Despite my ankle still being swollen, I went out for a little three mile run last night, deciding to do some speed work. I would sprint for as long as I could, then walk to recover, then sprint again, repeating the cycle until I had finished my course.
I didn’t feel great doing it – perhaps it was the stop/start nature of the running, reminding me just how far I have come in the last few weeks. I overheated, felt nauseous and generally uncomfortable. The ankle hurt. It really hurt. It hurts more today than yesterday though, even though the swelling has subsided somewhat. The persistent blisters on the underside of my foot, despite being covered and taped really need a chance to heal.
I’ve decided to take the rest of the week off from running completely, to give my ankle and the blisters a chance to recover properly. Knowing I won’t run again until Sunday hurts almost as much as my ankle does, and I have to admit, I’m worried about taking the time off with the marathon looming, but I know that if I don’t I risk making things much, much worse.
As always, I looked for the positives though, even when they are hard to find.
I was fast. I was clocking half miles in around 2:30. This was going pretty much flat out, even with the bad ankle. While I certainly won’t be running a marathon at that pace, it’s good to know that the speed is still there when I need it.
I concentrated a lot on foot placement, not because of the ankle, but because I’m aware that I run on my forefoot. I was thinking about where my foot lands, in relation to my body, my stride length, and my gait in general.
According to every book I’ve read, every article I’ve researched, every expert tip I’ve found online (not to mention the woman who did my gait analysis), I have a pretty good running technique. Which means something else.
I can go much faster.
I’ve been a little disheartened by my slow times recently, but knowing that I’m now running further than I ever have, without really breaking into a sweat even at a 9 minute per mile pace fills me with a certain pride. Once the foot and ankle are better, I aim to be running back at the usual 7-8 minutes pace, but over the longer distances I’ve built up. It’s still hardly world class, but the goal is to begin running much further, even at the quicker pace.
And the last part of the positives to take away from this – I’ll spend the week doing core exercises, and weights, working on strengthening my body, rather than running alone. This, for me, is where I will make my real gains out on the road – the legs are fine, it’s the rest of the machine that needs optimising.
Unless of course, I hurt something else.