Reading the other contributor’s blogs there appears to be a recurrent theme - injury, and lack of time to train! In the past I’ve been (relatively) lucky with regards to injuries - I had one DNF at the TRA Ridgeway 86 after 53 miles when I could neither bend nor straighten my leg (it was stuck somewhere in the middle) - that made walking difficult and running impossible, but other than that I’ve only had the odd niggle.
Unfortunately an odd niggle became worse this time…
As always I took a complete week off after the Peddars Way race. I like to start back training feeling that I’ve had a rest, that I’m itching to run, not that it’s a chore to be undertaken. The Monday that I started, was also a very long day at work (I’m a rep and designer, and can often cover 350 miles plus by car in a day), by the end of it (and before my run) I had a very sore right shin - I’d been unable to get comfortable in the car, no matter what I tried. I ran 5 times that week, including a double on Saturday (both only short runs), with a view to doing my long run on Sunday. On getting out of bed Sunday morning I discovered that I couldn’t actually bend my ankle without a shooting pain in my shin! Long run definitely wasn’t going to happen… I took the whole of the next week off from training, used Vitamin I (Ibuprofen!) and it slowly improved, but wasn’t completely better. Normally I would have made an appointment to see my physio (top ultrarunner Marcus Scotney) but unfortunately my schedule at work made it almost impossible, although we did have a quick discussion on Twitter. I know physios are expensive - but so is a mechanic, and people pay them to look after their cars - well, a good physio looks after your body, and that’s more important than any heap of metal!
Anyway, the next week my leg continued to improve. I used an ice pack most evenings, started back with my strength and conditioning work, and did some stretching. I ran 5 times, but didn’t do anything too long or too strenuous. Last week I started to build up again, doing my long run, and my planned key session (a 12mi “tempo” run) without any real issues. This week has started well, with the first of my key sessions done at the time of writing.
Hopefully that’s the first and last of the niggles for the year, meaning I can train as hard as planned… The next major thing to look forward to is a week in the Lake District at the end of March (leading up to Easter Saturday) where I plan to recce the KMF Ultra route, plus the Ultimate Trails route - that’s 160km worth of running just for those two, although they will be spread over a few days. If anyone is around and wants to keep me company just let me know and we’ll work something out.