After a worrying week with a leg that did 17 miles reasonably nicely on Saturday only to fall apart onTuesday and convince me London was not quite the sure date in my diary I thought it was, I approached yesterday with some caution. Lots of you have given me encouragement and, lately, advice on my leg and for once, i’ve been heeding it.
However, a bit of thinking, a discussion with mum about tendons and that, a realisation that the toe joint I did in just after the mountains was really playing up, and I think i’ve found the cause of my ills. Yesterday was another rest day to allow time to recover if it was going to, with a plan to see if I could run today. So I’ve had the foot strapped, been really massaging my leg and today, having woken up feeling ok (well, a bit hungover and tired, but ok), talked my magnificent, splendid, fantastic girlfriend into joining me on a run to see how far I could get.
Well, I did put the pushbike together for her, since she’d already done 9 miles yesterday. And if it all went wrong, I could climb on, give her a backy and be home in style, instead of a taxi.
So a route was decided – an out and back past Tottenham marshes, with a loop of Hackney marshes to make the distance. Hackney being a 6 mile loop, that meant 12 miles out and back if I was to do 18. Which I decided to do first in case things went wrong. Well, 7 miles as the furthest point at the start of a run is better than at the end. But I hadn’t planned on the wind.
Man, the wind. It was behind on the way out and the couple of cyclists struggling into it told me the return wasn’t going to be nice. But my (strapped, deep heated) leg felt ok ish, so I was up for a struggle. And lo, I struggled. At one point, I was putting sprinting effort into just maintaining 8.42’s. My splits are varying by 25 seconds mile on mile on that stretch with the effort (well, and asking the way!), I had to loop back to find Cathy at 10 miles because I so needed a jelly baby and she couldn’t keep up into the gale, and I very nearly gave up.
Yep, I walked twice, sulked, swore and at 13 miles, had to stop because i’d got pins and needles in my left foot (the bad one) and was scared. But it cleared with a bandage adjustment, I struggled to 14 miles before another minor strop, walked a bit at 15, now so irate that I was still heading into the wind i’d have happily fought anyone, then had inspiration. And called Cathy back so I could use my time to eat a banana.
I’ve not used stolen time on target before, nor eaten while running, so thought i’d invest a minute of my virtual lead in trying it. And the banana went in fine, I set off straight after, and no ill effects were felt. Blooming marvellous.
But by now I was ruined, even the home leg only got the wind across instead of into me and my last mile pick up in pace equated to a miserly 10 seconds. Still enough for an 8.39 average, but horrible.
I never want a run as hard as that without the benefit of at least climbing some hills again.
But the last revelation is that despite the effort, my legs feel fine. Well, they don’t, they feel dead, but in an injury free way. Can anyone explain that?
Maybe London is still on, after all.
But maybe not at pace, if today’s effort is anything to go by.
Hope I wake up feeling ok tomorrow.
Oh, and just as we got in, it started raining. 1.5mm at home. Glad I missed that, at least. I was enjoying a meal of delights by then, which was good. And which is now to be rounded off with two mince pies.