Operation Big Smoke – Week 7, Session 1:

Whilst I take a break from playing my finest medley of sad songs on violin for poor old McCarthy, I shall update thee with my own tale of adversity.

Whilst McCarthy lacks sleep through the wails of a ‘squawking babbie’ (I dunno what the fuss is personally, he probably just needs a nappy change or feeding! – Zac that is… not Chris), I have myself been seeming to struggle with sleep – waking momentarily nearly every hour of the night for the past week or so – perhaps in some weird McCarkiss sleep deprivation ‘sympathy pain’ type phenomenon. Seemingly no rhyme nor reason to my disrupted sleep, and generally I can’t say I’m feeling too exhausted, well… not from the lack of sleep anyway.

My body, however, does feel exhausted. Having linked together a few weeks of sporadic training over the Christmas period (something akin to McCarthy’s current situation) the recent build in mileage of ‘Operation Big Smoke’ appears to have consumed every drop of glycogen and muscular strength. So whilst McCarthy wallows in self pity and visualises me floating by, having found ‘fine form’ in my training and effortlessly ploughing through the miles; the reality is far more that of a man dragging himself round each and every run, on the brink of physiological breakdown and wondering when the hell it’s going to start feeling easier. Even so, I do now feel a little guilty moaning about the woes of having lumped myself round 95mi in the last 7 days whilst Macca struggles to find the time or energy to rise out of the twenties and into the thirty-something miles per week.

That guilt was soon dissolved upon learning through my own website, that McCarthy would not be attending the Reading Half Marathon – the race I had no intention of running until McCarthy co-erced me into entering… or rather agreeing to enter, and then moaned when I missed the entry deadline (having put off entering due to the ridiculous entry fee)… to which end I was guilt tripped into pleading with the race organisers for a late entry – of course upon seeing the MCKEP logo they arranged an elite entry without delay. Chris got jealous and asked me to ask for an elite entry for him too – presumably he was too ashamed of his woeful Half Marathon PB – 45seconds slower than my own ‘elite’ standards. Thankfully the strength of the MCKEP brand pulled through and McCarthy too was awarded an elite entry… not that it matters now. I shall still attend, and run round with absolutely no idea what time to expect, or attempt or my battered lumps of meat & bones, formerly known as legs.

Onward to the point of this post… a midweek long run. The run called for 20 miles, finishing at marathon pace. On heavy legs, and with a late finish at work, I was not in the mood – I’d planned a route around Warwick / Leamington / Newbold Comyn but daylight was dwindling and by the time I reached the Newbold Comyn golf course it was dusk. As I trudged round the muddy trail, in total darkness beneath the trees I continued to discuss the merits and demerits of postponing the 20miler until the next day, and settling for a nice 11-12mi. I managed to con myself into continuing to plod around the 20mi route, knowing that at any point, if it got really bad, I could make it back to the car within a couple of miles. The ‘marathon pace finish’ was out the window… until of course I reached the final mile and a half, where out of shear desperation to be done and dusted – I managed to summon a mile effort at marathon pace, thus (barely) ticking the box of a ‘marathon pace finish’.

With National XC Champs on Saturday, I’m in two minds as to whether I should ease off and attempt to race a little better, or continue as planned with a session due on Thursday (today).



2 thoughts on “Operation Big Smoke – Week 7, Session 1:

  1. I believe fitful sleep is a classic sign of over training. I know exactly the type of sleep you are getting and I nearly always get it when the training load is high. You may benefit from easing it back for a few days (n.b. I don’t always practice what I preach…) As for Chris, welcome to the joys of fatherhood!

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