Monday, August 03, 2015

Progress Or Not?

When I first got injured I could not have imagined that recovery would take so long. I remember thinking that the Spartathlon was 3 months away and it would not really matter all that much. Reality has been very, very different. I guess I just don't do things by half - when I got my first injury in 8 years it had to a serious one that would take a long time to heal!

I'm generally not someone to follow rules and commands (my managers over the years can testify that). However, I quickly realised that I needed help with this injury and it would be just plain daft to go (and pay) for advice and then not follow it, so I'm following Derek's instructions very closely. I did think at times his progression program is overly cautious but always knew that erring on the side of caution is by far better than doing too much too soon and getting injured again, and recent events suggest he was right all along.

I did a fairly long cycle on Saturday; not long by serious cyclists' standards but the longest bike ride I'd ever done. It took me slightly over an hour to reach the top of Ballaghasheen, partially because I cracked on the final climb and had to take a breather, but it felt good to feel some good pain in the legs from the exercise rather than the bad pain from the injury. On the way home I got rather tired and started wishing to be home sooner rather than later, something I've experienced often enough at the end of a long run, and once more a good thing to suffer through. I don't know if I still have a realistic chance of making the Spartathlon but if I do then some serious work that includes a bit of suffering will be unavoidable.

Sunday was good. Really good. I almost felt like I was over that injury. The hip was fine, just a very dull discomfort, barely worth mentioning. I increased the distance by yet another mile. 6 miles was a significant marker: Derek had said that if I could run for 6 miles/10k without issues than I can start running every day, though the intervening days would have to be short. I did start feeling the hip again in the afternoon but I have done that after every run and the fact that I had been sitting in a car for a few hours sure did not help. Was it worse than on other days? I can't tell.

Unfortunately, as soon as I woke on Monday morning I immediately noticed that the hip wasn't feeling great. I did my 3 mile run anyway and it felt like a run a week or two earlier, not great. The pace was pathetically slow, despite the effort being the same as the day before. It was the first time that I had to deal with a setback since starting on the way back and it did nothing for my mood. It really is possible to hate your own body. I followed the run with 50 minutes on the bike trainer, the longest I have ever managed to train on a stationary device, be it trainer or treadmill. Maybe I did it for self-punishment but, as always, the hip felt better after cycling - unfortunately, the Spartathlon is not a cycling race!

A few hours in the garden had me knackered, especially after the morning workouts. I figured that anything was better than sitting down.

I think I'm pretty much on the edge. Of course I don't want a significant setback but with the lack of time it feels worth taking a few risks - if I miss the Spartathlon I have several months throughout the winter to get fit again. The next few weeks will tell.

I need a new HRM - my present one keeps dropping out. It's the least of my problems, though.

2 Aug
6 miles, 47:26, 7:54 pace, HR ???
3 Aug
3 miles, 26:49, 8:57 pace, HR 143


  1. I think it might be worth considering short doubles to up the mileage rather than longer singles. Doubles are less stressful on the body and you can adjust more easily for post run discomfort.

  2. Nice going with the ride! Great pic too, but isn't it summer over there? If you can climb on the bike (both seated and out of the saddle), that's fantastic for leg strength and your HR will get up there on climbs. I'd err on the side of caution re the Spartathlon. Nothing worse than not being able to run for 6 months. Happened to me back in 1981 - I still remember it!