I did my last race, a half marathon, 3 weeks ago today.
I have the Amsterdam marathon in 3 weeks time.
I have not run, or walked more than essential small distances, in the last 3 weeks. It is likely that I won’t run, but hopefully I will be walking more extensively, over the next 3 weeks.
Hence, in effect, a 6 week taper.
The reason? Even before my last race I was suffering with a pain in my right foot. It had appeared 4 weeks previous to the race. It was intense immediately after runs, but gradually faded over the next 5/6 days.
I ran over the next 3 weekends, including 2 half marathons.
After the Bacchus the pain was much worse and did not go away.
I had it X-rayed and a stress fracture, from 4 weeks earlier was diagnosed.
“Six weeks since your last run before you can expect to run again” I was told by the doctor.
That would make it on the day of the Amsterdam marathon.
Earlier this week recovery was seemed to be almost non-existent, and I was very down.
Then I discovered another marathon, 3 weeks after Amsterdam that would fit my plan nicely, and was still open for registration.
Should I enter? It certainly would be at the opposite end of the difficulty spectrum from the flat Amsterdam course.
The maybe necessary extra 3 weeks recover won the day so the registration, flight and hotel were booked.
Of course sod’s law immediately came into play, and my foot seemed to start to recover much more quickly.
The question might now become, should I run Amsterdam if my foot is OK or should I just wait for Athens.
And if I do Amsterdam, should I then also go for Athens, even though it is bound to be even harder going after run one just 3 weeks earlier.
And if things seem OK this time next week am I going to be stupid and run the half marathon I have entered in Brussels?
It is going to be an interesting next 3/6 weeks.
Not possible, I hear you say. the New Year doesn’t start then so this is wrong. Well my New Year does, 14 April is my birthday and it is a very significant year. Although I have already retired, and I have my senior bus pass, at the end of this year the government will be giving back to me some of my hard earned money in the form of a pension. Today I enter my 65th year. When better to make some resolutions? Actually it is that is wrong; they cannot be resolutions, more aims/targets because to some degree they are not as controllable as are New Year Resolutions, they can only be what I am hoping to achieve.
1 Complete 50 to get the red 50 top
2 Run in under 23min Achieved on 18 May
3 In 50min Achieved on 16 June
4 In 1:50:00
5 In 1:35: 00 to qualify for the New York Marathon (strange that you can qualify with a half marathon time)
6 Complete my first Achieved 10 November The Athens Classics Marathon
7 In under 4h
8 In under 3:55:00 to qualify for the Boston Marathon
Which of these are likely? In order
6 All things being equal, almost certain?
1 This should be OK. To date I have done 11 Parkruns, so only need another 39! Easy I hear you say, as with the extra runs there are at Christmas and New Year (and mid-summer?) there will be at least 55, so I can miss 16. This will depend upon how many holidays out of the country I take (I will be surprised if this doesn’t include 4 Saturdays) and how many other official runs I do, as I am unlikely to run a Parkrun the day before (my a week before a marathon); so far I only have 2 booked but I will be surprised if I don’t do at least 6 in the 12 months.
4 My most recent time in Marseille was officially 1:54:05; there were issues with the timing and I recorded 1:53:29. The run included a section where we walked for about a minute because others didn’t want to run through puddle. Many other runners also suggested the distance also was not correct, I measured it to be almost 100m long. These 2 factors suggest a time close to 1:52, and because of injury the run was done with little training over the previous 3 months. So the target is highly achievable.
7 This is the aim for many first time marathon runners. The required pace is 10.55km/h; I have maintained more than this for 35k when not specifically training for a marathon, so I have to believe it is possible.
8 Requires 10.77km/h, if I can get under 4 hours I can get this.
2 At present my PB is just under 25min, but I have yet to run in anything but mud with lots of water making it hard going. I’d be disappointed not to achieve this. Update. 1st Parkrun of my New Year, knocked 52s off PB, so now just 65s to go to achieve this. Marvelous how a lack of mud helps! Further update. 5 parkruns into the year, 4 PBs and the ‘resolution’ achieved with a time of 22:58. Feeling good after a my half marathon PB last weekend as well.
3 Although I don’t enter 10k runs I should do as part of my marathon preparation. This target will involve running at 12km/h and my Parkrun target required 13.1 km/h. But I don’t go in for ‘quick’ running… Did I set this target too low? On my first official 10k, RunThrough Wimbledon Common, on 16 June I ran 49:06:7. It was Father’s Day and my daughter ran with me, rather than attempting to better her PB of 41:51 achieved the previous week. I can genuinely say I would not have achieved the time without her, and it certainly proved the point often espoused that having a partner to run with makes a difference. Although she didn’t actually bully me along the way, she did encourage me at the times I was suggesting I was suffering! And I proved to myself that you have to be prepared to push through the fatigue barrier when the running gets ‘difficult’. The run was even more pleasing as I had run 30k 7 days earlier and I wasn’t sure if I had recovered sufficiently to run at a good (for me) pace.
5 Not a hope!!
Of course the key feature to achieving any of these is staying injury free.
Although this is our 5th full day here it is the first time I have actually blogged from the beach, sitting under a reed woven sun-shade; but as I am immobile I do need something to do. But first I did catch up the the very latest episode of HIMYM, so now we know when and where Ted meets his wife, but not exactly who it is, can there possibly be a twist at the end? I do love the technology that allows me to be away from my home country, using a tablet, to download a program a few hours after it was first shown in the States.
Today the plan had been to hire bikes and ride as many km along the beach as we could. Then return and do an open-water (The Indian Ocean) swim, followed later (when it cooled down) by a few k run. However last night’s happening has put paid to everything.
It was as if the ‘knee incident’ reported yesterday was a premonition.
Here’s why. On the was down the stairs, after dinner but not in the slightest incapable, I caught the toe end of my left shoe on the last but one step. The last step is actually very wide, and I landed VERY heavily on my right leg. The pain in my thigh was instant, sharp and lasting, and the language appropriate. inappropriate I knew immediatly it wasn’t the kind of thing I normally run off. I was brought a bag of ice which I applied for quite some time. I struggled back to our room. It took a long time to get comfortable enough to sleep. Things were easier this morning, but swelling was obvious. The right kind of slow movement was possible, but any kind of sudden movement of the right leg resulted in pain. Two cocktails on the bar list seem very appropriate, I should have had ‘Mind your Step’ last night and ‘Damage’ would seem appropriate for tonight!
So here I am with no prospect of running in the near future. But because everything is now an effort even a walk to the bar can be claimed as Janathon exercise. I will be trying a walk along the beach later in preparation for a planned day 19 activity tomorrow which will be heavily cut back.