This week has been the most challenging of my training yet, and not just because I have logged 52 miles of running and three exercise classes! Last week during Sunday's long run I had a sore big toe on my left foot (sounds pathetic I know!); it was run-able but slightly uncomfortable. After running it felt no worse so I assumed it was just a little weary from all my training. My big toe however has plagued me for most of this week, which understandably unnerved and worried me a little...
MONDAY: after Sunday's toe niggle I thought over night rest would clear things up - no. My toe was painful today, probably more so than I was letting on to people. I adopted a slightly modified walk on the outside of my foot, as it seemed pain came from pushing off the joint, However, keeping the joint still whilst I was sat at work also seemed to make it stiff and more painful! With this in mind I gingerly headed to Body Pump hoping it would be ok. I had to avoid lunging on that leg but otherwise I made it through. Walking back from the gym my toe was noticeably more painful though, and I couldn't hide my slightly adapted walk now.
TUESDAY: having googled toe injuries to my absolute limit (not ever advised I know!) I strapped my toe/foot today and rubbed lots of Ibuprofen gel into the area; I must add I have no idea if this was actually worthwhile but it made me feel better to be actually consciously trying to do something to fix it! I decided to try and run later on; I had 8 miles on my plan with 15 x 400m reps and 200m recoveries - a nice easy session then..! I started very tentatively, my toe was uncomfortable and the first 3 miles felt very uneasy. As I passed this mileage marker though movement in my toe gradually became easier. I felt I could not push off from the ground as well, and thus my intervals were a little slower than I would have liked, but I managed the run, which was a much better outcome than I had feared! Abs class after.
WEDNESDAY: an early morning 10 mile run at easy pace. I was very happy this was a steady run, not only because I was still very anxious about my toe (which whilst seeming to have improved slightly, was definitely not better), but my legs also felt heavy as soon as I started running. I dragged my legs around it seemed, finishing with an average pace of 8.38 min/mile, which was fine for an easy run but just felt hard! I went to my Body Pump class in the evening, and on reflection I probably should have ran in the evening too and given my legs a bit longer recovery after Tuesday night's run.
THURSDAY: to push my toe to the absolute limit, today's run was no let off with 9 miles on the plan at alternating paces each mile. As I started running I had the joyous realisation that for the first time this week my toe felt ok... it was literally like a wash of relief. I alternated paces at 8.23, 7.38, 8.15, 7.36, 8.06, 7.41, 8.28, 7.45 and 8.21 min/miles and most importantly actually enjoyed the run after some anxious miles so far this week.
FRIDAY: Rest Day
SATURDAY: Lincoln parkrun - which happily for all I made the correct distance this week! This did mean that I was nowhere near the PB I set last week on the slightly short course, however I was only one second away from my actual 5k PB of 21:16, finishing in 21:17. It was hard today though and I really had to draw on some serious grit to keep going. Lap one my legs did not feel sharp (on the plus side my toe was fine though!), which is not really a good sign with three laps to complete. I also ran the first lap much too quick considering I knew I was not at my best. This meant for the next two laps I simply had to dig deep, and a friendly battle with two other female runners was probably the only thing that kept me on track. I was shattered when I crossed the line and could barely talk, and I definitely did not expect my finish time to be so pleasing - maybe that 20:46 could be challenged...one day!
SUNDAY: the longest training run of my plan - 22 miles. I ran with my friend and we aimed to keep the pace a bit steadier than last week's 20 miler, which I think both our legs were thankful of! The run was hard, there is no other way to describe it really! As the miles ticked by our legs grew increasingly weary, an accumulation of all the week's miles no doubt. The 18 mile point was the biggest test, normally between us my friend and I can muster some positivity to support and encourage each other through tough patches of a run - but we both struggled at this point to see anything other than four more miles of pain! We did not give up though and neither did our legs as we drew on some final reserves from them, and we finished with an average pace of 8:45 min/mile. 22 miles in 3:13:30... 4.2 miles to add... I leave you to any maths! Oh... and my toe remained silent, so whilst I have no idea what I actually did to it, as long as it remains quiet I do not really care!
Alice's Adventures In Running Land
Read about my adventures in running land...