Things to Look Forward To

My ankle is definitely improving and I have been out for a couple of very short flat slow runs and it has felt OK. It is hard to know what to do for the best now – rest it completely from running and just cycle (which is what I did for the first 10 days) or try running on it. It is definitely not still right – it feels bruised to the touch and it is hard to describe but it is a little unstable and would, I fear, be easy to twist again.  And, of course, I don’t want to run too soon and make it worse and be out of running for ages.

I am going to be fairly cautious and will back off completely if it feels worse after I have run on it (which so far it hasn’t).  My plan for the next few weeks running-wise is to do Parkrun tomorrow but just at a jog or even a walk if necessary and then I will rest it from running for 3 or 4 days and then try a really flat slow 3 miler midweek and then aim to do the Trowse 10k on Sunday but it’ll be a slow steady run and may include some walking (or even sitting down!!).  Then I will rest it completely for a week and hopefully after that I can go back to all my normal running antics – efforts, long runs etc.  I do hope so.

I have done plenty of cycling this past week and my ankle hasn’t bothered me at all whilst pedalling, it’s just the clipping in and out that hurts. I had my second ever fall from the bike on Tuesday, simply because it still doesn’t feel instinctive to unclip with the other foot and I dithered and ending up falling splat in the road in front of a tractor. Weirdly the only other time I have fallen off my bike was also in front of a tractor. So I now have a nicely bruised elbow to coordinate with my ankle.

But anyway, looking ahead I have lots of events planned over the year so I thought it would be useful to list them all here, in one place, so that I can refer back to it when I need to.

5 April                  Trowse 10k (hopefully)
22 April                Great Yarmouth 5 miler (already have silver time, try for gold time?)
25 April                Morley Meander 113k cycle ride
26 April                London Marathon (watching this, not running it!!)
3 May                  GEAR 10k (try and get the Club silver time)
4 May                  Pedal Norfolk 50 mile ride
6 May                  Great Yarmouth 5 miler
10 May                Dereham 10 miler (try and get the Club silver time)
20 May                Great Yarmouth 5 miler
31 May                Norwich 100 cycle ride
28 June               Humpty Dumpty 10k
24 July                Worstead 5 miler
30 August           The new Norwich City Centre 10k hopefully
18 October         Amsterdam Half Marathon and weekend away with Club
15 November      St Neots Half Marathon (try for the Club silver time)

I seem to have rather a lot lined up for May but several of them are short events (5 mile, 10k and 50 mile on the bike) so those shouldn’t be too arduous.

So there is lots to look forward to and I am sure I will add more events for later in the year as time goes by.

The Injurious Incident of the Football at the Parkrun

It’s funny (in a peculiar, not humorous) kind of way how you can have everything planned out and then one silly little thing sends all those plans awry.

One silly little thing. And here it is . . . the silly little thing:

Silly Little Thing

Silly Little Thing

A football. I don’t play football. I have never been in the slightest bit interested in football. But sometimes things in which we have no interest, they seek us out whether we want them to or not. And this is what happened to me at Eaton Park on Saturday morning.  Having happily completed my own Parkrun, I had decided to run the final lap again, with Allyson, as a cool-down.  I had just joined her and was chatting merrily away when a football whooshed out from the undergrowth (Ok, so it rolled gently across some well-cut grass). Most people who see a football coming towards them would probably stop and let it pass, or perhaps leap athletically over it, or maybe kick it back from whence it came. I tried to do all of those things – all at the same time. And instead of managing any of them successfully, I kind of half stepped on it whilst it swivelled and squirmed beneath my feet yanking my right foot viciously to the side and I ended up on the ground, clutching my ankle.

At first it was very painful. I fear I may have sworn and I may even have whimpered a little. Some very kind men who had finished their Parkrun came and hoisted me up and offered to walk me back to the bandstand but by then I was feeling better and hobbled over by myself feeling a little silly. When Allyson arrived back a few minutes later I was quite recovered and queued to have my time recorded and wandered back to my car barely limping, thinking I had had a lucky escape from injury.

But then when I got home and looked at my ankle and saw just how large it had become, it began to hurt a whole lot more. A quick check on the internet suggested that it was probably just a sprain and that RICE – rest ice compression and elevation – was the thing to do.  And that’s how I spent the rest of the weekend, slumped on the floor or the sofa with my leg raised up and a bag of frozen peas regularly resting against my poorly ankle.




And those plans that went awry? Well, really I had no immediate plans other than my regular runs and rides – I just hadn’t planned on sitting around quite so much. Fortunately I don’t have any events scheduled until the Trowse 10k on Easter Sunday.  For now I can’t run. My ankle is still a wee bit swollen and quite bruised. I can walk on it on flat even footpaths and cycling seems to be OK (other than the twisting to get the cleats in place) so it could be worse. I am trying to enjoy a rest week. But one will be enough. I suspect I will enjoy a rest fortnight or month a whole lot less.

But I think it is easier to deal with this accident than it is a running niggle or injury as I know exactly what caused it and that it wasn’t because I ran too far or too fast (as if!) or too often or wearing the wrong shoes. I just need to avoid footballs.

New Year New Targets

Well, perhaps the year is not so very new! It has been a while since I last wrote here. I’m not sure why – I kept meaning to write but other stuff seemed to get in the way.

Anyway, I am back. And I didn’t stop running or cycling for the couple of months I failed to write – I’ve done plenty of running and have been out on the bike when the weather has allowed. I refuse to cycle if there is the slightest hint of ice so that has meant less riding than I would have liked.

So what’s new? Well, I did a fair few races since I last wrote here and they all went well. I feel fairly confident now running the longer distances – I ran a hilly 15 miler at Folksworth at the end of January and got a much better time than I had expected and I ran the Freethorpe 10 miler with Linda a week later and beat my previous 10 Mile PB by six minutes. I have also run two 10ks (Ely New Year’s Eve and Valentine’s), a few Parkruns and cycled the 80 mile Wiggle No Excuses Sportive. I enjoyed them all. And that’s the main thing, isn’t it?

Oh and I got my Bronze Medallion from Norwich Road Runners. Whilst it was a wee bit embarrassing getting it presented, I am so very proud to have it. This means I got the bronze standard time at 6 distances for my age group- 5km, 5 mile, 10km, 10 mile, half marathon and 15 mile. Joining Norwich Road Runners last January was one of the best decisions I have made recently – it has given me such an enthusiasm for running that I just can’t stop myself from entering events (more about that in a future post).

My bronze medallion!  Isn't it beautiful?

My bronze medallion! Isn’t it beautiful?

So what next? Well, these are my plans for the next few months in broad terms:

1.I want to get my 50 Parkrun t-shirt this year. I have been doing Parkruns intermittently since they first started in Norwich back in 2012 but I have never been a regular attender. I am currently halfway there. There are now a range to choose from locally so I have no excuse at all. Parkrun is a great way to start the weekend.

Catton Parkrun with LInda and Mark Storey last Saturday (Linda and I both got a PB!)

Catton Parkrun with LInda and Mark Storey last Saturday (Linda and I both got a PB!)

2.I want to try to get the silver club standard medallion before I move into the next age group next spring. I already have the silver times at 5 mile and 15 miles and I don’t think they will be too tricky to get at the other middle distances but I struggle to believe I can ever run 5km in 24:14. I guess I could always try to get it at 20 mile distance instead of 5km. But 20 miles? Eek! Ah well, that is something to worry about later – initially I shall concentrate on getting the silver time at 10km, 10 mile and half marathon as those definitely feel do-able.

3.I managed to do a lot of running and a lot of cycling last year without injury and I want that to continue. I will therefore try to keep my training at a sensible level (I am pretty ancient after all). I shall aim for three runs a week: efforts at Club every week as those are so good for me and hard to do alone, Parkrun on a Saturday morning and then every other week I will do a long run with Linda so that we can run long races whenever it takes our fancy. On the week I don’t do a long run I will just do a nice steady 4 or 6 miler.

And cycling? Well, here I am on my bike the other week just to prove I have still been riding for those who haven’t seen me for ages:

Sally Kelly and I on the Wiggle No Excuses 80 Mile Sportive (February 2015)

Sally Kelly and I on the Wiggle No Excuses 80 Mile Sportive (February 2015)

I want to concentrate on just getting out on my bike with VCN, Jen, Jess or whoever else fancies a ride (Liz, perhaps, now she has her new bike!?) and enjoying the ride rather than doing so many sportives and events. I got pretty fed up with Sportives last year (several were disorganised or felt like they were ripping us off). But I will do Pedal Norfolk at the beginning of May with Sally and also the Norwich 100 at the end of May, hopefully with a group from VCN. Whilst I have gone out with Jen regularly over the winter and done some lovely 25 mile jaunts, I have not been on many VCN Club rides so I will aim to remedy that over the next few weeks.