Hello again. Remember me? A somewhat extended break from blogging, not least because there’s not been a lot to blog about.
Notable highlights since August 2010 include the High Peak 40 mile Challenge in September – not a fast event but we completed it in 10 hours 47 mins and in pretty good shape, all things considered. Also my knee and hip problems seem to have been resolved without the need for invasive surgery, plenty of rest has allowed them to settle and as yet they haven’t flared up again, which is good.
Low points included getting yet another injury, this time in my left shoulder after a day of voluntary work organised by the University. Helping to clear out some streams of oversized oil drums in mid-August 2010 proved too much for my ageing body and I’m still suffering the effects of it now despite numerous scans, 3 months’ of very strong anti-inflammatory drugs, a cortisone injection, and 3 months’ of physio. I’m back to the shoulder specialist this week for a further assessment. Also, not running for many weeks in the latter part of 2010 hasn’t helped my fitness or mood much, but as highlighted above it has allowed my previous injuries to settle.
Into 2011, and yet another concerted effort to get into shape. Trying to learn from last year’s aborted attempt to get going, my view is that despite believing that I was taking it easy and breaking myself in gently, I actually started out with too much distance too soon and as a result simply ended up breaking myself. I am very, very keen to avoid that time round with only just over a year to go.
So the master plan is to build up to the Sheffield Half Marathon from Jan to April 2011, then increase the distance to marathon level, aiming at a yet to be decided marathon in August 2011. After that I’m hoping to focus on maintaining that workload and starting to swap over some of the shorter faster (it’s all relative) running to more longer distance ones and so build up endurance/stamina. Will need to be training with a pack at least by the time the summer marathon is done and dusted (hopefully the shoulder will be better by then). Events to focus on towards the end of 2011 will be a return to the High Peak 40 in September – hoping to wipe off a chunk of time on the 2010 event (I previously did it in 1999 in 8 hours 20!), and possibly the Brecon Beacons Ultra (45 miles) in November. This is an MdS preparation “classic” organised by people who are big into ultra distance racing and who conveniently own a shop full of shiny kit for such adventures.
2012 will be about consolidating the ability to run considerable distances back to back, with a pack, and fine tuning gear and strategy. That’s assuming I don’t fall apart like in 2010, and am able to keep going that long.
So far in 2011, I’ve been working to a 3-day-a-week programme of running based around completing the half marathon – won’t be expecting a PB, but something more respectable than last year’s 1 hour 56 should be on the cards. I’ve yet to exceed 20 miles per week so far this year. Compare that with 2010 when I started off the programme on 20+ miles and built up from there. I’m hoping therefore that my weary old body will be able to cope a bit better with the new, less brutal regime. Only time will tell……