The title explains how I'm feeling right now and how I've been feeling all week. I know the obvious thing to say is "Take a rest you bloody idiot!" and I'd be saying the same to someone else, but it's JUST tired and aching. There's no injury tweaks or niggles, no pulls or strains etc. Everything just feels beaten up! Of course there is a reason for all of this and most of the reason is the Exmoor Stagger and to a lesser extent the Cornish Marathon.
The Exmoor Stagger was last Sunday, just two weeks after Ironman Hawaii. It's a 15.1mile (my Garmin says 16.1miles) off road run from the coastal town of Minehead to Exmoors highest point (Dunkery Beacon) and back. The run takes in over 3,100ft of climbing and as I was reminded during the race, I haven't done any hill training for around 4 years.
I'd run 10miles on the Thursday before the race and I was under no illusions that my legs had recovered from Kona in any way, I wasn't quite prepared for just how quickly they'd throw the towel in at the sight of a good climb though. I moved comfortably enough early in the race but once we hit the bigger climbs I was soon walking. I saw a lot on my clubmate Tony in the early stages, we'd pass each other regularly as our strengths and weakness's are almost total opposites. Then he disappeared just before the long drag to the summit. I could see him way, way ahead and as he crested the hill I looked at my watch, it took me another 3minutes to get there.
Once I'm over the top it's a different story though. Because I knew I was hardly going to be at the front of the field I had chosen to run in an old pair of road shoes and save my feet from the potential fell shoe blisters. It was wet, muddy and slippery in the early stages of the descent so I had to take my time which was a bit annoying. Once that was out of the way though it was full steam ahead as I chased down as many people as I could ahead of me. One by one they came into sight and disappeared out the back until I found myself in no-mans land and then suddenly at 12miles a hill appeared that climbed 500ft in less than a mile. I walked every single inch of that hill and nobody caught me, infact by the time I started running again I could see 3 people ahead, so in the last 3 miles I caught and passed them too.
For all the pain, on a very 'off' day I managed to snag 16th overall and 3rd V40 for my troubles. An unexpected little trophy, nice!
I also took some bloody awful video. You can play it if you want, but you might need to dig out the sea sickness tablets first!!
The days after The Stagger my legs were simply trashed. It's the downhills that do the damage though. I might enjoy them at the time but your legs take a hell of a beating when you run like that. Fitness and training aren't always the key to going fast downhill, it sometimes just depends on how brave/stupid you are. Training would however prepare the muscles you use for the beating that they're going to get and mine were far from prepared.
Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday I did absolutely nothing. You can get away with that when your Tri season has finished - it's nice!! Thursday though I was back to it and with tired legs I drove out to Instow so that I could do a long run. This is the reason that Cornish Marathon is partly responsible for my tired legs, it's because part of me would like to have a half decent race here and maybe even RUN round rather than run/walk as I did at White Peak and Wolverhampton Marathons. For that stand the slightest chance of happening I need to get some long runs in during the next fortnight as I really haven't done any this year. The reason I drove out to Instow to start my run is two fold. Firstly I wanted to run with Rosie, but I don't really want to drag her around 20miles. The plan is that I run 10miles home, collect the pup and then run 10miles back with her so she can play in the sea. That way not only does Rosie get a run, but if I'm feeling wasted after 10 miles I've still GOT to run back because my car is 10 miles away from home. Double Whammy!!
That's about it really, there's nothing exciting been going on unless you've been following the Access Program fun and games where the WTC basically decided that those who wanted to hand over $1,000 would be allowed to enter races a week ahead of anybody else, guaranteeing their places in the race - you'd still have to pay full entry price though. It all kicked off on Twitter, Facebook etc etc and the plan was subsequently dropped like a hot potato. Fair play to them for realising they were on a hiding to nothing and ditching the plan so quickly, I'm sure it won't be the last time something like this happens though.
This time last year I was heading up the Motorway on the first stage of my journey to PCB for Ironman Florida. This year I'll be watching online and wishing I was racing! It'll be soooo tempting to hit the sign up button next Sunday morning, but I don't expect it'll happen. Even if I do get tempted it'll fill up so quickly (if it even gets online) that only the very quickest will get through. There is a lot of ill feeling towards the WTC after the Access Program, but don't let us kid ourselves, the Ironman brand is pretty damn recession proof right now and it'll take a lot more than this to stop races like Ironman Florida filling up in seconds.
Until next time. Happy Training.
I'm off out to take my battered legs for a run. "Come on Rosie"