Since my last update, a hell of a lot has been going on. Time just seems to be disappearing into the ether as we approach Christmas at a rate of knots.
Firstly, spring marathon.
As you know, I didn't get in the VLM by the ballot... so I'd booked the Rotterdam marathon instead.
Unfortunately, I didn't get in the VLM by the Plumstead Runners club ballot either. Richard, Paul and Dawn were all worthy winners, given they had spent the previous year marshaling in the cold damp conditions at Cutty Sark. Trust me, as much as it is a brilliant experience cheering on the runners, it does get a tad tedious when the 'walkers' start coming through. I'm going to sound like a b*tch saying that but if you're going to sign up to run a marathon, please actually do the training and try to run as much of it as you can.
Anyhow, following the club ballot, I went home with the proper sulks and it lasted a good few days. I went off to run my first cross-country race of the season at Swanley Park and it was as close to a disaster as it could get, so I went home even more grumpy. With Alison abroad at the time, I had plenty of time to mull things over in my head once I'd taken Izzy home to her Mum. Once the beer started to flow, the thoughts became irrational. 'Why do I bother running? I need to find something else to do!' Thoughts of restarting cycling, taking up something else were flooding my mind.
I woke up on the Monday morning with the feeling that I had a proper spell of depression coming down on me. Panic. Tried to get on with things as best as I could. An out-of-the-blue Facebook status update told everyone I had the hump and the Plums rallied around to cheer me up. I was persuaded to come along on the Monday night.
I turned up Monday night and the first person I bumped into was Richard, the club chairman.
"Hi John. I may have some good news for you!"..
The ears constantly pricked up. Richard began to explain that when he started the cross country race, he felt his Achilles tendon 'pop' just 50 yards over the start line. Not good. Not good at all. Then it dawned on me...
"You came out of the Plums draw as first substitute didn't you?"
Ah yes, yes I did. Hold on a minute, that doesn't really help. Richard can just defer the place to next year.
But no. Richard didn't want to do that. He was happy to transfer his place to me.
This can't be happening, can it? Well it was.
Richard had done the most selfless thing any runner could possibly do. VLM places are rarer than gold dust. Richard emailed Graham that night and the day after it was officially confirmed. I would be running the VLM in a Plums shirt.
Another event ticked off the bucket list. I finally get to run my hometown marathon. I finally get to run the marathon where I know all the roads, I know exactly where I am on the route and where I can feed off the best support in the world. Bring it on.
I'd like to officially thank Richard for his selfless gesture. It doesn't get better than that in my eyes. It's on a par with giving away a winning lottery ticket.
|I've finally got a Bumblebee Mag...|
While this was all going on, my road running has been getting back to around my best for about 12 months. All the injuries seemed to have cleared up and I was beginning to feel strong again. I'd run a couple of good 10ks and a very good Monday night club run, putting in my fastest 8 miler in ages. Around my 10 mile PB pace but this run included several hills and my average pace included the very slow loop backs where we pick up the slower runners. That has given me a lot of confidence.
However, during that run, I aggravated my left calf. If I'm honest, I know I've been carrying a niggle in the calf for the best part of 6 weeks or so now but it doesn't seem to be getting any better. It doesn't hurt at all, it feels stiff more than anything and can be sore after a run. More like a bruise than anything else. The time I feel it the most is when I get out of bed in the morning for a few minutes before the blood starts flowing properly.
I made the decision to take 7 days off running to see if it would clear up. Yesterday was the end of that 7 days and even before I ran I could still feel it. I managed to do just short of 10k but I could feel it before, after and during. I can't describe it as pain, more of an annoyance.
Next job is to do the old 400mg Ibuprofen 3 times a day for 7 days to see if it is tendonitis. Having spoken to Dave and Paul at the Plums, I've got a couple of other things I can try. If it doesn't react positively, the only other option I've really got left it to see a physio.
The last injury lay off as made up my mind that I need to start cross training again. I hugely benefited from cycling when I was doing both disciplines back in 2013. Last year my running started to tail off again so I'm hoping that some cross training gives me another lease of life.
I've spoken before about our little home gym project. After a few delays, we've finally got the base laid now. Once it is totally dry, the builder can start erecting the building. We've been promised it will be ready for Christmas which is exciting. With this in mind, I've just invested in a new Concept 2 model D rower. The best in the business in terms of a full body workout. It's scheduled to arrive tomorrow so can't wait to get it set up and have a play on it.
The plan is to run 3 days a week, row 3 days a week and have a rest day. This will fit into the 3 days a week marathon training programme I've been researching.
|Concept 2 model D rower. Bring it on.|