Last few weeks have been a holding pattern – for much of the world I think. I was musing on the run the other day – last week was my birthday and that morning I planned to get up early and do a long run. I didn’t have much of a plan, it was more a case of throw some food and water in a pack and head out with Murph to enjoy the day before anyone else was awake. As it turned out we did 17 miles and were out for 4 hours plus – which I was happy with, much of the route was beach and much of it was rocky so progress was slow but we loved every minute. Even when with an hour to go the heavens opened and the chill cut in.
I digress – I was musing about the lockdown and how I felt about it. I have friends who are frustrated, depressed and can’t wait until its over – Which is understandable. So I was trying to work out why I feel so relaxed about it all, of course I can get out with the dog that helps but I genuinely am content to sit and wait and sit and wait and sit and wait. You can’t rush this thing, you can’t fight it, you might as well punch fog. No point in being angry it just needs riding out.
And then I figured perhaps I cope because it’s similar in a way to ultrarunning. You grind through it, you chop it down to step by step, you don’t look at the ending, you can’t look at the ending because it’s so far away and that distance is overwhelming. So perhaps ultrarunning has taught me patience and how to deal with living in the moment and taking one step at a time. The goal will come, we will get through this, you can’t rush it, the finish line comes when it comes. You might as well do what you can to enjoy the ride. In last years 50 miler there were moments I wished for the end, 10 miles out I was praying for the line to come, it couldn’t come fast enough. I look back and I see the mistake I made. I concentrated on the end not the journey. It’s inconceviable to me now I did that, I would give anything to be out there right now 40 miles into a race but out in the mountains and in pain. To try to enjoy that last 10 miles instead of wishing them to end.
No those last 10 miles weren’t pretty but they could have been if I’d chosen to embrace them not hate them. It might be a poor anology with people dying out there and losing jobs but times pass and we get one shot, embrace it all, even the shit bits.
Tuesday it was back to normal following the Easter weekend. Well I say normal but of course I’m still off work 😉
So a quick 6 miler in the sun to stretch the legs. Along the cliffs to Cwm Mawr and back.
It feels a little odd at the moment with just over 2 weeks to go until the Preseli Beast. I’m now trying to maintain where I’m at without getting injured which feels almost like I’m putting the brakes on myself when the weather is sunny like this. Perhaps its overcaution but I really don’t want to screw myself over after 4 months of training for this run so I guess it’s listen to the body and force myself to rest every few days …. like today … hey I get to catch up with everyones blogs (and mine)
Still a few days behind but this was sunday where I managed 18 miles or so along the coastal paths. The day before I had managed to sunburn the bottom of my legs while basking in the sun while marshalling the track so I slapped on a bit of suncream and headed out as earlty as it gets for me – 7.45! It was beautiful and chilly at that time.
Once I was back at Monknash and warmed up the sun was rising fast and it was already getting hot, I never work well in heat so this was a good test of how far I’ve come.
Considering it was another long run although it didn’t feel any easier the terrain was harder with more climbing and descending and the heat didn’t help so I was happy to finish 18 miles in under four hours and kept plugging away.
On the way back I had to force my way through these ….
Woke up, the suns shining, the tides out – and i’m injured…. Sod it, the ankles been improving and recovery has hit a flat spot. I’m on my feet every day and there’s been no pain, more of an ache when I get home.
So off I went on an exploratory run to see where I’m at. I didn’t run the quarter mile of road to get to the fields and started on grass – There was no pain just slight discomfort although I was running at a very low intensity with a very low stride height to minimise impact. The fields felt fine and I was enjoying just being back out on the trail.
I sensibly didnt run the rocky path to the beach – go me for resisting!
And this is what I was looking for – low tide and wet sand – destination soft!
Picked up the stride height and pace on the sand and it felt comfortable, I was experiencing what I believe they call in sporting circles – a niggle. Niggle away I thought, I’m enjoying this! I got to the far end of the sand but went no further – I didn’t want to push too hard on my test run – Have I really learned patience?
On the way back I had a thought – If the pain is in the ankle when the rear of my foot impacts – I could do hill repeats on my toes couldn’t I? Well it makes sense to me.
After my hill test I ambled back up the path and across the fields. Admittedly I was limping slightly at this point and if not in pain then discomfort. I may have pushed too far for today but I felt I needed to see where I was at with a few races approaching. I think next sunday is too soon to do an offroad half so sadly I’m letting the Offas Dyke half go but still hope to get down to West Wales in three weeks for the Preseli Beast (though the name is scaring the ankle already)
I’m writing this with my feet in a foot spa thingy I discovered in my spare room which I vaguely remember borrowing from someone years ago and never returned – I may be suffering karmic rebounds!
So far so good but the real test is now how it feels for the rest of the day and tomorrow morning (Which is my birthday! Best present I could have is an improving ankle)
And finally – Spring is here!
Sunday Update – No pain at all this morning – ankle feels good, resisting temptation to run today though, sense prevails!