The last full week of March (and the last full week of work before the spring break) continued in a similar vein to the rest of the month. I think the only thing I’ve managed to be consistent with is going to bed each night! Training-wise things have continued to improve, but I’ll not be sorry to see the last of March!
Once more, my training plan was re-written from the original to take account of the muscle strain I’m carrying:
Monday – swim/sauna
8 miles hilly swim/sauna
Wednesday – conditioning
cadence drills rest
Friday – Metafit
16 miles cycle
If you’ve been following my training patterns over the past few weeks, then you may notice that this time the only sessions that had to be changed were the running ones. The rest of my week finally returned to the established routine as the strained muscle has settled and become much stronger. Not quite strong enough to run (yet) but strong enough to allow me to do a bit more.
The week actually began amid much excitement as I had the first chance to drive my new pride and joy to work. I can’t remember the last time I felt so excited about driving to work, but it was definitely the drive rather than the work that was appealing to me! When that working day was finally done (and I got another nice drive in my car) I headed for the gym to swim some lengths of the pool. I’m finding my swimming much more consistent now, although still rather tiring so there’s clearly more work to be done.
There was a little more excitement in store when I arrived home. I recently won a prize in a giveaway over on Danielle’s blog, and that prize was waiting for me: a runners’ torch and a lovely card from Danielle. I probably won’t get much use out of the torch until next winter now, but it still looks really cool and potentially very useful. Thanks Danielle 🙂
On Tuesday I wanted to see how my leg was doing. I didn’t think it was ready for a run, but needed to know how much of an improvement there had been so I decided the best thing to do was return to the gym. A few paces on the treadmill confirmed that while much better than the last time I ran, my leg wasn’t yet up to tolerating running so I had a short session on the elliptical before returning to the pool for another swim. I wanted to feel out of breath, like I had been pushing myself, and knew a swim would do that. I could also reward myself with a nice jacuzzi and sauna afterwards!
By Wednesday, I was needing to do something different and fortunately Steve was able to fit me in for a session. We altered my conditioning work to focus on strengthening my thigh muscles and beginning to get them used to more weight-bearing exercises as well as the sort of movements required to run. I felt a little achey afterwards but more “I just worked hard” achey than “injured” achey, if you know what I mean, so I was happy with that.
Thursday became a rest day simply because I had plans. My local cinema was one of the venues screening the National Theatre Live production of A View From The Bridge, a play I regularly study with my senior pupils. As a result of my “encouragement”, several of my pupils were going to another venue nearer the school to see it and I was keen that we would be able to discuss it in class the next day so headed along with my sister. With a 7pm start and me staying at work until close to 5pm, that didn’t leave much time for anything else. The production was superb though and my pupils definitely got a lot out of it, which is pleasing.
Friday evening, however, saw a return to the studio. Steve took me through some more exercises to strengthen my thigh muscle and then I took part in Metafit for the first time in a month. I was worried that one or two of the Metafit exercises might cause some discomfort, but in actual fact it was fine. I’ll admit to a couple of slight twinges, but these tended to be as I worked through an exercise for the first time and stretched my leg out into now unfamiliar positions before the muscle settled. I also got Steve to repeat one of the tests the physio had done last week and confirmed that my leg is definitely much stronger now. A very encouraging sign.
On Saturday morning I was a little more aware of my thigh muscle when I first got up, but again this felt more like “post-exercise” ache than “injury” ache and as the morning went on this completely disappeared. I had contemplated going for a walk on Saturday morning, particularly since Steve was going along to Parkrun, but the weather was atrocious so I decided to stay at home and catch up on a few other bits and pieces. Later in the day I plotted out a cycling route for Sunday morning and got my kit organised since we intended to head out quite early (even more so since the clocks were going forward and our bodies would think it was an hour earlier!).
Disaster struck when I decided to pump up my bike tyres and asked Steve for some help as I hadn’t used the floor pump before. I somehow managed to DEFLATE my front tyre, and followed this with a catalogue of errors in the two of us attempting to attach the pump properly. Thankfully we did figure it out in the end and in actual fact re-inflated the tyre quite quickly. In other news, I now know how to use the floor pump!
But since this incident happened not long before bed, I ended up dreaming that I got up to find my tyres pancake flat. Unsurprisingly, the first thing I did when I got up was check on my bike. All fine, of course, so after breakfast I headed out for my ride.
We had plans for the afternoon so I really only had time for a couple of hours on the bike. This meant a hilly 20 mile route. Steve ended up running in a similar area and around 14 miles I caught up with him on one of the roads we like to train on. I cycled by him for about a mile to have a chat then had to push on in order to have some momentum for a hilly section.
I rather enjoyed the ride, but sadly my Garmin was playing up. A couple of miles in it flashed up that the battery was low, which was weird as I’m sure I charged it last week. I though it might hold out but sadly it gave up just two miles from home so only recorded 18 miles. I promise I did ride 20 though as I completed the whole route I had plotted out the night before! I still took a moment to stop for a couple of photos, though:
Sunday was both the last day of Jantastic (so close!) and the first day of 5×50 (a fresh new challenge). While my 20 mile ride didn’t help with my Jantastic targets, it was more than enough to meet the requirements of 5×50. I also felt a bit stronger over the hills than last week as I was able to get more power from my quads. Now if I could just be a bit braver coming downhill…!
All in all, things are beginning to improve. It’s been 3 weeks since I was able to run, but I’ve had some quality cycling time and my injury is definitely well on its way to recovery. With a little luck, I might even manage a short run next weekend. Keep your fingers crossed!
What’s the longest time out you’ve ever had from running (or any other sport you enjoy)?
Any mishaps with a bike or other equipment required for a workout?
Has your watch/phone ever died while you were recording a run/cycle?