Sunday, 25 May 2014

Let me sleep

The next item on the 2014 sporting agenda is the Midnight Mountain Marathon in Wales (near Brecon) on 28th June. So that's meant getting back on my feet after the 316km audax a couple of weeks ago.

And that's where things have got tough. I expected a week of reduced power and enthusiasm after the audax, but that's turned into two weeks now. I've still been doing the runs and the miles, but yesterday's moderately hilly 18 miler has left me wiped out, with sore muscles of the like I haven't had for months.

I'm putting this down to a few things: work, lack of sleep, and lack of hills. Work's been even more full-on than usual in the last couple of weeks - the usual combination of living in a hotel and long hours being supplemented by a 'big' presentation and mediating between multiple warring parties; just exhausting. I've compounded that by trying to get by on 6 hours sleep a night, and whilst that might be fine for some people, it's not for me; to function efficiently mentally and physically, I need 8. As for the lack of hills, running up them (and down them for that matter) is hugely different to riding up them - the impact on your joints and muscles is huge - and I just haven't done enough of them in the last few weeks - last weekend's runs in the sunshine were fantastic, but the canal towpath is, by its nature, pretty flat.

So this long weekend has been a blessing, and I extended it from 3 to 4 days by taking much of Friday off to do a few things, including make a rather nice Cambodian curry for Mrs M's birthday (if I do say so myself). The day off also enabled me to have a thorough check over at the opticians about the temporary blindness I suffered at the end of the audax a couple of weeks ago, which was quite reassuring - it turns out I've got "excessively dry corneas", and there's a range of things I can do sort it out, cod liver oil featuring quite highly. It's interesting that most of things that have stopped me running or riding in recent years (sciatica in the leg, bad back, and now the eyes {as a result of being in air conditioned rooms staring at a screen whilst wearing contact lenses}) have all been caused by sitting at a desk and using a computer, rather than actual exercise. There can only be one solution...

I've also caught up with sleep this weekend - 8 hours the last 2 nights, and another 2 hours yesterday afternoon, and 3 this afternoon. Lovely; I can feel things beginning to come back into balance. With a bit of luck I'll actually feel like doing some training tomorrow instead of it feeling like a form of torture. All I need now is to be able to run up some hills without it hurting...

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