Wednesday, 20 March 2013

A change is as good as a rest

Thirty-one days to go, and I seem to have hit a physical and psychological wall.

I was so excited after the Inverness HM.  I finished in 2:15, two minutes faster than my Aviemore HM time on a course that was hillier and in weather that was appalling.  But I felt good throughout and even finished ahead of the guy in the Spam costume.  I kept to my plan, which meant that for the first half-mile I was once again the last person in the race but which also meant that I had enough left in the tank to up my pace for the last four miles and to sprint (it's all relative) across the finish line.  I was very pleased with how it went and allowed myself to think optimistically about how it might go in London.

But then, it all started to go ever so slightly wrong.

This is not me.  But it could have been.
I shivered so hard from being cold and wet after the race ended that my left hip flexor seized up.  A quick Google of 'hip flexor pain' brought up a myriad of sites warning that hip flexor pain could be a femoral head stress fracture in disguise.  So now add panic to pain...A visit to Adam the day after the race reassured me as he didn't find much of concern at all and very kindly did not laugh at my stress fracture fears.  Although my hip felt okay the rest of the day, it had tightened up again by the next day and hurt a bit to walk on. 

Today, I was meant to run 6 miles.  I managed 3, and seriously thought about coming back home again after 30 seconds. My ankle hurt.  My achilles tendon hurt.  My calf hurt.  And my hip hurt.  I was expecting tired legs, but not pain.  I stopped to stretch a lot and, by the time I got to 3 miles, things had loosened up but my head was not happy.  I thought that if I continued on, I'd tear something (but really I just wanted to stop) so I gave up and went home.

Not quite what Adam had in mind.
I texted my unhappiness and worries to Adam who, as always, sent me some very patient and helpful replies.  The outcome of this is that I'm not to do any running at all for the rest of this week.  Weights, x-trainer, bike, rower, and swimming are fine but I'm to give my legs a chance to recover from the last two weeks.  This is a reduced mileage week anyway, so I'm not missing out on a huge amount and I'll then go into next week's high mileage week a bit more rested.

More importantly, Adam pointed out that at this stage of training it's common to feel tired and sore and weary of running, and that tired and sore don't automatically mean injury and weary doesn't necessarily mean give it all up.  He also said that, while my pains are real, my thoughts could be contributing to them (e.g. because I'm anticipating injury, I'm tensing my muscles in preparation for something happening which then makes my muscles hurt, and I then think I'm injured etc etc etc). 

Time to take a deep breath and regroup.  Thirty-one days to go.


  1. You'll do it. I'm sure you will. xx

  2. As I've said before, Adam sounds like a complete treasure. I felt much the same after my 1/2M, so his words are very reassuring!

    Congratulations again on your brilliant run!

  3. Thanks for the encouraging words. I'm trying not to envisage the worst, although I was having a look at google again this morning...