The half way point of my sixteen week marathon training. This week has not been easy though, with a combination of both minor illness and a minor injury affecting my running. I have been struggling with a niggling cold for most of the week, nothing too dramatic, but enough to be annoying. I also started the week with a very tight left hamstring, which from my own awareness of my body, I soon started to realise was more than just soreness. After seeing my Sports Therapist a tear in the hamstring was diagnosed, not ideal, but you can imagine my absolute relief when she said I could still run!
MONDAY: my Strength and Conditioning for Runners class felt hard work tonight after Sunday's long run. Although going into the session I felt ok, the fatigue was apparent in my limbs as I completed some of the exercises. Today was also the first day I really noted my hamstring problem; the muscle was tight all day, even as I was walking, and it felt like my hamstring was in constant state of contraction.
TUESDAY: early morning intervals which were plague by my niggly hamstring. The plan was for 7 miles with 4 x 1 mile reps and 400m recoveries, and whilst I completed the session, it was not overly enjoyable (see post run image). Slowing down and speeding up for the intervals made my hamstring really uncomfortable, it was as if during the faster running the muscle tried to loosen up, only to tense back up during the recoveries each time. I didn't quite hit my desired split times, but I accepted it under the circumstances.
WEDNESDAY: I was pleased today's plan was for a steady paced run and hoped my hamstring would cope better with this. My hopes were almost met; my hamstring was a lot less uncomfortable than during intervals, but still unnaturally tight and any form of stoppage, such as crossing a road, caused it to really contract again. The added battle today was with my cold; I had the 'bunged up' feeling and to be honest it made me feel quite sickly as I ran. I averaged 8.17 min/mile for the 7 miles, which again I was satisfied with.
THURSDAY: today I managed to see my Sports Therapist about my hamstring. Although the news was not perfect, a tear in the muscle, I was almost relieved there was actually something wrong and it was not just my body giving up on me! With a fully taped up hamstring with an unmissable Union Jack design, I completed a much more comfortable 11 miles at 8.19 min/mile pace and then my Body Pump class after.
FRIDAY: Rest Day
SATURDAY: a bit of a strange Lincoln parkrun today; a cautious run which still felt like a lot of effort. It was cold morning, which did not help my own cold and made breathing feel extra difficult, and I aslo felt a little tentative about going 'full pelt' in case I damaged my hamstring further. I stopped the clock at 21 mins dead, which as I stood in the finish funnel did initially make me feel a little sad to lose my sub 21 minute streak, but I knew that I had acted sensibly.
SUNDAY: easily my best and most enjoyable run of the week. After a lot of not very pleasant runs and lot of mid running analysis of a certain muscle, it was nice just to run happily with my friend today under some glorious winter sunshine. The 16 miles flew by quicker than I have ever known on a long run and my legs seemed to cope really well; ignoring the taped up hamstring! Our pacing was good too, even when I threw a bit of a tough hill ending into the route, and we finished with a 8.25 min/mile average.
So ending the week, I still have some sniffles, but I can cope with these. My hamstring is also still noticeable, but nowhere near as painful. I feel I need to be careful now not to stress it unnecessarily and let it repair fully, as I would like to be able to get to London with no tape on my body - even if it is Union Jack themed!
Alice's Adventures In Running Land
Read about my adventures in running land...