Friday, 9 July 2010


85 days until my next attempt to qualify for Boston. This is moderately alarming. I know from my last attempt that these days go fast, and you can't train too much in the week before the race. So, training-wise, there isn't a ton of time left until race day.


Part of my alarm may stem from a poor week of training.

After my hill run and mile (see my last post), things slipped a bit.

On the next day, Wednesday, I did my "town" loop - 5.4 miles - after dropping off my wife and children at the airport. They were travelling to my wife's parent's house for the week.

On Thursday morning I woke tired, and noticed that my throat hurt when I drank a morning coffee.

That afternoon I administered a make-up exam for the students where I teach, and afterwards I felt truly grotty. The students' complaints about the exam didn't help, but I was almost too tired to worry about it. Because of how I was feeling, running Thursday evening was out of the question; instead I packed for an upcoming work conference in Amsterdam.

I woke in the middle of the night with a very sore throat. Whenever I swallowed it felt like there was sand-paper in my throat. I took ibuprofen, and a throat lozenge with flurbiprofen, and went back to sleep. These lozenges work really well for sore throats, in my experience. I think they act locally to reduce the inflamation in the throat.

On Friday I graded the exams in the morning, but was unwell. My voice was cracking when I spoke. I left work early, in part to finish packing, in part to rest.

After watching Holland beat Brazil while I packed, I decided to try a run. I did my town loop again, and was feeling a bit better.

On Saturday I had an early flight to Amsterdam. Surprisingly, the airport was full of travellers at 5:20 a.m.

Amsterdam was hot. I was initially hoping to get my long run done in the city, but by the time I took the train and found my hotel, I just didn't feel up to it. I was fatigued from the early morning and my cold. I went to the conference center, registered, and then took a tram into the city centre to explore a bit. Amsterdam was really impressive, but I was so beat that I just wanted to rest.

On Sunday morning I was feeling a little better, and did 2.5 easy miles near the hotel. The hotel was in the middle of a warehouse district, and I had no luck finding a place for breakfast, the goal of the run. I ate at the hotel.

I didn't run on Monday - I was exhausted after the day's meeting at the conference centre, and I went to dinner with work colleagues.

Tuesday was the first time I didn't feel shattered. After the day's meeting, I did around 4 miles through the Vondelpark. It was a perfect summer afternoon, and there was a buzz about the park, as the Dutch prepared for the big World Cup match that evening. On the streets, the cafes were packed with football fans dressed in orange.

No running on Wednesday, when the conference finished. I did go for a long walk in another Amsterdam park, with my luggage.


Now I'm back in Scotland, and getting back to my normal schedule. I did 5 miles on the hill behind where I work on Thursday, and then 10 miles on Friday. I'm still coughing a bit, but hope that the very light week of running won't have been too much of a set-back.