The Setback

Last week I ended my blog by saying:

This time next week I’m hoping to be able to come back and say that I kept my word to myself, and saved the fire for the right occasion.

Well, that didn’t happen.

As planned I went ahead and took it really, really easy on Monday, basically just shaking my legs out over a couple of miles on the treadmill. Tuesday, still feeling the effects of my long run on Sunday, I decided not to double up with an easy 5 miler in the morning and only went to the track in the evening. It was a good session. 4 x 1200m/ 90 second rest/ 400m. I kept a good pace on the 1200 and was able to open and push towards the front of the group on the 400s. The problem was when I finished the session and went to warm down there was a strangely sharp pain in the top of my left foot. I jogged through our classic mile and a half warm down anyway, iced and stretched when I was home, and hoped that the pain would subside come morning.

It didn’t!

I can’t say exactly what the problem is and I’m keen to not self-diagnose. If I really need to know what is going on I’d be better off getting an expert to tell me. Suffice to say, it hurts. Hurting is natural and necessary in the life of a runner, but this is the kind of hurt which reverberates out from the top of my foot all the way up my leg when I land and push through, every single stride a tiny, but very sharp, little dagger.

With the race on Sunday coming up I immediately halted my training for two days. I tried to start up again on Friday, but no! It was too much too soon and I had to move to the exercise bike, which although fun and useful is just not quite the same, especially on it’s own.

After the bike things actually felt a bit better and I figured if I could run on Saturday then Sunday might have still be on the cards, and come the weekend I was able to go out for a steady/easy 5 (7:39) which felt okay at the time, but this was a mistake. My day at work was way worse for going running and I’ve been hobbling around for the last couple of days.

Suffice to say, I did not race Sunday.

This is a bummer, of course, but I’ve had it pretty good since last May. Getting injured is not good. However it does force you to reassess your training. At the end of the day, most injuries aren’t just bad luck. They are result of something done. In my case, although my mileage hasn’t really increased since the beginning of the year, I have greatly increased the intensity of my workouts and long runs without decreasing the intensity elsewhere. Whereas I should have been running super easy several times a week to try and keep my body nourished and happy between the high intensity workouts I’ve just been ticking over at my usual steady pace (anywhere between 7:05 – 7:15).

This coming week then I’m going to be doing…

Well, not a lot. Getting fit.

This time next week I hope I’ll be able to say, quite simply, that I’m running again.

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