Take No Chances

Circle HopIt’s Saturday, which means it’s Virtual Running UK Blog Hop Day, and for once I managed to get a run in!

Today was Week 1 Day 2 of Couch to 5K. To be fair, I should have done this one earlier in the week, but after Monday’s session my leg wasn’t feeling great, so I decided to listen to my body, not take any chances, and waited until the discomfort subsided before running again.

This morning, the leg felt a lot better. It’s still not 100%, but I’m starting to think that it might never be and, if I want to keep running, I’m just going to have to learn to live with it. As long as I don’t push it too hard, it should be ok.

So, today I decided to keep the running sections a bit slower than on Monday, and it seemed to work. I felt pretty good and the leg doesn’t feel any worse, so that’s a good sign.

I’m hoping to finish off Week 1 tomorrow morning, but I’ll see how it goes. There’s no point in rushing it as chances are it will only set me back again, but I’m in no hurry. It’s just nice to be able to get back out there again, even if it is only for a couple of Ks.

How’s your running going? How do you deal with old injuries and niggles? Please share your thoughts in the comments.


I’m On It!

2015-07-22I didn’t manage to make it out for my 2nd run of C25K yesterday, but don’t worry, I’m on it. I went out this morning instead.

Part of me was thinking that I might just move on to Week 3, but I decided against it for a couple of reasons. Firstly, I’ve only completed two sessions so far (one from Week 1 and one from Week 2), so I didn’t want to push too hard too soon; and secondly, I didn’t want to delay the run by thinking too much about it beforehand, so it made sense to just switch off the brain and get going.

I headed to Hove Rec again, mostly because it’s a bit closer than the seafront, but also because it has some gentle inclines which I figure is probably good for strengthening the old achilles – thankfully that’s one thing that hasn’t given me too many problems recently. I still have to be careful with it, but so far it’s doing ok.

The run itself was slow and steady. I used the same 90 second intervals as before and it felt pretty good, so I’ll probably step up to Week 3 next time.

In saying that though, my next run is most likely going to be parkrun on Saturday. I know I said I would just be volunteering  throughout the summer, but a local running group have offered to cover all the roles this week so it would be rude not to take advantage of the opportunity to try out the new course.

I’m not sure yet what my strategy will be for parkrun as I know my leg won’t cope with running the full 5K without walk breaks. Perhaps I’ll go back to my favourite 3:1 ratio, or maybe I’ll just play it by ear? Who knows? But it will be nice to take part in an event again.

How’s your training going? Are you following a training plan or just running for fun? Please share your thoughts in the comments.


Parkrun Day

Circle HopToday is Saturday, which for me means volunteering at the new Hove Prom parkrun. As I won’t be running 5K again for a while, I’ve signed up for marshalling duty for the next few weeks, which is always good fun.

After last week’s inaugural run on Hove Promenade, today was a bit quieter with 164 runners compared to last week’s 294.

In some ways, it’s better that it was a bit quieter as the promenade can be pretty busy with people out for an early morning stroll in the sunshine. Fortunately though, no one seemed to mind that there were a few more runners than usual  out and about. After all, it’s only really busy for about 30 minutes or so.

As for my own running, well, that’s another story.

Last week I decided to go back to Couch to 5K and had a really good first run. But for the next few days I was really suffering. Shin splints were the main problem, but I’ve also got that post marathon pain in my left leg again, which isn’t good. So, needless to say, I haven’t run since.

Still, it’s not as bad as it was, so I’m hoping to have another go tomorrow morning.

While all of this stopping and starting is pretty frustrating, I know that I need to be careful. Rule #1 – Listen to your body. Or that’s what I keep reminding myself anyway.

How’s your running going? Did you do parkrun today? Please share your thoughts in the comments.

New Shoes and Old Legs

Circle HopIt’s Saturday, which means it’s time for the Virtual Running UK Blog Hop.

Even though I’ve not been running much recently, I thought I’d better have a quick catch up and get my backside over the doorstep again for a bit of a run so that I can start contributing again. The blog hop is hosted at Virtual Running UK and it’s easy enough to sign up if you want to join in. Just click here and follow the instructions.

I’ve been really missing my training over the past few weeks, so to cheer myself up, I finally got myself a much needed new pair of running shoes. I didn’t bother with the whole getting fitted properly and running on the treadmill thing as I’d done that before and knew what I needed.

As I pronate slightly on one foot and not on the other, I’ve been told that a neutral shoe is best, so I opted for a pair of Asics Nimbus 16s. These are basically a neutral shoe but have a guidance system that can help with slight over or under-pronation, and they have plenty of cushioning and a bit of extra heel to help with the old achilles.


Of course, having a shiny new pair of shoes sitting there staring at me for the last few days made me feel even more guilty about not running. So, even though I’ve still got a fair bit of numbness in my left leg, I decided to head out this morning to give them a little road test. Well, it would be rude not to.

I planned to run for about 30 minutes and felt pretty good to begin with. The old leg didn’t feel too bad and I kept the pace nice and slow, but after a couple of kilometres I decided to take a short walk break. The leg still felt ok, but it was quite warm on the seafront and I realised that, even with a short run, I should probably have taken a drink with me.

The walk break seemed to help and I carried on a bit further, but by the end of the third kilometre my stomach started complaining and I knew it was time to call it a day. A little bit disappointing, yes, but the leg feels no worse than it did before and at least the shoes got a bit of a test run.

The best part though, is that I got a bit of a run in. Even if it was only for about 20 minutes, it was still 20 minutes of activity that I wouldn’t have had otherwise. It all counts, right?

How’s your training going? Are you enjoying some warmer weather? Please share your thought in the comments.

Pain In The Arse

Circle HopAfter four weeks, it seems that my post-marathon niggle doesn’t really want to go away and I’m going to have to face up to the fact that I am a little bit injured at the moment.

I have run once since the marathon, and I felt ok, but the next day the niggle was back and it isn’t going away. It’s a milder version of some of the pain that I felt in the final stages of the marathon, so I can only conclude that I did myself a bit of damage. A real pain in the arse, literally.

I didn’t really see much point in going to the doctors because, lets face it, there’s probably not much that they can do, so I looked up my symptoms on line to try to make sense of what’s going on. I found some useful information at sequencewiz.org which, although a website about yoga rather than running, had some useful information. As well as explaining what might be causing the problem, it also suggests some exercises that might help.

The main issue for me is that other than running, I don’t do much else in the way of exercise, which means that some of my muscles and tendons can’t keep up with my training. So it looks like I’m going to have to give running a miss for the time being and focus on working on those muscles and tendons.

In terms of cardio, I should still be ok to use the exercise bike to keep my fitness levels up, but in terms of running I’m going to just have to wait and see. Listen to your body, right?

This post is part of the Virtual Running UK Blog Hop. Click here to join the fun and share your running adventures.

Bouncing Back

I know I should be tapering for the Marathon now, but after having to wimp out of my final pre-marathon long run at the weekend, I decided to make my midweek runs a bit longer than usual to compensate.

Normally, I just do a couple of 5K (or thereabouts) sessions during the week to keep things ticking over. I like these runs because I know that I can make them as easy or as challenging as I like, and they don’t take up too much of my evening. I can get out, get it done and be home in time to have some dinner, write up my blog post and still have time to chill out for an hour or before bedtime.

This evening though, I figured it would be worth taking an extra half hour of running to get myself back on track – if not physically, then at least mentally. My leg is feeling a lot better now and, while I can still feel a bit of discomfort in the hamstring and calf, it’s nothing compared to what it was. So, I figured it would be safe enough to head for the seafront for a nice easy 10K.

It has been a while since I’ve run 10K, so I wasn’t sure about pacing. In the end though, I just decided to go by feel, taking it nice and slowly to make sure I didn’t aggravate anything in my leg. I also wanted to make sure that I didn’t tire myself out too much as I’m aiming to do another 10K on Thursday and a longish run on Saturday – probably something around 15-20K, but we’ll see how it goes.

Anyway, the run was fine. I started early so that I’d have to slow down to cross the main roads and navigate the poorly lit uneven pavements. And it was slow. Very slow. But it did the trick. I completed the 10K route in just over 1 hour and 10 minutes and felt pretty good at the end of it. Ok, so the old leg was a bit tight again, but nothing that a bit of stretching couldn’t sort out.

More importantly though, I’m starting to feel more positive about the marathon again. After the weekend’s set-back and with less than three weeks to go until race day, I really needed a confidence boost and this evening’s run certainly gave me that!

How’s your training going? What do you do to help yourself bounce back from a disappointing run? Please share your thoughts in the comments.

Taking No Chances

Yesterday was supposed to be my final long run before starting my taper for the Brighton Marathon. However, ever since my 36K run two weeks ago, my left leg has been giving me a bit of grief.

I don’t think it’s anything too serious, but there’s a dull ache that goes from the top of the leg all the way down to the ankle achilles. It’s probably just a case of having to stretch out the muscles as my calves are really tight.

In fact, the left one is so tight that when I felt a spasm last week and rolled up my trousers to have a look, I could actually see a long indentation along the calf where the muscle was tightening. It would have been pretty cool had it not been so painful. But it only lasted a few seconds. So, like I said, I don’t think it’s anything to worry about.

Not wanting to take any chances with another long run yesterday though, I decided to spend the day doing some stretching to see if it would be any better this morning. If it was, I’d get the run in; if not, I’d just do a shorter one instead.

As it turned out, my leg still didn’t feel great so I opted for an easy 5K to Portslade and back again. I’ve been using this route as part of my longer runs and quite like it. Although it does involve crossing a few roads, the roads are pretty quiet in the morning and it makes a nice change from the seafront. It also means I don’t have to walk as far before I start running!

In terms of missing out on the long run, I am a bit worried if I’m honest about it. Even though I’ve run more than the recommended 20 miles in recent weeks, there will be a five week gap between my last long run and the marathon, which is too long for a taper; and if I do the long run next weekend, then there won’t be enough time to taper and recover before the big day.

I’m not quite sure what I’m going to do, but I’m thinking that I might run 13.1 miles / 21.1 km next weekend as a compromise, and try to get a couple of 10K runs in midweek if I can get my leg to behave itself. But we’ll see what happens.

Either way, I know that I will complete the marathon even if it is slower than I would like – after all, I did manage to do a 100K last year on much less training! Ok, so I walked most of that, but still, when the chips are down you just have to get on with it, right?

How’s your training going? How do you deal with niggles and injuries when you’re getting close to race day? Do you stick to the training plan or take a compromise? Please share your thoughts, tips and ideas in the comments.

This post is part of the Virtual Running UK Blog Hop. Click here to find out more and join the fun!

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