The Scribbler

19 January 2014

Always learning

Filed under: run,words — The Scribbler @ 22:33
Tags: , , ,
So there I was with a nice new training plan, full of long slow paced runs to build endurance. And then I got up from my chair in the office to walk across the floor and felt it in my left heel. That little nudge, nudge tightness that said plantar fasciitis.I tried to convince myself it was a spot of cramp, shrug it off. But massaging the base of my foot over a golf ball (still got one in my desk drawer), it was just the same tight and uncomfortable feeling as last time. Harumph! Not what I wanted.But I had the advantage this time. I knew what it was and even though it was the merest hint of painful, around a 1 on a scale of 1-10, I knew not to ignore it. Home and on the ice packs and as good a calf massage as I could give myself.

I had to change my plan to pace 30 mins at parkrun last Saturday, volunteering for another role instead, opted for at least a week off running and booked a sports massage.But if I couldn’t run, I could still swim and cycle. I substituted parkrun for a swim and surprised myself at how easily I managed a good distance. On getting out of the pool, I had the brainwave of using one of the jacuzzis and treating my foot to a good massage with the water jets. It loosened up no end.By the time I had my sports massage on Tuesday evening, there was very little pain, and Frances spent a good 30 mins easing up my calf muscles. There’s some satifaction in being able to tell your therapist that it was your posterior tibialis that caused the problems last time, and her getting her fingers to work on the right spot.

NThis Saturday I volunteered once again at parkrun. It was the 4th anniversary of the event and a record breaking turnout of 525 runners at Newcastle. I was handing out number tokens with the smiley blonde lady who encouraged me on my first parkruns, who I now know as my friend Tove. I’m afraid we rather struggled to keep the finish line clear as the crowds came through as it was a very packed finish area, but it was great to be part of it.

By now I hadn’t run for 10 days, and there was no sign of discomfort from walking, so I kitted myself out for a test run. It was grey and drizzly, and the plan was to do a good warm up and drills, then run very easily for 4 mins and walk for 1 minute and repeat. So I made sure I had some good warm layers on and set out.

When running I kept the pace very easy, focusing on keeping good form – light on my feet, shoulders relaxed, thinking about all stages of the run. Of course, I felt like I wanted to keep on running, but the deal was to break it up with short walks and I did. These were useful as they helped me reset and remind myself to focus on form over speed or distance. I could just feel it starting to break down on the last repetition, so had a good easy warm down, stretched and hoped I wouldn’t have aggravated my niggle further. I’ve rarely enjoyed a damp, wet and cold run so much.

Today, all is well. No further pain, so I’ll build back into my running this week provided I have no more problems with my foot. But with a 25k indoor bike session and a 600m swim in the bag today after a decent week’s training, I reckon I’d be okay to get round a sprint tri if you told me there was one next weekend, so that’s not a bad place to be early on in the year.

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