Closing out March I ran my record mileage week - 85.75 miles, and a record mileage month - 303 miles. And now begins the Taper. Time to slow things down, get some recovery juices into those leg muscles and try to sleep ahead of April 19th.
The taper couldn't come soon enough to be honest. In my enthusiasm to get my record month I think I pushed things a little too far. I had to cut the last run of the month short with some achilles pain. I went to see my sports massage therapist - achilles tendinitis. Not good with just 19 days left until Boston. I've been icing constantly, as well as using traumeel to try to bring down the inflammation. I've been having daily ultra sound treatment to try to encourage the blood to circulate and help bring down the irritation. After a couple of recommendations from running friends I also ordered some voltaren gel off the internet. It's a doctor prescribed drug here, but available OTC from New Zealand. It's an anti-inflammatory as well as an analgesic. A friend at work had a tube so I tried some. It completely numbed the pain for a few hours, so it's my backup plan if the injury isn't recovered at race time. That is if it gets here in time from the other side of the world...
After 4 days off the swelling and pain has gone so I'm going to try a gentle run this morning. However it turns out - it was definitely a big scare. I need to be smarter about the training. I'd been feeling strong and pushed myself too far. If I'd applied the 10% rule of not increasing mileage more than 10% in a week, this wouldn't have happened. I'd have finished the month with perhaps 285 miles, but then not lost 4+ days this month already with an injury. Another good lesson to be applied in the next training cycle. I'm still making 'rookie' mistakes.
I mentioned sleep. I had a terrible time in the weeks leading up to Chicago. I'm feeling more relaxed this time around. I don't have a time goal that I 'have' to achieve like I did in Chicago so am not feeling the pressure as much. 3rd time round I've also got a better idea of what the marathon will be like - less of the fear of the 'unknown'. This injury probably also takes the pressure off a little bit. If training had been going perfectly then I might have been setting some more aggressive goals, now I need to be a bit more realistic.
Still - as long as the weather cooperates, I'm still hoping to take a big chunk off my PR from last autumn.
I'll put down my 3 goals, the A, B and C goals. Putting them down in writing somehow makes me feel a little more committed.
A - if things go very well, and I don't go out too fast and then blow up on the Newton Hills - a 3.05 would be my stretch goal
B - the middle goal is to get 3.10.59 - which would get me into the A wave at Chicago. That seems very achievable based on my training, but then with the achilles problem you never know.
C - I read yesterday that I get guaranteed entry to the London marathon with a sub 3.15 time - so that would be my C goal. Still a 2.5 minute PR, but one that I should realistically be able to do pretty easily. Weather and injury permitting....
So fingers crossed ahead of today's run. I hope very much to be returning smiling and not limping.