Oddities keep life interesting. Or something.

I’d like to have a regular training schedule update to be able to proudly proclaim is doing me wonders in my preparation for the Bupa Great South Run but I’d be lying. A bit.
I haven’t been truly convinced I’ll be running, I guess, but I’ve been preparing anyway in a roundabout fashion. My mid-week runs have continued, one hilly and one undulating but a little quicker. My weekend runs have extended to 10 miles and a few have now been logged (including the laps of the local field from another post). But it hasn’t been straightforward.
A couple of weeks ago, following the Nuts Challenge, I opted to plod around the roads since rain in the days before turned the local trails to a slippery slimebath. It was a dull outing, but did the job – roads seem to lost some allure after the summer of cross country. And my legs felt the impact, as well.
After a recovery run on Tuesday (albeit on the hills; can’t be allowed to recover fully, after all!), Thursday was knocked on the head due to sore calves despite copious stretching and massage. Then, on Saturday, a more interesting 10 mile loop had me suddenly sat at the side of the road with 3 miles to go and no option of a short-cut with my right calf going into spasm, halfway between what felt like a tear and cramp.
With no option but to get home, I massaged some life in to it, started off with a very short gentle stride and managed a mile before a brief massage saw me continue the change in style to the front door. Not a catastrophe, but a concern.
Which demanded rest, which was booked for Sunday watching Cathy complete the London Duathlon.
Which turned into such a disappointment, it’s frustrating. The decent weather of the morning ran away for the Super Sprint category (5k run, 11k cycle, 5k run) so it was to be wind and rain for the three laps of Richmond Park. Even the deer gave little rise to the spirits. And, without music to run to (it’s in the rules), Cathy was disheartened enough that she was going to pull out after the cycle bit. It was a lonely race, with groups of 20 or so started in waves to avoid carnage at transition from cycle to run; the problem was that everyone was alone on a course with no spectators and little in the way of inspiration. Except the marshals, who were absolutely fantastic.
I know this for a fact. Because I couldn’t let Cathy pull out, so ran the last 5k with her. Complete with damaged leg. In jeans. And jacket. With wallet and phone and keys bouncing around.
And I could see how she’d become dispirited. But the finish was excellent and my leg seemed ok, so I was happy enough.
Until yesterday when my calves were, again, as stiff as anything. Not sure what’s going on, but today I decided to run to music. I haven’t really been upping my pace and fear I’ll be slower than last year around Portsmouth and the calf issue is a concern. So I selected Audiofuel’s Thru The Gears (a 15 minute fun interval session, I guess – never particularly fast but it keeps your feet to the beat and focuses the mind when the legs are a worry!) and loved it. Only 4 miles total (I did it twice as an out and back route) but the pace was good, I wasn’t fatigued at all and am fresh for an outing tomorrow.
I’m going to sort my legs and report back shortly.
And I will beat 1.09.53 for the 10 miles. 1.09.52 will do, despite earlier hopes for something altogether more impressive!
The only spanner in the works might be the new push bike I’ve just purchased…

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