After two months or so, I have finally had an appointment from my GP referral to the Musculoskeletal team – It’s pretty amazing that the department can have an 8 week waiting list when appointments last 12 minutes. On a mildly positive note though; after a lot of questions, a couple of single leg squats, and a lot of prodding, poking and manipulating of the knee, the specialist confirmed that there is no ligament, muscle, bone, or joint damage. Hooray!! The swelling that crops up underneath my knee cap is from where the ‘fat-pad’ has become a little aggravated, and then becomes inflamed.
Anyway, the long and the short of it is that she noticed some glaringly obvious signs of weakness and instability when squatting and so will now be referring me to another physio type person, who will give me some exercises to strengthen and support my lower limbs. Only another 4 week wait for that! :-( Gotta love the NHS, thank goodness it really is nothing serious.
So with that news I have decided I can keep going full steam ahead with my 10km PB training attempt for the Crawley 10km in September. I took my training plan from Runners World who offer a range of Garmin ready schedules which can be tweaked and then uploaded into Training Center and subsequently onto the wrist device. The plan that I have is based on 6 sessions per week, but I think I’ll be cutting out the first of two ‘easy’ runs on a Monday each week to bring it down to 5. The plan includes track based intervals, steady and tempo runs and a longer run on Sundays building endurance.
After a bit of rest and recuperation at the start of the week after Thunder Run I headed down to the track on Thursday, using my current time off to my advantage on an empty track. The best thing about the garmin schedule is that I just find todays workout on the watch and press go. All my paces are calculated and set on the watch and it beeps at me when I need to speed up or slow down.
My first proper track session included a 2 mile warm up (which amazingly is exactly the distance between my front door and the middle of the home straight on the track) and then 6x 800 metres to be completed at between 7:20 – 7:40 with 400m jog recovery. I struggled to hit the pace in the first rep and went off too quickly at 7:09. I think I over-compensated in the second with a 7:42 pace. But from there on in, each rep was progressively a little quicker. I really enjoyed the time on the track, even as the heavens opened and the rain came lashing down, it was amusing as the council staff who were clearing weeds on the track dashed to the van for cover, but they still shouted some encouragement from the dry comfort in their pick-up :-)
Next up was a ‘brisk’ 3 miles. The plan hid from view an additional 1 mile warm up and cool down though, so I actually covered a nice 5 miles on Saturday. The three miles was at 7:55 – 8:15 pace which is slower than 5km PB pace, but it felt like hard work, and it really seemed to drag on as I was praying for the 3 miles to end. I was pleased with the effort though, and glad that I managed at least one dry run this week.
On Sunday morning I headed out for 8 ‘easy’ miles. The definition of easy on this plan is averaging 9:15 – 9:35min/mi which I managed to maintain quite comfortably as the rain came down, the thunder cracked above my head and the sky lit up a couple times by forks of lightning. The rain did eventually stop, though many roads were flooding as drainage was struggling, but one amusing part of the run cam as I passed another running coming in the opposite direction and we both smiled as we tried to dodge the huge puddle between us, despite being soaked to the bone.
I have found a good use for rocktape though after my previous poor impression of it – and it seems to hold up well along the side of my feet where I get affected by blisters by my big toes, and it held up amazingly well despite the constant soaking on yesterdays run. Even mr Vonhof recommends kinesio tape for blister prevention in his acclaimed book Fixing Your Feet.
The day was finished nicely with a lovely lunch with Ma & Pa, Little Sis and her hubby, and my Aunt (not a real aunt, but a friend of the family, everyone has got one) and her other half. Then an afternoon of watching the ‘Lympics before driving home, desperately hoping the MW of radio 5 live would not cut out around the hills north of Brighton whilst mr Bolt destroyed his opposition in the 100m final.
So after a rest day today, the plan kicks off for the week with 5x1km reps at the track tomorrow. An easy run, a steady 4 miles, then a ‘pyramid’ 10km session on Saturday, and upping the long run on Sunday to 9 miles. This weekend though it all needs to be fit in around volunteering at the 60mile aid station of the North Downs Way 100 mile race. A lot of it is about securing my entry to the 50mile race year!