March miles….and the bends.


I’ve just looked up my miles for March, to answer a question George asked in our On The Wagon Facebook group.  How many miles did you all run in March?  And my answer… “only 65.8 miles”.  Only.  I mean, that’s at least 30 miles short of what I’d have done if the knee hadn’t had a little hissy fit, but really?! Only 65.8?? Bloody hell!

After my last post, I had my favourite text for a long time.  From my friend Rachael, offering to run with me on Monday.  I accepted.  I always run better in company and Rae knows exactly how to keep me interested and motivated  – she’s supportive and encouraging and fabulous company.  Running or not, actually.  So I said yes.  Yes! Yes, please, I’d absolutely love her to come and run with me.

Of course, neither of us really reckoned with Storm Katie, at that point.  But Storm Katie was fit to be reckoned with at the appointed hour on Monday morning, although in this part of the world she was blowing herself out.  So we didn’t set out at 8am as planned, because the winds were still gusting at about 50mph at that point.  We waited till 9, when there was a steady average of about 20mph, with gusts limited to 30-something.  So much better! Fortunately, we didn’t have to hurdle over many (any) trees, and we’d plotted a route which allowed us to have the wind at our back or on our shoulder for most of the time.  There was one stretch of 2 or 3 miles, at about the eight mile mark, when we were running both Screen Shot 2016-03-31 at 21.54.38uphill and into the wind.  That wasn’t my favourite part…

Anyway, we ran 14.8 miles.  Gently, with a view to knee preservation.  The last 4 miles, we tried a run/walk strategy, running for 4 minutes at a pace which allowed us to breathe through our noses and walking for 1 mile.  That worked well, and if I need to do that in Brighton, then I’m pretty sure that it’s a good alternative plan. I’m pretty chuffed that we managed that far, after the best part of two weeks off… And I’m pretty chuffed that I ran 65.8 miles in total over the month.  Sure, it should have been further in an ideal world.  But it seems I can take ten days off and still run 15 miles, so all may not be entirely lost!

This week, I have seen a podiatrist, to check there’s nothing biomechanical going on in my feet which influences the knee. There isn’t; but she has identified that I’m extremely mobile – more mobile than average.  Despite this, my ankle tendons are retaining good control of my gait and I’m not over-pronating, but she thinks I would benefit from some adapted insoles offering more support to my feet.  So we’re going to work on that.  And today, I’ve been for a sports massage which backs up the bendy finding, and has worked on releasing my right hip and sacro-iliac joint, which is where the problem seems to originate.  She’s recommended some stretches to do over the next couple of weeks, and we will put together a programme of gluteal strengthening for after the marathon.  But there’s no point working on a significant physical change beforehand…

This week I have also run.  Some threshold intervals on Tuesday – actually, it might have been Wednesday.  Bloomin’ bank holiday has thrown me all out of whack! And I’ll go for a lovely 120 minute do dah on Saturday before resigning myself to a programme of 60 second speedwork intervals for the next fortnight.  So far, so good. I’m feeling relaxed and happy about what I’m about to do.  I think I’m being realistic about my goals, and the only substantial decision I have left to make revolves around my starting corral.  Shall I go for 4:30 – 5:00 hours? Or 5:00+ (which is likely to have a disproportionate number of fancy dress runners…)  To be thought about!