who were also popping their Parkrun cherry. No sooner had we turned around and we were off. I’d had no time really to strategise or think about the run, instead I just went tearing off at a pace befitting the only guy there wearing a singlet and short shorts. The guys who eventually finished one and two disappeared off into the distance immediately, another small group of seven or eight were behind that and then there was me at the head of another group, drunk on the feeling of being so close to the front of a race and ignoring the nagging suspicion that yet again I’d set off a bit too quickly.

The course in Naas is two and a half laps of a smooth ribbon of nearly flat tarmac, the only obstacle to take into consideration on Saturday at least was the wind. The first kilometre was into the wind but the retarding nature of it was negated by the start line excitement. The second kilometre was fantastic, wind at my back, running effortlessly and any time I felt the breath of my fellow runner who was just behind me encroaching I just upped the pace ever so slightly to put a little bit more of a gap between us. At three kilometres though he was still right on me, and surging ahead wasn’t so much of an option now into the wind and my legs starting to question what the hell they were doing turning over at this pace. The fourth kilometre was the wind assisted one again but unfortunately it didn’t feel quite so effortless this time and I started to get the nagging voices that affect me far more in short races than they ever do in a marathon.

The fifth and final kilometre was once more into the wind, and the rain which had picked up, and as the breathing behind me got ever closer, then right alongside me, I just didn’t have the will to respond. With about five hundred metres to go he passed me, a hundred later the first lady finisher passed me and I just stayed trudging at the same pace to the end. I’m a bit annoyed again by my lackadaisical finishing. The lack of speed or any sort of different gear to kick into I’m not so bothered by – I’ve done the vast majority of my training at marathon/easy pace – but the desire to finish hard and willingness to hurt bothers me a bit. Maybe it’s something that’ll come with more hard training sessions – tempo runs, intervals and reps. Maybe it’s something I just need to work on in my own head. I’ve done it relatively recently, at the Donadea 10k I definitely ran faster than schedule and was in a world of hurt for the last two kilometres of that so maybe I just need to repeat the mental preparation I did for that.

Or maybe it’s just a 5k (semi) fun run a week before my first marathon of the year and I’m overthinking it way too much.

 

5k in 21:27 (PB) and I finished 12th! 12th! I know it’s not the Olympics or anything but I’ve never finished a race of any sort with that few people in front of me so yeah, 12th!

PS – my Parkrun time said 21:37 but there was definitely a delay crossing the line, handing over my barcode, getting a different barcode and getting it scanned so for once I’m going with my Garmin time.

Brid ran 32:43, a full two minutes ahead of her 5k time she’d set just a couple of days beforehand. Gavin ran alongside her for a bit before snaking ahead in the last two hundred metres to finish in 32:33 and Sue ran an excellent 25:25 (before having to wait around in the wind and rain for her husband to finish).

 

Day 12 – Where’s the Rain?

Posted: January 14, 2012 in Uncategorized
Tags: ,

I think this may be the first time I’ve ever gone out for a run in Tramore when it hasn’t been raining. There’s barely even any wind to speak of and, for January at least, it’s a wonderfully mild evening so I’ve been looking forward to my run all evening.Liverpool were playing Man City in the semi-finals of the cup and I was hoping to get to see at least the second half of the match so I had dinner ready for when I got back for my run – grilled salmon with stir fried vegetables and spinach for dinner with water, Lucozade Sport (the isotonic, not fizzy kind) and a fruit smoothie too.

Whether it was the fact that I was just feeling really good or because I was trying to get back to see as much of the match as possible I set off at a decent enough pace, running the same route I ran last week. It’s a gentle uphill for the first couple of kilometres, then steeply downhill for another couple. Most of the races I do are pretty hilly and I think the assumption is, or it was for me at least, that you go really slowly uphill and then you can make up for it by going as fast as you can downhill, but even on the road there’s more technique involved in going downhill quickly and a lot of people expend a lot of energy and put their knees and quads under a lot of strain slowing themselves down when descending. I’m trying to work on keeping my strides smooth and even, controlling my speed, making it as effortless as I can so I can really get my breath back and conserve energy for the uphill slogs. Descending when on trails or mountains is a whole different ball game altogether though so I’m just going to do as many mountain/trail races as I can to help with that.

After the downhill section it’s a nice run along the seafront and another kilometre or so after that where it remains straight before getting to the the first steep hill which signals the start of the long uphill drag. The first time I ran this section I absolutely hated it but if there’s a common theme that runs through all the books I’ve read about amazing endurance athletes it’s that they all learned to love the pain, what it could do for them and how they embraced it fully. There’s absolutely no point in thinking about how miserable it is, you have to tell yourself how good it is for you,  convince yourself that the hill is your friend and this is what’s going to make it possible to get up Croagh Patrick or Spanker’s Hill or over the Gap of Dunloe. Remind youself that it’s barely even a hill and keep smiling and running.

Once the initial steep part is over with I managed to up the speed slightly and keep going at a good steady pace for the next two kilometres or so before the turn around at the top where I could really up the pace. It’s just over a kilometre back to the start of my route from that point so I sped up to about 4 mins/km (which is well above my race pace of about 5mins/km) and held it right to the end. Despite pushing hard my breathing was nice and steady, my form (as much as I could tell) was good and everything felt nice and controlled. You very ocassionally get the feeling when you’re out running that everything is effortless and despite running at pace it just feels like you’re gliding and barely even making contact with the ground. I wasn’t quite there but it reminded me of it, reminded me that it’s possible to feel like that and with more training, more miles, more effort I’m going to get that feeling back, hopefully in one of my races.

I finished my run in fifty minutes dead, two minutes quicker than last week which wasn’t actually a huge amount considering how much better I felt and the fact that I was pushing harder this week. A reminder of just how much effort is needed to knock any significant amounts of time off PB’s for shorter distances. This wasn’t about speed or time or PB’s though, this was just training, and only week two at that, and when I was finished it felt bloody fantastic. I managed to find the Liverpool game on terrestrial tv and even I had a room all to myself to watch it (Sandra banished me to to the front room so she could watch NCIS New Ross in peace). To round off a wonderful evening Liverpool managed to sneak the win away to City and I treated myself to a couple of Ginger Nuts and a cup of tea watching the second half.

It doesn’t get much better than that.

The Beach Boys – Wild Honey

Structure. I think I need some. If I’m to stand any chance of completing this, or rather to do it successfully, I’m definitely going to need to put some structure on it. To that end I’m going to have to come up with a training plan very shortly otherwise I’m going to end up with lots of days like today.

Tuesdays are always very hectic for me in that we have training for the soccer team I coach at 18:00. Seeing as I leave work at 16:30 and it’s a 130km drive home I have to drive, shall we say quite briskly, in order to make it back on time, pick up my eldest son, gather whatever gear we need and then get to the pitch. It’s usually close to 19:30 by the time I make it back from that and I’m invariably starving so I usually eat dinner straight away afterwards which normally means I don’t train myself.  To try and avoid that today  I bought a sandwich (chicken on brown bread) to eat on the drive home as I knew I’d have to train after soccer as I didn’t get up in time to turbo it this morning. However, Brid had dinner ready as soon as we walked in from training and I’d forgotten about the whole training staight away thing so I tucked into some salmon, sweet potato and stir fried vegetables and was half way through before I remembered about training.

Not to worry, I thought I’ll just leave the rest aside, hop on my bike in half an hour or so and then polish off the rest of my dinner. In the interim though I popped in next door to see how Benny was getting on with his house renovations and ended up giving him a hand (kind of) with installing his kitchen until about 21:00 so it ended up being close to 21:30 before I was finally kitted up and starting my turbo session.

When I finally did get going though the session was great, the same forty five minute workout I’d done previously – start off in a low gear, five minutes warmup then work my way up through the gears, five minutes in each with the last minute flat out on the drop bars before a cool down at the end. It’s a hard session but the amount of work you get through in such a short space of time is fantastic, and I can see it being of huge benefit to me when I’m out on the road. As it’s so hard though, and I cover myself up so much and position the bike in front of the fire, it takes my body quite a while to cool down from it, so with that, a shower afterwards and trying to find enough gear and clothes to bring to work with me for two days (I stay in Tramore on a Wednesday night), and the mandatory couple of chapters of California Fire and Life, it was after midnight before I got to sleep. Not cool when you’re up before six, not cool at all.

One last thing. Don’t leave getting your work clothes ready  til the very last thing at night/first thing in the morning when you’re eyes are barely open, as you’ll look a twat, or even worse, like you’re on safari.

First of all big hello to all my new viewers and readers. The interest and good wishes are much appreciated.

So today the plan was to go out for a gentle recovery run, just to get the legs moving and the blood flowing again after yesterday’s exertions, and for once everything went according to plan.

It’s funny how your perception of something changes when you change your attitude or realign your goals – on Friday I was heading out to do a regular run, initially looking at doing between ten and twelve kilometres in 55-60 minutes so when I came home after only doing five and a half I was disgusted with myself. Tonight I did the same route as I did last Friday night, just under 5.5km around the town, but did it even slower, taking 36 minutes tonight and came home in a great mood. My wife (Brid) is training to do her first half marathon at the Kildare Marathon in May so when I go out to do my recovery run on a Monday she comes along to do her quick run for the week. We did most of the run at a nice, even pace but stepped it up slightly first for a kilometre and then for 500m towards the end. The plan is to get her to a sub-1 hour pace for the Phoenix Park 10k.

Everything’s always a bit hectic on a Monday, and especially today with it being the boys first day back in school, so a nice, easy run and a not so nice, not so easy session with my foam roller is just what the doctor ordered. Tomorrow though it’s back on the turbo trainer.

 

The Drums – Let’s Go Surfing

Podcasts

Posted: January 9, 2012 in Uncategorized

In addition to recommendations for books on cycling/swimming/triathlons does anyone have any recommendations for triathlon specific podcasts? I have a three hour, 260km commute to endure every day and usually fill the time with podcasts. I listen to the Marathon Talk one from time to time but while very informative the guys can be just a little bit too chirpy to deal with at half six in the morning.

While we’re on the subject of podcasts, I’d really recommend them for listening to when out on longer runs or cycles. I’ll put a list of the ones I listen to below but new ones to add to the list are always welcome.

http://www.mondomovie.com/podcasts.php

http://www.marathontalk.com/

http://www.newstalk.ie/programmes/all/offtheball/podcasts/

http://www.mmafighting.com/tag/The%20MMA%20Hour/

http://blog.joerogan.net/podcast-2

http://smodcast.com/channels/jay-silent-bob-get-old/

 

Just a little edit to say that you can ignore what I was saying about the Marathon Talk guys being too chirpy. While they undoubtedly are very chipper the real reason I wasn’t listening to the podcast was I was feeling very guilty about the lack of training I was doing, and listening to all the talk of interval sessions, long runs, PB’s and everything else associated with training and running was just a reminder of all the things I should have been doing and I wasn’t.

This morning I was back into it with episode 57 which was the first one I’ve listened to in a couple of months. Martin, Tom – my apologies. The mansuit has been dragged out of the back of the wardrobe and it’s all systems go again.

Books

Posted: January 9, 2012 in Uncategorized

I mentioned in an earlier post that when I start into something I usually buy a pile of books on the subject. I’ve read plenty on the subject of running but Joe Friel’s Training Bible and Phil Maffetone’s Big Book of Endurance Racing apart I’ve nothing on the subject of triathlons, or just swimming or cycling.

Has anyone any recommendations for books I could read on these?

Books on running that I’ve read and enjoyed are as follows:

Ultramarathon Man – Dean Karnazes

Born To Run – Christopher McDougall

Feet in the Clouds: A Tale of Fell-Running and Obsession – Richard Askwith

What I Talk About When I Talk About Running – Haruki Murakami

I almost forgot the book that convinced me something silly like this could be done: Who Dares, Runs – Gerry Duffy

 

Due to some drunken, but not entirely desperate, housewives I didn’t get to bed until two am this morning, which was roughly four hours later than I’d intended. The reason for the early bed time was today was to be my first proper trail run of the year, 11km around the hardest loop of Kinnity in the Slieve Blooms, which had me very excited but also a little nervous. We’d went for a family walk/hike around there last summer and I remembered it being quite steep and relatively heavy going on the odd occasion that day when I broke into a little run. As I’m not going to be doing a huge amount of running this year I really need to make sure that what running I do is all quality work, and ideally on hilly terrain, as that’s where the vast majority of my races take place.

I was up and about this morning at nine and was actually a little giddy at the prospect of getting to run some proper trails, so after a lovely espresso (cheers Skip) and an almost equally lovely bowl of porridge it was into the car and off to Kinnity. Fifty minutes later, all of it soundtracked by Rage Against the Machine at ear splitting volume, I was out of the car and perusing the map of the various loops and walks available to me. One small hitch was that I (stupidly) hadn’t charged my Garmin in days so as soon as I turned it on I got the ‘low battery’ message. Seeing as it would probably only last me five minutes or so there wasn’t much point in lugging Deep Blue around on my wrist  so I left it behind. Anyway, I was doing a simple 11km loop, ending up back where I started so I’d know how far I’d gone and I had my mp3 player with me so I’d know how long it had taken me.

The hardest part of the loop I’d chosen to do is probably the first few kilometres, which are all uphill and pretty steep, so it was slightly embarrassing overtaking the couple with the buggy who were just out for a Sunday stroll at roughly the same pace as a lorry overtaking a tractor on a country road, only with considerably more panting. Regardless I carried on my way, slogging and grinding my way uphill, ignoring the increasingly insistent pleas from my knees and lungs to stop. After some time I found myself at the top of this particular trail and began what should be the fun part of the run, but oftentimes in a race is as much of a struggle as the uphill – the downhill section. Today it was as it should be though and I could relax and enjoy myself, downhill, through the woods, at a really nice pace, quick enough and sloped enough that it felt effortless but not so quick that it was hard to pick my footing.

This carried on for a kilometre or two before levelling out and I found myself on a nice flat trail running along the very top of the particular hill I was on. I absolutely love this type of running, all by myself in the middle of nowhere in the beautifully sparse and somewhat harsh Irish countryside with the feeling that I could carry on for miles. When I find myself in this type of scenario I can’t help but run with a huge smile on my face, which as people who know me can testify isn’t an especially regular occurrence. I was enjoying my run so much that I wasn’t especially bothered about the fact that I wasn’t really following a specific path, just following the little yellow walking man and his arrows, ignoring the fact that the arrows were often of different colour.

After about forty five minutes the terrain changed from hills and forest to a swampy looking field beside a river, but the little yellow man was pointing over the gate, so despite the disparaging looks from the herd of cattle on the far side of the gate I was up and over it without delay. For the next ten minutes or so the arrows zig-zagged over and back across the river, under trees, through the muck and cow dung before I scrambled up a bank and found myself in a field at the back of Kinnity Castle (I think). Again though little yellow man was there so once more I unquestioningly followed, across the field and up another steep path, back in the direction from whence I came (again, I think). Things were starting to get really fun now as the arrows picked out a fantastic route right through the trees which had me hurdling roots and broken branches like a less generously coiffured but far cheerier John Rambo in First Blood.

Not long after I came upon a gentleman hiker, who seemed slightly bemused to find someone tackling the filthy terrain in such sparse clothing as myself – he was fully waterproofed and Goretexed up with backpack, hiking poles and everything, I had my trusty Brooks Cascadias, shorts and a long sleeve t-shirt – and thoroughly amused when I asked him if this was the route back to the car park. He said I still had a couple of miles to go, but then asked if I was referring to the car park in Cadamstown. When I said it was actually Kinnity I was looking for he said I might be going for a bit longer yet as Kinnity was another three miles down the road from Cadamstown. I had thought this might be the case but I was enjoying myself so much I was actually delighted at the chance to stay out for a while longer.

My enjoyment levels actually increased over the next couple of kilometres as I negotiated the muckiest, filthiest trail I’ve encountered since the bog section of Gaelforce last year. This time though I had a beautiful river coursing through some woods on my left and I was all on my own to enjoy it, with no time or pace to concern myself with either. The trail was extremely narrow and slippery, requiring plenty of concentration when I was descending, and just as much effort when I was ascending, but despite this the kilometre or two it lasted for was possibly the most fun piece of running I’ve ever done. My huge smile had been superceded by slightly delirious laughter and actual hoots of joy when I got to the top of each incline.

Eventually though the trail came to an end and I suddenly found myself in a field in the middle of nowhere, with a little farmhouse at the end of it. My trusty little yellow man pointed towards said farmhouse so off I went, and just as I approached it I could see a road beyond it. Coming out on to the road I have to admit my heart sank a little as not only was my fun and games in the mud over, but there was a sign directly in front of me saying Kinnity 5km, and I knew there was another three kilometres or so to go after that before I got to my car. Still, I knew there was nothing for it but to set off and put one foot in front of the other, and despite it being an exceedingly dull run for the next half hour or so, not to mention it being a very damp and dull day,  it couldn’t dampen my spirits. I eventually made my way into Kinnity and after that all I had to negotiate was a long, slow, steep drag for the next three kilometres or so back up to the car.

I eventually arrived back at my destination, some hour and forty five minutes or so after I left, which equates to between twenty and twenty two kilometres at my usual pace. Despite me making a bit of a cock of things and running for roughly twice the distance I’d initially planned I was actually ecstatic when I got back to the car. I was a little perturbed by the apparent lack of miles in my legs this week and was starting to get a little bit worried about the Wicklow Way Trail* race I had planned for the end of March. Now on top of having the most fun I’d ever had while out running I was also confident that if I needed it that I could go out and run twenty something kilometres right now, never mind in three months time.

Best Run Ever.

 

Rage Against the Machine – Killing In The Name

*http://www.imra.ie/events/view/id/944/

Until I get my proper swimming lessons, which will hopefully be the middle of next week, any pool time for me at the moment is really just splashing around. At this precise moment I’m actually satisfied with that as the little break is much appreciated. I try working on my breathing, then my stroke, then getting my body position right but I don’t really have a clue what I’m doing so essentially I’m just recuperating. I do manage a couple of lengths using my patented Kavanagh thrashstroke but there’s some fishlike toddlers laughing at me so I make like a tree and split, retreating to the anonymity of the sauna to do some stretching and relaxing.

 

Radiohead – Weird Fishes Arpeggi

Day 6 – Well That Was Rubbish

Posted: January 8, 2012 in Uncategorized

Before I started this endeavour I knew that progress at times was going to be not unlike the relationship between Paula Abdul and Topcat. Well today was obviously one of those “one step back” days. I set off for a run with intentions of picking out a new route around town of between four and six kilometres that I could use as laps for my running but after a kilometre or two when my legs should have been loosening up and I should have been getting quicker instead they were getting heavier and tighter. Three kilometres in and it felt like my hamstrings were about six inches shorter than they should be, which was slightly worrying as I never have problems with my hamstrings (touch wood). I stopped for a couple of minutes to stretch them but it seemed to have no effect other than to worsen my already rapidly darkening mood.

With my seemingly dead legs beneath me making progress very slow absolutely everything was pissing me off. As usual my running companions were Ken and Owen from the Off the Ball Football Show but with my mood as it was I could barely even take Ken’s, admittedly very eloquent, dissection of Andy Carroll’s miserable form and poor technique. All I could think of at this point was going home so after plodding along for a little further I admitted defeat and trudged in the door having managed a miserable 5.5km in a pathetic 30 minutes. Easily the worst run I’d done in months.

Once I’d got inside and completed a session with my Trigger Point foam roller I felt marginally better physically but if anything my mood was even worse. Why had I just given up? How hard would it have been just to walk another lap around town. I can’t remember the last time I’d given up so easily and it really pissed me off.

 

DJ Shadow – Giving Up the Ghost