Tuesday, March 24, 2015

A massive dose of the 'shoulds'

There is a lot written about psychology, everything from the real science through to pulpy magazine soft soap, but over the last couple of weeks I have been indulging in one of those things they all agree is bad... the 'shoulds' or a little more specifically the 'should'ves'. For example:

  • I should still cross train.
  • I should've avoided the injury in the first place.
  • I should eat right.
  • I should've read all those run coaching books.
  • I should do proper training.
  • I should've seen it coming.
  • I should've listened to my body not try to stick to every letter of the plan.

None of these things are especially helpful, most are down right unhelpful, and all of them hurt my mental state. Given that these are only a sample, there are some I'd rather not commit to the blog, you can see that I was in a real funk. It was pretty nasty and meant that I was feeling drained even without doing any activity, it even stopped me icing my leg as much as I was advised because I was busy cycling the should list round my head.

All the 'should' stuff is something that most therapy practitioners would have a field day with, and eventually (though not a councillor) I spotted the pattern for myself. Now I have the fun part (!), stripping away all the paralysing shoulds and should'ves and getting moving again. Recognising the problem is more than half the cure, and I know that the moment I get to go for a run again they will almost all disappear.

Injuries seem to have plagued any attempt I have made at consistent training over the last couple of years, and this last one has carried the biggest psychological impact as I put a lot of pressure on my self to improve this year. Aside from avoiding injuries my biggest battle this year will be not to pysch myself out. I want do run the best marathon I can this year, and perhaps the only 'should' worth retaining is this one - "I should just enjoy it". In the meantime I'm back on the turbo trainer, looking to strengthen up generally, and have signed up for a running coaching course in a few weeks time to really get myself going again.

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Deeply humbled

The last couple of weeks have seen my training nose dive through the combination of a calf tear and then a huge stinking head cold, to the extent that I feel like have gone backwards fitness wise too. Initial effects of the calf tear were easing with the aid of rest and a visit to see Leon the uber physiotherapist, but then this Sunday I went and re-angered it. Happily in all this gloom I was deeply humbled, admittedly to be fair I am humbled most days by the activities of people around me. I ran with my four year old son on Sunday when I pinged my calf again. His face during the junior parkrun was a picture of delight, joy and fun as we negotiated the course to his 2km best time.

The ping happened in the first 400m as I jogged alongside the happy chappie, I didn't stop, I didn't want to stop, I wanted to stay in the moment, I wanted to not spoil his run and his fun. It was not a bad twinge / re-tear in so far as a change of running form alleviated most of the pain, and it simply grumbled a few more times as we continued. I was utterly in the moment and feeling so humble in the face of the pure delight he was exuding that there was no way I was missing it. In the end his pace towards the finish time was quite breathtaking, especially as he is only just old enough to take part and one of the youngest lads there.
The lil' dude's awesome sprint for the line, and his huge PB

Since then I have had to go back to icing and nursing my leg and trying to look for low impact training / rehab plans, but when I am feeling grumpy I try and remember that moment to put a smile back on my face. Suffice to say though I won't be parkrunning for a while - if only for the fact I fear I'll have to be fully fit to keep up with him in coming weeks :-)

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Three things Thursday

1) I have a cold*

2) I have a cold*

3) I have a cold*

I am possibly one of the worlds worst cold sufferers, and I am desperate to do some exercise but I really cautious about driving the thing into my lungs. So, for now I am just wallowing in the self pity and occasionally entertaining thoughts of strange hot lemon drinks as a potential 'cure'.

Image from http://pixabay.com/en/users/steinchen-21981/

* this post has been nominated** for the dullest "Three things Thursday" in internet history. Vote via any channel you like, but know that it'll make no difference except to cheer me up perhaps ;-)

** this post also nominated for biggest stuff of nonsense of 2015***

*** no, sorry I am just rambling, neither of the above is true... medication? Medication!... can I have a lie down?

Friday, March 06, 2015

Block 2 - not off to a great start

My plan for the Berlin marathon involved three blocks: one for the Bath half, one the Swansea half, and the final for the marathon itself. Block one was boom and ultimately bust, with a great training block spoilt by picking up a niggle and not running the Bath half. So, into the second block with many lessons learnt already and off to the physio to get the niggle sorted... or so I thought.

Being a couple of weeks after my stupid back to back hard session in two days nonsense and I thought I'd probably mended and 'just' needed to do the right rehab. Nope, I still have a hotspot in my calf (i.e. a small calf tear) and need to be icing it still and generally treating it cautiously. So I will be turbo trainer, cross-trainer, and swimming for the meanwhile.

The lack of running for the moment might ultimately prove a good thing, because this second block in the longest and pacing my way into it will be helped by having to cross train so much for the first few weeks. A nursing a torn calf though was not the way I wanted to start block 2 I really wanted to get out of the first block ready to do great things in the second. Still, the first rule of planning is be flexible, so I have learned.

Monday, March 02, 2015

Sort of Race Review - Bath Half marathon 2015

My first review of a race I couldn't run...

My impressions from the day -
Course: it is a straight-forward two lap course, I am sure well set out as always.
Marshalling: Pass
Facilities: Pass
Organisation: 10/10 - the entry system, the provision of race packs (must send my timing chip back), the information supplied was all first rate. It is a super organised, supremely experienced event team, which makes me all the more sad I wasn't able to run.
Fellow runners: Pass, but the banter on twitter was pretty good #balfhalf
Crowd: Pass - it is a friendly city so it would no doubt have been awesome.
My performance: DNS - did not start, due to picking up a stupid injury 10 days before the race.
My time: see above - although in my head it would have been stellar ;-)

My race day -
I spent race day relaxing with my lovely wife, we took the greyhound on a good long stroll and tackled a bit of low level DIY before heading to the in-laws for a St.Davids day lunch. It was the kind of Sunday that we haven't had for a little while, so it was really very recharging and quite energising in that it was so restful.

Happily, the whole day I didn't suffer too much with the sense of "gah, I should be running!". The occasional twinge in my calf did offer timely reminders as to why I wasn't and shouldn't run the race.