Connemara was 11 weeks ago and I ran a good, aggressive race. And quite honestly it was the last time I ran really well. I have struggled along fitfully since, more or less managing my maintenance miles but without really feeling good. My two races since (Adamstown and Cork) have been very moderate efforts. This morning was a low point. After a lazy few days resting a knee niggle I set off for a routine 10-miler only to turn around after 1.5. Nothing there at all, no energy, no enthusiasm, nothing. I suppose I’m particularly concerned looking back at what has happened in the past.

A few years ago, still fairly new to running, I was training for what would have been my first marathon, the new Jersey Marathon. I had entered (and as a consequence still get their e-mails to this day) but suffered a pretty catastrophic running collapse. After two fairly tough back-to-back runs in training I suddenly found I was pretty much unable to run. At first I figured my body was telling me to back off a bit. But this went on for months. I’d set off hopefully only to grind to a halt a half mile or so down the road. Time and again. Just occasionally it was better and this kept me trying. Eventually, to my relief, things got better and I recovered totally.

A couple of years later this happened again, for no reason that I could figure. This time I got a battery of medical tests done – and was amazed at the good results, which didn’t help my problem. I looked at dietary issues, food allergy stuff etc all to no avail. Again I’d have the odd run where I believed I was OK again, but they were false dawns. The day before I left Jersey for good was a similar story as I abandoned my farewell run. Two days later, on Christmas Day 2007 in Birmingham, it suddenly all came right with a great long run. Since that time, after arriving in Ireland, I’ve been fine and enjoyed my running. Not all of it has been great but only on the rare occasion has it been a disaster.

So things aren’t quite that desperate yet and maybe this will turn out to be just a bad patch.