Thursday, 22 January 2009

The ups & downs of 2008

I only managed one run in the whole of January - a short jog at the end of the month. Once I'd decided to skip the marathon there was no obvious objective, besides which I was out of the running routine. I was also increasing my weight at a ridiculous rate: 4 weeks without a kitchen, living off takeaways and meals out was great at the start but I was sick of them by the end and there was alot more of me too.

By the middle of February I was eating normally (and losing some weight), enjoying a lovely new kitchen and began to run again. They were short, slow and felt hard work but I was back on track.

Weight fluctuated over the next few months, peaking after a week in Rome after Easter, but generally being between 13 and 14 stones. Heavier than I wanted by some way but sometimes feeling hopeful. Running improved both in speed and disance and there were no injury problems. I lapsed for a couple of weeks on 3-4 occassions but always came back with no ill effects and probably maintained some sort of running routine quite well considering there were no races entered or club to run with.

A fortnight in Kos at the end of July disrupted running again and, unsurprisingly, added more than a few pounds too but with summer holiday out of the way the start of marathon training for Paris 2009 was just about visible on the horizon and I began to hatch my plans.

I began running again at the start of August and things went steadilly well. I worked out my 16 week plan would commence on 16th December and planned to build a good base and get my weight down to 11.5 stones by then. I also stopped drinking alcohol, initially with the intention of being 'dry' until my birthday at the beginning of November but by then I felt no desire to start again.

The weight loss progressed but not at the right speed. The running itself went better. I had the aim of doing 3 runs a week at first, building to 4, plus a 2 mile jog with my eldest daughter. Mileage would quickly go up to 20-28 miles a week with a couple of 15 mile runs before December 16th and weekly 10 - 13 mile long runs.

By the middle of October I was comfortably on track and probably running as quickly as I'd ever done. Even though I was still just over 13st I'm pretty sure I'd have broken my 10k PB with relative ease had I raced at that time. I struggled with a bit of pain in my inner left thigh at the end of the month, which mirrored some pain I'd had over the winter of 06/07, which forced me to cut back a bit. We went away for a week in Scotland at that time and I had fancied doing a couple of long runs on the West Highland Way but in the end setled for a slow, painful, hilly 5 miles on some forest trails north of Drymen. Nice views though. Unsurprisingly the meals out also took their toll but a visit to Edinburgh convinced me to enter that city's marathon for 2009 too.

Still, on the 9th November I did 14 relatively easy feeling miles at a reasonable pace. From about 6 miles though I'd been getting pain in my left lower leg in exactly the same spot I had pain in 2007, an injury which disrupted my running for sometime afterwards. The next day I did a 2 mile jog and the pain was there again from the outset. I decided to head for the physio and made an appointment for a week later and didn't run before.

By the time of the appointment I was pain free and the physio simply advised that I take it easy for a couple of weeks then maybe cut back on speed and distance whilst re-starting the exercises the podiatrist had prescribed the previous year and which I'd neglected for a while.

With the halt to the running came a halt to the weight loss and my weight began to creep steadilly upwards. I did run again on the 30th of November - just 4 miles - but didn't follow that up as running lost out to a range of other distractions: work, decorating the bedroom in the newly completed loft conversion, cooking and freezing the curries we were having for Christmas dinner, assembling a range of wardrobes, beds, cupboards, Christmas shopping and wrapping and so on. I also came down with a heavy cold in the middle of December that took several weeks to properly shift.

The starting date for marathon training came and went but I didn't run again until, ironically, Christmas day when I managed (on a whim) 3 flabby miles along the canal. The cold came back with a vengeance and that 3 miles proved to be my last run of the year.

It had started slowly and ended in a similar manner. I was painfully aware that the Paris marathon was only 3 months away and had no desire to drop out again. New year, new focus...

1 comment:

Simon Anderson said...

Good luck for Paris.

All the best,