Injury, Illness, and Cake

Last week I sat, probably in the same place on the sofa as I am now, and I told you about the wonderful rest day I had enjoyed last Sunday. All I had done was a handful of calf raises as I had noticed that my left calf remains visibly smaller (and weaker) than the right. I woke up on Monday as if that poor little limb had been hit by a sniper; my calf was solid as a rock and my walking gait was a bizarre lumpy stride.

I took my kit with me on Monday for a nice easy ‘recovery’ run at lunch time, but in the end I decided against it. I finally saw sense and decided that resting would be better in the long run. Not running for a second consecutive day nearly killed me though.

Still feeling a little tight on Tuesday I was all ready to not go to the track, and instead settle in with my girls. However, I looked deep into my soul and wondered whether it was big storm ‘Bernard’ (or whatever his name was) that was putting me off and I was using injury as an excuse. I decided to head to Guildford, take on a gentle warm up and see how the leg felt, and then ease back if necessary. The warm up felt OK, but I knew I wasn’t out of the woods yet. I did my drills, somewhat gingerly, at the track with everyone else, and then set off on my pyramid session: 400, 600, 800, 1000, 800, 600, 400. Everything was going really well until the second 800 as I came back down the pyramid – for whatever reason I thought we went all the way up to 1200m so that was the pace I set off at. Imagine my surprise when the guys in front stepped off the track after two laps and I questioned my sanity for feeling aggrieved at having wanted to carry on to 1200 (I didn’t do that by the way.)

The wind was awful down the back straight; like practically standing-still awful, but I was so pleased to have gone to the track rather than take the easy (warmer) way out, and my leg actually felt much better for it in the end.

Wednesday was a nothingy sort of day which flowed quickly into Thursday. And that was when the illness kicked in – thankfully not mine. Delilah looked a little peaky, but we never questioned taking her to the childminder, who was happy to take her. I ran to work, which was a little faster but shorter than planned as I was a little late leaving the house, whilst Lyndsey dropped her off, but by mid morning the childminder was on the phone to me and I could hear my very teary little girl in the background. I arranged to pick her up at lunch time and I bought her home to nap and hopefully shake off her feverish temps.

Friday was slightly better despite a fractious night’s sleep and we dropped her back at the childminder who supplied lots of cuddles – we finish earlier than usual on a Friday, so it’s not such a long day for Delilah.

Another long night ensued and on Saturday morning I lay in bed with Delilah finally sleeping on my chest as the clock ticked past eight am. I knew I would be pushing it to make it for parkrun, but I was almost ready to go when Delilah had a teary meltdown over breakfast. I couldn’t leave the house with her in that state so I waited and went out for a run on my own a little later on. I tried hard to push for a 5km effort, and if only I hadn’t gone straight from the front door I might have gotten somewhere close to the PB, but I did, so I was about 30 seconds off. Still, not too bad for a cold and windy Saturday morning solo attempt.

In the afternoon I baked Delilah’s birthday cake before we wandered into the village to see what was going on for the Christmas Lights switch on. Delilah was bundled up super toasty and we saw some donkeys and had a wander around the shops. It was nice, and we even stopped for Pizza Express dinner on the way home. But the little one still wasn’t on particularly top form. Lyndsey went out and I put Delilah to bed before I set off on my plan to decorate the cake.

Delilah is pretty taken with Hey Duggee, but I think Lyndsey and I like it even more – it is hands-down the best kids TV programme. So here is my gluten free creation:

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Planning the decoration
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Fresh out of the oven, GF cakes never brown quite so much as regular ones – but boy do these bad boys taste good!
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Filled with Jam and buttercream, and iced with royal icing. Yum
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The masterpiece
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The aftermath

It’s a simple victoria sponge recipe which I filled with buttercream and strawberry jam, gave a good ‘dirty-ice’ and then slid some white royal icing over the top. Then I set about mixing my icing colours from a selection of ready mixed icing in primary colours, and black, in order to make Duggee on the cake. It took me ages, but I am so proud of how it came out in the end. I suppose the proof is in the pudding, but as soon as Delilah saw it she remarked ” I like Duggee, Mummy!” and I can’t ask for better than that.

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Not sure doctors should incite such panic in a patient’s eyes! She wanted to chop my finger off.

Because we are at work this week on Delilah’s birthday we had planned to celebrate today with a trip to Little Street, an amazing kids play area which is basically mocked up as a small high-street where the children can dress up and play in a cafe, supermarket, doctor’s, beauty parlour, or construction site. She had a great time, but was definitely still a little peaky. So much so that we had to keep her awake in the car for the last few minutes of the drive home so that she could sleep properly in the cot. I then took the chance to head out on a steady six miles. I headed out in the cold again – even picking out the tights from the drawer to keep my pins warm. I can’t say much more about it than that which I put on Strava :  it was pleasant enough.

I seem to have ended up with a week of running that was just a bit meh – nothing bad, but nothing great. Mostly because my lovely little girl needed me, and that’s what matters most.

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Looking very sorry for herself whilst we read the amazing ‘Beautiful Oops’

Here’s hoping she perks up again next week and everything else can get back on track.

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