But first of all, thank you all for your comments and emails last week. Once again I threw my complaints out there and once again you all responded - amazingly and kindly and most importantly - very helpfully. I took pretty much all of your advice. And guess what? You were all pretty much right..
- I am tired. I feel like I've done so much training and, barring a few weeks of 40M training, I have done a lot of 50M + weeks. I keep comparing myself to those amongst you who seem to be able to do these without tiring but that, truly, is a bit of a useless exercise - I guess the point is that it does tire me...
- I am, also, possibly, slightly overtrained at this point. I was considering doing my 3rd of 4 20 milers for this training cycle this coming weekend and I'm actually at the stage where I consider an 18 miler not too far. I have never reached that psychological point and while I would say I don't necessarily find them easy (that was kind of the point of my complaining right?) I don't fear them.
- I don't eat enough protein. I really don't. And as soon as I thought about it and you all emailed this in I realised I needed to work on it. Days after changing my diet - breakfast is toast, peanut butter and a freshly-laid egg (thanks chickens!) and I make sure that lunch and dinner are not as carb heavy as they were before and include some protein - I am feeling better.
- mental fatigue. Yes I am also mentally tired. All in all, in the course of a traiing cycle, you spend a lot of time on the road, on your own, training. It does take a lot of self-discipline. In honesty, it probably takes most of the self-discipline I have. And sometimes that is wearing.
So. What did I do after I posted my post? Well, I went and did the 18 miler that I failed on the first time round. I managed 14M at not quite race pace (8:35 min/mile) but was happy with that, given the circumstances. I completed another 50 mile week.
However. Hrmm. What is always lurking in a runner's life, when you're down and out and tired and a bit overtrained? That's right. Injury. Something to really cry about.
I took Monday and Tuesday off - very busy - and went out for a slow 11M on Wednesday. This went fine, I was tired, but it was fine. My right knee was slightly sore but nothing to stop me running or have me worry. However, I set off Thursday morning for my 8 miler with 5x600 at 5K pace and - no go. I could feel my knee was really sore within the first mile and decided to just call it a day. I came home, iced my knee and phoned my osteopath. Who I've just been and seen.
He had a good old feel around (glad that my periformis is fine this time ;)) and says that most important things are fine but there is some swelling. Most likely the result of driving 370 miles (and a lot of this on scenic English country roads, windy and slow) on Tuesday with tight muscles. Man! What a pain! However, he is hopeful and I am listening to his advice. Which is to take the next few days off (so not running the hilly Ashby 20 miler this weekend) and then doing an easy 5 on Monday before coming in to see him again on Tuesday.
I am, of course, pissed off / annoyed / angry and upset. But, overall, I'm fairly philosophical. As always, when something actually happens you just have to deal with it. Having had similar injuries in the past (4 weeks before Berlin) I am hopeful that resting up and backing off now will mean that I can toe the starting line in Hopkinton 4 weeks on Monday. I guess it's unlikely I'll BQ at Boston (haha don't worry - I wasn't actually aiming for that) but if I can get round okay and experience it all I will be really truly happy. And in a funny way, I knew that those of you who recommended a rest were right. I needed it. Not in the way it has come about, but still. So, so far, I'm good.
Finally - going off-topic here - we have been online for a few hours in the past week. Our broadband connection is just broken - boring and really annoying. I've written this post on Ecto and am uploading it in Starbucks. So I won't be commenting on blogs etc. much until we get back online.. Apologies now if it seems all I'm doing is asking for comments and not giving any out - I will catch up!
In the meantime, I hope all of you are doing well, turning corners, working hard - all that good stuff. Thank you again for that outpouring of good advice - don't you all feel better knowing how right you are? You truly are wonderful. Go run and reflect on that!