In stark contrast to the potential and promise of my run last Wednesday morning my form has taken a mighty dip once more.
It’s not like I wasn’t active. I toiled in the backyard for a couple of days and even climbed a ‘mountain’, but I wasn’t running. I assumed that by being active I’d be able to work some different muscles and this would benefit my running.
So much for that idea.
I next went out on Sunday evening after spotting a gap in the rain. That was an awful run. A local group has sprung up which intends to provide 3-hr pacers for forthcoming half marathons and whilst I’m usually quicker than that I thought I’d try to run at that pace as an experiment and just to make things interesting.
What a disaster! I think I lasted eight minutes at that pace before I had to give up. My poor calves absolutely hated it. They burnt up so much, you might as well have taken a blow torch to them. I gave up, dejected after less than two miles.
The next night (Monday) was club. That wasn’t any better. It was my first night there since the middle of May. My calves still hurt a little but I reckoned a warm-up run there would sort me out. Once the session started I knew my calves weren’t up for it, and when the route took us back exactly the way I came (back home) I decided just to drop out. Again, dejected.
So, tonight, I plucked up the enthusiasm and courage to give it another go. I have the Dublin Rock ‘n’ Roll Half booked in less than a couple of weeks so I really needed some miles in my legs before then if I am to even consider going ahead with it.
Whilst I wanted to do more I knew than nothing further than 10k would be sensible. I went out with no real plan in mind, just to run and see where it took me.
Unfortunately, again, my bloody calves had other ideas. A few minutes in and that old familiar, annoying burn started again. This was so frustrating but, unlike the last couple of times, I wasn’t going to let it beat me. Not this time.
There was nothing else for it but to revert to a good old bit of Jeffing. I knew it would piss me off but not completing the run would piss me off even more so I stuck with it, at least it was helping with the pain in my calves.
After a while – around the 5k mark – the discomfort disappeared, it was such a relief to run pain free for a change.
My speed wasn’t great and the route was totally uninspiring but it was such a mental boost to get up to 5k and then go past it for the first time since the end of May. In fact, miles four and five were my two fastest of the run which just goes to show what I can do if my head is in the game.
I got to around 9.3k which brought me almost back home and was tempted to call it a night. But there was a little voice nagging away at me which said you NEED to do 10k tonight. I knew stopping short, for all the difference it’d make, would eat away at me. I had to get to 10k, and break that glass ceiling. Psychologically it was absolutely crucial.
So I ran a few hundred metres one way, turned, and ran the same few hundred metres back. Job done. Timewise, it was a little outside what I would have liked although not my worst 10k ever plus, somehow, the second half was a couple of minutes quicker than the first.
I’m still undecided about Dublin. I’ll take a rest day tomorrow, and then attempt 10k (or a bit more) again on Friday and see how I feel then.
However, at the minute, I’m more optimistic than I have been so I’ll take that.