Struggling to return to form

Last October I ran in the Royal Parks Half Marathon – with the aim of finishing in under two hours. By the time I got to the final mile it was obvious I was not going to make that, but I was actually doing quite well – and then my legs buckled and I sort of walked, ran and hobbled my way to a 2 hours 12 minutes finish (I was at 20k at about 2 hours and 1 minute).

My injuries weren’t that serious but I did have problems walking without painful calves for more than a few weeks, and my Achilles’s Tendons were sore for longer. All-in-all a bit of a disaster. Running all but stopped and even though I was still going to the gym I managed to put on about 7kg in weight (not helped by Christmas excesses – and US portions).

I did not really help myself – I refused to rest the injury properly and kept trying to run – which usually resulted in poor performance and renewed inflammation.

But by the turn of this year I thought I was in a good enough place to really try again. And I am back running…

….but I am still struggling with it.

Last spring, in the run up to my first half marathon I was running close to 50k a week and I remember thinking I could manage running 10k every day. All that feels like a very long time ago.

Since 1 January I have gone out a few times with the intention of running 10k but have yet to manage it – the latest failure was today when a blister (wrong socks) combined with willpower failure to make me stop at 7k (if I had worn the correct socks maybe I would have made it – and stopping was the right thing to do, but it also felt like a good excuse).

To be sure, the cold weather (this winter is colder than last, though today, at last, had an air of spring about it) doesn’t help, but getting that extra 1, 2 or 3 k in seems like a very tall order just now.

I am turning in decent pace, though – at least for training runs (I’m never going to trouble any leader board). But I haven’t made much progress in shifting the weight – I’ve knocked about 2 kilos off from the very worst, but I am still a fair bit heavier than a year ago.

It’s all a bit disappointing really. Perhaps I was too optimistic about how quickly I could recover and should just keep plugging away?


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