Having run 27 miles last weekend, I surprizingly woke up on Mon not feeling too bad and by Wed was ready to go again. I hope this improved recovery rate is not just a one off, as this the first time in a few months that my immune system hasn’t complained in the week after an event.
On Tues I gave an interview on BBC Radio Surrey, which should have been straight forward, but due to an accident blocking the road into Guildford I arrived with only a couple of minutes to spare before going ‘live’. The interview went OK , but it took me a minute to relax into it and the interview was done and dusted in no more than 5 mins. A big thanks to Kerry Preston of BBC Radio Surrey for pulling it all together and to Nick Wallis for the interview.
This week I’ve been getting a few miles into the shoes that I will be running the London Marathon in on 17 Apr (Event 13). This is my 4th pair of Asic Gel Nimbus since I started Run4Recovery and should hopefully see me through to the end of the challenge. As you can see, they look a bit flash which will hopefully rub off on my running ability – not! I hope at least they will help me break the steady 5mph plod pace which my body seems to have settled into over the past few events. I’ll know before then, as long as I don’t crick myself in the process. This blog continues to get more hits as time goes on, so to those of you who are following my efforts; please keep spreading the word. Thank you. P.S. I’ve also just lost my first toe-nail, but never mind I’ve got 9 more!
Having done little quality training for about 3 weeks, last week leading up to the 27 mile Brighton Trail Marathon on 27 April was a real ‘make or break’ week. Busy (the new routine) week at work meant that I didn’t get any distance done until mid week, which was circuits followed by a 1.5 hour run over Salisbury plain. This I used to test a new pair of UK Gear ‘PT-1000′ trainers that had arrived in the post the previous day and which I intended to run in at the weekend – my old Asics being shot from the ultra-marathons of previous months.
The Brighton Trail Marathon started from the seafront at 7 AM and I was surprized to be part of such a small field; only 50 runners in total – all faster than me! Off the coast and up onto the South Downs, the scenery was only surpassed by the number and size of the hills. Mixed trail running (x-country, rough track and rural lanes) beats road running for sheer pleasure and the first 13 miles seemed to go quite quickly. The weather was near perfect, warm but not sunny and little wind, but with 6-7 miles between water stations it was the right choice to carry my own fluids. Having had to take salt during the last couple of races, I decided to use an electrolyte mix for the first time; which along with the rest of my fuelling strategy (alternate gel and bar) worked really well.
The final 6 miles were thankfully downhill, following a winding valley, and I finished the race 2 mins before the 6 hour cut-off time; to my delight and that of the event organiser who was keen to get down to the pub for lunch. Warm down and post race refuel on the Brighton sea front was a pleaseure as was a bath and the 14 hours sleep which followed. I only intended a quick snooze – honest!
This week has been a busy one to say the least; which in terms of resting the calf has been good, but not so good for training. A good milestone was passing my annual fitness test which involves a sub-12 min 1.5 mile run. A number of local press press articles about Run4Recovery have been published and I was also interviewed by Lynne Duffus on the British Forces Broadcasting Service breakfast show. If you click the link the interview can be found at ‘Lynne Duffus-Wednesday-Part 2′, from the 15 min point onwards.
My working week ended with a low, as I attended the funeral of a young soldier killed in Afghanistan. Regardless of whether you agree with the politics or not, the British public continues to owe its soldiers a debt of gratitude and I’m looking forward to being able to show my support on Armed Forces Day as my 16 month challenge enters its final 100 days. It was also great to see the town of Wootton Bassett being awarded a ‘Royal’ title for its efforts in honouring the repatriation of servicemen and women through RAF Brize Norton.
Having not trained with any quality over the past 3 weeks, the Brighton Trail Marathon next weekend is going to be physically emotional to say the least! I suspect that it’ll be more of a plod than a run, but I’ll let you know. I’ve also been suffering from ‘man-flu’ this weekend, but feel a bit better after 15 hours sleep last night!
Having rested my calf injury for two weeks (if you can call skiing rest!) I’ve been out for a couple of test runs this week and all seems to be back in order. I went for a short barefoot run mid week followed by a gentle jog for an hour yesterday just to wake my leg muscles up in preparation for the miles ahead. I know some of you will thinking ‘barefoot!’, but it’s something that I’ve been doing for a couple of years now to help ease those middle aged running aches and pains.
The only positive from being injured was that it gave me time to focus on the fundraising side of the challenge. I’ve broken the back of the first lot of letters, penned a few articles and a few local boy stories have been published in the local papers thanks to my very helpful regional Army media officer. If all goes well, the Brighton trail marathon is going to hurt, but at least I should be fully fit for the London Marathon on 17 Apr. A huge thanks to those of you who have helped me get this far.
Having rested my calf for most of last week I decided to go for a very gentle and short jog with my wife on Fri, but pulled up lame after about 15 mins. Bit of a wake up call as my next event is in exactly a month’s time on 27 Mar 11. First media session occurred this week, with something for forces and local newspapers and radios. I’ll add the articles when I have them. Injury coincides with some light skiiing planned for next week (blue slopes all round I think) which also provides time to do some serious sponsorship letter writing as I need to inject some effort into the fundraising.
After only managing to fit in a couple of hours worth of running last week, I decided to go for a short 30 min run before having a sports massage yesterday… and managed to tear my calf muscle! Need to take it easy this week, so back to the gym.
Having rested for a number of days after the Pilgrim Challenge it’s now time to start getting back into training again. Nice strong 40 min run yesterday with thankfully very few aches, but a slightly tight hamstring at the back of my left knee reminding me to stretch more!