Balancing Act

It’s been a while since my last blog/wail of despair, and I’m happy to report things have got better. I stuck to my plan and rationed myself to 2 short runs a week and 2 stationary bike rides, and after three weeks my knee seems to have settled down and hasn’t flared up since. I get the odd twinge and weird feeling every now and then (just to keep my on my toes) but no pain etc. I’m still getting a slightly swollen knee after some runs, which also gets quite hot, but a bit of icing for 5 minutes brings it right down and returns everything back to normal.

fast runningSo in week three I decided to test things out with a quick-ish mile, partly as I like running quickly but also to see if the knee would hold up (and if there was going to be issues I wanted them to show up when I was still under the physio). I felt pretty unfit, I was blowing hard after half a mile of what used to be my 10k pace, but nothing fell off or went snap, bang or wallop, so I was pleased. Public fist pump completed.

The next step then was to go longer and see if things went as well. I woke up early last Sunday and with quite a few nerves, and to be honest quite frightening stomach burps, got myself ready to go for a 10 mile run. I decided to run my beloved Saxon Shore Way as the trail and mud would probably be gentler on my knee, and the off road element and gates etc. would stop me running too fast and killing myself. It’s also very pretty.

Again, and without wishing to show off, it went ok. The knee was fine and I didn’t go too fast so was fairly comfortable all the way round, and didn’t even use the energy gel I took in case I bonked. My legs got a little tired after 8 miles or so, but that was to be expected as my stamina has dropped with all the time off, but then I got a second wind and finished strongly, even a bit buzzed from all the endorphins.  Jazz hands all over the shop! It was great to be out on a chilly, misty morning, looking out over the river and the countryside. I realised again just how much I enjoy running through the wilds of Medway.

I’m very pleased to be (hopefully) back into normal running now, but this leads to a bit of a quandary. I had to defer a race entry from January because of my knee, and I pushed it to another in early April. So that leaves me three weeks to get ready for it! Luckily it is a 6 hour challenge thingy from the people at Saxons, Normans and Vikings Marathons & Challenges so I can scale my ambition up or down, depending on how many 3.8mile laps I want (or can) finish.

I’d like to do a marathon distance but they may be pushing it with the minimal training I’ve done (and the course has a whacking great hill in it which is scaring me). I also don’t want to damage my knee and have to do the injury recovery thing again; it is bloody boring and I’m fat enough already. So may aim to complete 5 laps and do 19 miles. But then I’m not sure what pace to aim at. Or should I just go for distance and not worry about the time? And then what training should I try to squeeze into the limited time I have to prepare?

Man Balancing atop 20-Story Building

circa. 1920s — Image by © Underwood & Underwood/Corbis

I need to balance increasing my training to regain fitness, but not too hard or I’ll be exhausted for the race and risk buggering my knee again. I’ve also got to factor in the Kent Roadrunner Marathon in late May, which probably should be my main focus and a more realistic chance to run well at. This is hard to fathom – particularly as I get confused by the self service machine at ASDA…

The plan I’ve settled for is ((drum roll not necessary, but welcomed)); two fairly short runs in the week (not much more than 40-odd minutes) to get some miles in, a cycle to ruin some more of our floorboards with my sweat and then a longer run at the weekend to get some endurance going. I did 10 last weekend, so will aim for a half or 14 miles this weekend and then go for 16-18 miles the next and if feeling brave, push even further maybe. The last weekend before will be a bit of a taper back down to 10-13 miles and a very easy week before to hopefully get some life back in my legs for the race.

But that’s all predicated on my knee staying ok, and the plan flies in the face of quite a lot of what I’ve read about building up mileage and how large a percentage of weekly miles your long run should be. I reserve the right then to stop at any time and concentrate on Crystal Palace dominating Europe on FIFA 2014 instead… I had plans before which have gone tits up, so it’s all in pencil for the moment and will adapt with whatever happens. For the moment I will just enjoy being able to run more often and for longer and maybe save the result type stuff for another time. (Whilst reserving the right to get super serious and overly competitive at the drop of a hat like normal)

Thanks for listening and good running. Adam 🙂



One thought on “Balancing Act

  1. Pingback: Mystery solved (well maybe) | be back in a bit, have biscuits ready

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