With the MK Marathon looming on 4th May, I should be well into an injury-free period of tapering. Things are not going to plan and this is unusual for me as normally I like to do these things "by the book".
My training had fallen behind through the pressures of work etc. Such that my long 20 mile easy run in early April didn't go as well as it should (de-hydration, running on empty) and I have an injury. Actually two, I think.
First injury goes back a while and a troublesome muscle in my left calf area. Second injury is the classic over-use shin splints, again in my left leg.
Now I am trying to achieve that tricky balance of resting and yet doing a few miles to stay used to running. I can tell you, I feel torn between wanting to get out there and run every day (I find myself yearning for a threshold run) and yet I know it would be disasterous if I went running everyday.
So today is Saturday and I went for a hilly 7.5 mile run, previous run was Wednesday where I did 4.5 miles on a flat path. Which do you think was harder? Yep the shorter run on wednesday. Why? Read on....
Having rested on Thursday and Friday, this made a real difference. Having said that I did start the run by hobbling a bit, almost to the point of wondering if I'd make it. Thankfully it eased and I was able to run well. Every now and again I would find myself landing on the ball of my feet (which seems a more instinctive running form now) and this would be painful in my leg. Running by landing on my heel didn't help and so a rather mid-foot landing eased the pain but I kept forgetting to do this! I might experiment with a little DIY padding, although I know this will be frowned upon by some purists! Needs must.
I have chatted this through with some friends who are fellow runners. All sympathetic and some commented that I "had it coming" through possible over-use and secondly, because I have been relatively free of any problems like this in all the years I have been running and injuries have finally caught up with me. A kind of justice perhaps? Thanks guys!
I suspect I will have an uncomfortable time over the next week or so, trying to be patient and perhaps a short jog or two. I do have some free gym passes so I think some cross training is in order, perhaps a swim as well. On the big day I am hoping to get around alright, probably helped by a dose of Ibuprofen (dose that count as doping!?!?) and then gallons of Cherry Active to help ease my muscles.
Man this is frustrating!