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The Road to Richmond
12-06-2017, 08:42 PM,
The Road to Richmond
Week 4 of 18

As I was already running 10 milers, I've dropped into Hal Higdon's beginner marathon programme at week 3. The main challenge for the next 6 weeks is fitting in my three runs a week around work. After that it will be school holidays, and I'll be able to return to nicely spaced runs at convenient times of day.

For the next 6 weeks, the plan is a medium length effort session (tempo or intervals) midweek, then a short easy run (loosener or recovery) and the long easy run.

So to this week... Wednesday night at 10pm I went for my first proper, hardcore, late night session for a couple of years. Dark, raining, 6 miles intervals around the field. A bit of a shock to the system at first, a reminder of what a commitment marathon training entails, but after the first lap I was at one with my environment, no longer noticing the rain, the squelch of my road shoes through long wet grass the only minor inconvenience. That and the dazzling headlights which occasionally sent me off the dog-walkers' track and into the thigh-high grass, and the dark shapes, just visible in the glow of light pollution, which I took to be horse dung and managed to avoid. Back in the game, happy days.


At least horse dung doesn't hurt when you fall in it. So I'm told. I squeezed in my short, easy warmup run between dropping off a posse of scouts at their Friday night meeting, and picking up daughter from youth club, half an hour later over the road. It was just a case of stepping out of the car, starting the watch and heading off in a random direction. Unfortunately that soon turned out to be downwards, as I tripped over the pavement while "getting into the zone". Apparently I go down pretty heavily, as a lady emerged from her front door, alerted by the sudden slap of flab on tarmac, to check that I was OK. As is usually the case, the main casualty was my pride. A few stretches and I was on my way, blood oozing from my knobbly joints. 


Fitted in the long run in the early evening, through fields and woods as the light began to fade. Marathontalk was on the audio as usual, and for the first time this campaign I oulasted them. Quite early on I did start to feel that I was tiring of the dopey duo, and that maybe it's time to switch back to the Science Hour. They do provide a great service, but I can only put up with them for so many long runs until I need a break. 

Having said that, Comrades fans might enjoy the episode 387 interview with Steve Way, GB elite who has just finished his debut Comrades in 9th place. Most interestingly, he ran without a stopwatch, but did keep his heart rate within a narrow band. 40 mins into the episode if you're interested.

Another thing that always happens as the miles increase is that I take 3-5 miles to warm up. So long runs never start off nicely, they always start off with niggles and anxiety, and it's only after 40 mins or so that I remember that running long is what I do. Also as the runs get longer, the time honoured approach is for the distraction of spoken word to give way to the motivation of upbeat sounds for the last couple of miles. I found that my 80s party tunes complilation (yes, really) was missing, so I rolled home to Ash's excellent album Meltdown.

Year to date
Jan 6 miles; Feb 19; Mar 39; Apr 56; May 69
17-06-2017, 04:15 PM,
RE: The Road to Richmond
Great track, Dan!

Interesting, isn't it, how easily we forget the huge commitment that marathon training is, the reality of it being rammed home only after we've told everyone we're committed to it and it's all too late to back out gracefully.

Never mind, there's only 14 weeks to go.

Run slow, run far.
18-06-2017, 06:05 PM,
RE: The Road to Richmond
Yep, nodded off a couple of times today due to general fatigue, and quads and ankles are creaking after last night's 12 mile trail effort.

Next week is a step back though Smile.
24-06-2017, 04:10 PM,
RE: The Road to Richmond
Large pothole on the road to Richmond.

I have sustained a ridiculous shoulder injury, which is currently preventing me from running. Until a week or ago, I carried a fabulous array of pens in my shirt pocket: two colours of whiteboard pen, black biro, green biro, fibre tip, laser pointer - as I circulated the classroom, I was armed to dispense written guidance or feedback in exactly the correct medium. This meant that at least 10 times a day, 50 times a week, I would peer down at my left breast to select the right implement. Suddenly, last weekend, this became a debilitating RSI-type condition. I had bagged my long run, but when I went out for my tempo session the jarring was so great that I didn't make it past the end of the road.

One week on, I've been playing the waiting game to see if it will improve without intervention (apart from some ibuprofen). There is a glimmer of hope, in that I just tried jogging to the end of the road and I think there was a tiny improvement. The treatment options are just a visit to the docs, which will no doubt lead to a physio referral, likely to take weeks, or a massage, which I suspect will loosen it up but really just end up as some pretty expensive general advice.

Either the shoulder or I need to do something though. I can tolerate two weeks of missed training; anything more is likely to be a problem.
24-06-2017, 10:13 PM,
RE: The Road to Richmond
Could your Mrs provide a general shoulder and upper back massage. 15 mins per evening over a week could put you back on it?
Yesterday, 01:12 AM,
RE: The Road to Richmond
Wow, that's a different sort of injury alright. Alternating hot/cold compresses with ibuprofen was my immediate thought...?

Let's hope it doesn't hold you back too much.
Run slow, run far.
Yesterday, 06:17 PM,
RE: The Road to Richmond
Thanks for the ideas guys. I have never self-treated any such things before, so all advice is welcome. I will indeed book the Mrs, get out the ibuprofen gel and keep on the ibuprofen tablets. I went for another quarter mile jog this afternoon, and it felt marginally better. I'm hopeful that I can be back in the game by next weekend. But it would be much better to properly see it off than have it lingering.

Having said that, I can also easily see me grinding to a painful halt during the next long run. Will proceed with caution.

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