Blisters and Boinking (not bonking).

What I had planned for Sunday and what I actually acheived are very different. I was scheduled to run a 10-miler (my first), in hopefully around 1 hour 40. The weather was cool and dry and the route fairly forgiving. What actually happened was I couldn’t mentally get “in the zone”, I “boinked” after 4.5 painfully slow miles and I am now also host to multiple blisters, the daddy of them all being on my left arch and the size and shape of a Bernard Matthews’ Turkey Drumstick (Bootiful).

I can only guess at why I bottomed out after 45 minutes and the absolute best I could do for the remaining 6 miles was mostly walk, with a wee bit of half-arsed staggering thrown in to amuse the Sunday dog-walkers.

1) I just wasn’t physically ‘up to’ a long run today. ( kinda forgot I was suffering from a bug just 4 days ago).

2) wasn’t hydrated enough (drinking one pint of water beforehand was inadequate, seeing as I was parched when I got up).

3)I wasn’t mentally “up to it” either. ( For mystical reasons which evade my understanding, there are certain days in a month when all I really want to do is be indoors on a comfy sofa. I can’t get into the right frame of mind and really lack in stamina).

4) Half a bowl of bran flakes is not enough fuel to see me cover that distance.

5) I wore new shop-bought orthotics for the first time and although they worked wonders in that my left shin and ankle are pain free, it felt like someone was slowly burning a hole in my left foot. (Hence the behemothic blister).

Mustn’t grumble though; the pain and tenderness in my lower left leg has completely disappeared with the introduction of the orthotic. There has to be some compensation to pay for this I suppose (in addition to the heavy price tag of around £20) and that is that my foot feels like it’s been flayed. Tis only skin deep though – I would much rather I had an external problem than an internal one.

And as far as not completing my first 10 miler, I need only think back to May last year and my first venture out the house to embark on a ‘run’. 3 minutes in I was collapsed against a tree, making breathing noises like a telephone sex pest and convinced that my eyes had come loose in their sockets. I can’t expect every run to be better that the last.

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This week’s ‘long’ run/stumble/crawl…

I set out with the intention of running 7 miles…and managed to, eventually! Had to stop and walk twice, for a bit – and the massive hill at the end of shoesmy run was pretty testing, but I did it. Amazingly, I finished with no physical injuries, just incredibly exhausted and thirsty (depsite having consumed 700ml during the run).
However, one week later and I reckon I have what is known as shin splints; basically pain in my shin muscle/tendon area. Scheduled for tomorrow is my first 8-miler, and I seriously doubt I could run even one mile at the moment. Damn, blast and poo-pants. S’not fair!

I’m hoping a combination of stretching, ice-pack and ibuprofen will get me through it – I’m fitter than I’ve ever been in my whole life and mentally strong – trust my body to let me down…

Weekly mileage – 19/09/09

Commute: 68 m

Bike@work: 8 m

Runs: 9 m

Total Joolz leg-powered travel : 85m

I had a big, bad-ass commute on Monday, 25 miles each way to a training course. I’ve done it before,  and although this time my knees faired batter afterwards, my exhaustion-level was pretty bad! At 2 hours each way, it’s only half as fast to drive it,  so that’s not too bad going I suppose!

Monday’s mega-mileage took all my pizazz for the rest of the week, so I just stuck to one half-day on the mountain bike at work and two days of my normal 9 mile commute.

Sunday was the furthest I’ve ever run without stopping – 6 miles! woo-hoo! I ran it with about 70% effort, as it’s more important for me to just do the mileage on my long runs than to get some amazing time.  1 hour dead was the time, so I’m happy with 10min-mile pace.  The distance is going up by a mile a week, in order for me to have any chance of completing a half-marathon in a month’s time.  I’m having trouble with keeping myself hydrated now though – I bought a ‘Nathan’ lumbar pack bottle holder, but it bumps about too much and the belt doesn’t stay in place. I don’t like the idea of holding a bottle in my hands, as I like them to be free to blow my nose, use my ipod and fend off tramps/wild dogs/feral children. I thnk there’s another blog post in there…hydration systems for runners. If anyone is reading this and would like to comment, don’t be shy!

Weekly mileage – 12/09/09

Commute: 18 m

Bike@work: 83 m

Runs: 8 m

Total Joolz leg-powered travel : 109m

I’ve been riding my bike as much as possible, trying to get a base level of fitness to prepare me for the proper long-haul training. I’m lucky because I get to ride at work too, although on a mountain bike, which makes it hard-going on roads.

Have a front derailleur issue has prevented me from commuting every day this week, as well as working late on a Friday. I don’t want to cycle back home along dark country lanes knowing how many drunk drivers there are out there! Even with my huge, flapping (oi!) hi-vis vest, some people still don’t see me until they’re right behind me. I’m all for equal opportunities, but letting blind people drive is a little *too* lax, methinks.

I’m trying to get in shape to do a half-marathon in October, but knowing my knee/back issues, I won’t expect too much of myself. The plan is to run twice a week, with a long run on a Sat or Sun increasing by a mile a week. I don’t care how long it takes me, so long as I manage to get the distance in! So this weekend it’s supposed to be 6 miles….I’ve never run that far before, arrrrghhhhhh.

At least with all this exercise I get to eat as many donuts/crisps/pies as I want. Trouble is my thighs are getting rather well-developed…