Wednesday, 24 March 2010

Well Well ...

... it is never a good idea to be too smug so after my good run on Sunday I have landed back on my feet. The physio had been working hard on both of my Achilles tendons and reckoned that with about 4 intensive sessions just for the Achilles tendons (involving rather painful massage to break up any tissue etc)we should see an improvement. When I started my run on Sunday the left one was a bit sore at the beginning but that soon disappeared. And apart from when you apply pressure I don't really get much pain from the Achilles. But the discomfort on pressure is obviously a sign that something is not quite right. That's why I decided to get it treated.

So yesterday (my 3rd session) the area in question was very tender, in fact worse than at the first session. So he reckoned I should really take it easy for 2 weeks, not run more than 5M every 2nd day to give it a chance to improve. Or else I might not be able to start the Fling! NOT what I wanted to hear! He has also given me some mild orthotics in case the overpronation support that I already have in my Asics is just not enough. And even though the Trabuccos have some support, I guess it is not as much as the running shoes. That would make sense as the problem is rather symmetrical, slightly worse on the left but in the same area. On a good note, he was quite impressed about the state of my muscles after this long run. He reckoned that "biomechanically" my body seems to be able to take the "pounding" and it is the Achilles area that is the problem but it could be sorted if I gave it TIME! Time I do not have if I want to have a go at the Fling. He thinks it is the downhill running that puts the most strain onto the Achilles area.

Anyway, I think I will take it easy for at least 1 week until the next appointment, then maybe another. And then I still have nearly 3 weeks to get a few longer runs in. Just when the season has started! :-(

Monday, 22 March 2010

32 Miles on the Way

Yesterday I ran from BoO to KHH (and a bit further) and back to Tyndrum, making it my 2nd longest run ever (the Devil being the longest). I ran it completely self-sufficient with a new larger backpack that not only had all my food but also some spare clothes in there. I refilled my water once at KHH. All in all I was on my feet for 7h:13min. Needless to say I felt very pleased with myself!

The plan was for Thomas, Marco, Debbie and me to meet up for this long training run 5 weeks before the Fling. Before you think, how is that going to work out time-wise with the Sonics, Thomas and then me thrown in, we had a plan!

Debbie would run the Devil, Thomas and Marco would run it backwards leaving the car in FW. I was supposed to start in BoO and run to FW, but decided to make my own plan as I was fearing Debbie would have to wait for me in FW for hours and I did not want the pressure in case I could not go on etc. Running back to Tyndrum would give me my miles and leave me lots of time for unforeseen circumstances.

Well, well. It turned out that I was the only one actually finishing the planned run with everyone else bailing out at various points for various reasons. :-)

I was completely oblivious to all this as Thomas kept phoning my old mobile and then complained I had not switched the phone on! While I was happily running my last few miles down into Tyndrum, I was doing a few calculations and worked out that I could have actually run to FW and would have probably arrived only a short time after Debbie, which made me feel even better. I was starting to plan what I could eat at the Green Wellie and how I would spend the time until everyone else arrived. I stopped the watch (sorry, The Garmin Thomas had given me to ensure the mileage was all recorded) and stretched my sore legs and back. While I was leisurely looking up I saw a car pulling into the car park and 3 familiar faces! Debbie, Marco and Thomas! My face must have had a rather stupid look as I tried to figure out how they all got into that car and arrived just as I finished my run? Well, check out their blogs, you might find out. Nothing serious just a combination of viral illnesses and tiredness. I in fact had a rather good day, enjoying the run on my own, the stunning scenery with sunny spells, showers, rainbows thrown in, wind and then dry weather again. I tested a few food options, even Ginger Crystals at the end, new socks, new backpack (GoLite Rush for Women) - all to get ready for the BIG ONE, the Fling.

Monday, 8 March 2010

Marathon on the WHW

While a few friends were running the Barcelona Marathon yesterday, I decided to do my own marathon distance on the WHW.
Thomas was going to support me as he was in no state to run or walk very fast for that matter! When he asked me how he would get from Milngavie to the Beechtree in the car, it dawned on me that he had actually never driven along this part of the route before! He managed to find all the places though and did a good job.
I started in Milngavie at 11am and had planned to run to Rowardennan. On the route there were lots of walkers, runners and cyclists all enjoying the nice weather and sunshine. Just after Milngavie I met 3 girls running back to Drymen all training for the Fling as well. They went straight back chatting among themselves after a quick hello and a short exchange with one of them so that I decided to head off. That cost me a bit more energy than planned right at the start as they were actually going at about my pace. Anyway, after the Beechtree Inn I met another girl training for the Fling, Rosie Kerr. She was really nice, we introduced ourselves and chatted along. She was on her way back to Drymen but wanted to go slower and after a round of Vaseline at the next support stop we said our good-byes. I arrived in Drymen after 2h:25min (looking at the Fling results I might get a medal for the slowest time on that leg!). On the path up into the forest from Drymen there was a lot of slushy snow. You could not run and I was sliding a lot even walking. I knew it would probably be similar on the path towards Conic Hill even though the actual forest road was clear so I decided that I would get a lift from Thomas to Balmaha and continue running along the lochside and make up for the miles by running towards Inversnaid at the end. So that's what I did, a quick pit stop in Balmaha, some crisps, a new top and I started my second part of the run. The weather was glorious and the path in very good condition. I arrived in Rowardennan after 1h:45min and had to do another 5miles. That's what I did and got back to the car park at 5pm. I had a great day!

Sunday, 7 March 2010

GEDM 2010

Thomas at the finish of the Glasgow-Edinburgh-Double-Marathon (56M or 90K)

He ran a brilliant time of 6:55 and came 4th. Well done!

It was an exciting race with a lot of fast runners on the starter's list and I did not expect him to get into the top 5 this year. When the race started in Ruchill Park Glasgow there was one guy literally sprinting out of the park and everyone was smiling and thinking, yeah, how far will he get? Well, he built up a lead of 10min at one point and kept running like this. His running style looked so not distance- running-style that everywhere he passed people commented, oh, he will surely slow down soon, he will not get to the end like this.
But I learned 1 very important lesson yesterday, never to judge anyone by his running style!
He sure finished and he finished 2nd after Marcus Scotney who overtook him at half-way. Marcus looked comfortable the whole way and his winning time was 6:22. The 2nd one turned out to be no-one less than Grant Jeans, a fairly recent discovery as we were told who was picked to run the 100K in Keswick at the Commonwealth last year (running under 7:30 I think)! He finished maybe 10min behind Marcus though I am not sure.
Thomas worked his way up, initially running with George Cairns in 11th position and was 5th after the Falkirk Wheel. At my next stop at 59K he was 4th and the 3rd guy was only 3min ahead. So I thought, that's not too much and he will be able to catch him.
Last year he was only a few minutes behind Kenny Valentine but at a much later point and could not get to him. So I was getting really excited and rushed to my next stop at 71K. Again he was a few min behind the 3rd who still looked very comfortable, I had to admit. Thomas in fact had him in his sight as the canal was stretching out a bit. Again encouragement to "get him".
But at 81K it was the same picture and when Thomas approached and I said you can do it, he said, no way, he had actually overtaken him at a checkpoint and pulled away. But it only lasted a few min when the other guy came "jogging" past (as Thomas said) in a pace that I could not run a 10K in. So I knew he would not get into 3rd.
I must admit I was slightly disappointed at that point, just because he was so close again like last year - even though I never expected him to be that far up this year. But your expectations go wild when you are following a race unfolding.
Anyway, who was the 3rd guy? Someone called Ian Sharman from Serpentine RC London. A Marathon de Sables Finisher and numerous marathon runs with PBs around 2:32!
So very well done to Thomas to come so close to him. By the time I reached the finish (and parked the car in a very dark and forsaken underground car park, I emerged and was right next to the finish at the canal! Well done Silke!) I realized what a brilliant (and much faster than last year's) finish time Thomas would have, I was cheering him on to the finish line. Together with Murdo, his daughter and Ellen who were there watching as well.

6:55 - superb! Well done!

Friday, 5 March 2010

Running & Supporting

Tomorrow is the GLA-EDI-Double-Marathon (GEDM) and I will be back in my supporting role for Thomas. I am actually getting quite excited as the weather looks good, the path seems to be in good condition and Thomas is certainly up for it. His training has been going well, no serious injuries just now (usual hamstring niggles and the occasional “scare” of aches and pains here and there) and no recent race. There will be a lot of fast runners including Lucy (who will want to defend her title, “Go Lucy Go!” I will have a spare bottle for you this year in case you need it towards the end!) and Marcus Scotney, George Cairns, some (to me) unknown “sprinters” and Thomas of course! :-)
He is under instructions though to go easy as this is part of his training for bigger things to come – but when did he ever listen to me?!

Well, how has my own training been over the past few weeks? Last week saw me doing my highest “mileage” yet – 70K. I know it is not much compared to what others do regularly, but for me it is a step up. Largely due to 2 longer runs at the weekend. Initially planned to be run on the WHW, but when our club race got cancelled due to high snow on the hills above Greenock, it was obvious that that was not a good idea. So I ran with some girls from the club who did their last long run before the Barcelona Marathon. On Sunday I ran with them again, only they did a shorter route and I ran to the club from the house and back with a few loops around Greenock. That gave me nearly 30M already for the week. They do start rather early in the morning when I usually still enjoy my warm bed, but hey – the things you do to get some running in!

I then had my 1st sports massage on Tuesday. Thomas had been on to me for a while to get one, but I did not really feel I needed it with my low mileage etc. But after the weekend I felt I had “earned” it. So I went and came back with a huge list of “problem areas”: bilateral Achilles tendinopathy (no tendinitis yet), tight calves, tight quads and tight right hamstring. Well, at least my right ITB is better! I sort of knew about the Achilles problem, but have opted to ignore it for the last 12 months and just tried not to run fast (well what I would call fast). It only is a problem when my husband tries to apply friction massage (which he insists on doing, with good intent I know) or when he makes me endure an ice-cold foot bath after a run! But the sports massage felt really good after the initial pain subsided! The passive stretches that came at the end made the massage seem rather relaxing! All this despite the fact that I am actually one of those people who do a little stretching routine after each run – obviously not enough. So I might go back to get the Achilles problem sorted a bit more.