An Update:

Wow, nearly three weeks since I last wrote a post. When last I wrote to you, I had, the day before completed 19 horrible miles. On the evening of the Monday afterwards I had visited the physio for a wonderful back, shoulders & neck massage – and a surprisingly manageable legs massage, albeit with a couple of squirms when she hit the ITB region. On the whole this was a nice start to an ‘easy week’ in build up to a 10 mile race pace effort at the weekend. The Wednesday was first run of the week, a gentle 45 minute out-and-back to get the legs ticking over – post massage everything felt great. Two nights after that, all hell broke loose! On the easiest of easy 20 minutes I returned home with a strange stinging, stabbing, aching, pulsating pain just at the bottom of my knee. Although painful for the last minute of two of the run, by the time I was showered and changed, the pain had dissipated and I thought little of it.

For the rest of the weekend my knee was sore, and devastatingly I had to forgo my 10 mile effort. I woke on Sunday ready and raring to go, but the knee barely wanted to head downstairs – and with just 4 weeks to go, there was no way I was going to push any niggle at this stage. And so, for the rest of the week I did nothing but console myself with junk food, and start to panic about an injury so close to VLM-Day.

The Long Run

Last weekend was to be a busy one – Plans were to go surfing on Saturday again, this time with the whole bunch – Sunday was the first TriHard race of the season – Stokesley Duathlon, and would be a long busy day for me. So to ensure adequate preparation for my long run, I took a holiday from work to run 22 miles on Monday.

However:
With my knee still a little sore, there was no way I was getting in the sea on Saturday. With all the ‘popups’ to be done, as well as combatting the current in the water, my knee was never going to cope. So I sadly sat out and watched the crew have a great time in the water. I am so pleased that none of them properly stood up though – I don’t wanna be too far behind when I finally do get back in the North Sea! It was a cold day, but fun was had by all, and all the sea water they drank was washed down with a healthy dose of fish and chips, and a veritable bevy of surf videos!

Stokesley Duathlon:
As predicted, Sunday was a long day – a beautiful day for the race, especially after last years particularly windy affair. On the whole everything went well – and I like races like that! But the day is tiring, the stress takes a lot out of you, and its not necessarily that anything went wrong – just the worrying that it might! I had been wearing my running trainers all day, my theory being that they are more supportive than my regular shoes and might help with the knee. On the whole, it felt better – but not right! So on Monday – still NO LONG RUN.

Panic Stations

And this is where I really start to worry. All weekend I was reading tweets from everyone telling each other about their 20+mile runs and the satisfaction that was being taken from the completion of these runs before heading to the taper. But my longest run is 19 miles, a horrible, HORRIBLE 19 miles! I have it in my head that I have not broken 20 miles, I fear that when I hit mile 19 on 17th April that I will simply think

this is it, the longest I have ever run. Can I really make it to 20 miles? Hmm, well I couldn’t in training….

It often astounds me, my lack of ability to overcome the negative.

I know that the miles that I have put in were on the whole ‘good’ miles – mostly because I have been too lazy to put in junk miles. They have also been some pretty hilly miles for the most part, subsequently I could consider my 19 miles to equal 20-21 flat miles in London. But, because I haven’t physically written in my log that I have run 20 miles, I continue to see it as a barrier – and this is something I really need to address in the next fortnight.

Movement Again

On the Monday evening I decided to put my trainers on and give my legs a brief turnover, and see how the knee felt. I managed 25 minutes of easy jogging – and all felt good. Except that, my heart rate rocketed – averaging 169bpm. For an EASY run!

Back out again on Thursday for an interval session (well, to a degree anyway). Another comfortable effort for my knee and all is looking up now! HR again high though, avg 171!! Blimey

And so to Saturday (yesterday) and the re-run of the Jolly Holly Jog in Ripon. This race was cancelled in December due to the snow and ice – and having now seen the track I am not surprised! The race starts on Hell Wath Nature Reserve, and heads into Studley Royal Deer Park. Stunning surroundings, but sadly I saw no deer!! :-( A very well organised race, and great support from the marshalls, including (as I later found out) @paintedrunner.

Pacing

I set off, perhaps a little fast – but assuming I would see KM markers I was concerned after about 7 minutes that I’d not seen one yet, so kept up the pace. When the 1 mile marker came up in 8.5 minutes I was a touch concerned, and although I felt comfortable then – the hill that followed (into a headwind) assured I would not feel that way for long! The second mile marker came along almost exactly ten minutes later, and I hoped I would be able to slightly improve on that pace. Sadly, it was not to be – I managed to just about hold the pace (despite a momentary period of walking up a short, sharp incline) and keep onto my 10 minute miles. The final mile was tough, on a reasonably hot day I was sweating buckets, and having had very little to drink since leaving the house at 9:30 I was suffering. I am a particularly heavy sweater – and my face just turns white with salt. Funny to look at probably, but not an overly enjoyable experience.

Turning onto the final fields, marshals and a lot of members of a running club were telling a lady behind me that she would catch me! Well, to hell with that I thought, turned my legs over and cruised in to the finish line in 57:59 – a whopping 14 seconds in front of whoever it was that was chasing me!

I was pretty pleased with my time on the whole – a hilly trail-based course, undertaken after a short lay-off. Worryingly though, my HR hit 196! Eek.

Trip to Hull

To finish of the weekend in style, I headed down to Hull with Rob and Louis for the ToroCSC Craft Spring Sprint Triathlon (wow, what a mouthful – I hope I got it right). Saturday night was spent in the Fox & Coney, South Cave. Nice pub, ace food! But the good things end there. The bedrooms are awful, the windows are made of paper, the door had a gap at the bottom – oh and The Kings of Lyon were playing! All these negatives added up to very little sleep!! Then a 5 am start, oh the joy!! Another nice race though – slight panic when connecting the boxes to the network, but we got there in the end :-) and apart from the pushy parents – everyone was happy!! Hooray

This week in Numbers

1552 Calories Burned
20.02 KM Run
6.31 avg. min/KM
175 avg. HR
196 Max HR
165 Total £’s Donated

Two weeks and counting now – getting nervous!! Especially as I am in the ‘Blue Start’ with Elite, and UKA Championships runners. Hmmmmmm, what time did I put on application form???

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