Week 3 review: The snow is here and long may it stay.

Total completed 133km

Total remaining 2867km

Total raised: £1120

Well it took its time but winter has finally hit Nottingham making run #14 my first run in the snow ever. I had kept a close eye on the forecasts so I knew it was going to come and I had spent the last couple of days before uming and aring about whether to wear my trail shoes/spikes. I decided though that as I was still fighting to run through this shin problem it was probably best to stick with my New Balance and just play dodge the ice. It was in fact a great run, I slowed my pace right down and really concentrated on striking on my mid foot and I kept the calf guards off and used them for post run recovery only. With all of that and the extra cushioning provided by the fresh snow it made for a really pleasing and picture postcard start to the week.

Winter Wonderland

Winter Wonderland

Run #15 was the run that was going to push me through the 100km mark. Now I had hoped to have had this target smashed within the first 2 weeks but due to my leg issues this was not going to happen and the fact that it was going early in week 3 has really given me a massive boost. So I headed out ready for a carbon copy of my last run bouncing along on a nice mattress of snow. Oh no life is not that fair,  I had not given much thought to the fact that it had not actually snowed again, but it had been well below zero for the whole day. This meant ice and because of the wind, ice that had been covered with a slight dusting of snow, lethal especially when you are not expecting it. I am not quite sure why I wasn’t expecting it but Yep you guessed it 2km in and I am down, not on my arse that would have been fine as mentioned before that has become nicely padded since Christmas , but no it was somewhere far more painful. As my right foot hit the ground it shot off in front of me bringing my left leg down causing me to drag my shin across the frozen jaggered surface, OUUUUUCCCHHHH. Now I know it doesn’t look much but when your shins have already spent the best part of 3 weeks screaming at you this was the last thing I wanted. Luckily once I was home and iced it there was no major swelling a few bumps and bruises but nothing to worry about phew. Well until I rubbed the deep heat into my leg YAWZAR.

It did hurt honest

It did hurt honest

Even with this slip I would say that currently my legs are running at 65-70% but that is now more because I am running on fatigued legs rather than due to any injury. I do put this improvement down a lot to paying more attention to my running style and losing my calf guards but also I am really starting to concentrate on my post run recovery. I have historically been abit rubbish with this, to the point that my routine if any comprised of a pathetic attempt at some form of stretch (that I would rapidly get bored with) and a nice soak in a radox bath with a cup of tea. It has become painfully apparent that this highly thought out post run plan is not going to cut it. So my routine currently involves

  • Real good stretching session
  • Icing as soon as I finish at the moment this is easy as I just have a nice sit down in the snow and cover my legs over, lovely
Lovely

Lovely

  • I beat myself for a while with my trusty massage roller
  • Then it’s fire time with the deep heat and compression

This routine has really started to pay dividends and has led to my first pain free run since the problems started. I did a nice steady 6km again keeping the pace slow and concentrating on my mid foot strike but with there being no pain it was so hard to stop at 6km. I just had to keep telling myself that I need to build slow or I am going to be back at run #8 nearly in tears getting to the sanctuary of a park bench… and I don’t want that again thank you very much. So I was good and I bottled up my 10 mile wide competitive streak and got home. With the next couple of runs I have managed to start hitting the average I require and have begun eating into that small deficit.

This upturn in fitness has had a lot to do with the snow, which has been a real god-send for me, it has given me that little extra cushioning that is really taking the pressure off my lower legs and I am really starting to get myself back up to full strength. But even with that being the case I have made the decision that night running may not be the best time for me to run, and that a morning routine may help me further. The 2 main reasons for this are that

  1. It really is not good for me to come in from work at 6 and then high-tail it straight out of the door for a run
  2.  I am running at the end of the day and I feel I am Running on overly tired legs

So morning runs I think are on the menu for week 4 I figure that if I run in the morning I then have the whole day to get my legs nicely stretched out and I have a full nights rest so IMO I should be much fresher in the morning than in the Evening well that’s the cunning plan

So are you a morning or evening runner ?

 So that’s week 3 done, week 4 is just around the corner and contains my birthday. Now this is usually a day of rest for me but now a Birthday run full of cake and a full English breakfast (it’s a ritual) looms.

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