This is only the second time that I’ve had a flare up, but fortunately I know the symptoms and as soon as I get that bruised heel feel first thing in the morning I hammer the Fascia with everything I can think of.
I went to see Jason Ellis (physio care) to see what he thought. He said that my Plantar was tight and thickened and he suspected that I had strained it on the snow. I’d done all the right things so after one week of pain it started to ease. While I was there I also had a sports massage, my calves were also very tight and I can honestly say that I did a fair bit of swearing during the treatment, anyone listening in, would have been shocked at my knowledge of kitchen French!
Although I dropped my mileage, I did keep my sessions going. Tuesday, I had arranged to meet Max at our usual time down Maiden Castle track, it was a foul night! I warmed up and the wind got stronger and the rain got harder, to make matters worse, for a change Max had told me the session I was doing earlier in the day (he usually springs it on me 2 minutes before I start), so I knew what a killer it was going to be. 1200m, 400m, 1200m, 400m, 1200m with 200 jog recovery.
I still haven’t as yet had any consistent training behind me, it’s all been make shift sessions to fit in around the weather conditions or how my recovery is going, so this was a real shock to my system.
There was a period of about ten years were I fell out of love with athletics, but even then I had a casual interest in what was going on, so on my first effort I was running round thinking “Dave Long? Dave Long? Bloody hell!!! One of our fastest ever marathon runners, 2.10.30” Bollocks! I’d better pull my finger out. Unfortunately, I didn’t have the best session, but with the weather the way it was, it was hard to read too much into my times. I had a chat with Dave after the session and he seemed like a really nice guy, it was great to meet him.
I took it easy the rest of the week, with a gentle fartlek on the Thursday and easy running on Friday and Saturday, Sunday was Dewsbury 10k.
Myself and Clare traveled down to Leeds on the Saturday night and checked into a hotel. Dewsbury 10k is an early start and we didn’t fancy racing after an early start and a decent drive. Our room was nice and we had a relaxed night.
We woke and looked out of the window, it looked cold and still, perfect. However, by the time I had got myself ready and checked again the trees were just about bent over double! Ok, so no fast times today then.
The drive to Dewsbury was short and we arrived early to give us plenty of time to warm up. I saw Dan Garbutt and Alyson Dixon on the start line, Dan is on fire at the minute and Alyson is well into her marathon training, So they were both looking very fit, I’m still getting back and carrying a few extra pounds, standing next to the two of them, I looked like a body builder not a 10k runner.
We started the race and I felt good, I tried to take it easy, but it’s hard not to go shooting off too fast when the first lady and fellow blogger is running on your shoulder. I was feeling comfortable and myself and Aly were picking off all the runners ahead of us. By 2k I was still feeling good and closing in on a big group ahead of me. The sensible thing to do would have been to tuck in behind them and shelter for a while, but I’d caught them easy, so I went to the front of the group and pushed on.
I reached half way in a little over 17 minutes, over the last 2k I’d been trying to think of excuses to drop out, but the target I’d set myself for today was a sub 34 minute time, it was still on the cards, so I stuck to it.
Dewsbury is an out and back course, uphill going out and downhill coming back, so you’d expect negative splits, but like the last time I raced here it was windy and again with it being an out and back you’d hope that you might get a head wind going out and a tailwind home, but on both occasions it has been side to tail going out and side to head coming back.
I saw Alyson at the turning point, I probably had about 10 seconds on her at this point, but I knew that she would be chasing after me, so although I was desperate to back off I couldn’t.
As I went past the 7k marker I heard a few supporters shouting “go on luv”, “stick in pet”, well I hoped they weren’t shouting at me, this could only mean one thing, Aly was going to catch me and I was just about out of steam, how long could I hold her off?
Well at the 8k marker the inevitable happened, Aly went past me, I shouted “go on Aly, chase them down” There was a couple of guys ahead and she was closing. It felt like a relief to have her pass me, I could now back off and take it easy to the finish, I’d accepted that I was beaten.
As we were going through 8 to 9k we were battered by a head wind, I noticed that Alyson was struggling in the wind and I was closing her again, I looked at my watch, we were still on for a sub 34minute time, but we would have work hard for it, this was the lift I needed.
I felt better and pushed for the time, with about 400m to go I came alongside Aly and said “come on Aly, every second, let’s go for it”. I pushed on to the finish, I turned the corner into the finish, looked at the clock and my tired brain thought I still had a chance of getting my target time, so I sprinted. I crossed the line, 34.04, with Alyson a couple of seconds behind.
Dan was at the finish to greet us looking as fresh as a daisy, well he did have 3 and a half minutes to recover before we got there. Dan won the race in 30.27, a great run in those conditions, this on the back off his 3rd in the Northern xc champs the week before.
How do I feel a day post race? Well! Everything hurts! Even my biceps! (what the hell is that about?) My quads ache and stairs are a struggle, so I guess I’ll try and have a couple of recovery runs a couple of sessions and another visit to see my Physio Jason which will no doubt result in a cloud of blue language hanging over Durham.
For a laugh at my expenses, check out my video on his facebook page. Physiocare-Chartered therapy.