Wednesday, March 4, 2009

This time last time: 9 weeks to go

This week really puts the "How did I look back at the last marathon prep and think it was perfect?" question to the forefront. Nine weeks prior to Dublin 2007 was my last week living in the south of France.

Monday to Thursday's training sessions were as expected. A track session on the Tuesday saw me doing 13 x 400m with 1 minute rest in or around 1:13. The other days were all 9 miles easy. Marathon training looks like it was taking shape here during these few days. They mirror nicely the present days training.

Friday went a bit pear shaped. My lease ended that day so I had to move out and clean the place from top to bottom. We had the landlord popping by for an inspection that evening. This meant that Friday's speedwork session was put on hold and also meant that my farewell drinks could start earlier! Over the course of the evening a few bottles of rosé were consumed at apéro, more at dinner, pints and shots in the pub until 2 am and then whiskey cokes in the nightclub until we were asked to leave. Getting asked to leave was far from the highlight of the evening. Our drunkenness saw us trying to talk our way into staying. We were kind of perplexed as to why we had to leave because we hadn't actually done anything to warrant being asked to leave. We eventually accepted we weren't getting back in and were just talking shite with one of the bouncers at the doorway. The conversation turned to the rugby world cup and the upcoming Ireland v France game. It was all very good natured with him telling us how we hadn't a hope with no O'Driscoll and us saying that he was back fighting fit again and that we would prevail. For some unknown a bouncer, who wasn't part of our rugby talk, ran over and smashed his knee into my quad, pretty much picked me up and flung me into the barriers across the way. Cue silence everywhere, puzzled looks all round, before he starts screaming in incomprehensible French at us. To this day we've no idea why that happened but I left France with cuts and bruises all down the side of my right arm and a dead leg leg that lasted for just over a week.

On the Saturday I couldn't walk too well so any thoughts of a run to make up for missing the Friday session went out the window. Sunday's long run also never happened. Instead I managed to get about 8 miles at a pace just above easy in that felt like hell.

The French dream ended on Sunday. Monday morning at the crack of dawn I left Montpellier to fly back to Ireland with a limp that my parents and coach were both told was attributed to smacking a table off it when moving a table from my apartment...
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