And it had been going so well… But after Saturday’s outing to cold and frosty parkun at Walsall Arboretum, I’ve been left nursing a sore hamstring.
Nothing happened during the run itself. In fact at just over 21 minutes it was a pretty solid performance, given the sub-zero temperatures, and only 20-odd seconds off my PB.
But by the time I’d driven home things were getting tight. And painful, especially when stretching or bending down for something.
I decided to sleep on it, however by Sunday morning it was worse and so now begins the well-rehearsed routine of icing, resting and pain relief.
The good news is that nothing has obviously torn or pinged. I imagine the muscle is perhaps irritated or inflamed, but given I’ve still got full movement (and the pain is annoying rather than agonising) I’m hopeful it’s not overly serious.
Time for a few days off then. Luckily marathon training had been on track until this little upset, which means solid mileage under my belt for late December and January - 116 of them to be precise.
I did my first ten miler since Snowdon last week and managed to keep to mid-eight minute miles throughout. Providing this leg pain eases off, I’m down to run the Leicestershire Half Marathon in a fortnight and from then on I can start ramping up the long sessions by running into work.
Core work and weights are also going well. I’m lifting more in my makeshift home gym (aka the living room floor) and starting to see some definition now up top. Not the overarching goal by any means, but it’s nice to have some visible results for my efforts.
The only other related activity was a trip to the National Running Show. I was very impressed with the speaker line-up and celebrity attendance, but less so the selection of retail stands.
There was nothing I hadn’t seen at event expos before, although this diehard F1 fan did have to do a double-take when he saw former driver turned Channel 4 pundit Mark Webber casually promoting his new range of running apparel. I couldn’t resist a brief chat (it only cost me an email address and a place on his mailing list) and he was very approachable.
Other celeb spots (no chatting or selfies with these ones though) included Paula Radcliffe, Nell McAndrew, Rob Pope and Ben Smith.
I attended stage talks with Jo Pavey, barefoot ultra runner Aleks Kashefi and dietician Ruth McKean. And I had a few minutes in the ‘Ask the experts’ session with experienced pacer Paul Addicott, who I ran with for a decent chunk of the 2017 Birmingham International Marathon on his four hour ‘funbus’ before things went belly up.
If this sort of thing interests you, then the show comes highly recommended. If you’re there intending to shop and pick up some discounted kit, then you may end up disappointed.
Top tip from a local Midlands lad – avoid the official NEC carparks, as it’s an extortionate £16 if you pay on foot! Instead drive a few miles down the road to the village of Marston Green. Car parking at the local station is free and a return ticket for the one stop train ride back to the exhibition centre costs a mere £2.40.
So that’s me, most likely to be feet up for the week and keeping that hamstring well rested. Fingers and toes crossed it’s only a brief timeout and not another repeat of the injury shenanigans that spoilt so much of my running back in 2017.
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