TRAINING: Long run with Aoife

My official training for the Waterford Half-marathon on 1st of December began today and I decided to join Aoife. My first training run called for 2 hours focused on endurance while Aoife had two and a half hours of “recovery” to do. We ran out the Oldbridge Road and discovered to our chagrin that this is an even tougher road run than the already severe Glenmacnass and Clara Vale stretches we normally do.

I had considered easing in as I had not done a single step of running since the 18th of August (when I did 2 hours up the Glenmacnass Road) but I prioritised rest.

Getting back to full strength

I had yet to fully recover from the bout of chronic fatigue that struck me about 3 weeks ago with the usual hang-along symptoms of sniffles and light fevers. I’d been burning my candle in both ends for far too long but after a bit of holidays, family time and putting in place measures to make my days more effective and allow for more “me-time”, I am almost back to full strength and put in place a 4-day “caffeine fast” to ensure my body stayed in “power saving mode”.

Annoyingly the last three weeks of being bed-ridden or otherwise just weak, stopped me from practicing my vaults. I hope to begin again this week.

A dream-state

Today’s run turned into a bit of a dream – those days that convince you things will go to plan. Both Aoife and I were running effortlessly, having not bother with the hard ground despite wearing nothing but the 3mm on our Aqua Lites and the constant sharp uphills and downhills on the hard terrain. We’re beginning to be able to do this on auto-pilot. The roads around here really are among the best test of technical ability you can wish for. Running home the only thought in my head was “I am not only going to break my PB and the 80 minute barrier, I am going to ANNIHILATE IT BEYOND REASON.” 13 weeks stand between me and those bold words and each workout will require diligence and attention to detail. Starting with doing 23k on a course like this despite being “under the weather” promises much especially with a 470m elevation – these unusually hard road runs will make even hilly race courses feel like a doddle.

It was particularly good to see that Aoife can now do a hard race in the Aqua Lites on one day followed by a 2:30 run on rough roads the next day without niggle or injury on the back of a 50 mile training week. Jason has likewise been flying for his first 3 weeks preparing for the Autumn cross-country season, showing some really impressive pace and confirming that he’s a “power runner” if ever there was one.

I’d like to extend my personal thanks to Tony Riddle for helping make this possible for the three of us – formerly injury-riddled (no pun intended) running fanatics. The butterflies are almost out of their cocoon (in Aoife’s case already flying around gleefully after yesterday’s PB in the Great Pink run 10k) and a lot of swords will be crossed this Autumn season. Over and out…