Well. It seems I didn’t update on last week – perhaps because it was difficult to pull out positives…
The week began with a set of two 25 minute threshold intervals. I set out to do them before work on Tuesday morning, in Oxford. Sadly, the traffic prevailed and I arrived at work without an hour to spare, so mentally abandoned my run for the day. However, a couple of meetings cancelled mid-morning, and I threw my kit back on and set out at about 11am. I couldn’t shake the feeling that I was skiving, and there’d be trouble if anyone found out, and as a result as I ran out of College I couldn’t quite get my breathing. Which just set the tone, perfectly. I turned toward Jericho, out of sight of anything that might even broadly be construed as work, and couldn’t settle. My breathing was wrong; my pace wouldn’t find itself; my right arm insisted on flapping across my body instead of echoing the driving pump of its lefter sister. As I approached the end of Walton Well and crossed into Port Meadow my right ham string was pulling a little – not enough to make me think I’d hurt it, but enough to let me know it was there. The meadow was wet and muddy and I struck a stone wrong with my left foot, sending a searing stab of arthritic pain through the big toe joint and making me swear aloud. That slowed me further, and gave my gait an additional, uncomfortable twist for a while. I slipped and slithered through the mud, uncomfortable, uneven and unambiguously hating the experience. Stopping and starting to let myself through gates. Jumping uncomfortably over rabbit holes and tractor ruts. Until finally I found myself back at the ruined convent, with the security of tarmac in sight. At this point, two things happened: it started to snow; and my phone went. It was the boss. I stopped and answered it. 10 minutes later, the call ended and I set off again – now crampy and cold and thoroughly seized up. I abandoned all thought of completing a decent threshold set and determined simply to get back to a nice, warm shower before double pneumonia set in, and my ham strings left home. I limped onto the canal towpath – a cinder path whose uneven surface set my foot a-singing again, and headed back to the office. Some runs you just have to write off as a bad job, right?!
Thursday was… actually I can’t remember what Thursday was, beyond the fact that while it went better than Tuesday, my right ham string still didn’t feel good. (Edit: Thursday was a set of 6 Yasso 800m. I completed 5!) So I booked a sports massage for Friday. The masseuse was great; identified my skewiff pelvis, and stretched and manipulated and pummelled until I was lining up correctly, again. It wasn’t *too* painful, and I floated/hobbled out of there feeling much better. She’d said I shouldn’t run the next day if I had DOMs, but I didn’t so…
Saturday saw me up bright and early to drop my youngest off at College for a day of waitressing to build up her Reading Festival fund. So at 8:30 I was once again setting off from the office. And three miles later, I was ringing Mr P on the verge of tears and abandoning what was to have been my 160 minute long, slow run. Everything hurt. Everything, everywhere. My hamstrings were sore, my calves were tight, my legs were heavy and leaden and absolutely refusing to run. I told myself that the first mile is a liar, and pushed on. I told myself that the second mile is not desperately reliable, either, and pushed harder. By the end of the third mile I was telling myself that unless I listened to my legs I was going to hurt them, and I should go home. I walked (walked!!!!) back to the car, and came home. Crawled into bed and slept for four hours straight.
So, by Monday this week I was feeling pretty sorry for myself. Virtually a whole week of training just wiped out! However, my legs felt better so I decided to try again. I left home at 7:30, having worked out an elongated zigzag to work, and ran my commute. 2 hours and 24 minutes later, I’d run 12.6 miles and arrived at my office feeling recovered, refreshed and stronger! Thank the lord for that!! It wasn’t quite the 160 minutes I needed to do – but it was time to go to work, so I stopped.
It’s been a complicated week, this week, but fortunately the training has worked much better. I had a lovely 45 minute easy turnover of my legs on Friday and am running Silverstone Half Marathon, tomorrow – my first race of 2016! It will be my third 13-ish miler of the year, though (and my second of the week!!).
And then there will only be 5 more weeks to go… I’m nervous about the fact that I’m unlikely to have run more than 17 miles in training – but banking on the fact that if I’ve run half a marathon (and two shorter runs) a week in each of the last 4 training weeks before my taper then I’ll be ready. Trust the programme, Vicki!