19 January 2015

Embrace the pain!

This Mt Tarawera picture taken by George Valentine 
shortly after the 1886 eruption shows the 
finishing point to my first ultra

A little dehydration and sunburn were the only tell tale signs of a 45k trail run the day before. I’m not injured. I’m not too fatigued either. The only downer is yet again missing my ‘Current Training Plan’ weekly goal. 25k short of the required 125k for the week beginning January 12. But seriously who wrote that plan! 40k on Saturday followed by 45 on Sunday! Can’t be done I say. Well not for me anyway. It’s now just 3 weeks till the Tarawera Ultra 60k Marathon.

Lake Tarawera today

The event has a terrific Facebook page. I’m no FB fan by any stretch but their forum is full of useful tit bits. A little doozy that really hit home was one guy posting the following.  “I’ve recently done a 60k mountainous training run and thought that my nutrition and hydration worked well. However, by 50k, my feet and legs were extremely sore. Is this normal wear and tear or did I bonk? Can sore leg muscles be a sign of bonking?” A fair enough question I thought given I went through the exact same thing at 40k yesterday and have worried about it ever since.


I’d kind of hoped readers would suggest a magical potassium solution, more salts, specific squats or something else I could cotton on to. Instead the overwhelming feedback amounted to comments such as “You’re supposed to be sore after 50k, keep going despite the pain”. “Yeah, aches etc are normal and get to a certain point and don’t get worse” and “I’d say that after 50k your legs should be sore”. Of course there was the obligatory comedian that pointed out “If your legs get sore bonking, try changing positions” and “Nothing wrong with bonking!”.

It seems that to be sore running long distances is completely normal and all part of the fun. No magic bullet to this one I’m afraid. To push on k after k, hill after hill in splits that spiral down making time almost stand still just makes the eventual accomplishment all the more satisfying … or so they say!

Garmin link to Sunday's run


  1. I don't think that water's drinkable Mark.
    Geez, you ran my weekly mileage in one day! Hmm, now there's the whiff of a plan... one day of running, six of cycling :)

  2. Pulling back this week. I have the mildest of shin splint type symptoms setting in. Now where the hell is that roller? By the way, I've discovered the joy of 50% cotton with 50% polyester. By accident no less. The coolness of cotton coupled with the rigidity of polyester. More to come ...