Wednesday, 26 January 2011

Mental meanderings

Just over 10 weeks now until the Paris marathon.

I blogged last week about marathon training provoked episodes of self-doubt, and this morning I've been pondering related subjects.

Yesterday my legs felt a little bit sore, not the general feeling of stiffness and soreness I'd had in recent weeks but a specific extremely tender spot on each calf. The plan called for 8 miles steady, cue several hours of conflicting thoughts on whether to rest, run or compromise.

Walking from a car park to/from a meeting seemed to help loosen things and I decided to run but with the option of bailing out if necessary.

After only 10m it felt like it was going to be necessary as the pain was highly noticeable but I carried on. At 2.5 miles it was no better, and I felt generally fatigued to boot, but it seemed as easy to carry on round the loop as to turn around so carry on I did. Then, just after 3 miles the pain vanished. I don't know if it was endorphins, increased blood flow or warmth but the tender spots weren't causing any problems.

By 6 miles though it had become an effort. Not this time because of soreness but simply because it felt like hard work. I completed the run but realised that Sunday's efforts weren't yet out of my system. In the end I did a reasonably hilly and often muddy 8.04 miles at 8:42 pace.

Last night and this morning my legs feel ostensibly fine, but I know that the tender spots will still be very tender to the touch.

The worries before and during the run extend into a general fear that the pain is something chronic that could become acute as training increases. Not a whole lot I can do about that other than persevere along current lines and use judicious rest if necessary.

On a more positive mental note I felt quite excited this morning when reading about where I'll be staying in Paris.

Last night we were talking about money (which will be the subject of a blog later - where I'll be asking for advice in relation to eating and budgeting) and got onto the subject of how we can limit expenditure in Paris. That led to my looking up when the balance is payable this morning and from that I began looking at images of the place and the map of the area. I vaguely know the area, simply because the marathon route goes through it, and I could picture myself walking round there, heading into the neighbouring parc, to the Metro, to the marathon expo and so on.

It felt good to get away and be in Paris even if only virtually and for a second or two. Only 72 days until we fly...72 days...


Alison said...

I love love love Paris. It's such an amazing city!

As you know, worrying like this is just natural fallout from the investment that you're making in this training plan. It's normal. So from that point of view, there's no need for meta-worry! I also think that it's probably around this point that a more general fatigue starts to set in. You're just not going to feel as fresh as when you were running lower mileage with longer rest periods. But that's what the taper is for, to shake that off. So I don't feel like there's any need to worry about general fatigue. The calves are of course more of a concern, but like you say, just keep up with the stretching, sports massage if needed.. To a certain extent, you just are going to hurt though -- you're marathon training FFS! That's hard!!

~Jessica~ said...

I flinch and hyperventilate with anxiety at the slightest twinge of injury too, which with my record means I'm jacked up on adrenaline most of the time :P Fingers crossed everything's okay for you.

Paris isn't too bad in terms of expenses, certainly not compared to London at least.

Sending healing thoughts towards your calves...


BabyWilt said...

So its not long now until you can claim Paris marathon success 2011, it will be great and you know it. Just keep up with positive mental images, feelings and thoughts.

I love Paris as well, spent the millennium there - so so beautiful ..... aaaahhhhh there I go as well.

Laura said...

All this talk of Paris is making me jealous! When I run my first marathon (not for a few years I reckon) it will have to be Paris or Berlin, they look like such good races and I love those cities!

Maria said...

I bet that will be a great marathon to run- lots of sights to see. You are probably getting tired as you are doing lots of miles a week- working towards the taper soon!

rose said...

I think that this kind of mental torture is an essential part of marathon training.....i.e. how do I make this scary northern bloke have the strength to get through that mile 20 barrier....I know I'll give him a really tough run at regular intervals in training...throw in an ache or pain or two...repeat that pain just to try to create panic rather than just worry....stir a bit....leave to boil until running fairy returns........

I think the trouble with the Long runs (I don't say slow as you don't seem to do that!) is that it affords far too much thinking time...never healthy!