Remembering The Bigger Picture

I haven’t blogged for a while…some would say I have been otherwise distracted (which I guess is partly true) but it’s mainly been because I haven’t wanted to blog. I write about my training and races and seeing as both have either been non existent or painfully difficult I have been too proud to post about what I have been doing.

However, having just reread my last blog with the last paragraph referring to Southampton half at the end of this month, it seemed like a good time to end my blog drought, especially as it mentioned aiming for a sub 1:55 time, which is clearly not going to happen.

If I’m perfectly honest my running has not been the same since Bournemouth marathon 18 months ago.

Perhaps I aimed too high with a marathon in the first 6 months of running longer than 5k putting too much pressure on my body that I was unable to sustain. I didn’t know how to recover properly afterwards…despite meticulously planning my training and race I didn’t pay any attention to what I should do afterwards. I think the emotional breakdown I had after my marriage ended took more of a toll on me physically than I realised and I kept pushing on regardless not allowing myself adequate time out. Or maybe I am just not sure what I want out of my training so keep trying random things without knowing what I want to commit to which ultimately ends in flitting about achieving very little.

Whatever the reason, I yet again found myself at the start of another year cancelling events through lack of training and niggling calf tightness that I have just wasn’t able get under control. At one point I couldn’t even run 5k without being in constant pain so I took a couple of weeks off of running and just focused on the cycling and swimming. When that didn’t seem to help I took a whole week off of everything and spent time getting reacquainted with the foam roller and the strengthening exercises I had neglected….again (you’d think I’d know better).

This seemed to help and combined with  doing several local 5kms on my own so that I can go at exactly the pace I need to and switching to a flatter Parkrun that is easier underfoot I finally seem to be making some progress. I spent several weeks just doing this distance three times a week and then gradually started adding distance to one of the runs and today managed 6 miles.

Whilst this is definitely an improvement, I was initially bitterly disappointed with today’s run. It felt so hard. But I have had to accept that I am expecting too much. These longer runs are in fact now the long runs in my training and no longer a distance that I used to be able to do as a tempo run at a decent pace. So I need to run them at my long run pace not keep pushing them to be quicker, which is why it feels so hard!

The stupid thing is, if someone came to me with the same situation in which I find myself, I would have easily identified where they needed to make adaptations to their pace/mindset etc but it’s so hard trying to analyse my own training. It’s even more stupid that the aforementioned ‘distraction’ may have said all this to me at some point but it has taken me this long to get my head around it (and admit that he may have been right).

By adjusting the way I think about my training I can see that whilst my distances are not what they used to be, I am actually quite happy with the pace within the different sessions and just need to build on these accordingly. The sessions I haven’t yet reintroduced are the intervals/hills and anything at race pace, which brings me back to Southampton half.

At one point I wasn’t even going to consider doing this event. I didn’t know if I could even do the distance, let alone actually be able to race it and, in my mind, it seemed pointless doing a race I couldn’t actually race. I looked at deferring or transferring my place but according to the rules of the event, you have to know by 15 March if you intend to be unable to do the event. For some people this is a ridiculous rule as anything could happen in the 6 weeks before an event but it made me think that I may as well aim for it even if I use it as a long run, rather than waste the entry.

I have no idea how the next three weeks will go leading up to Southampton half but my goal is to make it my longest run since last November and if I can find a way to enjoy it then all the better.

I am hoping I can get a good few weeks training under my belt before my first triathlon of the year at the beginning of May. Whilst I have goals for this race I think it is probably wise to keep these to myself until nearer the time!

In the meantime I will keep looking back at photos that make me realise that life is actually pretty good fun with some great people.

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1 thought on “Remembering The Bigger Picture”

  1. Ahh sorry to hear your training has been tough going. It’s hard to align the head with the body as well. When I was coming back from injury I couldn’t believe how hard 4 miles felt despite running a marathon 6 weeks beforehand and 16 miles being easy peasy. It just takes time sadly (though no time at all to lose it – so annoying right?). Fingers crossed Southampton goes well! Not all races need to be raced!

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