Llanelli half-marathon 2011

It was great to see & hear so many Swansea med students at the Llanelli half-marathon today. It was also great to get to run fast (I had a big grin on the start line)! Unfortunately the running fast didn’t last the full distance.

This was an early, pre-season test of my running pace & endurance, but I’ve had issues with very tight calves locking up in the last month or so, & this was my first proper run for a little while. The cycling has kept my legs going though.

The run out after the start (by round the world Rosie!) was nice and fast, downhill with the wind behind. I paced it sensibly, so that’s a plus. For the windier sections my old cycling skills came in handy again, jumping from group to group when calm to stay out of the breeze when we turned into it. I sat on a guy’s shoulder for the long, windy stretch through to the start/finish area, & every time I tried to take a turn at the front he upped his pace as I breasted him. Weird, but fine, if he wants to take all the wind he can have it.

My calves weren’t too tight, & loosened with running. By mile 8 or so both soleus muscles were into the process of tightening up, & the loss of elasticity meant my pace & heart rate dropped. By mile 10 I couldn’t accelerate out of corners, and however fast I tried to run my pace wouldn’t lift. Rubbish. I’d put so much effort into the run so far, there wasn’t far to go, & the calves hadn’t gone solid so I opted to run to the finish. I lost more than 2 minutes in those last miles & finished at about 1:22:22. Meh.

The kids enjoyed seeing me finish & the MC(?) gave me a nice shout out. Nice not to start the season with a DNF (and certainly not a DNS). That time was still better than 2 years ago (my first half-marathon) and my effort & heart rate for pace were reasonable indicators for fitness for the first half of the race. A cold bath, lots of light stretching, an appointment with my sports therapist & we’ll work out what’s going on. I’m getting pretty sore all over now. I take running at pace for 13.1 miles a bit too much for granted these days. My running is good, and I need to focus more on biking and swimming, so as long as we can fix this over the next 100 days & get me strong for the 10km run at the end of the Windsor Triathlon all will be good. I ran further than that today, so I should be good and must be patient.

Hey, my left leg was in plaster this time last year & I still had a great season!

New Podcasts

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I’ve been a bit busy recently, but the first draft of the Embryology at a Glance textbook is written (hurrah!) & there are a couple of new podcasts that I’ve put out.
Phil Newton & I talked about the neuroscience of addiction in episode 5 of the neuro podcast series, and Mike Austin & I talked about clinical eye anatomy in preparation for his year 1 teaching week next week. You can get hold of both of those through your usual iTunes or Blackboard sources, and on the Medicine page of my website.

Riding the Welsh coast

The end of March date has been dropped, so we may do the ride in May.
In other news, a new podcast is coming very soon on the anatomy of the eye, and the clinical relevance of it all.