A light at the end…

Having a look through my previous posts I can see it’s been 25 days since I conceded defeat and realised I was properly injured. In all honesty, I should have probably admitted it sooner than that. 

However, that was then, and this is now.

After a couple of weeks of weight training in the gym, kettle bells and spin classes for cardio, I managed to run 10k yesterday. It was a gentle pace, just to make sure that nothing was going to blow up, but it all went okay.

Step one: done.

This morning’s session was designed to push things a little harder to see how that went. 

Step two: done.

I really pushed the pace this morning, so much so that, if I’d not had a 30-second break in the middle of the run just to again be fully sure that everything was behaving as it should, it would have been the fastest 5k I’ve ever run.

I can’t really explain how happy I am to have done these two runs with no pain. The frustration of not running has been driving me half mad, balanced against constant worries about the impending marathons and my ridiculous lack of preparation.

All of a sudden, things are looking brighter and there’s a light at the end of the tunnel. Tomorrow I’m going to try road running, to see how that goes, and then hopefully I can get back on board with my training.

Admittedly, there isn’t now a lot of time between today’s date and April 10, when I hit the streets of Manchester. I may not have time to gradually build up my distance as I’d like, but concentrating on not suffering another injury is top of my list of priorities.

Being injured – and the consequent panic it’s had me in – has made me reasses Manchester, I think I need to make some new, realistic goals. Originally I was looking to run it in around 4 hours 15, justifiably in my opinion as I’d completed a couple of 18-mile training runs in a quicker pace than I’d need to be going to achieve that time, but, due to being out of action for almost a month so close to the big day, I’m changing the parameters, and will happily accept something around the five-hour mark. If I can sneak in at a time that begins with a four, I’ll be more than happy.

It’s been something of a learning experience, being injured, but the ease of today’s run has me determined to keep fitting gym time into my training regime.

I’ve invested in some KT Tape – and whether it’s working or whether I’m fully recovered I’m not sure, but even if it just provides a placebo effect, I’ll happily keep applying it.

  
I also want to mention a new way of fuelling my exercise that I’ve tried this week. In the past, I’ve used pre-workout powders. However, while they clearly provide a buzz, especially on cold mornings after a poor night’s sleep, I tried to move away from them as I wasn’t always keen on the tingly, hot feeling they cause, and I think daily use had started to dilute the benefits somewhat.

Having seen a post by a company called TrueStart online, I was intrigued by their ‘performance coffee’ – which they claim is designed for athletes, and does in a number of ways the same thing.

After ordering myself a sample, I can say that I’ve found it excellent. It certainly had me working harder for longer at the gym, especially this morning as I didn’t sleep great last night. I’ll certainly be ordering some soon as I can, and look forward to using it more in the future (this isn’t a sponsored post in any way, I’m just discussing my experience of trying it).

  
Until next time, when hopefully I’ll have a successful outdoor run in the bag.

PS I got some new trainers recently, deciding it would be good to have some for short runs and my current Asics for long runs. However, I’ve already discovered these new ones aren’t great. If anyone wants to contribute to the success of my challenge, please please buy me some Nike Pegasus +30s (¬£37.99 on eBay) and I’ll dedicate the Derry marathon to you.

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*Unhappy Face Emjoi*

Another week gone, another week of no running. Shin splints continue to defeat me when it comes to getting out and pounding the pavements.

I’d be lying if I said it wasn’t getting me down. I’m trying to compensate in the gym. Strengthening my legs on the weight machines, almost dying during my first spin class in three years, body pump, bootcamp, x-trainers and the lot.

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But it’s not the same.

So now I’m launching an assault on the cause of my misery. I shall suffer no longer. I’ve got an ice pack to wear on my shin, to encourage recovery and stop any potential swelling. I’m munching vitamin tablets that are designed to encourage stronger bones. I’ve bought a 10kg kettlebell so that I can beast myself in the evening at home. I’m booked into a whole host of classes at the gym in the next couple of days… And I’m going to attempt a couple of slow runs on the treadmill, see how that goes.

This can’t go on. There’s not enough time left between now and the Manchester marathon for me to continue being¬†unable to run. So it’s going to have to stop.

If the nicely-nicely approach of doing nothing about it (in some ways) didn’t work – as total rest hasn’t served me well – maybe taking a more active approach to mending it will do.

At this point – anything is worth a try.