Guess Who's Back...
Well, after four weeks without running following my calf injury, combined with slowly expanding over the Xmas period from all the food, chocolate, and beer - my marathon training seems to be finally back on track.
I've been back running for around two weeks now, and I'm feeling pretty great overall. Sure, I don't quite think I'm at the level I was at pre-injury, but I'm slowly getting there. I've made the decision not to follow the initial plan I was following, which seen me running four times a week. I think that this was a little bit too much for me, and I was worried the additional strain could see a re-occurrence of the injury. So, I decided to take it down to three times a week, trying to run on a Monday, Wednesday and Saturday.
I started out almost four weeks to the day of my last run, with a planned three mile run with the aim of a pain free run, whilst trying to take it as easy as I could. Before starting I gave my calf a spray with some deep freeze, put on my calf compression socks and had a decent warm up with a bunch of dynamic stretches. I was pretty nervous when I set off - the thought of pulling up after a mile or so was playing on my mind constantly but I soon hit my stride and the realisation came to me that this injury might actually be gone. Thrilled by that prospect, I pushed on and successfully completed the run, with an average pace of 08:53/mile. I was elated. There was some slight pain in my joints, but that was expected due to lack of exercise, combined with the cold - but there was absolutely zero pain in the calf. When I got back in, I was taking no risks, and immediately began to warm down with stretching and foam rolling, and later that evening I kept my calf on ice, as a matter of precaution.
Buoyed by the successful run on Monday, I set out on a planned five mile run on the Wednesday, again planning to take it as easy as I could. Again, I managed to make it through the run pain free (in the calf at least!). Delighted with my progress, I pushed myself even further on the following Saturday, with a 7.5 mile run which proved to be my third pain free run of the week. I'd even managed to pick up the pace slightly, finishing that run with an average pace of 08:32/mile. It finally felt that my injury problems were behind me, and I really could get my marathon training back on track which was great as the marathon was only around eight weeks away!
The second week began with another three mile run on Monday, during which I tried to up the pace as much as possible, finishing the run with an average of 07:30/mile. Now, that may not seem fast to some runners, but to me - that is speedy! I kept this going on the Wednesday by doubling the distance, whilst trying to maintain the pace, successfully finishing a 6.2 mile run at 07:52/mile. I really was feeling good about my running again. Sure, I wasn't running along, pain free with a constant smile on my face, but running has never been that for me - it's always a struggle to some extent, and there's always some sort of niggling pain, whether that's in my shins, knees or stomach cramps. But, it was starting to feel normal again, at least.
So this takes me to Saturday, yesterday at the time of writing, and I decided to push myself even further with ten miles. Ten miles would be the furthest I'd run since the Crathes Half Marathon in September. It was a daunting prospect, but one that I felt that I could manage. I didn't exactly pick the best of days for a long run with it being cold, wet, foggy and windy - but I didn't let that put me off and I set out on my run. It really took me a while to get going on this run and around two miles in I was struggling to see how I was going to finish it but I kept pushing, and I soon hit a decent stride. For this run, I'd chosen to run from Elrick, along to dual carriageway to Hazlehead and back again, and at when I reached the half way point to turn around, I was struggling for motivation - but that's my own fault for choosing a quite mundane route to run. Anyway, I sucked it up and got on with it and before I knew it, I was back in Westhill and the end was in sight. The final mile was a struggle, and I really had to push to get through it - I'm not going to lie, I was so happy when it was over, and it even ended up being 10.5 miles. I was really feeling it in my legs after this run, I still do feel it as I write this and I don't think I'll be running on Monday next week, most likely Tuesday, or Wednesday. But I was delighted that I managed to do it, I even finished with a pretty respectable average pace of 08:23/mile!
So with exactly seven weeks until marathon day, it really is time to push on with my training. My plan is to step up the long Saturday runs, building towards 20/21 miles in 4/5 weeks time and then start to taper back down. Next Saturday, I plan to complete a half marathon (13.1 miles), which will hopefully go to plan. Apologies for my rambles but getting back running was quite a big deal for me! Anyway, thanks for reading, and I'm sure you'll hear from me again once more before the big day.
All Aberdeen Aberdeenshire Beer BrewDog Cyprus Everything Else Festival Half Marathon Marathon Marathon Training Marvel Mexico Movies Music Netflix New York North Hop Paris Podcast Pop Culture PS4 Race Report Review Running Star Wars The Menzingers Travel True Crime TV Video Games