Last week it finally hit. Being too cocky about injuries and telling everyone how I never get injured has finally come and bit me in the rear end. After being over-motivated in the New Year and massively pushing myself, my calf was screaming at me like never before and my body is talking to me. But I decided to push through and assumed a sleep would sort my pain out (as it usually does). But this time it didn’t and I had to rest.
I had to have a word with myself and remind myself how much I’ve been pushing my training. I needed reminding how I pride myself on how well I listen to my body and how important I believe it to be. So, I was going to have to rest. On Thursday I felt pain and could barely walk. On Friday I still felt pain and was getting worried. Thankfully Saturday brought huge relief as I realised it wasn’t a serious injury.
I took a little trip to the physio and - after he stopped laughing at the enormity of my challenge and got over the initial shock - he was very helpful. It turns out that the running soles I had been running marathons with were terrible and he supplied me with new ones. He said it was over-use injury which was very reassuring. He advised me to stretch and strengthen my calf whilst I rested for the week. I biked and swam that week and did a bit of walking with my daughter who was not at all happy when we veered off the wrong way and doubled our mileage. My navigational skills for this challenge are really going to need working on if I am getting lost around the local park! I was getting too caught up and stressed about my injury that I forgot why I decided to do this: this is supposed to be fun. So I stopped listening to the voices around me and backed off for a few days. I stopped having arguments with my Garmin and had a rest. Then, this week, like magic I’m enjoying my running again. I cut back to a more conservative plan of running every other day rather than every day to give my body time to adjust. I’m eating right (most of the time) and mileage that seemed so out of reach in November is now a walk in the park. When I get out running I remember why I fell in love with running in the first place. My endorphins are bouncing around like a 90s rave at Hacienda and everything comes into place: breathing, no muscle tightness, just pure meditation. I take a deep breath into my lungs and enjoy it because not every run is like this. Some people call it a ‘runners’ high’ but in my simple 5-year-old mind I simply describe it as ‘floating’.
Rest week and a more reserved plan to ease my calf back in, more yoga and lots more stretching with some good cross training too. My body is responding well and I am feeling strong. My plan is clearer now over the next 5 weeks. I’m working roughly on the 10% increase per week rule
Then I will begin tapering and start the challenge week off with a 40 mile week
Monday - 4 miles
Friday- 5 miles on bike
Saturday – 3-mile walk
Monday - 4 miles
Wednesday- 5 miles
Friday - 5 miles
Monday - 10 miles