First a confession; not a few hours after I wrote my last post… I went for a run.
Now before you get the raging hump with me (‘Hypocrite!’), my defence needs to be heard. When I went for a walk at lunch and on the way to Cannon Street to get the train home my ankle felt better, indeed I did a little ‘old man chasing a bus’ jog (i.e. my normal running technique) and it felt perfect. Which was weird as it was still sore when I walked again. So whatever is up is more to do with the mechanics of me walking, than running… erm… what now?
That could be good, and bad. Good because hopefully running then won’t make it worse and is still possible. But bad because I have to walk; jogging everywhere isn’t really a solution and would make me smell even worse than normal. The conundrum was a very real first world problem. The up shot was that sitting on the train on the way home I decided to have a jog/run and see what happened, fully intending to stop as soon as anything untoward occurred and crawling home if it meant not making things worse. Luckily my training runs are mostly at MAF pace anyway, so are fairly gentle.
I was very conscious of my ankle for the first 10 minutes or so and was hyper sensitive about the slightest twinge. Anxiety peaked as I ran through packs of Italian students, who seemed hell bent on getting in my way as they wandered along Pier Road from the university campus near us (my diplomatic response – shouting ‘Excuse me’ and scowling). By the time I got to St Marys Island though it was ok, if feeling a bit solid and then even that passed and it was like normal. Yay! I enjoyed trundling by the river and seeing the boats on the Medway and even forgot about the ankle of doom for the most part.
It was sore that night and Tuesday morning, but was better the more I moved about on it and I rested on Tuesday night to be cautious. And this morning it was the best it’s been, albeit not fully 100%. So who knows, maybe it is more to do with my calf maybe (which I’m now stretching constantly). Or it was just pre-race nerves (but the pain was real I tell you!) and something to worry about and distract me from doubts about the marathon. Or it was just a little strain that’s ok now (yeah probably that one).
I’m just pleased things are improving and grateful it seems to be getting better. I’m still going to take it easy this week, but hope to do a few fast miles to be sharp so long as everything continues to go well. I’ll also do a few miles at my target pace of 8 minutes a mile so I ‘know’ the pace (whatever that means, I’m not sure – but seems like a good idea, in case my watch breaks maybe?). I also need to remember to still taper and not get all excited and run too much before next week.
The event (The Battle of Britain 75 Challenge) has a very fair ‘defer’ policy so I could transfer my entry to another run at no extra cost, so have been slightly thinking about deferring. But I’ve been working towards this since January, me and Claire have the days booked off work and we’ve got a hotel booked… and more importantly I really want the medal, it’s bloody awesome. So I’m now pushing the (metaphorical) commit button ((Gulps)) and getting my game face on (insert constipation joke here).
The event is pretty low key, with I think only 50 runners and it’s early on a Wednesday morning for a start. It’s at Samphire Hoe near Dover, which is a nature reserve on reclaimed land made from the spoil created during the Channel Tunnel dig. Which is pretty cool. It’s a 6 hour challenge, running as many 3.85 mile laps as you want (or can!). So my aim is to complete seven laps to have run just over the marathon distance, in under 30 minutes and 48 seconds a lap, to hit my target of three and a half hours. If I’m up to it I might even try an eighth lap to get past 30 miles and so complete my first ultramarathon run… We shall see. I’m feeling excited and nervous in about equal measure as I type, and I hope that stays about the same right up until the day itself.
Right I’m off worry about the weather. Thank you for reading. Cheers