I’ve heard of writer’s block but at the beginning of the week I was suffering from runners’ block. While I’m not sure if this actually exists I felt all my runs early in the week seemed like an effort and I couldn’t figure out what was wrong.
I backed off a little in mileage as energy levels were again low and it was a case of ‘fake it until I make it’ for a few sessions. I even had a dreaded treadmill run one morning as it was a busy week . I usually don’t run on treadmills as I find them very boring and can never get into a rhythm, but needs must this week.
While writers try to overcome their creative difficulties by free writing and brainstorming amongst other things to spark their inspiration. I felt that the only cure for my runner’s block was to get out and run with other people. I texted my good friend Derek Costello on Friday night and arranged to go out and do a few miles before the Ballincollig Parkrun on Saturday. This was just what the doctor ordered as it proved the perfect tonic for my running ailments. Running with other people obviously has special healing qualities that nothing else can match, in company with Derek and over 500 people at Ballincollig my energy levels were miraculously restored and there was more pep in my step. Enormous credit is due to the Ballincollig Parkrun crew as they, yet again delivered a successful run with such huge numbers.
Buoyed by this I felt excited going into the Mallow 10 mile on Sunday. To be honest, the race couldn’t have come at a better time for me. The Cork City Marathon is ten weeks away and I wanted to see where I was fitness wise. I was doing the race as part of a long run so I headed out early and did a few easy miles beforehand. The race itself went very well. I had a vague plan to stay between the 75 and 80 minute pacers and see how I was at that pace. To my pleasant surprise, I felt very good and at mile 5-6 I was able to kick on for the last few miles and I was delighted to come in with a time of 72 minutes 37 seconds. The organisation of the race itself was second to none, and congratulations to Mallow AC. The amount of volunteers out on the course was incredible and with a large field of runners it was coordinated flawlessly. I think this race will become a regular on my running calendar going forward.
I used the race to experiment with some gels, I went for the High 5 brand and took one after my warm up and another around the 5 mile mark. My stomach reacted ok to them and I’ll continue to try more in the build up to Cork. I also tried a new pair of sunglasses that I purchased recently. I have sensitive eyes and the glare of the sun can drive my eyes mad at times, while I’ll get no points for style or fashion sense, the glasses were very comfortable and with no bounce in them, they will be worn again. So it’s onwards and upwards for me after a successful race. I’ll get in a few weeks of solid training before the Great Railway Run on the 16th of April. I’ll try and prioritise getting out with other people over the next few weeks if I can, it’s probably also good to remind myself that this is marathon training and that being tired is normal.
There will be periods when I’m tired and times where I will have energy. The key for me is to not be too down on myself on the low energy weeks, to remember that my body is always adapting and changing to the training I’m putting in. Running in the brighter evenings will help reinvigorate me and I guess, if all that fails I can always count on getting an appointment with Dr Derek Costello and he can prescribe running a few miles together! Enjoy the week and happy running!