Archive | February, 2019

Running Out Of Time

28 Feb

A bit of deja vu here, sadly. So, the last 2.5 weeks have been a bit mixed. The week before last I ran 60 miles and included some light speedwork. It seemed to go ok, but as the week went on I noticed the top of my right foot (around the ankle) was a bit sore. It tended to settle pretty quickly after a run, so I didn’t overly worry, and got through my 18 mile run ok, albeit I was aware of the pain, and realised (somewhat belatedly) that I’d somehow laced my new trainers differently, and so they were probably pressing on muscles/tendons that weren’t used to it. I adjusted them and hoped that would sort things out.

I started last week with a rest day and then a short, easy run on Tuesday. It was clear the tendons/muscles were still a bit achy. I ran a bit further on Wednesday and then had a sports massage. My masseuse did warn me that the massage would probably irritate the tendon a bit and I shouldn’t expect to be able to run for a few days. She wasn’t joking: walking to a meeting that evening was excruciating and walking to court the next day I was wincing, especially when I somehow jarred my leg. It did seem to settle a bit and on Friday/Saturday/Sunday I was able to cycle to and from work/meetings/rehearsals. In happier news, Z was given the all clear to put Cage Life behind him, and he was definitely pleased about this!  Here he is all blissed out on catnip, or perhaps just high on freedom!

On Monday this week things felt a bit better, and so on Tuesday I gave a short run a go. The pain was back and it stayed all day. Walking yesterday (Wednesday) was also painful, so I’ve taken the sad decision that the tendons clearly just need some time to recover, and if there’s one thing I don’t have in hand in terms of marathon preparation, it’s time. So the London Marathon is off for another year. I always knew it was a bit tight, although it’s a bitter, albeit familiar pill to swallow.

As always when injury has struck, don’t necessarily expect regular blogs. It’ll be as and when.


Life’s Small Pleasures

10 Feb

This week has been what used to be unremarkable: I’ve run 6 times covering a total of 55 miles.  But I haven’t done that sort of mileage since October, and so it feels pretty remarkable right now!

That’s the compressed version, here’s the fuller one:

On Monday I ran 5 steady miles in the evening after work.  On Tuesday I ran 12 miles, feeling surprisingly good (bearing in mind I’d done 11 miles on Saturday and 13 miles on Sunday the weekend before).  I had the pleasant luxury of a day out of court, and so this run was done in daylight.  In February it’s a rare weekday medium long run that gets done in daylight from start to finish!  On Wednesday morning I ran 5 miles to my sports massage appointment.  It was really good to finally have a massage (the last few have fallen by the wayside for unavoidable reasons: court hearings finishing later than I’d hoped and then Z having to be rushed to the vet after his accident) and the surprising news was that I’m relatively symmetrical.  Phew!

Thursday was a rest day to let my body recover from the massage (I tend to find that my legs are particularly sluggish when I have a massage for the first time in ages).  Plus I ended up having to work a bit late (10pm: definitely no time to squeeze any running into that sort of day…)  Friday was 12 miles in not amazing conditions, as the latest storm arrived, but having had over 48 hours post-massage recovery my legs felt wonderfully springy.  Saturday was 6 miles in really not great conditions: it was meant to be a recovery run anyway (i.e. as slow as it needs to be, to flush the legs out and let them loosen up), and then every now and then I’d hit a gust of wind that was so strong I was barely moving forwards at all.  I was pretty glad it was only 6 miles.  I took the rest of the morning nice and easy, pottering around at home, before heading off for a rehearsal and then amazing concert.  It was a wonderful programme (Tchaikovsky’s Romeo & Juliet Overture, Mendelssohn’s Piano Concerto No. 1 and Berlioz’s Symphonie Fantastique) and – if I say so myself – the orchestra played really well.  We were all buzzing afterwards and, had it not been for poor Z stuck in his cage at home, I would have stayed in the pub for more than 1 celebratory pint!

That left today: I worked in the morning/early afternoon and then headed out for 15 steady miles.  My legs were slightly tired, but the pace was still pretty reasonable and consistent throughout.  Although a grand total of 55 miles and a long run of 15 miles is some way short of what I’d normally be doing by this stage in a marathon campaign, it feels good to be doing the sort of mileage which might give me a chance of being in half-decent shape come London marathon time.

As for the cat, he is coping surprisingly well with cage life, and decided that his time out of the cage this afternoon whilst I worked would be spent relaxing in a small cardboard box:

I Just Called To Say…

3 Feb

The last 2 weeks seem to have been packed: Monday last but one was a long time ago!  I had a long day in court and had to dash home in order to turn around and get the cats to the vet for 6.45.  By the time T & I got home with them I was starting to feel really rough: I was hot, then cold, and absolutely exhausted.  I ate a little soup but really didn’t fancy anything else.  I had a bath and was asleep well before 9pm.  Even after 10 hours’ sleep I still didn’t feel great on Tuesday: I felt bloated despite having barely eaten and really weak.  I accepted I just wasn’t going to get a run done that day.  I did manage 9 miles on Wednesday, but felt really wiped out throughout and the pace was far from great.

On Thursday morning I felt worse, and was genuinely unsure if I was going to make it to court for a good hour or so.  Feeling marginally closer to ok, I headed downstairs and glanced at my phone.  I had 5 missed calls and 3 voicemails.  When your hear the words “I think I’ve got your cat … he’s been hit by a car” you heart flips a hundred times and you envisage so many awful things.  I got dressed as quickly as I could and T inhaled the end of his breakfast.  We had to drive 1.5 miles to collect Z (no, we had no idea he was wandering that far at night!) and then go to the vet.  On initial examination they were cautiously optimistic.  Z didn’t want to eat when he got home, but I hoped that by the afternoon he would feel better.  I went to court and then dashed home pretty much the minute the hearing finished.  Z was not looking well: his breathing was rapid and shallow and he still didn’t want food (and this boy LOVES his food as a rule).  Worried, I took him back in for another vet examination and he was admitted.  He had a pneumothorax so had to have air drawn out of his chest cavity.  X-ray the next morning, once his breathing had stabilised, showed that he had a fractured leg, which needs 4 weeks’ cage rest.  He was pleasingly happy to see me when I collected him and delighted to be home, but less happy about the cage.  All in all it been a physically and emotionally exhausting 2 days, coupled with only being able to tolerate very small, plain meals, so there was no way I was going to run.

I spent as much of the weekend as I could sat with Z, who in any event was exhausted and mostly slept.  I did pop out for a very easy 3 miles on Saturday and 4 miles on Sunday, but with T away I just didn’t feel comfortable to leave Z for long whilst he was still adjusting to the cage.

And so to this week: I’d found a wonderful cat sitter who was able to spend time with Z during the day when I was in court (I naturally had a full week of hearings!).  This enabled me to manage 5 miles on Monday, 7 miles on Wednesday (when my hands froze: I really underestimated the windchill and was fooled by the bright sunshine into thinking it might be above freezing) and 9 miles on Thursday.  Then on Friday, Bristol awoke to snow.  Rather a lot of snow by our standards:

My hearing in Taunton still went ahead, so I wasn’t back until fairly late.  By then the pavements were slushy ice-rinks, albeit in the dark it was really hard to spot the icy patches, and so it was another rest day.  I’m done with accidents and injuries, thanks!

Yesterday was icy but the roads were runnable and I managed 11 miles: my longest run of the year!  And today I topped that with 13 miles.  Perhaps I should have done 13.1 to hit that halfway point in a marathon…  Anyway, that made 45 miles over 5 runs, which is not bad going considering where I was just before Christmas.  More importantly, Z seems to be doing well (he is actually tolerating the cage so much better than I thought he would, bless him) and T is back home.  Next week looks a little quieter from a work front (I’ve requested this) and so I should be able to spend a bit more time at home with Z and get a bit more training and violin practice done.