Monday April 28th HRV= 72 Green.
Taper time and a good result after yesterday’s race and I was half expecting it to be lower based on the effort I put in. Woke before the alarm but still managed to sleep a little bit more than usual as the alarm was set for a few minutes later. Unsure of what to do today but will try book a lunchtime massage that should have already been organised. Easy / Recovery paced run of less than 10K over an undulating loop after work and legs feeling very heavy and lethargic probably as a result of yesterday’s race.
Plan for tomorrow is an easy run or if I feel good then I might include some strides or Marathon paced kms.
Tuesday April 29th HRV= 77 Green.
Woke with the alarm earlier than required as it was set for Gym time and I’m not in the Gym this week so I stayed in bed for the extra hour even though I was tempted to use the hour for an easy run. A nice jump in HRV even though I noticed my waking HR was higher than usual and my blue base line is creeping upwards and hopefully it will continue to do so over the coming days. Easy lunchtime run to loosen out the legs and although the pace was slow I can feel some unexpected tiredness.
Plan for tomorrow starts with a massage and then it’s an easy run after work followed by coaching.
Wednesday April 30th HRV=61 Amber.
Woke with the alarm and feeling ok so I wasn’t expecting such a low result! Judging my reduction in training volume and extra recovery effort I’m guessing that this could be caused by my reduced carb consumption to balance out the training / fuelling ratio and with that in mind I’ll continue as normal. Started the day with a Sports Massage and although my legs were relatively in good shape my left IT Band was very sore as usual. Went to the track as usual but for a different session which consisted of an easy 5K loop taking in the route of my club race to happen this weekend which I’ll miss L and then it was 3K at race pace on the track followed by 2k cool down to make up an even 10K. Finished the evening off with coaching duties and a Marathon training talk.
Plan for tomorrow is an easy recovery run after work checking out another race route.
Thursday May 01st HRV=64 Red.
Woke before the alarm feeling ok and although I was a bit disappointed to see the Red result so close to my next race I’m not overly surprised as I’m starting to feel lethargic from the reduced calorie intake as I taper and that’s also evident in my reduced bodyweight. Will test again later before deciding whether to run or rest and with that in mind I took it easy during the day.
Retested after work as planned and the score had improved so I compromised my plan by running but at an easier pace. Drove to the future race route and as I started to run I could be that my legs were heavy and that helped with the pacing. Although short and slow it was quite an effort to stay going and I was beginning to wonder if I’d made the right choice by running but luckily I came prepared and had a recovery drink in the car to drink as soon as I’d finished. Went home and had a high carb refuelling before bed.
I’m off tomorrow as I’m travelling to Kerry to arrive early for the World Run. Depending on how I feel in the morning I might do a short session on the Track before breakfast.
Friday May 02nd HRV= 74 Green.
Woke at my usual time and just before the alarm. Delighted with a return to a more normal HRV and after dropping the kids to school I went to the Track for an easy session of race pace plus 30-40 seconds but shortly after starting I could feel that there was something different as the running felt effortless and I was running faster than planned and finding it hard to control the pace. I’m not sure if this was because there was activity on the track and I was subconsciously showboating or I was just excitedly nervous about the weekend but to be on the safe side I decided to end it early. Collected my daughter from school and hit the road for a 5hr drive that should have been less than 4 but that’s bank holiday weekend traffic. Relaxed as best as I could on arrival and went to bed early after.
Tomorrow will be spent mostly relaxing but I’ll also include a short sharp and might collect my race number ahead of Sunday.
Saturday May 03rd HRV= 67 Green.
Woke before the alarm and went out for a short run of 5K trying to get a feel for race pace without warming up. Mixed emotions about this run but consoled myself by factoring in the weather. Drove to the race registration in Killarney after breakfast and collected my race number to avoid and delays tomorrow. Spent the rest of the day relaxing and eating mostly carbs.
Tomorrow is Race day.
Sunday May 04th HRV= 68 Green.
Woke before the alarm and went out for a short run before breakfast to loosen out the legs. Nothing worth recording but it did the trick and glycogen uptake into the muscles is an exercise induced response so it makes the breakfast more productive. Spent an hour after breakfast relaxing and then I was picked up by a friend driving to the race which was pre planned as I don’t expect to be in a condition to drive home. Arrived at the start in plenty of time and got caught for a few interviews and photos which helped pass the time but didn’t help with the nerves. The time passed quite quickly as Red Bull put on a good show and before we knew it we were off and there no chance of a delay today as the start was coordinated with 34 locations around the world.
My start position was close enough to the front and when the gun went off I just did what I do and forgot about everyone else while trying to fall into my pace. The lead runner took off at a blistering pace and then there was a scattered group of 10-15 and then a group of 3 which included me. I got chatting to the guy beside me as I could see he was a serious runner by the way he was dressed and we had a mutual friend which told me that this guy means business and that soon became obvious when I could feel the pace picking up. It was too early to go testing anyone so I dropped back and let him go.
I was now on my own and sitting in 5th place and that can be a good position so early in the race but soon enough without slowing down I lost a place to a runner that passed by like a steam train and I thought to myself that this guy means business so let him go. Moments later the gap started to stabilise and then it got smaller which made me realise that he couldn’t climb as strong as he could run on the flat so I forgot about him.
There were aid stations every 5K with water and Red Bull in cups and knowing it was harder to drink from a cup I decided to drink a little at every aid station seeing as they were so close. I settled into a nice rhythm and before long I was overtaking the 3rd place runner but the 2nd place runner was well out of sight and the leader was well ahead but I knew that this race wouldn’t start until after the marathon distance so I didn’t think too much about who was in front of me at this stage in the race and was more concerned about who was behind.
I was now on my own and all the time hoping the 2nd place runner would come into view and then after passing an aid station at 30 or 35K someone told me I was in 2nd place but that couldn’t be right as I didn’t see anyone stop and then I was wondering who it was? I ignored what they said and still had myself in 3rd and fought for 2nd place. On the approach to the marathon mark I could see that I was comfortably under 3hrs with a 2:58.xx and in my head I decided to take a mental break by picking a point up ahead and not worrying about pace until I passed it but no sooner had I said that to myself when all of a sudden I could see the lead car up ahead and that meant the lead runner was within reach and then he came into view and was walking. I hadn’t walked or stopped at any stage in the race and still didn’t feel the need to do so and now I had an incentive to run faster as the race was now on!
I picked up the pace and powered by him with a comfortably strong pace and to my surprise he latched on and matched the pace. Knowing he couldn’t maintain what we were doing I just got myself comfortable and thought I may need to hold something for a sprint finish but then he started to fall back. I maintained the pace and was glad to see a steep hill up ahead as I knew that as much as this might hurt me it’ll hurt him more and I wanted it to go on and on and I was still in my groove and suffering nicely. Having the lead car and bikes so close meant I could hear what was going on with the catcher car and was willing it to catch those behind me just because I wanted to know I was safe but stopping wasn’t in my mind. To my relief the 3rd place runner was picked up and the 2nd place and only then did I know that I had the victory. As it approached I tried to calm a few extra metres and then it was all over but really it was only starting as the celebrations when I finished were unreal and I felt like a superstar
What a week! My prize for winning the Wings for Life World Run is an all expenses trip / race entry to any of the race locations in the World for next year’s race. Training continues tomorrow.