Sunday, 15 January 2012

Another solid week

I now feel that I am into a training programme. Like most runners, I am a creature of habit; training, for me, is all about routine. Having not trained for 8 months, it has not only been a battle back from the operation, but also to reform the training habit.

I stuck to the plan, aiming for another "easy" week consisting of 4 sessions. The first two outings, on Tuesday and Wednesday, went really well, so much so, that I put Wednesday's run down as a tempo session as I felt I put in that kind of effort. Did not suffer any major complications in the evenings after those sessions, I just have a general stiffness around the ankle joint which is gone by the next morning.

Friday's session was another story! I planned to run around Derwentwater Lake straight from school and I also wore a pair of compression socks for the full day as I have been feeling sluggish in my lower legs by the end of the working day. Whether it was a problem with wearing the socks (something I have done before), just being the end of the working week or a combination of the two, I had some problems during the run. All started well and I felt fine for the initial 3 or 4 miles, but then struggled to run naturally and felt very awkward in my gait for the remainder of the run, almost hobbling by the end. I had the usual soreness in the evening, but was fine again on Saturday so, hopefully, nothing to panic about!? I suppose you have to have the occasional sorbet to clear the palate!
Today, I went down to Ambleside to have a look at a few of the Lakeland 100 trails around there; the small footpaths of the route are not trails I know well. I first ran back round the route, skirting below Wansfell towards Troutbeck, turning at the Post Office to return to Ambleside. The race route seems easy enough to follow and, like last week, I kept imagining I was in the race, thinking about how I might be feeling at this point (knackered!) The route follows some lovely paths with great views down to Ambleside and Windermere.
As I returned to Ambleside, I made sure I followed the exact route through the streets to The Lakes Runner shop, which is the official checkpoint and then continued out on the next section of the race over Loughrigg Fell, down to Skelwith Bridge. I finally turned again, climbing back over the fell to Ambleside. Felt fine all the way which was a big relief after Friday's disaster, still skipping along at the end. Again, I was able to just run without thinking about foot placement; it almost seems that I am running more smoothly/naturally in the rougher terrain, whereas on the smoother trails on Friday, I struggled. Go figure! Just over 11 miles in 2 hours.

Had a little wander round Ambleside after, calling in at The Climber Shop which stock the Hoka shoes (see earlier post) just so I could have a look. I tried a pair on but I'm not sure I could run in them. I think they would take some getting used to and I would love to have a trial run in a pair just to get a feel for them properly; jogging around the shop laughing at yourself is not really a suitable test run! I cannot justify spending that kind of money on a radical pair of shoes that might be exactly what you need in a 100 mile race, but equally might not suit my running style. Might keep my eye out for some cast-offs or secondhand shoes that don't agree with someone else - they may give the comfort my heels, ankles, knees, hips and back desire!!

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