Told Me So

Photo by Kumiko SHIMIZU on Unsplash

Journaling my training is not just an exercise in record keeping, but in the notation of feeling, sensation, practice, so that when I come back to these posts in six months I can learn something, what worked, what didn’t.

When I come back to this post what I’ll probably just think is that I’m a bit of a moron, and that, in fact, I’ll never learn anything.

At the end of the day running isn’t my job, it’s just hobby! So I never get too worked up about any injuries, but at the same time, for that same reason, I sometimes feel like if I simply want to go for a run, I should, even if I know it might not be the absolute best long term decision…

Anyway, this is what the week looked like for me:

Last Sunday I had a race, it was a 5 mile cross country in dry but terribly windy conditions. I couldn’t get my legs working at the pace I wanted them to and ended up about 30 seconds a mile slower than my target, but this was fine, mostly. The main thing was that nothing hurt, and because I hadn’t been training so much, because of the tendon pain I was suffering in my left foot, it made sense that my legs weren’t well prepped to race. I was quite happy to put this one in the bank as a good training run, and since nothing hurt I was ready to get on the track and smash out a nice juicy session in response…

And come Tuesday night, I did.

And the foot hurt again.

Because of course it did!

I distinctly remember a thought I had in the middle of my injured period last month that what I was going to do was wait until the foot felt no pain whatsoever, until it was a pure 0 on the pain scale, and then I was going to wait some more.

I did not do this, because when running feels good it is almost impossible to imagine it not feeling good, despite how many times it hasn’t.

Yes, I finished the session (5 x 600m/2:30 rest/200m), and in fact I completed my 7 mile easy run the next day, but the next day when I hopped on the treadmillI couldn’t run because of how sharp the initial pain of starting was. I switched to the bike and angrily pedalled myself into a pool of sweat.

I don’t think this is me reverting back to point 1.0 on the recovery map. I was able to run 5 miles on the road on the morning of me writing this, and it was quite manageable (if we’re ranking pain on a scale of 1-10, it was only a 3 or a 4, a discomfort more than anything) but I think I’m still some ways off training at the sort of intensity required of 200m efforts. Perhaps having a full rest day would have been better, but the honest truth is that this morning had a fine, bluebird sky, it was crisp and cool and the sun was out. I wanted to go out in it, so I did.

Hopefully, when I look back on this decision, it will not seem to be a bad one.

Thankfully I won’t be able to join the track sessions in the coming week, so no matter how poor my judgement is I won’t be able to make any mistakes there. Instead I’ll be continuing to combine slow and steady road work with bike and gym sessions, strengthening my feet and ankles in order to truly recover from injury and, more importantly, from my own stupidity.

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