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PB or not PB...that is the question

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  • Registered Users Posts: 9,677 ✭✭✭Cartman78


    WEEK BEGINNING 01/01/24

    2024 off to a flyer with 3 short and slow runs during the week.

    Felt like absolute crap at the weekend (headaches etc)....apparently this was the tail end of the flu/RSV buy going around :-\

    Back at it yesterday so will be taking it slow and steady as still not quite 100%

    Finally converted a pair of Pegasus 37 from casual flouncing about shoe to running shoe yesterday - felt good actually...deffo prefer them to the Peg 38's I'm wearing.



  • Registered Users Posts: 9,677 ✭✭✭Cartman78


    THE REST OF JANUARY

    So since the last update, I've actually been running really consistently and this is the first January in years I haven't been sick, on antibiotics etc.

    But I do feel like I've lost at least a yard of pace :-(

    To be honest it's been missing since my 2nd dose of Covid last April - at the moment I feel like a car with only 3 gears....I can run indefinitely at a certain pace but can't maintain speed over any sort of distance at all.

    And slightly disconcertingly, my VO2 max on my Garmin has dropped from 57 to 55 - I know this is probably a load of bollix but it would tie in to my general performance. Resting Heart Rate also ticked up a couple of notches.

    So yeah...running ~5 times a week with some cycling/mountain biking thrown in....I should feel tip-top but as mentioned I just feel like something is missing. I'm not overtraining I don't think - most of the miles are easy, started to throw in a couple of interval sessions in the last couple of weeks so will see if that improves anything.

    Managed to get a transfer spot in the Adare 10K (end of February) - if I was to run it in the morning, I'd probably struggle to break 43 mins, will see how the next few weeks go



  • Registered Users Posts: 9,677 ✭✭✭Cartman78


    WEEK BEGINNING 29/01/24

    So tried to mix things up a bit last week to see if I can kickstart my overall running mojo.

    Started the week off with 8 x 1K intervals - went ok, the first 6 were comfortable enough around the 4:15 mark with a drop off for the last two.

    Did a gentle 7K on Tuesday and followed up with a solo 5K TT on Wednesday....a new route for me near work...the splits were 3:59, 4:06, 4:18, 4:20, 4:19 for an overall time of 21:05.

    Not great really and a bit inconsistent pace wise - in my defence, it was an out and back route with the first 2K mainly downhill and wind assisted.

    Popped in to UL on Thursday evening for a slow 12K and did 18K on my creaking bike on Friday (need to get it checked out after recent trip to Ballyhoura)

    Another slowish 12.3K on Sunday and a 5K walk and stretches yesterday.

    There's a local GAA club running 5K races every Tuesday in February so might give one or two of them a lash to see if the competition might spur me on and help tune up a bit before Adare 10K.

    Post edited by Cartman78 on


  • Registered Users Posts: 9,677 ✭✭✭Cartman78


    FEDAMORE 5K (1 of 4...maybe)

    First race of the year...yayy!

    Popped out at lunchtime for a few gentle intervals to loosen up the legs and mainly to get some fresh air.

    Had a quick banana when I got home then out the door pronto... wasn't 100% sure where I was going so had factored in some contingency time.

    Met a couple of people from my running club, did a quick warm up and was set for off.

    The goal of the evening was to run as fast as I could pain free but inevitably the competitive spirit sprung to life....looking around at the start line there was half a dozen GAA fellas in their 20's so figured I'd let them go off at the start and then see if i could reel them in (😂)

    But that plan vanished fairly lively....despite starting conservatively I found myself in 2nd place behind a fella after about 300 metres and after another minute or two I couldn't hear anybody behind us so knew then it was going to be a slog.

    The course was basically a 2.5K out and back route done twice...a very long drag to start, followed by a steep bit, a short flat bit, an steep downhill followed by a steep uphill then back down the long drag towards the start.

    Anyway yer man was pulling away from me the whole time...5 metres quickly grew to 10 and then kept growing albeit at a slower rate.

    I was motoring along ok I guess...my lower back was groaning a bit but didn't escalate.

    The second lap zipped along...the long drag seemed longer but I powered up it no bother. I was still holding on to a faint hope the guy in first might blow up but no sign of it at all...I could see his hi-viz flapping up ahead of me.

    Finished in a quasi respectable 20:33 (4:13, 4:00, 4:03, 4:18, 3:57)....felt good to be running fast-ish again.....would be great to go sub-20 on that course this month



  • Registered Users Posts: 9,677 ✭✭✭Cartman78


    WEEK BEGINNING 05/01/24

    Another ok week but feel like I'm making zero overall progress 😕

    Followed the 5K race with a very gentle 6K plod on Wednesday, took a rest and stretching day on the Thursday.

    Popped out on Friday lunchtime to attempt some sort of 10K tempo...ended up doing around 47 mins but it wasn't great really...had to take a 1 min walking break around halfway.

    Was busy with a bunch of stuff on Saturday and then sneaked in a slow 12K early yesterday morning which went fine.

    Still feeling generally pooped tbh.... sitting outside my GP surgery now waiting for a blood test so will see if that shows up something 🤷

    Not sure ATM if I'll do the 5K tomorrow....feels like such a grind, I'll probably give it a go though 😜

    Post edited by Cartman78 on


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  • Registered Users Posts: 9,677 ✭✭✭Cartman78


    Haven't looked at my predicted times in a bit....always a good source of light relief on :-)

    Garmin Bullsh1t Predicted Times Update:

    5K - 19:23

    10K - 41:41

    Half Marathon - 1:38

    Marathon - 3:46



  • Registered Users Posts: 9,677 ✭✭✭Cartman78


    FEDAMORE 5K (2 of 4...maybe)

    Basically a copy and paste of last week with a slightly improved time for me and second place again to the same fella.

    Was a bit closer to him this time but still a fairly sizeable gap (prob near 30 seconds at the end)

    Improved on last week by ~15 seconds (4:05, 3:56, 4:06, 4:15, 3:54) to finish in 20:18.

    The 4th split is the obvious outlier there - that was the second time going back up the long drag/steep hill combo....I was trying to conserve a bit of energy I think for a strong finish but was totally zapped by the time I hit the downhill.

    Not sure if I can go next week yet .

    I'm pretty sure now I could comfortably go under 20 mins on 'normal' course - the hills on this one make it very hard to get any sort of rhythm going tbh.



  • Registered Users Posts: 9,677 ✭✭✭Cartman78


    WEEK BEGINNING 12/01/24

    In prep for the 5K, I started off the week with a small set of intervals (10 x 400m)....must have been stuck for time I'd say as I would normally do 15.

    All good with the 5K on Tuesday (report above).....can't make it tomorrow night so might do a solo 5K TT tomorrow instead.

    Short (5.5K) recovery run on Wednesday, and then following 2 very stressful days, I banged out some late night hill repeats on Thursday night (15 x 200m)...felt really good actually so maybe the pain in Fedamore is paying off.

    Back on the bike on Friday for a quick spin (16K).

    Then tried my first tempo run on Saturday...7.25K @ 4.28 per km pace...really happy with that tbh.

    And then yesterday (drum roll!) I finally broke through the magic 12K barrier ;-)

    Headed out for my LSR with 16K in mind...was trundling along not looking at my watch and it wasn't till about 5K that I realised I was motoring along at 4:50 pace. Most of my other "long" runs had been at 5:00 - 5:15 pace but this felt very comfortable for some reason so I kept going to finish the 10 miles in 77 mins.

    So after all that I'm hoping that maybe possibly I might be getting a bit of form/mojo back....not going to get carried away, the Adare 10K is going to be a tough one for me I think but looking forward to it



  • Registered Users Posts: 9,677 ✭✭✭Cartman78


    THE LAST FEW WEEKS & ADARE 10K

    Yikes....hadn't realised it was so long since last update.

    The rest of January and first half of February were more of the same meh.....still feeling tired, sleep all over the place etc.

    Had some more blood tests done and a couple of things had gone out of whack a bit it seems so hopefully that explains it.....tweaked a couple of things and slowly starting to feel better now...fingers remaining firmly crossed.

    I managed to maintain my high frequency low-mileage approach during all of this.....introduced a couple of more speed sessions and felt like form was returning a bit.

    Anyway that was pretty much the pattern up until the Adare 10K at the end of February.

    I normally wouldn't bother doing a race if not in somewhere near top form - wasn't really sure how to approach it tbh....I knew I wasn't in PB or even sub-40 condition, but jogging around didn't really appeal either.

    Rightly or wrongly I decided to do a speed/stress test to see how long I could hang on at 40 min pace.

    Well the answer to that question proved to be 5.5 KM 😂

    I had started near the front but slightly too far back as it turned out....the 40 min pacer only appeared right before the start and with the massive crowd I couldn't really get close to them.

    Took off at a decent clip with the plan of tagging on to the pace group but never made contact....I'm not sure if it would have made any difference really anyway now that I think about it.

    Got through 5K in 19:54 which was pleasing at the time but then notice an all too familiar discomfort in my lower back/side....I was hoping in vain it might be cramp rather than my disc/nerve pain but as I approached the climb at 6K there was no doubt.

    Took a bottle of water and walked for a minute or so. Got back going again ok before another long drag induced another walking break - the pain eased off then and I finished reasonably strongly in 42:33.

    So overall a bit underwhelming and annoying that the back issue isn't resolved. Could I have gone faster with a more balanced pace approach? Maybe but not by much I'd say.

    Anyway, was back running again no bother that week. My physio has given me a couple of new exercises to do....he reckons I'm not doing any long term damage and just need to train my body to run fast again.

    So yeah that's basically it....still running ~5 times a week....did 16K 'long run' last week, will try to push that on this weekend.

    Went out earlier today to do a 10K threshold effort - flew around my tricky route in 43:55....easily my most enjoyable run this year.

    Deciding as well what distance to do at the Great Limerick Run - it's either going to be a half marathon slog jog or a 6 mile flat to the mat effort

    Post edited by Cartman78 on


  • Registered Users Posts: 9,677 ✭✭✭Cartman78


    THE LAST FEW WEEKS & LIMERICK HALF MARATHON

    Another long gap in updates…was going to let this blog off into the wilderness but will keep it going.

    Anyway, a real mixed bag since last update...had another thyroid based inflammatory flare up, and a family member has been unwell also - so a whole pile of stress basically and probably a week or so with no running at all.

    Despite all that I was running fairly consistently and in decent enough shape overall.

    Was undecided what if any event to do in the Great Limerick Run.... hadn't enough mileage for marathon, not enough speed for the 6 miler…so the half felt like the best option.

    Only signed up on Monday so no real goal in mind...a PB (<1:26) or a sub 1:30 were out of scope so had a solid run and a sub 1:40 was the loose target.

    Parked off the Dock Road in the exact same space I've used at least 5 times for this event, slapped on some suncream (!) and headed to the start.

    The Bishop's prayer was a first for me but it was actually a nice touch 🙏

    And off we went....felt very comfortable in the first few km (5K in 21:10)...took a gel slightly earlier than planned at 7K amd noticed the first micro twinge in right calf around 8K 😬

    Through 10K in 43:22 and still feeling tip top....apart from that slowly tightening calf…I've never really had problems with the right calf before (low in the Achilles yes but this was much higher up)…I'm not convinced that it's an actual injury fwiw, more than likely related to my inflammatory woes.

    Past halfway in good order but had to pull up for walks and stretches at 15K and 16K...the last few km were a bit of a struggle but got back moving at a steady 4:45 per km pace to finish in 1:37.

    Happy enough generally although the calf situation is annoying/frustrating.

    Not sure what my next race will be.... hopefully can sneak in a 10K or two in the next few weeks

    Post edited by Cartman78 on


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  • Registered Users Posts: 9,677 ✭✭✭Cartman78


    So that calf issue seems to be a lot worse than I originally thought.... according to Dr Google it looks like a Grade 2 Tear 😭😫🤕.....going to physio tonight but looking at a few weeks off running either way 😭😭😭😭



  • Registered Users Posts: 2,501 ✭✭✭Laineyfrecks


    Good luck at the physio, hopefully it's nothing too serious.



  • Registered Users Posts: 4,299 ✭✭✭ariana`


    Very sorry to hear that. Hope the outcome is best case scenario and either way heals fast 🤞



  • Registered Users Posts: 9,677 ✭✭✭Cartman78


    So it seems to be more of a bad Grade 1 strain as opposed to a tear 😬

    The bruising went away quite quickly so fingers crossed but looking at 5-6 weeks before any sort of structured running.

    Checked out the pool near to my office yesterday so will give that a go, and find somewhere flat to cycle also



  • Registered Users Posts: 4,299 ✭✭✭ariana`


    Hey, how are you doing since?



  • Registered Users Posts: 9,677 ✭✭✭Cartman78


    Thanks for following up 😃

    On the running front I've done a couple of very gentle efforts - a 5K on Thursday and a 6K yesterday..…was half tempted to go again at lunchtime today but for once I took the sensible option and went for a walk instead.

    Generally still in ok shape.…the swimming has dropped off a bit as the pool was closed all last week for maintenance, got a few decent bike rides in though so keeping the fitness levels up I guess.

    Will be taking it easy for another week or two....have holidays coming up later in the month so don't want to be re-injured for that.

    Fingers crossed after that I'll be in the shape to start building mileage back up



  • Registered Users Posts: 9,677 ✭✭✭Cartman78


    SPORADIC UPDATE

    So I've been tipping away fairly consistently for the last few weeks....no major long runs or speed sessions yet though 😕

    Did a bit of trail running in France alright which was a nice change.

    Was half tempted to abandon DCM plans when the Transfer email landed in my inbox but the wife and kids were like "Noooo" so looks like I'll be on the start line in October 😎

    Did a fair bit of cycling in France as well and a bit since coming back but energy levels still nowhere near right....will keep plugging away anyway



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