Understandably, there was no pressure to run!
Last week’s update
The eagle-eyed amongst you will have spotted there was no weekly update to cover marathon race week. I’d pretty much summed it up in the race report, but for those curious, these are the runs I completed:
- Monday – 10 miles – to Solihull and back
- Wednesday – 7 miles, with 2 at marathon pace
- Friday – 3 miles shakeout
A return to sports massage
Lis strongly suggested I seek out a walk-in sports massage appointment with my time off from work. As luck would have it, the Guildhall Practice was just an 800m walk from home and could squeeze me in that Tuesday afternoon.
Whilst incredibly pricey at £42 for 45 minutes of work and a 15 minute consultation, I would seriously consider returning there, albeit not on a regular basis for cash flow reasons.
My practitioner (Sam) was confident, thorough and, importantly, listened to me. He was very good at reading a person in just a few minutes of dialogue; after his assessment of my posture and feet, he remarked that I had low arches and whether I had appropriate footwear. I quickly commented that I wear neutral shoes to compliment my running style, and very rarely pick up niggles or injury, backed up by taking almost a year between 2011 and 2012 to learn how to become a forefoot striker. “If it’s not broken, then we don’t need to fix it,” was his approach, which was a tick in the right box for me. He told me a story of how one of his clients is a 60 year old, life-long power-lifter that suffered from extreme back pain from a lifetime of training loads. Sam said rather than chop out the power-lifting entirely, he worked with the guy to minimise the pain as much as possible so as to still allow the client to lift, citing that removing the lifting completely would have done no mental good, either. It was genuinely refreshing to see such an approach, versus other practices where I was essentially paying to be told I was doing everything wrong and made to feel incredibly small.
45 minutes on the physio table was enough to remind me of why it had been over 2 years since I last spent time on one! Sam worked on all the problem areas: quads, adductors, IT bands, calves and glutes, whilst skipping over my naturally tight, but not troublesome hamstrings. Expectedly, I was sorer after the massage than post-marathon! The temporary trauma was worthwhile, because I felt near-perfect the day immediately after.
The Guildhall Practice can be found in Kings Heath, on Alcester Road South. Not cheap, but not arseholes either!
4 miles from city centre
This was my first run post-marathon, with the aim of the game to run s-l-o-w!
Dusk was quickly falling, but Cannon Hill Park was positively bustling with runners getting in last minute workouts ahead of the Great Birmingham Run.
Here’s the Strava data for this run.
Cannon Hill Parkrun
It was a shame I was still firmly in recovery mode, because I’d have otherwise gone out hard at Cannon Hill Parkrun for an artificial boost to my runbritain handicap, what with all the tapering runners around.
Instead, I ran a personal worst 5k with the goal of keeping Nigel Beecroft’s friend, Alex, under control to keep him from wrecking his half marathon the following day. A couple of last minute tips were also thrown in to give Alex the best chance of success on the day.
Here’s the Strava data for this run.
Great Birmingham Run 2016
My second year of not running my hometown half marathon; I know my limits and left my best back in York last week. Come rain or shine, though, I was ready to get some spectating done on that notorious hill.
Joined by Carl Stainton and his son, Marc, we were there with plenty of time to see the elites come through. As a big fan of Andy Vernon and Chris Thompson, it was a shame not to see the two duking it out on the climb, having decided their fates some 4 miles earlier.
I think I saw everybody I aimed to see, plus many others I wasn’t expecting to. Good to also have so many blog readers recognise me – hope my cheers were of some use to you!
A selection of photos from the day below: