If my last blog finished on a massive high, it's fair to say this one finished on a massive low. Read on to find out why....
Week starting 5th April - 78.45 miles
Last really big week of training before the taper started for my 100 mile race.
Monday - Recovery run following my weekend marathon with my club mate Sam - there's always loads to talk about. Ouchy legs after a big weekend. 5.78 miles. Followed by a S&C session with Tom Smith. The rest of the day was spent chilling out.
Tuesday - Chatty run with my friends Ed and Ellie - lots of laughs. 5.73 miles
Wednesday - 90 minutes with 4 x 6 minutes off 2 minutes jog. 12.00 miles. Pleasantly surprised by my legs - felt pretty rusty but managed to run in the 6.20s for the reps.
Thursday - Rest day
Friday - The aim was 70 minutes pre-breakfast but my husband was in Italy with work so I didn't have time. Ended up finishing work at 9.30pm so accidental rest day. My box-ticking brain isn't happy but the extra recovery will do no harm.
Saturday - Lush chatty run with my good friend Claire. We haven't caught up in ages so it was amazing to run together. 15.18 miles round a hilly but beautiful route. Second run in the afternoon - some fartlek with my friend Ben. Once he had googled 'fartlek' he was a bit happier! 10.18 miles
Sunday - A 'time on feet' run through the Cotswold Way with my friend Minna - 29.58 miles. Kudos to Minna for her excellent route plotting skills.
Week starting May 12th - 77.30 miles
Surprised myself with some top training.
Monday - Recovery run which unfortunately coincided with a Zoom meeting, and after a mad day at work. By the end I felt like my brain was melting. 4.10 miles
Tuesday - Freezing run in the morning, easy pace. 5.48 miles.
In the evening I did a track session with my lovely Team Vosser group. The session was 4 x 3 x 300m. My marathon/ultra brain laughed at my efforts but overall I was really pleased. Still some decent speed in my legs once the rustiness fell away. 6.00 miles total.
Wednesday - Pre on call run. Tired legs after track last night. 7.47 miles. On my easy runs I generally ignore the pace completely and run to feel.
Thursday - Run before work - 11.17 miles.
Friday - Run before work - 5.10 miles. Didn't get out in time to do a progressive run in the evening. Frustrating but work sometimes poops on my plans.
Saturday - Big session today. After a warm up, 20 minutes marathon pace, 2 x 8 minutes continuous hills at threshold and then 20 minutes marathon pace. Smashed the session - super happy. I don't know why but I decided I'd run on trail to cool down. Probably not wise on reflection given a few massive weeks. Fell over after tripping on a small rock and tried to land in a bush. Instead fell in nettles and really banged my knee. Lay on the ground for a while until the nettle pain encouraged me to get up. Somehow I dropped my house key too so I got locked out until Tom came back from a dog walk. Not my finest hour. 15.87 miles
Sunday - Knee loosened up after keeping it up all yesterday. 22.12 miles, the first two hours chatting nonsense with my friend Ben. He's always great company.
Week starting May 19th - 27.60 miles
The sad tale starts.....
Monday - Leg a bit sore and my period arrived unexpectedly. It normally arrives like clockwork on day 30 but it's day 28 this month. It might also have contributed to my fall - I tend to have terrible proprioception in the days before. A big month of training and work. 4.4 miles with my friend Sam. PT with Tom Smith afterwards - feeling good - we had to adapt some of the exercises as my anterior tibialis was a bit sore - no jumping today.
Tuesday AM - 8.03 miles, all easy. PM - steady run which felt a bit harder than I wanted it to. Feet really fatigued today. 5.02 miles for the PM run.
Wednesday - The aim was one of my last big sessions. The aim was 8 x 1 min hard, 1 min easy, 2 x 10 minutes at threshold and 30 mins at marathon pace. Right leg just didn't feel ok from the start generally I felt over-tired and pretty s**t. Stopped mid session (before the second threshold) and had a little cry when I came back. 6.73 miles total. Hoped it was just period and general fatigue. Sadly by the evening my leg hurt going downstairs. Talked to Tom Craggs and we agreed a couple of days off was the first thing to do.
Thursday - Rest
Friday - Michaela McCallum - wonder physio - fitted me in for some treatment. Joint effusion, some bone bruising and so my quads had 'turned off'. Lots of dry needling today. I'm moving ok but the pain is diffuse. Otherwise more rest.
Saturday - Test run today to see how I feel. Leg not too bad. Rehab work in the gym with Tom Smith - trying to get my quads firing again. 3.42 miles.
Sunday - Leg really twinge-y today. 3.31 miles. Probably should have stopped sooner. Trying not to panic about my race in 2 weeks.
Week starting 26th April - 12.59 miles
Trying not to lose my s**t.
Monday - Rest and S&C/rehab with Tom Smith
Tuesday - My first immunotherapy treatment today. I have HORRENDOUS hay fever - I'm allergic to grass - so I'm excited to start 3 years of treatment today. We were ok staff-wise at work so decided to take the day off as annual leave and get some extra recovery in.
Wednesday - Rest and physio today. Michaela was much more positive today - the swelling has really reduced. I already had today booked as an annual leave day to get my hair cut so another day trying to get my leg to recover.
Thursday - 'Rest' - the inverted commas are because my job requires me to run around all day.
Friday - 3.97 miles and my leg hurts. Feeling pretty despondent.
Saturday - Spoke to Tom Craggs again and the plan is to run until my leg starts hurting. Manage 1.69 miles. Desperately trying to keep my brain from panicking about 100 miles in a weeks time! After a final S&C/Rehab session we left for our holidays - a week in Torquay with the dog.
Sunday - 3.62 miles fairly pain -free - WOOHOO!!!! Hopefully I'm on the road to recovery. Lots of walking along the coast which was lovely.
Week starting 3rd May - 61.93 miles
It all goes wrong....
Monday - Leg felt good today and managed 45 minutes, all easy. 5.36 miles.
Tuesday - Finding a flat route in Torquay is impossible!! Probably too much up and down today for my leg - my quads are still a bit spasm-y. 4.62 miles.
Wednesday - Managed to find a grass track to do a progression run for 30 minutes. Nice to get some speedier work done. Leg ok! 4.30 miles
Thursday - 3.54 miles all easy. More of a bimble.
Friday - Shakeout jog before race day tomorrow. Excited now - lots of planning today - once we've driven back to Winchester there's a complicated crewing schedule with lots of snacks to prepare. Knee feeling much better. Everything crossed!
Saturday - Felt good at the start and was going really well for the first 30 miles or so. At that point I really started to notice my right hip flexor was painful and I knew that probably meant my right quad wasn't firing properly. By 35 miles I started to have severe intermittent quad pain which progressed fairly quickly to pain every time my right foot hit the ground. Then it started to hurt to walk. Made the difficult decision to stop. To be honest - I couldn't have continued without wrecking myself. Sat in a daze in the car on the way home. Tough couple of weeks.
Sunday - my right leg is super painful (medial quad) but my left leg could happily run today. The positives are that I'm super fit and I managed 40 miles on a recently injured leg. The downside is that I might have caused some more damage - hopefully not too much - and that I DNF-ed. My first DNF. It really, really hurts to have not finished the race. Lots of tears today - partly because I'm tired and partly because I know how much work has gone into this race. It's so hard to not feel like I've failed. I spoke to my friend Anna who is a physio and she suggested I get a precautionary MRI scan - luckily I have private medical insurance with work so hopefully I can get that sorted in the next couple of weeks. More physio booked with Michaela and then wait and see what happens with my leg. Hopefully a small setback. And, as we all know, a set back is what happens before a comeback.