For once, the winter's cold has come at the perfect time. As anyone who works in a school knows; if it's going around, you're going to get it! I usually get a cold at some point over the winter and it often arrives when I'm in full training, just got the whole rhythm sorted, weekends away planned, etc, and everything gets kiboshed as I wollow in the self pity of man-flu. This year, I seem to have done my stint early (over the last week) and will hopefully build up some immunity for the rest of the winter. I actually lost my voice completely on Thursday and Friday last week, which makes being a PE teacher a bit difficult, but we somehow got through despite my voice tone wavering like a pubescent 14 year old.
Things are moving forward again on the training front. Despite having no voice, I didn't feel particularly ill, so on Friday last week I made my most significant foray on the trails post op. Doesn't sound much, but I did 3 miles in the woods below Latrigg fell, walking for 4 minutes, jogging for 1 minute. I had running kit on and used my headtorch for the first time this winter and I can't begin to tell you how good it felt to be out there doing it again. My favorite running is at night, off-road with a headtorch. I love just being out there, total solitude, just the cone of light and the sound of my breathing and footfalls - it's about as close to a Zen thing as I get anyway. During the winter, all my mid-week training is done like this. I walk to work with my kit in a small rucksack, get changes into running kit after work, jog the mile home as a warm-up, dump the rucksack in the hallway, turn straight round without thinking about the sofa and do the training session. (Always off-road, always in the dark)
I saw the physio again this morning. She suggested that I am now at the stage where only I can tell what I should and should't be doing. Don't know whether that is a good or bad thing!? So far I have been told what to do by the experts and now she is expecting me to make rational decisions. Is she mad? Anyway, I thought I would try 3 sessions over the next week where I cover about 3 miles doing 2 mins walk, 2 mins run and see how that feels. The physio said that sounds about right but I must mix that up with some simple plyometrics (that's skipping to you) to increase the power of the calf muscle.
It has been interesting how more and more of each physio session has been about core stability. She got me to do a series of exercises whilst I held my pelvis so I could feel how much it moved about. I thought I had quite good core stability, but this illustrated some deep failings. My abdominal muscles are fine, it's what lies beneath that needs sorting. It's not called CORE stability for nothing!! I had the typical runners attitude, it was all a bit blah blah blah to me, then she said "This will make you a much more economical runner". At this point, I sat up and started listening. I'm really going to try and incorporate this into my training, even once I'm running again.
My next target has to be a proper run, something in the region of 3 miles, without any walking. Once I can do that, I think I will feel that I am then in a position of training rather than recovering. Looking at the blog title; I'll be going into the "beyond" bit! I think I'm looking at round about two weeks from now to try that, but again, there is no need to rush things.
Finally, I have been thinking about next year a lot and have decided the major races I will target. (Even entered some of them) I will reveal all in the next post.