These bad runs come at inexplicable times. There’s usually no pattern or apparent cause. And if you always felt this way during a run no one in their right mind would do it. You’d go and do something else energetic and outdoors-based but without having to reach so deep for remaining resolve and physical reserves.

This isn’t a whinge. There’s a training log on boards.ie that’s headed ‘The Moaniness of the Long Distance Runner’, a great title. But generally there’s not a lot of whinging in the running community – you know what you are getting into so there’s no sympathy and nor should there be.

After a good running week I set off in good spirits yesterday, 18 miles the target in 10.30m/m, iPod on shuffle, water in hand and a couple of energy shots on my belt. Within a mile or two I knew it was going to be one of ‘those’ runs where it’s going to be no fun and where you just have to grit it out. From First Tower, up the Railway Walk and a lap around the cycle track at Les Quennevais to make up the mileage. Onto Corbiere and two loops around Petit Port before heading back on the return journey. It was like the Burma Road and, by the time I staggered back in the door, the 18 miles had taken me 3:19 = 11.02m/m.

I haven’t felt quite as bad afterwards since completing the Longford Marathon. Legs cramping and spasming, sick and dizzy, needing to eat and drink but not having the strength to do so. But as at Longford everything returned to relative normality after an hour or so.

The plus points are (1) all runs aren’t quite as bad, (2) I did get the 18 miles done with very few walk breaks and (3) the warm weather was good acclimatisation for the usual Cork heatwave! Seven weeks to go, flying conditions permitting.

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