Week 13 (w/c 10 March) - After the 20 mile run on Sunday my quad muscles were feeling it a bit. This is probably partly because of the slighly undulating nature of the course (its funny, I don’t think I’d ever heard of the word ‘undulating’ before I became a runner). As the country was being battered by a monster winter storm - the rain cleared up in the evening on Monday for an easy 5 miler. This is all part of active recovery - i.e. it’s good for you.
For Tuesday I managed to make it along to Ranelagh Harriers for training and we ran a great interval session - 5 times 5 minutes at 5-10k effort with 1 minute recovery between. It was probably even windier than Monday night out there so for some reason we chose to run on a path that runs right through the middle of Richmond Park - but very open and exposed. It was mighty windy and most people wanted to draft off of me!
On Wednesday I was working away from home and ran an easy 8 miles after work.. I was staying in a town called Stroud in Gloucestershire and lets just say I don’t think there’s a single flat road in the town. For these runs where I am in a unknown place I normally just run in one direction out of town as far as I can go (or until the streetlights stop and it gets too scary and then turn back). This got me to about 5 miles and then it was a little bit of more local street exploration to do the final 3. I have to admit that having my Garmin 305 makes these kind of runs much much easier. OK, I have a good idea of my pacing without a watch on, but for the accuracy (not that they’re 100%) I find them invaluable. Dinner in the hotel and then sleep.
After the one-hundred mile drive home on Thursday it was back onto the local roads with a 5 mile tempo (‘brisk’) run (with a 1 mile warm-up/down added on either side). These are great training sessions, but they’re hard work. However, this was hard in a bad way. Over recent months I’ve not had the greatest of relationships with my calf muscles and this was no exception - my right calf was really hurting as I finished the 5 miles and started to jog home. The jog was extremely slow and uncomfortable - something wasn’t right.
Friday was a planned rest day and wasn’t enough to heal whatever was up with my calf. Because of this I chose to watch Sharon running the Richmond Park Time Trial on Saturday rather than run it myself. I had a pre-arranged physio appointment later on Saturday morning and here it was clear what was wrong - I’ve managed to tear a small part of my calf muscle in my right leg….and it hurts. I’ve been seeing this physio for over a year now and I’ve never felt so much pain as I did yesterday. Because of this I’m now in a period of forced rest.
So, Sunday’s 22 mile planned run was out of the question - and this is really frustrating. This was meant to be the longest run I do before my marathon and I couldn’t do it. There’s now no time to make up for this missed run as I’m only three weeks away from the race. Number one priority is to hope that the calf can get itself fixed up enough for me to run gently on it and get some miles in before race day. At the moment I have no idea how things are going to pan out over the coming days, although I have no plans to run at all until the end of the week.
On the plus side, I did go for a swim on Saturday and again on Sunday - with Sunday’s swim about 1,600 metres back to back front crawl. Great prep for the 2,000 metre swim I have to do as part of a triathlon I’ve entered in June.
Stay tuned for whatever twists and turns come along over the next seven days.
Total mileage: 29 (should have been 56 - doh!).