Thursday, 10 March 2011

Playing catch up

Long time, no blog, so here's an attempt to summarise the last month and a half.

My shin got really hurty after the canal double. Apparently it was probably Anterior Compartment Syndrome, but it manifested itself as an immensely painful squidgy lump that caused me to limp when walking and to be unable to run for about three weeks. I was gutted to miss the "Thames Trot", one of my favourite ultras, but lucky that it actually healed relatively quickly.

On February 12th I took the latest batch of students (and a couple of teachers) to run a 10K in Finsbury Park. They put in a great effort and all performed well, with those who had done a 10K before all getting PBs. They had raised money for charities and all got yellow T-shirts at the end of the race and looked really proud of their achievement. I have to admit I felt pretty proud of 'em too.As my shin had survived (the longest run I'd done for 3 weeks!) I decided to have a tentative attempt at one of Foxy's Enigma marathons in Bletchley on the Sunday. It was day 4 of the "Quadzilla" - some of the folk there had been doing a marathon a day for four days. It was really interesting to see how they were getting on, having experienced a similar event last year at the 10 in 10. Lots of people I knew were there so it was good to catch up. It was ok for the first 17 miles, then my leg hurt a lot, but I finished anyway, knowing that I'd need to follow it with a few more days rest. And that was fine as it turned out. I then had a fortnight to gradually build up some gentle running before the next marathon.

At half term Jim and I spent the week in St Ives. We usually camp there in October, so it was very different (and luxurious) to be staying in an apartment right in the centre (on Fore Street) in February. There is something magical about St Ives, with its vivid colours and fantastic views. We spent the week sitting about drinking at the Sloop or the Yellow Canary, wandering on the beaches, strolling by the harbour or along the coastal path, visiting a tin mine and just generally grinning like idiots. I liked the sign at a pottery shop I ran past on my morning jogs.On the Sunday when we got back I popped up to Cambridge for the Boundary marathon - a pleasant trail route circling the city. I took it at a relaxed 4-and-a-half-hour pace, chatting with various people along the way and was very happy that my legs felt absolutely fine.

So back to work, which seems really busy recently, but much better for getting back to my normal routine pre-breakfast runs. There was another (shorter) canal double at the weekend just gone. Another ULTRArace event, brilliantly organised and with a feel-good atmosphere. Lots of familiar faces there so mucho chatting again. I took it steady, wondering how much of my stamina and speed I'd have lost. As it turned out, I did both days in under 4:40 (for 29.3 miles), with the second day actually a couple of minutes faster than the first. And fast enough to pick up a trophy for third place lady. Nice.

And now the mornings are starting to get lighter and there are daffodils about. Spring is springing. Shiny.

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