Tentatively stepping back in the saddle.....

Posted on: 25 Feb 2018

Hello all.  Thank you so much for the support and advice in my last blog.  I didn't realise that some of the comments were there as realbuzz doesn't always tell me anymore when someone has commented. (By the way I don't have access to a static bike but wish I did...might be time to get my own bike out of the garage though and do some cross training on that...!)

The good news is that things seem to have gone well this week.  As you know (and all agreed) I decided to cut out speed sessions for now.  Monday would have been 8 x 800 meters (4 miles in total) so I decided to just run the 4 miles slowly instead.  David was doing the speed session as normal so did my first mile with me as his warm up.  I then pottered round the streets locally making sure I saw him on his speed session a couple of times.  I can't say that I envied him!!  My leg held out ok and just felt a little tight over the last mile.  A definite improvement.

I had to drive to to Liverpool on Tuesday and, after an hour sat in my car my leg felt very uncomfortable.  I decided at that point that yes I really did need to see a physio (David has been nagging me for a couple of weeks to go!!).  Even though I felt I was on the mend I wanted some advice about what I should and should not be doing.  Thanks for the recommendation Mandy - I did look your guy up and he looked very impressive but I decided to stick with my own trusty physio.  

My physio said that there was a few things going on with my legs and I lost track a bit of his diagnosis.  It all boils down to my weak glutes.  He mentioned problems with my tendons and a sciatica.  Anyway he has given me exercises to do and some advice on running form.  I feel confident now that I can keep running without doing further damage as long as I am sensible.

The tempo run last week was supposed to be 8 miles but obviously that would have been silly given the past few weeks.  In fact the original plan has been metaphroically torn up now and I'm just going to gradually build up to London instead.  I decided that 3 miles steady would be plenty.  I took Bella our dog out with me and potterred around the Country Park behind our house.  It was absolutely joyous! Bella loves running with us and she's a great running pal.  And even better I hardly noticed my calf at all.

Yesterday it was time for the long run.  I was aiming for 14 miles and David 15.  We headed in the car to a place called 'Middlewood Way' which is a disused railway line.  It's a very pretty, tree lined route. We were going out and back with me turning round at 7 miles and David at 7 1/2.  He gave me a head start so would pass me on the way out and on the way back.  

I confess that I was a grumpy buggar on the way there in the car (sorry David...).  I had a sense of doom facing another long run that was either going to be painful and/or slow; or that I was going to have to abandon at some point. I had no plans about pace - I just hoped that I could get the thing over and done with.  My last couple of painful long runs had ended up being nearly 11 minute miles on average - nothing wrong with that I know but they were painfully slow miles for me.  Before I was in pain my target for long runs was 10.30 minute miles.  My last pain free long run was 14 miles which I'd done in 10.29 average and been happy with.

It was a beautiful sunny day (altough very cold).  My first mile was around 10.20 which surprised me after my last few weeks.  The second was 10.15 which surprised me even more.  Then something odd happened...the next 10 miles were all under 10 minute miles.  I wasn't pushing for that; I was just running at a comfortable pace.  I was taken aback!  And it didn't hurt!  I had my favourite tunes blasting in my ear and the sun was shining...and I was running.  I literally had to pause at one point to soak it in (and take a picture) and remind myself how lucky I was.  The last couple of miles felt tough and my calf did start to grumble a little.  However the average pace for the entire run was 9.57 - half a minute per mile quicker than 5 weeks ago with limited training in between! 

I don't want to get too excited too soon but perhaps I could pull this back and do myself proud in London??  Oh, and as for Manchester, I have a cunning plan.  I'll probably be doing a 15 mile or so run that weekend as it'll be 2 weeks before London so I figure that I may as well do it on the marathon course with the full intention to pull out.  There are tram stops at 11 miles and 16 miles so I can take my pick where to pull out and get a tram to the finish to see David cross the line!  It'll be a bit weird starting a race with the full intention to DNF but it'll be more interesting than plodding the streets alone!

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