Into the second week of September and i still haven’t started training properly for the Dublin Marathon.
The latest delay has been a new job – real geology – looking at soils and rocks in development sites in Dublin and helping to identify the most appropriate management for them – most developments want single or multiple basements so the undelying soil and rock has to come out. Not a bad thing when much of it contaminated by centuries of industial development. I feel like i am earning my ‘environmental geologist’ title again.
The down side is long hours – when you are working on site and sorting samples back at the office, it tends to be a long day. I’d forgotten how hard it is to fit in training when you are working long hours – that and the tiredness of course. One of the advantages of working from home was that i could go to the gym, or for a jog, when the urge took me. Everything has pros and cons.
I ran my 49th parkrun on Saturday with a totally unspectacular time of 27:54 and i struggled with that. It was however, a very inspirational run. Firstly, i caught up with a running buddy who usually leaves me for standing but he and his daughter were pacing a friend who is new to running and was completing his third parkrun. I chatted for a while and then moved on – pushing myself as hard as i could. I was about 0.75km from the end and suffering when a man in the same technical tee as i – the Bay 10k from earlier this summer – passed me out.
“Snap” says i, in my tiredness thinking i was playing a child’s game of cards. My tech tee twin slowed down and we had the chat for the rest of the race – parkrun’s are so awesome. Turns out he had a brain hemorrhage four years ago and suffered three minor strokes while recovering. He had to learn to walk and talk again and here he was now, slowing down to run alongside me, his junior by a few years. Incredible story. He had been a runner, twenty five odd years ago and had run the Dublin Marathon six years in row – his fastest time being just over three hours. How can you not feel the presence of divine intervention, or at least, the power of serendipity, when such events enter your life. If i do manage to run this year’s Dublin Marathon, it will be largely thanks to that inspirational encounter.
So i havn’t dropped out yet. I am aware that there is a waiting list so if i do withdraw i intend to do it in enough time that someone else can run instead of me. I hope to train a bit this week but, with my history of fatigue, i know that beating tiredness with exercise is not a good idea, or even a viable option, for me. Balancing tiredness, recovery, training and health is a fine art, especially when it is so easy to tip over into laziness – when you think you are tired but you are really just lazy.
I have some interesting and challenging races coming up over the next week – i’m not sure if i will be able to complete them but if i do then i may just be able to run a marathon.
First up is the first race in the Summit Series in Glendalough in County Wicklow – one of my favourite places on earth. It is a trail race which is encouraging for me because the scenary will be beautiful and some of the hills very steep – so steep in fact that most people will walk them and so i may, just, complete it. I’ve signed up for the 15k – i know a bit optimistic for a man who struggles completing a 5k these days but i’m hopeful of a burst of pure undiluted mountain energy coming through. There is a shorter, 8k, route and if i’m really tired i may just attempt that.
I’m excited just looking at the map!
The weekend after that is the Dublin Half Marathon, part of the Marathon series which takes place in the Phoenix Park here in our beautiful city. That will be my litmus test – if i can run and complete the half-marathon then i will keep going and trust that i will be able to complete the Marathon some five weeks later.
So this year’s journey, which has been challenging but exciting and brim full of new experiences, continues.
- God, grant me the serenity
To accept the things I cannot change,
Courage to change the things I can,
and wisdom to know the difference
- God, grant me the serenity
To accept i cannot run all races,
Courage to push myself in those i run,
and wisdom to know the difference.
Keep training my friends
and listen to that inner voice