Had a few things going on lately so only a few runs this week. At the moment it feels fine and the body can probably use the lessened milage. Its only three weeks to the Preseli Ultrabeast and in a way I feel like I peaked in the last few weeks so it’s more a case of just keeping the sharpness there. I don’t want an injury. Though I have noticed that despite not running for 3 days the fankles still hurt as normal. I guess they’re just damaged in general although the amount of time I spend on my feet at work doesnt probably help much.
Is it possible to feel too good? Some days I just want to fly and I know if I fly I can break. It’s at the point now where 8 or 9 miles after work (Gotta love BST) feel compltely fine and natural and keep my head in such a good place. I can go faster but I know I dont actually need to go faster. It’s just a matter of having to put the brakes on and it’s hard to drop pace, I naturally keep dropping pace to around 8 to 8.30 minute miles which over that terrain is ridiculous and unsustainable for my body but it just feels so good to fly.
I was torn on sunday about whether to run until I saw the weather and then figured my fankles (new word covering my feet and ankles) would survive one more push. The last few runs I’ve been trialing a thin ankle support and it seems to be making a difference. Plus I wanted to get used to running on tired legs and so another longish run was the order of the day.
A further 12 miles with as much climbing as I could get in (going all the way up Witches Point as hard as I could go after 7 or 8 miles surprised me)
I also had some sad news on saturday night – Master Robert had died. He was a lovely old guy who lived in the big house at the Cwm and owned the Bruce Estate. He loved the beach and area as much as I do and was always picking up litter. Guess I’m the only one left doing that now.
So in the last 4 days I covered 37 miles of pretty hard going terrain. The fankle, although aching a little is holding up. I’m just utterly knackered. Few days off I think
Did 11 on sunday and got back into running with a pack. Its not particulary necessary but the extra water and bananas are nice and I’d better get used to it as Preseli is signed up for (32 ultrabeast) and thats about 10 weeks.
Went along the beach and as the tide was dropping went out past Southerndown on rocks rather than cliffs. The terrain there is a little tricker.
Short midweek run this week of 5 miles up the cliffs as the tide was in. Only the one run in the week – unheard of! The ankle is still niggling me so I figured more rest would help it plus I’m doing a little more work on flexibility and recovery including taking first steps at yoga! Yes indeed yoga. My suppleness could be best described as like an old oak tree, the trunk and major branches dont flex at all but I can move my twigs.
Where the hell do you start with yoga? I started by asking the best in the business – Ceejay! Who very very kindly sent me huuuuuuge emails with instructions, videos, advice and encouragement for which I’m extremely grateful. Also brought it home how much support and help I get from the readers of this blog. Something I certainly didnt anticipate when I started it. So huge thanks to Ceejay and to all of you, the smallest messgae always means a lot and raises motivation =)
So I’ve done it twice now and its harder than I thought, the 20 minute starting video I followed was manageable as long as I paused it long enough to work out how the hell to bend over there while keeping this bit straight over here. So I did what I could and one day I will flex more and will be able to follow properly and better.
As for the long game – Well UTMB released their qualifying rules this week and as per usual I kinda jumped the gun, OCC now requires 6 points in 2 races this year onwards and not 4 – So the races I have planned this year get me 4 and to get the 6 I will need to do a 4 pointer or higher. Thats out of the question this year – its planned, 3 ultras I really want to do, Preseli, Scafell and Sweden plus various other plans. And 4 pointers are basically 50 miler minimum. So I guess thats for next year. It’s a long game and I’m more than happy to be patient and wait a further year. I’m not pushing and breaking myself to rush a 50 or qualifying, it happens when it happens.
Ran the usual on sunday, twas cold and hell windy and I even chased a childs rugby ball which was off down the beach on a mission of its own. The father congratulated me on my excellent ball pickup skills as I swooped, still got the old magic. I lie I never had any magic at rugby I was a prop and in about 15 years I think I touched the ball 3 times and 2 of those were accidental.
Anyway news – I’m off racing in Sweden in August! Decided to get a few UTMB qualifying points abroad and seeing as I’m off for 6 weeks in the summer holidays why the hell not?
Running with someone else has given me a bit of a jolt in that since …. I’m not actually sure when …. I’ve been running in a bit of a comfort zone. It’s been a case of mileage being king, more miles the better and thats it. Time on feet is important but I’ve realised I’ve been doing most of my training in a relatively easy zone, how often am I really training “hard” I’ve slipped into the habit of slow hills and nice easy runs. If I was recovering thats fine but all the time?
So a little speedwork here and there, some of the old fartlek type things have come into play plus hill sprints. Speedwork I quite like, hill sprints I do not. But I think all these things easy, fast and fuck hills need to come together if I want to make the improvements to run well for the rest of the year. Oh and listening to my body (before it breaks down not after)