A mixed week

It’s been a mixed week. It started with good news. I’ll be one of the first runners to cross the finish line in the Olympic Stadium at the Olympic Park Run on 31st March 2012. That should be a great experience. The event is being put together by the National Lottery and will bring 5000 runners of all abilities together to run around the Olympic Village and Stadium. As well as running, you can take 2 spectators.

The not-so-good news was the Great South Run. I’ve been nursing a sore shin for a couple of weeks and was hoping it would disappear before the GSR. I cut back my training to almost nothing and headed for Southsea in Sunday morning in the hope that some paracetamol would mask the pain. It did for about 4 miles but by 5 miles each step was hurting. By 6 miles I was seriously thinking about pulling out of the race but the sides of the road were so busy that there was nowhere to escape.

At this point I had to weigh up my options; struggle for the next 4 miles or admit defeat. The last 2 miles of the GSR are notoriously difficult and the conditions looked like they would live up to expectations.

At 6.4 miles, another runner broke through the spectators and I followed. I stopped, removed my race number and hobbled back to the car disappointed. When I got back to the car, there were several txt messages asking how I’d got on. I relayed the news.

I could have struggled on but even the walk back to the car made it very clear that I’d made the right decision. Waking up this morning made it even clearer. My leg was definitely painful. Stairs were painfully tackled. If I’d carried on, I would have done a lot more damage and hampered training for the 10Ks in early 2012.

So, I now put running on the back-burner until all pain is gone. I’m perfectly willing to accept that this might be 3 or 4 weeks. That’ll still give me about 6 or 7 weeks until the Stubbington 10K in January 15th. In the meantime, I’ll turbo train and cycle to stay fit and hopefully lose a stone. 13 stone 11 this morning. Would be great to get to 12 stone 11 in 8 weeks.

I’m pretty confident that the shin injury is due to a combination of gradual weight gain over several months (eating badly and training less) and running shoes that should have been changed 100 miles ago. Live and learn.

In fact, lessons learned are:

– don’t start a race if you’re under the weather or injured. The race won’t make these problems go away and ‘short term gain is long term pain’.
– regularly change running shoes even if you don’t think it’s necessary. You wouldn’t drive your car with flat tyres or with no tread.
– don’t suddenly increase mileage or start running every day if this isn’t what you’re used to
– always try to eat reasonably sensibly especially if you’ve cut down training. Every pound adds extra pressure to joints, muscles etc.

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