Or at least I hope I’m back…I ran my first miles (well, run/walked) since The Speed Project yesterday and they felt good! I had no pain, my body and my form both felt strong and although I’m a little sore this morning (mostly because I haven’t trained for the last week or so because I’ve been chained to my desk) I feel like I’m in a good place to start training for my next race - Bacchus Half Marathon.
Bacchus is a fun race set in the stunning surroundings of the Denbies Vineyard near Dorking in the South of England. Most people turn up in fancy dress (although as a notorious hater of fancy-dress I’m get to be persuaded on that one!), there are bands playing around the course and along the course there are FIVE DIFFERENT WINE STATIONS! It’s also a race I’ve had my eye on for years, and it falls right before my birthday, making it the perfect birthday day out!
When I injured myself just 1.5 miles into The Speed Project and then made the decision to keep going on an injury, I did worry about how much damage I was going to do to myself and how long it would be before I would get to run again. It was a risk I was willing to take, but don’t get me wrong I didn’t take it lightly. Two things worked in my favour when it came to recovery - the first was that I put myself on rest as soon as we got to Las Vegas, no running and limiting how much I walked, and the second was the work I’d put in before The Speed Project. I was fit and it meant the damage wasn’t as bad as it could’ve have been, so I was in a good place to get myself back up and going relatively quickly (around two and a half months) with the help of the sports therapists at London Metropolitan University.
Over the last few months all of my training has been focused on recovery. I’ve been building strength and addressing some asymmetry that meant my injured leg had been over compensating, spinning to keep my fitness up and yoga to stretch out and improve my mobility. I feel like I’m in a great place to start training again and hopefully come back stronger in the long run.
Although I’ve worked with coaches for my last few events, this time I’m going it along. This is partly a financial decision - dogs and weddings are expensive - and partly because I want this training cycle to focus on joy rather than performance, something that sometimes gets lost when you’re working with coaches. Instead I’ve used all my experience and everything I’ve learnt over the first few years to hack together my own training plan.
Because I’ve been out for so long I don’t want to dive back into running loads of milage, so for the first 3 weeks I’ll be walk/running, gradually upping the amount of time I’m running for as the week’s go on. It’s been so long since I’ve incorporated walk/run into my training and it would be easy to feel like it was a bit of a step back, but I’m actually really excited, especially after chatting to Charlie about how much she’s enjoyed incorporating the approach into her long runs.
I’ve kept this training cycle really conservative, the longest week is around 21 miles and I’m mixed in lots of strength training and cross training to help keep the injuries at bay so that I have a hope in hell of enjoying Bacchus come September!
images: Anna Rachel Photography