Wednesday 23 March 2016

24th run and 14km

Can't read the watch, but it says 14km!

And what a pace: 6'12 overall. I don't push it at all, I just let my body get to a comfortable speed. Run after run, it feels healthier, lighter and faster. Without paying much attention to it, focussing on my foot signals, I am catching up with my previous cardio level. But I need to be careful and don't let motivation drive me up to injury... One time is way enough!

What started with very short runs of a few km two months ago is now shifting to long runs above 10km. I need to be technically prepared for such distance, and by that I mean starting to carry the appropriate gear and supplies. This time I pack my running bottle with juice and a power bar, to fuel my system on the way.

As I noticed, not paying too much attention to my foot seems to help: no pain, just the uncomfortable sensation that my plantar fascia is working and does not really enjoy it. But it takes the load pretty well and seems to have now more rebound and deforms much better, less demanding on the base of the hill.

The 14km pass by quickly. A few short breaks to drink, a few deviations to avoid threatening dogs - my pepper spray is ordered, I should have it for my next run. I have been running more and more on concrete lately and I start to feel it in my legs today. At the end of the run, I feel sore muscles and pain in my joints... FINALLY! It's been 9 months since my last long run and sore muscles, I feel alive!

Heading back home, I have a good feeling about the half marathon in ten days. With the Easter weekend coming, I am planing to run short on Friday and 16km on Monday. I will then taper until the race. If I manage 16k, I should be able to cross the finish line. It is still 5km more to run, a big step, but I should manage if I taper correctly before and run easy with many breaks on race day. Hey, if it were a sure thing, the adventure wouldn't be that exciting ;)

Sunday 20 March 2016

23rd run and 8km

Easy 8k today. I am trying to get some rest after the 12k and before my two next goals: 14k on Wednesday and 15 or 16k on Easter Monday. I will then taper for a few days to be fresh and ready for the half marathon in 2 weeks. We will see how my foot feels and how long I can run!

But for today, nothing big, nothing new. I am changing areas, running on an old friendly route with less trail and more concrete, to get used to it. This brings me close to where I got injured, coming back to the crime scene! I notice sth interesting on the way: if I pay too much attention to my foot signals, I start to feel some scratching and unpleasant thrills in my sole, which make me anxious and wondering if I should continue. However, if I focus my mind on sth else, start telling myself a story in my head and completely forget all about my foot for some time, any unpleasant feeling disappears and my foot is going well. A very good example of how powerful our mind is at convincing ourselves that we are in pain, the minute we start worrying about it. I should definitely relax and trust my body, so I can recognise the real signals if I push it too much!

picture from

Final note: I almost got eaten by a very angry dog today. It wasn't on a leash and just jumped at me, with the firm intention of biting. I was very lucky and barely avoided the bite by running backwards and yelling at him. He came so close that I even hit its snout with my fist. Fortunately the owner was able to stop it in the end and I escaped swearing (in Fench) at them both. I was so angry! One bite and I'm up for 3 months recovery. Bye bye half-marathon! This is not the first time this happens to me and I often read stories of runners victims of dogs attacks. I have more than enough and decided this time to buy a pepper spray and carry it with me every time I run. Beware angry dogs... A runner's bite can be bitter too! ;)

Thursday 17 March 2016

22nd run and 12km

Who's the boss?

New reccord: 12km today!

Don't you just hate catching a cold and being forced to a week of rest? I'm just getting out of one and I feel a ferocious need to put on my shoes and head outside. Let's beat the hell out of some new record today!

Sunny day, finally spring is coming. Light clothes and sunglasses, this feels great! I figured out my foot will be all rested after a week, turns out it is complaining right from the beginning. But it doesn't last. I know the plantar fascia (injured part of my foot) is a tissue band and therefore cannot warm up, but I guess my calves and feet muscles take on most of the load after warming up on the first 2km.
I run long, longer than before, always a bit further away from home and metro stations. Taking some (limited) risks is part of the game. I complete the 12km quite easily, watching my pace and staying on little trails and soft routes. No music in my ears. It feels right, it helps me concentrate on my breathing and on my foot signals.

I am now covering distances considered as long-runs in a beginning marathon training plan. This way, I should be able to start one after the half marathon in 2 weeks, and a week or two of rest, of course. I also need to start packing some gear and food now, at least water, to keep my body well supplied and ready for new challenges :)

Wednesday 9 March 2016

21st run and easy 5k

Sometimes you just need to keep it short and get some rest! After breaking 2 records in a week (8 and 10k), this is some wise advise I should follow. Especially if I want to nail 11k or 12k on Saturday.

Short run today then, I'm out for my favourite 5km trail run. Cold and sunny morning, my favourites. I can feel from the start that my foot has not recovered yet, it complaining a little. No pain, but it definitely needs one more day of rest after a long run.

Anyway, I feel good, I go easy on the pace. The last thing I want is to crash at 3 weeks of the half! No music today, I forgot my mp3 player at home. It is very nice actually, I live such a noisy life than calm is almost frightening! Almost get bitten by an angry dog... Why do dogs like to run but are always mad at runners!? Shouldn't we be like best buds?

Heading back home, that's enough for today. I need all my rest for Saturday :)

Monday 7 March 2016

20th run, 10k and 2nd goal achieved


Exactly one month after achieving my first 5k and for the 20th run of my recovery training, I AM NAILING THE 10K!

I am so happy, and for many reasons: First because 10k is my favourite distance - long enough to challenge me but short enough to give all I have without the fear, not to finish it -, then because I have been unable to run this long since my injury 7 months ago (my max was 9km in Prag, with excruciating pain at the end), and finally because 10km is a very common distance in many race events, especially charity ones. This new record (re)opens many doors for me and the possibility to subscribe to events, even if I can't compete at my previous level for now.

Nothing crazy about today's run. I haven't run in 5 days so my foot is well rested and I figure out I should push the distance a bit if I hope to complete the half in 4 weeks. My foot complains a little on the way but stays docile. The pace is good, 6.20 overall, I feel good, peaceful, confident. When I hit the 8th km, my previous record, I start paying close attention to my foot signals. The route alternates muddy trail and concrete roads. Everything alright. I slow down a bit, as a precaution. The 10th km bips and resonates in my ears, like a well deserved reward. I did it!

It took me almost 2 months to complete the first 10k, and I need to run more than twice the distance in four weeks... The adventure goes on, with exciting new challenges! :)

Wednesday 2 March 2016

19th run and 8km

New record: 8km today!

Running again in the morning, after two days at home. I really feel better this way, I think my foot is all rested from the night and complains less on the way. Lately, the additional kilometres feel easy and right. I don't have the impression of doing too much too quickly. That's a relief. I'm convinced my recovery is on a good path and I am less and less afraid of hitting a dead end.

Four weeks only until the half marathon. I should break the 10km distance next week, second step of my recovery plan. Then I am planing to switch to a training-plan approach, with two short runs during the week (less than 10km) and one long run on weekends, increasing them by 2km every week. I don't think I need easy weeks for now, as long as my foot is going well.

With this plan, I should hit the 16th km the week before the half. A few days taper and I'll be ready. Will my foot carry me for an additional 5km on race day? Only one way to find out...