Archive | February, 2017

Times Tables

26 Feb

So, the end of last week saw me injured but optimistic.  I’d pretty much resigned myself to having a couple more days’ rest, but was hopeful that would see me right.  In any event I was in Dudley on Monday then in Worcester on Tuesday, and had a concert Tuesday evening, so it wasn’t the worst time to not train.  On Wednesday I began to come down with a cold, and was coughing and spluttering like a 40-a-day regular, so even though my sports masseuse was fairly positive about my Achilles (nothing obviously wrong, just a bit tender, and if anything it was the adductor on the ‘weak’ side which was horribly tight), I was fairly sure things were going in the right direction.  I was still too ill to run on Thursday and Friday (I was sleeping like a log for 10 hours a night, which after 4-5 rest days should not be the case!) but looked forward to running on Saturday, as long as the cold had gone.

The cold was pretty much gone on Saturday, so I headed off on a steady 5 mile run.  The first couple of miles were fine, the next mile was a bit sore, and the final 2 miles were very far from great.  The Achilles stayed sore all day, and indeed walking back up the hill to go home from a theatre trip that evening was excruciating.  I couldn’t toe off at all.

In an effort to be sensible I therefore did not run today.  I had a rehearsal 10-4 and then rejoined the gym and did an hour on the cross trainer at high intensity, huffing and puffing like a nuisance caller.  The Achilles has felt ok pretty much all day, but I don’t want to try running again until tomorrow.

I’m currently preoccupied by this table from my bible, P&D:


Particularly the bit where they identify 10 missed days as the crucial period.  Today was day 8 (edit: I originally wrote day 9, because I’d lost the ability to count).  Watch this space.


180 degree turn…

19 Feb

This week started ok: I did 6 miles on Monday evening, and my legs felt pretty good, which meant that Wokingham was definitely a marathon pace effort (after a flat out half my legs are really stiff and sore for days).  On Tuesday I squeezed in 10 miles ahead of my string quintet rehearsal.  Wednesday I didn’t have time to train, although I did manage some strength work.  On Thursday and Friday I was in court in Worcester, so I treated myself to a night in a hotel to enable me to train Thursday evening and Friday morning.  I did 15 miles on Thursday and 13 early doors on Friday.  I don’t know if that (which totalled 28 miles, so 3 more than a similar effort at the end of last week) was the nail in the coffin, or if it was too much time sat around or wearing heels all week in court or a combination of the above or something random I just can’t think of, but by Friday afternoon my left Achilles was a bit sore.  On Saturday morning I went for a run, and although it was fine when I was doing easy running, after I’d done my 6 sets of strides (faster running for about 80-100 metres), the Achilles was noticeably sore.  I spent a few hours (yes, quite literally) doing strength work, stretching and using my grid roller, which loosened the calf off a bit, and hoped that I might at least manage a steady run this morning as a result, but it was really sore and so after half a mile I abandoned the attempt and came home.  It’s not the best time to get injured (9 weeks to go) but by the same token I was due a recovery week anyway, and so if a few days of no running and some extra strength work gets me back on track then so be it.  Thankfully I’d already decided yesterday that I wasn’t going to travel to Bramley to do a 20 mile road race today, or I’d currently be gnashing my teeth and having to travel all the way back home again, but it’s still a little frustrating.  Fingers crossed next week’s blog post will be reporting a quick recovery by having been sensible now!

Heading In The Right Direction

12 Feb

So, after last week’s 72 miles, what would this week hold?

I started with a recovery run and my legs felt surprisingly ok having done almost 25 the day before. That being the case, I did my club session on Tuesday, which was 3 X c 1 mile with c 1/2 mile efforts in between, so about 4 miles of hard running. It was pretty muddy, so the paces weren’t amazing, but I felt aerobically strong, which was encouraging.

I’d hoped to do my medium long run on Wednesday but got roped into an interview panel so, having finished at 7pm, opted to take my rest day instead. I therefore ended up doing 14 Thursday evening and 11 Friday morning, which isn’t ideal, but with a sports massage scheduled for Friday lunchtime it was just about the most sensible thing to do. The massage was pretty intensive, especially on my left hamstring, which is still ending up pretty tight. Still, it was much needed, and it was lovely walking back to chambers and feeling my left leg moving freely!

I took my 6 mile run on Saturday very steadily (following strict instructions!) and still felt pretty good.

Today was the Wokingham Half, which I wanted to do at marathon effort. Although it was fairly cool, 2 degrees was of course a significant improvement on Farnborough’s sub zero offering, and the breeze was noticeable but definitely kinder than last year. My first couple of miles were just over 6.30s but then I got into gear and I finished inside 84.20, to average 6.26s (11s/mile faster than 3 weeks ago!).  I know the improvement is partly the temperature, partly fitness and partly feeling a bit more confident. I don’t kid myself I’ll continue to improve at that rate, but it’s nice to know that today’s effort felt aerobically right and would give me a pb come the big day. 62 miles for the week was 2 short of the schedule, but given last week I thought 18 in total was enough for today!

Croeso i Cymru aka Take Me Home, Country Roads

5 Feb

So, this was to be my biggest mileage week to date in this build-up.  It started with 5 miles easy on Monday, and that was followed up on Tuesday with 10 miles including my club’s 5km race.  Conditions for the race weren’t great (it was wet and windy) and I think I still had Saturday’s race still in my legs, so that perhaps explains only hitting 6.12m/m, or half-marathon pace.  Or maybe I was just a bit below par in general, as my run on Wednesday (7 miles) was painfully slow (8.43m/m for the benefit of the Pace Police).  I felt generally pretty creaky, especially my left hamstring/glute insertion point.  I spent some quality time with my foam roller that evening which seemed to help a bit, and my legs felt more comfortable on Thursday morning.

As a result, I decided to go to my club’s session of 5 x 1km repetitions on Thursday evening.  Well, partly that my legs were feeling better, but partly that there was a risk that Friday was going to be extremely windy thanks to Storm Doris, and so although in my mind I had originally considered doing a repeat of my 6 x 1 mile session on Friday, I knew that would be vile and soul-destroying if run alone in windy conditions.  So, 1km reps it was.  Although the first rep was a bit slow (3.53), my legs and lungs then kicked into gear and the final 4 were about 3.40, which is relatively close to 5-10km pace for me.  Hurrah!

I still ran on Friday, despite Doris, and got my 15 mile run done ahead of a much needed sports massage. Perhaps unsurprisingly my hamstring and glute needed some attention, but felt so much better afterwards.

Having done 5 runs Monday-Friday, I had the luxury of a rest day on Saturday, and bar the usual chores, violin practice and some core and glute work, did relatively little.  It was very good for the soul!

That left today.  I was scheduled to do 21 miles to bring up 68 for the week, and so when a clubmate posted in our club’s marathon training group that he was planning to do 21-22 miles on Sunday which involved running up to the old Severn crossing, I was pretty tempted.  It might have involved an extra mile, but there’s not much difference between 21 and 22 when all is said and done.  J and I met up and headed off.  The outward journey wasn’t too bad: we made a couple of small navigational errors and so consequently turned around with about 11.5 miles done. Still, there was no real harm in doing 23 miles rather than 22!  Now might be a good time to mention that the last time J and I had been for a run together had been our Cotswold Way recce in June, when we had got lost, although that time we cut about a mile off the route.  This time, we replaced that lost mile and more.  On the way back we took a wrong turning, noticing that the cute duck pond (with duck house!) that we ran past wasn’t something we’d run past on the way out.  Oops.  J was fairly sure we could correct the error without turning back, and he was right: it was just that it involved us running about a mile further along some winding country roads.  We eventually made our way back to J’s house with 24.75 miles covered in just under 3 hours and 10 mins (7.40m/m).  So, just under 72 miles done for the week in the end.  I’ve finished off a croissant loaf, and had a veggie cooked breakfast (sausages, beans and toast) and a couple of mugs of tea.  I think it’s pretty good that tonight’s plans include a trip to the theatre with pizza beforehand.  I could be interested in an extra large pizza today: my Garmin reckons I burnt about 2,000 calories this morning!