Since my operation I've been receiving plenty of physio help and according to the experts, all is progressing very well. From my point of view it's slow going though and my shoulder still gives me considerable pain at times. The first big test of it was the Coniston Trail Marathon on 3 July, just 4 weeks after the op. The physios had a long debate over whether or not I should do it, then realised whatever they said I was likely to try it anyway so they showed me a strapping and sent me on my way. As it turned out the shoulder was fine. I carried a bum bag instead of a rucsac and that obviously kept any weight off the injury. The race itself was pretty tough though. Roasting hot, very exposed and far hillier than I'd anticipated. Combine that with some random mile markers around the course to confuse us all, and it proved a serious challenge. Richard, my training partner had a shocker of a day and so, combined with the topographical and atmospheric issues we jointly finished in 5 hours 25 mins. Not my fastest marathon, but a good test.
After a bit of recovery including some cycling, which was great for a change, our minds focused on the Long Tour of Bradwell in early August. In the lead up to that I did what is probably my daftest training run to date - 20 miles on a Monday morning with a deadline to end by 7.30am so my wife could get to work and I could take the kids to school. 3.30am saw me heading out into the dark, without a headtorch (I assumed being summer it would be light at that time - it wasn't). I slipped and slid down some very rocky and tree covered trails without being able to see my feet, and it wasn't until best part of an hour into the run that I was able to see fully. The route I had planned was a familiar 10 mile loop done twice. First loop was ok, on the 2nd loop however my energy just seemed to evaporate and every incline became a serious problem. I limped home at 7.15am just in time to start my day!
|Finishing the Long Tour of Bradwell|
And since then I've been concentrating on recovery - sports massage (incredibly painful but allegedly good for me), and trying to stretch out my legs which are currently causing stiff lower back (hamstrings too tight) and tender right achilles tendon (calf muscles too tight). I've been in and out of work looking after the kids during school holidays for much of August, and I'm off on my jollies to Devon tomorrow for a week. Hoping to get some running in whilst away, but very steady stuff and not too tough I hope. When we get back there will be 32 weeks to go to the big race as the date has been set - we fly out on 5 April 2012. It's time to get serious I think, and really put my mind to getting fit and staying healthy, and I'm looking forward to all the shiny new kit I've got to get........