This week’s running – 2nd to 8th of January 2017


Unlucky or cursed, you decide!

Motivation and an appetite for running are probably at a record low…

14 miles

I had a feeling this run would be challenging, down to having missed a couple of long runs in recent weeks due to illness. In my mind, I needed this run to go off without issue and that all the work towards the Brass Monkey Half Marathon would not be in vain.

Sadly, I was right and a challenge is what I got. From about mile 12 onwards, I somehow hit the metaphorical wall, due to either being under-fuelled, or burning through too much energy due to lack of recent endurance training.

To make matters even worse, an Achilles niggle crept back in and made itself known. Thankfully, the pinching sensation subsided once I was fully warmed up.

Here’s the Strava data for this run.

When it rains, it pours

Becoming ill once and DNFing a race is unlucky. Becoming ill again shortly afterwards is unfortunate. Then picking up an injury, no matter how minor, is damn unfathomable, but it’s happened.

I took a few more days off from running in the hope that the Achilles niggle would clear itself up, losing yet more training time.

Plenty of gentle massage, occasionally with ibuprofen gel or Deep Heat, was just the ticket. I was still suffering from a lack of motion range, but crucially, any sensations of pinching or bruising had subsided.

Cannon Hill Parkrun

My 2 mile test jog to Cannon Hill Park confirmed I was able to at least jog, pain-free. My 200m set of strides with Simon and Nigel confirmed I was at least able to cover a short distance at speed, pain-free.

I wanted to see what kind of shape my cardiovascular system was in, and it wasn’t pretty. Going out hard over 5k prior to illness, I was somewhere in the region of 18:30 to 18:40 shape on an average Saturday. I ended up running 19:13 with the following splits:

  • 3:48
  • 3:54
  • 3:57
  • 3:56
  • 3:35

I was pretty much finished at the end and could not have gone any faster. A real contrast to when I could pace somebody to a sub-19 with enough capacity to still be able to speak with snatched sentences! Ever the eternal optimist, I did at least run 5k at what felt like PB effort, pain-free…

Here’s the Strava data for this run.

Brass Monkey 2017 outlook

I’ve made the difficult decision to treat the upcoming Brass Monkey Half Marathon as a swift training run. A real shame because it’s one of the flattest and fastest half marathons I have access to each year.

With everything that’s happened in the last five or so weeks, I’m in no fit state to be chasing sub-85 over 13.1 miles, and would only be setting myself up for an almighty fall if I did chase it. I’ve recast my objective to simply dip under 90 minutes as a marathon target pace run.

I’m obviously disappointed, though have chalked it up as the recreational hazards of running competitively, even if I am just competing with myself. I will have to get used to disappointment from here on out; somebody recently said to me their 10k PB was more than two years old, yet they’re still as motivated as ever to put the graft in.

The hunt for replacement races begins…




4 thoughts on “This week’s running – 2nd to 8th of January 2017

  1. Ack, sorry you’ve had such a run of bad luck and picked up an injury. Smart decision about Brass monkey though I think. Better to save any attempt for when your feeling in top shape than risk even more injury. Hopefully you’ll find another race (Could do Swansea – super flat!)

    • Lis would actually like that! I’m still looking at Thorpe Park Half and poss Great Manchester Half due to when they fall. March is a write-off due to other activities, ruling out a lot of options.

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