Monthly Archives: March 2010

On the road

To recovery, I hope.

I chose to go for my newest 5 mile route today. Many reasons, firstly being it was warm and I was wearing shorts for the first time and two miles of it are on such obscure country lanes no-one would have to see me. Another was that I knew I wouldn’t turn back, so 5 miles it is…not shortcuts. Another that it’s the flattest circuit I know and my legs are still suffering tight calves but my foot feels okay axcept when stressed, so thumping downhill is being avoided. And another that I see most of the nicest bits of all the runs and i’ve only got another 4 before I leave Maidstone and the routes that have been home for the last year, to be replaced by Rye. Which’ll be a challenge, I think. There be slopes and hills aplenty there.

So, I went, I modified my style to heel striking to preserve my calves and foot (takes loads of strain off. Odd, considering the extra forces it slams into my legs, but true), and I enjoyed it.

Yep, nearly thoroughly enjoyed it. Warmth, almost sunshine, a bit of a stiff breeze but nothing bad and a smooth easy pace without too much pain. If tomorrow feels this good, I might even look forward to Saturday.

But I doubt it. 20 miles is to be worried about, not looked forward to.

Not Bad

Since deciding the pain in my legs was simply unnecessary last night, it hadn’t seemed to have gone away over the course of today. I wasn’t particularly happy about the situation, but since I couldn’t really do too much about it, felt i’d get on with it.

I did find myself standing on the stairs, stretching my calves on tiptoe, on a few occasions though but even this seemed to do no good. The only good thing was the pain in my foot being bearable to the point of not a worry as the day wore on.

So I decided on a very slow 3 mile route. Was going to do 2 miles but since i’ve only got a few runs left until I leave my current workplace, thought i’d make the most of the country route and the nicest loop is 3 miles. So a 3 mile plod with two hills as a recovery run was executed. My calves seemed easier by about 2 miles but my foot started twinging. Not an ideal situation, but bearable.

As I sit here typing, the foot feels tender, the legs better but not fixed but a happiness that slow pace will see me through in 6 weeks as long as I do nothing stupid seems to fill me with as much contentment as the prospect of a new employer. Things might be brightening up – much as the weather has done for the past couple of days after the longest winter i’ve ever had the misfortune to remember.


So it’s all gone awry. Not quite like last time, but preparations have taken a slip and recovery is now the name of the game.

Didn’t get a chance to blog last night so here I am, and reflection will allow a fairer assessment of circumstances. I hope.

Sunday morning was chosen for the outing to give another day to get over my cold and another day for my foot to heal, both of which have been enormously annoying. The foot seemed okay after Thursday’s run, then swelled on the Friday to be large enough on Friday evening to encourage me to do some plastering and stuff on the house on Saturday to allow the swelling to diminish…which if it did, was in the direction of my nose, chest and throat for the Sunday morning!

I was in no state to run. Normally I get a hint of a cold but this one was so swift, it frustrated almost as much as the severity of it caught me out. Full on stuffed nose, aching back, really sore (3 days worth) throat and everything. The only bright side was increased foot recovery time and missing some cold evenings to run in.

The loss was 35 training miles at quite a crucial time.

Still, Sunday saw me head out in the sunshine with thoughts of any loop up to 13 miles in my head. All of the route was close to home with the intention of returning if anything went wrong. Which, in the truest sense, it didn’t.

Less than a mile in saw me stop for a damned good cough, introducing a spare lung to the roadside, but other than that my only cold hangover symptom was a lack of energy. No real fizz, no pop, no surge. Just a steady plod, which seemed fair enough.

I stopped for a stretch at 5 miles and realised that I was quite sore. My foot had started hurting a bit but the real worry was my calves being tight. Despite stretching every day i’ve not been running, they seemed to have tightened right up. And on returning to running, no pace was available at all. My new favourite stretch of road took my mind off things a bit, but my spark had gone.

At 7 miles I stopped briefly again to stretch out and make sure a return home was the sensible thing, and it seemed to be. So I did.

And now, a day later, my calves are so surrisingly sore it’s a shock. I’ve used the stick, which has helped, but it was so painful I couldn’t do it properly. My foot is the worry, though. While not swollen, i’ve kept a bandage on it all day and, while not feeling bad, it doesn’t feel as though it will take much to break it.

I’m not happy that a niggle might turn into something big. There’s nothing in there to go wrong, I didn’t think. It feels like i’ve played football as a kid and tied my laces wrong and kicked a really hard ball way too hard. A silly sort of pain that i’ve done nothing to cause but seems to be getting worse. I’m not going to resort to drugs for it, but tomorrow I intend to go for a really slow recovery run for my calves and assess the foot with every stride.

With 6 weeks to go, it’s a bit worrying, really. If only because I know my fitness level, if I could maintain it, would carry me through at around 4 hour pace. Won’t get that with a knackered foot, though, so i’ve got to be careful.

Frustratingly, i’ve been offered a sports armband for an iphone to try by these wonderful people. Since I neither have an iphone, nor normally run to music, i’ve had to pass up the offer of a freebie…that’s not very good form, now is it? Things to review would be just the ticket at the moment. Still, maybe I should try some music…may just take the mind off my rapidly disintegrating body!


Last Saturday turned into a day to preserve my foot – got home from work on the Friday to find a swollen right foot (over the bridge area) and so decided to rest until Sunday. Which turned out to be the start day of a massively rotten cold.

So i’ve been slacking and not run for over a week.

Not good in preparation for a marathon but hopefully everything will be healed and i’ll be off shortly. I certainly want to be, which is encouraging.

Intending to rest tomorrow then see how I go, with the intention of 13 miles, on Sunday.

Updates to follow.

Too late

By the power that is my broadband, it’s taken 25 minutes to get this far, i’m now tired beyond belief so this will be brief.

Yesterday was a cold 8 miles around the far side of Moat park, with the slopes that entails. Not funny considering how much my legs are hurting just above the ankles. Seems the miles have well and truly caught up with me and it was as much about preventing injury as training properly. Pace was awful but at least not forced.

I got home intending to blog but Cathy’s bike was poorly so I fixed the gears (nasty twistgrip…bad cable change…horrible to adjust…bah!), went to bed. Simple.

This evening had the hallmarks of a slack evening as I seemed intent on talking myself out of the run. But I went anyway.

Was going to do a shorter run but got involved in running the route to Screwfix that doesn’t involve the main road but does turn out to be 5 miles almost exactly when looped into a jaunt past Morrisons. My ankles hurt, joined in their pain by my calves and the bridge of my right foot. Together with a mysteriously bruised right heel, the right plate has suffered this campaign, to be sure.

Still, as I said, tiredness beckons. Just under 18 miles for the week; if I manage my 18 on Saturday, it’ll be the longest week of my training complete – no other is planned to go beyond 35 miles. That’ll be a relief.

But i’ve got to get through Saturday yet. No drugs have been called for, neither will they be, but maybe i’ll start ditching some of the more painful runs before too long – with diminishing weeks to go, i’m not about to stuff things up having got this far. But having said that, i’ve no intention throwing a decent time down the drain, either.

Ah, that balancing act of ambition and stupidity.


Over the course of yesterday, what with shopping, chores, hanging blinds, drying the garage and planting trees, I didn’t really think about my legs.

Today I did and they felt surprisingly good after Saturday and my 17 miles. But that’s surprisingly good in a “not as bad as they could be” fashion, unfortunately. All day I was actually looking forward to the run – the sun was out, it got up to a warm enough temperature to ditch the jacket for the first time in months and my only concern was how quickly the temperature would drop.

The answer was pretty quickly (it was only 2 degrees as I got back into the car) but the run was enjoyable enough, starting warmly and finishing a bit quicker than I started to maintain the temperature i’d built up.

I ran the country lane route for the first time since the clocks changed and it was nice. If only my shins and ankles weren’t so sore, it would have been properly enjoyable but as it was, all the downhills were accompanied by hollow shrieks of pain as my feet touched down. The uphills were great. The flats were reasonable enough. Downs I could have done without. However, I started proper “recovery run” slowly and only picked the pace up towards the end when i’d loosened up a fair bit.

I feel okay ish now but am glad I haven’t got to run tomorrow – somehow I think the rest days over the coming weeks will be savoured to their highest degree.

Only 8 weeks to go.