Archive | May, 2018

Don’t Start Me Now

14 May

Last Monday T and I made the most of a beautiful sunny bank holiday to go for a walk along part of the South West Coast Path (Lynmouth to Porlock Weir).  My legs were a bit tired by the end, as it was pretty undulating, but it was a gorgeous day, the views were amazing, and it was just a treat to have a day where we were both free and could be together the whole time.

I was up bright and early for a steady 6 mile run on Tuesday.  My legs felt surprisingly ok, and the pace wasn’t too bad, especially considering how tight my calves had felt on Sunday and Monday.  On Wednesday evening I ran home from work, and part way home my right calf started to feel really tight, to the extent my Achilles was sore.  I was a bit pressed for time (I had a rehearsal to go to once I got home, and needed to eat dinner beforehand!), so had to keep on running, but I managed to do a quick stretch whilst my dinner cooked and a quick ice of the calf/Achilles whilst I ate.

On Thursday morning things didn’t feel so bad, so after work I headed off for my long run (with my sights on the Bristol 10k that Sunday, I wanted 2 easy days in between the long run and the race to let my legs freshen up).  Unfortunately my quick stretch and ice the night before had not resolved things completely, and I had to stop quite a few times during my run (curtailed to 12 miles) to stretch the calf/hamstring.  My Achilles was pretty sore, although as far as I could tell the real problem was the calf/hamstring, and it was just that tightness making the Achilles feel painful (if that makes any sense at all!).

So, with a heavy heart, I did strength and conditioning work on Friday and then just went to the gym for 90 minutes on both Saturday and Sunday.  I would have loved to race (and it was very tempting just to give it a go, especially when I woke up on Sunday morning, had no obvious pain and it was a gorgeous day), but in my heart of hearts I knew it was once of those decisions that could have backfired spectacularly, when the extra strain on the muscles and tendons of running in lightweight shoes and running fast could have tested things beyond the limit.  Touch wood, today the calf feels absolutely fine and I hope to return to steady running tomorrow or Wednesday (just an easy run on the flat to test it).  I am so scared of ending up with another serious injury that I’d rather err on the side of caution just at the moment.

However, overall it was still a lovely weekend. I played in an amazing concert on Saturday: beautiful music (Wagner’s Siegfried Idyll, Bruch’s Violin Concerto no. 1 and Beethoven 7) in one of those rare but fantastic concerts where everyone clicks into gear and you find the extra 1% difference that takes a concert from being a fun experience to being amazing.  It was probably lucky I’d decided not to race, because I definitely needed to go and drink beer and talk music afterwards, plus my arms were pretty tired (Beethoven 7 is a BIG play).  And on Sunday afternoon I had a lovely catch up with friends I hadn’t seen in a while.  A useful reminder that running is great, but there’s a lot of other stuff in life that is great, too.


I’ve Looked At Life From Both Sides Now

6 May

I started this week with a 45 minute swim on Monday morning and followed that up with 8 miles on Tuesday. It was the same route as the previous week but the pace was better, which felt like progress. On Wednesday I did 45 minutes of cross training in the gym.

On Thursday I went to club training. Unusually there were no sessions on the road or grass and so I had to train on the track. It was a short, sharp session of 14 X 300m and I was just about hanging on to the back of the group: 60-62 per rep. Given that’s 80-83 per lap, that’s pretty much flat out for me.

The next day I could really feel it! The fact the track is so much harder on the legs doesn’t help, and my long run of 13 miles was a trudge on Friday.

Saturday was my rest day, and I did some stretching to try and ease the legs out a bit as Sunday was my return to racing… I was guesting in the 3000m in the regional league.

I slept pretty poorly the night before but decided to still race. My legs felt pretty heavy and tight during my warm up and the heat was a real change from Thursday, when I’d regretted not wearing gloves. The race itself was tough and I’m not going to pretend that the time (I think something like 11.53, so a significant personal worst) was anything like I wanted. But trying to salvage the positives, 6 weeks ago – even 2 weeks ago! – I couldn’t manage 1 km at that pace, plus the heat, the tiredness and the session on Thursday + long run on Friday will all have had an effect. It’s certainly something to build and improve on!