Life has been very hectic over the last few weeks. We’ve had the house decorated. We’ve actually put up some of our pictures. I was sad enough to taker an entire day off work to clean the thin layer of ‘decorating dust’ off all our surfaces (and out of the airing cupboard). We’ve put the Christmas decorations up. It’s starting to really feel like home…only took two years!
Oh, and I’ve been to a couple of Christmas parties, including this one where we got to pretend we were vintage style greetings cards – I dread to think what the captions would be!
So all in all, in a funny way it’s actually been quite handy to have been sidelined. I’ve spent the last couple of weeks much more focused on the house and work and much less on running or cross training. Which might have something to do with the fact that on Friday my physio let me out of his treatment room without instructions to book another appointment – I’m free!
I celebrated my release back into the running wilds with parkrun yesterday. I have been getting out there twice a week for the last fortnight, but run/walking and very slowly. Yesterday was my first continuous parkrun (or run of any sort) since 8th October in San Francisco. It feels like a really, really long time ago.
Unfortunately despite the stunning early morning winter sun glinting off the frost like a layer of rose gold highlighter, it wasn’t quite as scenic at Gunnersbury Park as it was at the Golden Gate. Mainly due to this lovely burnt out car that some thoughtful soul had driven onto the middle of the grass. I mean, honestly. This is Ealing. One doesn’t expect this sort of nonsense in the Queen of the Suburbs, don’t you know.
Setting off I thought I would try to do just under 33 minutes, since I had done 34 minutes something on Thursday with a couple of brief walk breaks. However after the first half a mile or so I got a bit bored of 11 minute miles and put my foot down, just to see where my fitness was at. I managed the rest of the run at roughly half marathon pace – well, half marathon pace before my two month injury break anyway – and it felt ok. Bit tough, sort of puffing like an asthmatic shire horse trying to run the Grand National, but ok really. I even did a tiny bit of a sprint finish, and I ended up with a time of 31:30. Which means, broadly speaking, I’ve only lost about a minute of fitness – brilliant!
Even though I’ve basically now got the all clear (my physio actually said ‘do what you like’, the fool!), that doesn’t mean I don’t still have to take care of my legs.
It still hurts. It’s not unbearable, but from what I can tell it’s basically always going to hurt a bit unless I completely stop all exercise. Which isn’t going to happen. The trick is all the stretching, icing and physio exercises to keep the lactic moving and keep the pain on the down low.
My current plan is to build up over the next month to the Serpentine 10k on New Years Day, which I did last year and loved. It’s a fantastic race and probably the best way I can think of to see in the new year (I don’t like going out on New Year’s Eve. It’s cold and you don’t get a seat in the pub). Then we’ll see where my fitness is really at.
And after that…yes, I’m going to have a crack at London. It might be a three runs a week plan, with a lot more cross training and an emphasis on specific training targets for the actual runs. But I will be having a go, I will be raising money for my chosen charity, and I will make it to the Mall. I promise.
Jeez, what is the matter with runners, do you think? It hurts if we run, but do we stop running? Hell no!
Dear reader – a favour if you would. My blog has been nominated for a Running Award in 2017. They have extended the voting til 8th December. If you enjoy reading what I write, please pop over here to the awards website and vote for me – you can find Duffrunning under the Blog category in the Community section of the awards.
It only takes a couple of minutes. Go on. Ta.