Posts Tagged ‘wine’

With Hamburg out of the way now, and my next marathon fast approaching (Killarney this Saturday 17th of May) it’s time to have a look at what I could do better. Just before Hamburg I listed the five things I’d done well in preparation for it, so now here’s the five things I did not so well:


  1. The taper – I was running really well in training, responding well to the extra stresses and mileage (I ran my best 20 miler the day after running a 10k PB) but the cut back in mileage seemed to dull me rather than freshen me up. I think I cut back too quickly – 75km to 37 to 28.5 – and apart from the Emo 8k and Naas Parkrun went way too easy.
  2. Marathon week – not enough sleep, not eating clean enough, still having a drink here and there. I should have lived like a sleep loving monk that week but didn’t, maybe because with the drastic cut in running I just wasn’t feeling like ‘an athlete’.
  3.  The night before the night before – I know that this is the night when you should really be getting your sleep in, but one of the considerations of combining a marathon with a weekend away, especially when you’re visiting or staying with friends, is the social aspect. Which in this case meant an absolutely fantastic*, though very healthy dinner, followed by numerous bottles of wine and a bed time in the region of 3am.
  4. One pace to rule them all – as I found to my detriment in a couple of my tune up races, I have no gears, no other pace and I wasn’t really used to hurting (in a short/sharp fashion anyway). Almost all of my running was at either ‘easy’ or ‘steady’ pace, no intervals, no reps, no threshold stuff, nothing. This is something I intend to rectify with at least one quality session per week on top of my long run, and over the summer race at least once every two weeks.
  5. Sleep in general – I’ve spent so much of my adult life as a night owl that going to bed early still feels unnatural, I feel like I’m missing out somehow. However, if I don’t get to bed by 22:00 then I don’t get up before 07:00 then I don’t run in the morning, and sometimes my schedule means I definitely need to run in the morning. Also if you don’t sleep enough you don’t recover enough. Both of those things combined mean that if I’m going to up my mileage more, and add more quality sessions, then I absolutely, positively have to get sufficient sleep.


*If you’re ever in Hamburg do check out Il Buco. Incredible restaurant, responsible for at least two of my top five ever meals.


My calf was feeling pretty good and showing no ill effects from the weekend’s cycling so I headed over to the track session in Portlaoise eager to get running again. I spoke to our coach about doing some extra specific stretching before we started and after getting a few new ones from her I set off to do a few easy warm up laps before I did them. Half way round the very first lap, after not feeling anything at all from it in the last few days, my calf tightened like a ball again and I was forced to hobble back round to the start line. After a quick word with Denise we decided there was nothing for it but to head for home, massage and roll it out and then get physio as soon as possible.


I was absolutely miserable going home and walked in through the door a truly morose motherfucker. It was my birthday today and I was really looking forward to celebrating it with a good training session, sad and all as that may sound, but instead I was now face down on the couch at home with Brid trying to knead knots out of my calf muscle. As it was my birthday I decided to console myself with cake and wine and spent the next two hours wallowing in self pity (and chocolate).