Here we are in October, and it’s the 40th Sunday of the year, facts that still seem rather at odds with my level of achievements for the year. How can we be in October already? I mean, really?
I gave in to the urge of completing the equivalent of a marathon in September, heading out on Monday for a total of 3.8 miles in three, ten minute intervals with warm up and cool down walks. The last five minutes of the third run section was tough mentally and tiring physically. I’m no longer used to this level of activity having been dealing with various injuries for the past year. But hey, don’t go feeling too sorry for me because that’s history and things (generally) are improving.
Following this longer run I’d already decided to have two rest days before considering what my plan for the rest of the week was before parkrun on Saturday. Tuesday and Wednesday I went on a gentle walk to stretch my legs and get some fresh air as much as anything. Walking, however, gives a similar level of discomfort to running so neither walk was particularly enjoyable, except bumping into a friend and having a chat. I managed 1.75 miles and 2 miles on the two days.
Which brought me to Thursday and decision making time, do I risk a run or save my legs for parkrun. For once I took the more sensible option and decided on a sofa day, well two sofa days really.
On Friday I had a physio appointment – welcome to the torture room – where I went in thinking that I’d made great improvements and that everything was going to be ok, and came out knowing I’ve still got a long way to go.
Human anatomy*, apart from the basics, is beyond my comprehension. Before I first sustained a partial tear to the medial head of my gastrocnemius, I’d never even heard of a gastrocnemius. However, my physio (thankfully) seems on the ball when it comes to anatomy and confidently tells me that the tension is in a tendon (I forget the name) which runs down the inside of the calf and wraps around the sole of the foot, so each step whether walking or running exerts a force on this tendon which is causing the pain. I have been faithfully doing my physio exercises every other day and, like I said, things are improving. Having been subject to a rigorous, vigorous and somewhat painful massage of the affected area I found my right shin pain was getting a helpful head start for the next day’s parkrun.
The last time I completed parkrun was when on holiday in the Scottish Borders, around two months ago, so I was really looking forward to trying to run the full 5k distance at a steady pace.
The past two weeks in the UK have been quite wet which means my ‘home’ parkrun (75% on grass) would have possibly been a leg sucking wade through squelchy bog. I considered the likelihood of me slipping in the mud and injuring myself further and decided to go to Phoenix instead, Phoenix being primarily on tarmac paths with just a little bit of gravel footpath along the canal. The problem with Phoenix is the hill and that, being two and a half laps, we have to visit this hill three times. This was my third parkrun at Phoenix and my first time of running the course in reverse (as a celebration of the 15 year anniversary of parkrun), that meant the usual killer hill was a downhill instead of up, but that the uphill was longer and less steep but still had to be done three times.
My aim was to run the whole 5k and I hoped to achieve a time of 32-33 minutes, I knew the hill might be too much and was happy to walk if I needed to, which I did on the third ascent. Without walking I may have been 30-45 seconds faster, but I was happy with my run and with my time of 00:33:21.
Today I would have been running the Chester metric marathon if injury hadn’t scuppered that plan, instead I’m marshaling and cheering, and hoping the rain holds off! And next week is the first Borders League race and right now I’m not sure I’m ready for it.
- 79 runs
- 253 miles
- 52 hours
That’s all for today!
Have a great week, K x
* If you’re interested in finding out more about the role of stability in the foot/ankle in recovering from injury, then you’ll enjoy this post from Mountain Peak Fitness which also shows how very complicated the anatomy of the lower leg is