As the date for the Folkestone half approaches, preparations have got to the worrying stage. Am I doing enough? Is my foot hurting too much and should I be resting more? Why isn’t my pace any good at the moment? Why am I struggling with the short runs?
Many of these queries are worthless but all play on the mind. My foot is the biggest worry. Saturday saw me run out of time to blog; I had a hectic day and got out of the door for 9.5 miles at just after 5pm whereupon a table was rushed for after beer was drunk. The temptation to rush the run was tempered by the desire to maintain niggles as they are, not make them worse. A 7.45 average pace was flattered by the final 2 miles where I fancied upping the pace to something reasonable, having warmed up sufficiently to think I’d get away with it. I did. The run was workmanlike, a bit of a bodged route with many silly loops but fun enough and undulating enough to be a challenge (despite the Garmin recording it as flatter than a witches tit). The foot had little more pain after the outing than before it. Result.
The curry, however, was great.
Sunday was a rush of motorcycling, gardening and taking Cathy to Folkestone to spend her money on artwork; Monday is the only excuse I have for tonight’s outing being such a slog. I popped out on the push bike to attempt my own version of a time trial. The two nearest roundabouts are seperated by a link of dual carriageway; I elected to cycle around it as a loop for half an hour and attempt to maintain as close to 20mph as I could for the duration. Each loop was 1.44 miles (I recorded laps for future reference as I crossed the pelican crossing line. Sad, eh?!) and 10 miles clicked over in 30.01. Considering the wind was squarely either behind or in my face and the roundabouts were busy each time (I only got two clean circuits), I’m pleased with this. If I do it again, I’ll up the distance by a lap ot two and try to maintain the pace. It’s a measureable and fair cardio workout and way less boring than the rowing machine.
Today, I felt fine but had little spring in my step. The pedalling seems to be very good for my achilles/ankle/foot (the pain is all around the aforementioned areas depending what I do with it) in that after a good ride, there is no pain at all. Today’s run had periods of reasonable soreness interspersed with a few hundred yards of pain free fun. Very curious. I’m going to put my winter boots back on at work and see if they help.
I set out on a slightly extended loop of my usual Tuesday 4 miler (which might change soon – if I’m as late as today, the darkness on the lanes is becoming dangerous with traffic), got diverted by daft decisions twice (and the still being built housing estate moved one of the paths again. Bah. Bloody builders…) and bought some bananas and milk on the way home. None of it was really enjoyable in a “I’m having a hoot” way – I wore a cotton shirt to see how much sweat I produced (lots) as a diversion but even this didn’t lighten the mood much.
Maybe it was too late; maybe the cycle wore me out a bit; maybe I’m a bit tired. Whatever it is, I’m worried things aren’t in place for a race which will do much for my personal best table at all. It’ll be good to get there and enjoy things but to have the icing on the cake of a good time would crown the year nicely. Maybe better eating will help (I’m going to try Orbana on my next long outing to assess the benefit again); maybe more rest will find a few seconds. Who knows. At least there’s a few weeks to get things together. Plenty of time to stop worrying and start enjoying.
277.25 miles to go.