Thursday, 2 June 2011

All bets are off

Next week Chester marathon training (was due to) start. That required me to run 54 miles in the first week.

I haven't ran 54 miles over the last 5 weeks.

At the moment I'm not able to run much more than 6 miles and I can't do hills or speedwork as to do so would cause my achillies injury to flare up again. Similarly I can only manage these short slow runs with a good 4 days rest between. Anything more than this and I'm limited to hobbling round the house. In the last 10 days I've aborted three runs where I felt just about ok but the moment I took the first running step I had to stop.

Not sure what I have done to it - though achillies tendinitis is common in middle aged men according to net research. A fact which cheered me up no end. Presumably my prostate will be next to go?

Realistically there is not the slightest chance I could get up to the required mileage next week. If the achillies healed quickly I might just manage to take 2-3 weeks to ramp up to a lower mileage training plan but that would be pretty unlikely to succeed as tendons are so slow to heal. I'd be odds on to make the injury worse. Besides which that wouldn't be the training (or therefore race) that I planned.

Add to that my weight. I'd need to be dieting carefully at the same time as marathon training. That's the equivalent of Hitler fighting the war on two fronts: sure I'd defeat France and send the British running back across the channel but on the other side there would be an inevitable Stalingrad. You can't successfully do both. Plus that would put me in the guise of Hitler and I don't like that.

So, I've accepted now that Chester isn't happening, and now I'm giving myself another week away from running at least. I'm not going to try and diet during this time either.

Hopefully in a week, or however long it takes I can begin to slowly reduce weight while slowly increasing running; do some runs simply for fun and maybe by the autumn be in a position to run some really good shorter races.

If I do that there's no pressure to chase impossible weight targets and no need to push my running too hard. In both cases there's then less to get stressed about.

For this course of action do I deserve a medal or are you sending me a white feather?


Maria said...

I reckon a medal. I would say a cookie but I don't want to be sabotaging the goals already!
I think if you have an injury then it is sensible to ease off now, and hopefully give it time to heal, and then aim for something later on in the year.

~Jessica~ said...

Medal? I'd give you a trophy. It takes a true athlete to know when to back off, and that's something that always wrecks my training.

I've had achilles issues too a while back in 2009, and hills seemed to aggravate them too, where as treadmills weren't so bad.

I think easing up on yourself in general is a good thing. I'll never see you as Hitler though no matter what. You're more of a Churchill (in attitude, NOT appearance!) to me.

Alison said...

I think this absolutely the best decision. Like you say, achilles injuries are notoriously problematic, and even if it healed well, you'd still be struggling to get back to full fitness during the marathon training. I think you're right to take the pressure off and let you ankle -- and approach to food -- heal in their own time.

It meant a lot to me what you said in response to my post today too. It is terribly hard to be prudent about these things and not chase after glory etc (blah blah!), and especially so when you're blogging about it for others to read. But I figure these problems are so common amongst people who run and work out, that it's better for us all to talk about it, right? Just from reading your post I feel better (reassured?) about my own position.

Are you going to be cross training during this time, or are you taking an entire week off? I guess I'll watch this space...

Anonymous said...

It's annoying when the ambitious plans we make don't work out ... still, it looks like you're being very sensible about it all! Hope that achilles heals soon.

Rose said...

Definitely a medal. It's much hard er to NOT run than it is to run and your achilles will thank you forever more.

I don't know if it's the same but when I had tendonitis in my wrist I had a course of TENs treatment which really helped. Might be worth consulting a physio. They are pricey but if you keep an eye on Groupon they seem to be pushing them at the moment!