Barcelona Marathon Training: 7 weeks to go!

I’m not doing a weekly summary this time, because after last weekend’s dog drama I decided to give myself a week off to rest my leg. That means that my training basically consisted of the long run: 16 miles.

As you can probably tell from the photos below, the run started out with me worrying how long my tendon would cooperate for (and wondering whether I’d need to walk home at some point!), and ended with ALL THE HAPPY when I stopped my Garmin at 16.02 miles:

Barcelona Marathon Long Training Run

What a difference 16 miles can make…

Whilst I took a few breaks to reshuffle kit, have a drink, take a gel, stretch or just generally have a bit of a wobble (long distance running, all the LOLs), my moving time gave me a 10:24/mile average, and a 14 minute PB over last year’s 16 miler at the Kingston Breakfast Run! (Though obviously my breaks were counted there, so I probably slightly cheated today).

I had a bit of a moment when I accidentally hit the ‘lap’ button (which I’d never even noticed before!) and then tried to fix the lap setting but ended up pausing the Garmin instead, losing nearly 1/4 of a mile. And being the stats fiend that I am, I obviously decided that the lost 1/4 mile didn’t count, and I had to make it up. So I technically ran about 16.25. (Grumble, grumble).

I had a moment of doubt after one of the bigger hills on the route, and turned to Twitter for some much-needed encouragement/a big kick up the backside:

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The #ukrunchat community certainly delivered, and gave me just the boost I needed. It was tough, it hurt, but my tendon behaved and I’m over the moon with my time!

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Just goes to show, sometimes your body is capable of far more than you think! 😀

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How was your week? Did you run this weekend?

Barcelona Marathon Training: Week 4/16

Barcelona Marathon Training Injury

I learned last week that what I thought was a tight calf is actually something slightly more awkward. Thanks to weak ankles, over pronation and an increase in mileage, I overworked a tendon in my leg and have been paying the price for the past week and a half.

Last week’s training, as a result, was pretty minimal:

Tuesday: 5k on the treadmill. 1k warm-up, 3x sprints at 11.5, 12, and 12.5 kph, 1km warm-down.

Friday: Physio appointment! (I had optimistically booked a sports massage, but the leg had other ideas).

I’ve been told to take it easy for another week, and stick to cross training, stability and strength work; as well as keeping my runs short, slow and preferably flat.

It still niggles slightly, but is slowly improving, and I’m excited for my next run – which will be a steady 5k on Christmas Eve! I’ve told James he has to join me. That’s what you get for dating a runner…

Christmas spirit and all that, right? 😉

Fingers crossed that the stability work helps to fix the underlying problem, and will enable me to get back to my training properly after Christmas! I can’t wait to get stuck back in to my long runs and faster 5ks. My friends have set some pretty steep PBs, so I’ve got my work cut out for me!

It’s frustrating to be missing out on my runs, and I feel like my fitness is slipping away (silly really, as it’s been less than a fortnight). But the rest seems to be helping, and there’s no use in throwing myself back into training if it’s just going to cause issues again. I guess. (Grumble!)

Get it together, leg!

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Have you ever had a running injury? How do you keep your spirits up? 

Regaining running fitness

It always amazes me just how much fitness you can lose after just a couple of weeks of not regularly running. Granted, it serves me right for not sticking to my training plan – but life really has been crazy lately. I’ve been handed over more than 20 clients at work (lots of those are very quiet accounts .. but even so), I’ve had birthdays, work events, meetings .. And I recently started driving lessons. Phew!

I have to admit, the feedback from the biomechanical running analysis kind of knocked my confidence a little. Having someone demonstrate how bad you are at something that 1) you don’t feel you’re that great at, 2) you kind of thought you miiight be getting better at and 3) have enough trouble motivating yourself to get out there and do it already .. Well, it doesn’t really make me want to get out there and give it a go.

I sometimes wonder whether my half marathon actually happened. Did I really run 13.25 miles in the torrential rain, for a creme egg? Did I really push myself through a 3-hour, 16-mile training run in the bitter cold, on the verge of tears, nearly throwing my last half a gel at a horrendous little boy?

Was I really a runner?

Am I even a runner now?

I tried to adjust my running posture this evening. I tried to stop my arms from crossing my torso and making it twist – and my torso defiantly twisted even more. I tried to take smaller, quicker steps to reduce the amount of time my feet were on the ground – my feet moved faster, but I’m pretty sure I’d still be classed a ‘shuffler’.

It sounds crazy, but I feel like I’ve forgotten HOW to run. Suddenly, whatever I do it doesn’t feel ‘right’ like it did before, and far from maintainable! But how can I have gotten to this stage, when I was comfortably running 2+ hours just a couple months ago? I mean, I cycle 14 miles a day! It isn’t like I don’t do cardio!

It really goes to show that no matter how good a workout cross-training might be, nothing really maintains your running fitness and technique .. except running.

Has anybody else found this?

My shin/upper foot pain flared up before I even got 1.5 miles into my run this evening. I made it to 2.25 miles and ended up back at my house, with no desire to go back around the block for another mile.

Not even 3 miles. Where on earth did those other 13 go? And when will I get them back?

On a more positive note, myself and a few ladies from my office are running the 5k Race for Life on Sunday, in support of Cancer Research UK. If you’re interested in donating to a good cause, we’re £50 towards our £100 goal, and every little bit is greatly appreciated by all of us.

Now I’m off to stretch, and foam roll a few niggly muscles back into submission!