NDW50 Wk 22: Bad training runs happen to stop bad race days (wc 10.04.17)

After the high of Brighton…

13 miles, 2:05:50, 9:41 min/mile, 1000ft elevation gain

I shared my NDW50 adventures on Instagram this week & then promptly had the worst run of the training cycle which made me wish I had kept quiet & I could just ignore the whole thing.

In fact the whole week post-Brighton marathon didn’t go quite to plan. In hindsight I possibly shouldn’t have attempted a long-run on Sunday. My marathon recovery was fantastic. My legs felt great, they didn’t feel as if they’d run a marathon, no DOMS & I walked up & down stairs with ease. By Tuesday morning I was ready to run again. Except for one sore spot on my right foot. Not the foot with plantar fasciitis, the other one. On the top. I rested, iced, compressed & crossed my fingers.

Four miles Friday morning around Addington Hills. It niggled. More ice & compression. It felt ‘ok’, I thought, so I headed out on my Sunday long-run.

The view across London from the Addington Hills

It was Easter weekend & we’re visiting the in laws up near Birmingham, I *needed* to run…! I didn’t want to do my usual miles on the roads of Burntwood, Chasetown & Lichfield so researched local trails & found some in the nearby Cannock Chase. I was looking forward to exploring somewhere new (new-ish, I’d done a 10k race in Cannock Chase last summer but hadn’t paid much attention to the route).

Only the forecast for Sunday morning was heavy rain. Great. I had a wobble. Doubting whether exploring somewhere new, by myself in bad weather was a good idea. I had visions of getting lost, mud & falling over so began thinking about reverting to my usual ‘safe’ road route. A few people on Twitter basically told me to just get on with it, the niggle in my foot didn’t help & I had a bit of a crisis of confidence.

I woke at 4:20 (stupid insomnia again) & checked the weather – as you do – it had changed, fine till 9am, a couple of hours of light rain before the heavy rain set it late morning. Already awake I decided see if I could out run the rain.

A new morning, looking at things with fresh eyes, I chose to (wo)man up & so after a 20 minute drive, hit Cannock Chase at 7am.

And the weather was lovely the WHOLE run.

Shame the run itself wasn’t so lovely.

I couldn’t find the trail I wanted. There were maps & signs, I followed what I thought was the right route, it was nice but not the 12 mile trail I was looking for. I ended up looping round, going back past my car (oh so tempting), trying another trail, coming to a dead end, looping, getting stuck in the middle of a mountain bike trail, wishing I was on a bike, getting frustrated. I found the right trail just after I pressed stop on my Garmin at the end of the run… Gah! (I am now looking forward to our next visit to the in laws – to see them of course – not to explore Cannock Chase further… lol!)

The navigation wasn’t the worst bit. I cut the run short.

My training plan said 18-20 miles. My body wanted to stop at three. My mind kept me going for 13. Did I loose five miles or gain ten?

Why did I stop? My legs were heavy, my foot hurt. Nothing else to really say about it. I could rant. I might just do that. I’m just so bloody fed up with bits of me hurting, with niggles, with injuries.

What am I doing wrong?

Every time something new hurts I get a major crisis of confidence. I try to focus on the positive & I did that in my Instagram post but inside I’m imagining the worst case scenario. It’s all over. I can’t run. I won’t be able to do my race. I’ll have failed. Everything I’ve put into this will have gone to waste. Why me?

I consulted Dr Google (I know, I know). Symptoms matched tendonitis. Fuck.

So now we rest, we ice, we compress. In a day or two we switch to heat. And we wait. Fuck.

The positives?

The bulk of my training is done. I’ve 500 miles in the legs already this year. I had one more week of hard training before a three week taper down to race day.

It’s only four weeks until race day, I will not loose fitness in that time & I know from past experience that I can keep my fitness to a very high level by swimming.

I can put some extra focus on strength training which is only a good thing.

Less running, more strength training may also help with the knee pain & minor plantar fasciitis (both of which have improved over the last few weeks).

I WILL be on that start line.

I need to put these 13 miles behind me. They are done, there is nothing I can do about them now. Someone said to me on Instagram that the bad training runs happen to stop bad race days.

Onwards & upwards.

Week Twenty Two: 17 miles in total with 1,385 ft elevation gain.

Addington Hills, I feel lucky to have somewhere like this so close!

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