Wednesday, 14 July 2010

I'm a Guinea Pig

I'm going to make the uncommon (for me) move of updating a couple of days into the week.

Monday was a rest day; just a bit of caution after Saturday's difficult feeling run and recognition of some possible groin discomfort.

Not sure whether the latter is real or not. In a response to Alison's excellent blog (linked to on the right) I stated my belief that marathon training is as much a mental challenge as a physical one i.e. one that's filled with obsessive introspection, doubt and phantom concerns. I think training harder after a long injury is similar. I probably get little niggles all over my body and think nothing of them but if its in my lower abs I take the slightest twinge to be a portent of doom.

Whether real or imagined I'm starting to do the core stability exercises that I have largely, but not entirely, neglected since the middle of May. If it is real I hope they'll nip it in the bud.

Back to Monday. I certainly embraced the rest and refuelling principles, as having been good all day I weakened and allowed myself to go through half a dozen slices of bread, a 9-Bar and two Club biscuit bars in the evening to take me comfortably over calorie target. Its tough on 1250 kcals without any exercise calories to burn and, perhaps, I needed it.

Yesterday I reclaimed half of the excess. A long trip down to Essex and back during the day along with a planned run in the evening limited my ability to eat (though even then the diet Gods looked down kindly on me as when I stopped at a petrol station I decided to get a chocolate bar to help keep me awake but found myself at a 'pay at the pump only' pump). Then, in the evening, I headed up to Fewston & Swinsty reservoirs, north of Otley, to recce the three relay routes for Friday's relay event with a group of Abeey Runners, most of whom were faster than me. In all I covered 9.6 miles, with the first 3 miles at 10k pace and the remainder at half marathon pace. I'm happy with that, particularly as it was largely off road in the pouring rain and featured several short, sharp inclines.

Overall, despite being about a stone heavier than where I want to be I feel I'm running better than at the equivalent weight last year and possibly better than I was when racing half a stone lighter.

I found out yesterday that I've been accepted to take part in a trial at Carnegie Sport College that'll consist of 2 hours running to exhaustion in a VO2 max test and then a second test a couple of days after. The second of these is the day after the Pudsey 10k race I've entered, and as a result I'll pull out of the 10k. I'm not too bothered by that. Its a horribly hilly route that wouldn't really tell me anything much about my condition or form; probably more an invitation to injury than anything else.


Alison said...

Thanks for the citation Rob ;)

Christ, obsession introspection says it all. It's amazing the problems and obstacles and fears that we can create just my thinking too much. Is this just a runners thing? An endurance training thing? Or a personality thing more generally...

I love the positivity that comes out of your posts though. Glad to hear you're back on the core work, and that you can see that you're running better, despite not being where you want to be weight wise.

Surely improvement is not just about identifying the things that need changing, but also acknowledging and celebrating the things that we are doing well.

That and just grabbing life by the balls! ;)

Running Rob said...

I think an element of it is a personality thing - a need to understand the minutae - but its far from uncommon amongst runners, especially first time marathoners.