The heart bleeds looking at the results from Scarr from my arm-chair as my legs heal: Not only did Rich and Rob have good runs where I could have contributed, possibly with points for a third win for us this season if I had run more or less to standard.
Danes, Danes, Danes
Secondly, a third Dane has entered the hills after myself (in 2006) and Torben Dahl (earlier this year) and to great effect. The Hilleroed FDF (a Copenhagen club) runner Mads Larsen ran 38:45, a good bit better than my 41:24 (of course this time doesn’t count for much as I feel thrice scooping around in my road racers on the torrential conditions of that year), making him the fastest Dane on Scarr for now! What I wouldn’t have given to be out there and had had a shot at defending my position.
The Danish insurgency may better stop before our Irish hosts feel the need for a second Clontarf!
Standards on the rise…
It’s great to see the standard of the Leinster League this year which, to me, has made a much more interesting league both to target and to follow. I will definitely miss completion of the league for the third time running this year, but after this injury there’s no choice: I will focus all my training after the cross-country season ends on next year’s Leinster League. I’ll arrive at my first races with all systems fully tanked and ready to go, fresh and rested, injuries permitting. I want at least one good go at it before I move on to other challenges.
I only resumed running (if indeed it could be called that) on Sunday and it was pretty depressing overall. I've kept up a bit and yesterday I decided to do two loops of the Vartry Reservoir at marathon-pace. Despite one leg not really contributing much I crunched out around 4:35min/km pace. So that’s a positive in all the gloom but the after-effects were less promising. The part of the soleus muscle just above the posterior tibialis is still damaged and after the run the effects were clear: I had quite a bit of pain in my posterior tibialis tendon that must have picked up the flack for the malfunctioning muscle during the run. I have to use extreme concentration to maintain anything nearing good form as well, which seems to suggest fibre damage, something isn’t contributing properly and it’s throwing my whole form out of whack.
This make quality work impossible until the muscle can fully recover as I am risking a more serious tendon injury if I persist with my training. Adding insult to injury, the typical shock and sulk that follows any injury seems to have thrown my system as I’ve been hit by both a sore throat and a stomach bug making me overall a miserable figure!
Picking Up the Pieces
My focus now moves to Snowdon, but I hope to recover in time for another 2 Leinster League races to sharpen me before that race. I also still hope to get at least 4-5 weeks of track work in. My secondary priority is to run well at the Strawberry Half-Marathon where I realistically think I could break 82 minutes. If training goes well and I recover, I do not consider 80 minutes out of the question, I simply have a whole different set of gears over the longer distances and this should be more pronounced than ever after my heaviest base phase ever.