DIARY: Healing man

Busy times, but just about time for a quick update since it is a happy one: My physio cleared me to return to “active duty” as a runner and this evening a very happy torch-light bearer blazed over the Glendalough trails as I completed an hours fartlek, my first running assignment after this five day hiatus.

Glimmering eyes and shadowy movement greeted my approach to the Miner’s Village and a herd of stags and deer silently stared back at me from proximity bewildered but thankfully not provoked by my intrusion into their nocturnal domain.

A felt fit as ever and the injury did not make its presence known at any stage. The intertwining days have been spent doing three Milon Circuit with Medfit, one Spinal Core session (likewise with Medfit), one functional strength training session and a hill walk up and down Camaderry East summit, the latter in the gorgeous Saturday sunshine. Aoife and I returned down the perversely steep “direct approach” to the car park. If the ascent was put into an IMRA race it would add a new level of sadism to an already punishing calendar, if it was made a descent, it would add to the death-toll.

I, like anyone undertaking that descent, would know too well that they are not unbreakable, but thankfully I have proven to have remarkable recuperative abilities when it comes to injuries perhaps helped along by the genius of John Murphy and his team at Carysfort and Medfit as well as the wondrous new technology of the Laser Clinic. Surround yourself with the best people is one of the most powerful lessons for success in any walk of life, work or sport.

My fartlek had been the fastest run in Wicklow yet bettered only on the speedy streets of Dublin as I ran through Blackrock at night-time there a few weeks ago. Rather than looking back I can again look forward. On my one complete rest day, this Sunday past, I traipsed up to the end of the infamous scree descent on Trooperstown to watch another exciting, dramatic and bloody mountain race as the Winter League continued. As a trusty reporter I naturally submitted my article to Mud, Sweat and Tears.

Breathing in the atmosphere of the race spikes the appetite for the season ahead even in a year when I’m a “part-time mountain runner”. The first two mountains ahead for me, however, are called week 9 and 10 for they hold the most mileage and the fastest pace yet. They are the first exam of many this season. Pass it and I can successfully transfer to the hill stage of training. It’s been fun up to now. It’ll get better next…

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