Wednesday, 13 September 2017
I managed not to do any running for five whole days last week, then physio Steve ruined it all by declaring me fit to run, and telling me he wanted me to get back out there. So, on Saturday I went out for a very cautious one mile trot up and down the lane. No knee pain, which made it tentatively OK to unexpectedly run in walking boots and jeans around the New Forest on Sunday morning chasing our friend Old Richard (as opposed to our friend Young Richard), who was running the NF Half. He wasn't expecting to see us and his face was an absolute picture when we popped up at mile 6 as he was trudging wearily up a forest track with hundreds of other runners towards the Rhinefield Ornamental Drive. We yelled and cheered and I bounced up and down doing my best, most enthusiastic, Tigger impression, and he went on with more of a spring in his stride.
Hurtling back to the car, we realised if we zoomed across the forest we could meet him again at mile 10, so we did, dodging the full marathon runners who by then had clocked up 22 miles and were looking like they had. We arrived with seconds to spare. Mile ten can be a bit of a killer on a half marathon, and sure enough Rich was plodding a bit at that stage but he looked good and gave us a huge grin and thumbs up when he saw us and once more picked his pace up. We stayed for a bit to cheer on the other runners through the drizzle, one chap came over for a high-five (happens a lot in races), before heading home. M got a text later to say that Rich had set a new PB and how much it had helped him seeing our faces en route. Excellent.
I did a slow 6 mile run with our Club on Monday which went fine, and then took the dogs out for a 5k around the fields this morning. Knee was a bit achy but essentially OK and there was no pain or stiffness afterwards.
Judy B, ace sports massage therapist and general wonder-woman (she's a caver who crawls through the tiniest subterranean tunnels to reach magnificent chambers where rivers run, she used to run ultra marathons of 80 plus miles, and last week she and her hubby decided to cycle to Lulworth (6 hours), go for a swim, have a few nights there to walk the coastal path from dawn to dusk and cycle home again- I am in total awe of her), gave my leg a thorough going over on Tuesday and couldn't find anything that suggested a permanent knee problem. She did say that the muscle definition around the knee is weak compared to the rest of it, which backs up Physio Steve's assessment.
So, I've got the go-ahead to run the Winchester Half in a fortnight (which you may remember was the race that started this running malarkey back in September last year), but.....drum roll please......and brace yourselves for a shock at how sensible I'm being......I've decided not to do it.
This was partly down to driving the route this morning and realising what interminably long, dull, never-ending stretches of unforgiving tarmac it's comprised of (I would find this mentally a killer to run), and partly because I feel in my gut it's too soon to be doing another HM.
My knee is progressing well and the daily exercises are strengthening the muscles that support it (by God they hurt so they must be working), and I can now hold plank for two full minutes without my arms shaking like they're made of jelly or my back collapsing- this is a big improvement as when I started I lasted all of ten seconds before my entire body was wobbling desperately- but despite Steve's assurances that I need to test it, I just feel running 13 miles on tarmac in 10 days time is too soon.
So what to do instead? I've an off road 10k (6 miles) this weekend, another the weekend after and if they go well, the weekend after that it's the Clarendon Half, which, being hilly, off road and through some really beautiful countryside is much more my cup of tea than pounding long grey roads with three thousand others.
It's a funny thing when you decide to let a goal go that you've had as a focus for months. I thought I would be gutted, but instead I feel empowered by the decision. My running means much more to me than the completion of one half marathon (probably helped by the fact I've done four this year) and I don't want to risk the recovery of my knee by running longer distances than it can yet cope with. Gosh, how sensible I am becoming in my old age :o)
So that's the news from here. I am persevering with the exercises and very grateful to be able to be back out running again, but I'm taking it steadily.
In other news, L is enjoying his first week at sixth form college. He's up at 7 (unheard of) and out the door for the bus at 7.20. This means I also have to be up earlier than normal and three days in it's catching up with me. Both my men fell asleep on public transport yesterday, M coming home from London and L on the bus. Perhaps I need to start travelling on buses and trains so I can also have a nap during the day and then not be knackered by nine pm?
I got L a set of lock-picks (his suggestion) for his 16th. He has taken them in to college and apparently everyone on his tutor table is very interested in them. I've had a go- it's not as easy as it looks. This is probably a good thing, because while he's occupied with figuring out the padlock they came with my front door remains safe and unpicked. He's been threatening to take his hip flask in but I think we've managed to persuade him that pretending cranberry juice is red wine in your first week might be a joke too far for the college authorities.
Hope you're all well?