The thing with long distance, ultra, running is that I doubt you are ever fully prepared or fully fit. The very nature of how to train and live on the lead up to one of these events makes it almost impossible. It’s difficult to turn in consistent high mileage weeks in a world that also includes family and work. It’s hard to stay healthy when there are colds and coughs all around you. There’s also the spectre of the unexpected and unrelated injury too. Simply put life can get in the way.
So it goes.
Early in December I was doing some rare DIY. Anyone that knows me knows this is not my forte. I was doing some work in a bathroom and backing out through the doorway on my knees. As I did so I put my knee on the carpet rod. One of those dowelling size pieces of metal that holds carpet in place under a door. It was just the right size to go under the knee cap. It hurt at the time and then shortly afterwards became really painful. So much so that I couldn’t walk upstairs. I was actually using the lift at work which is very rare for me. I looked into the issue and found that taping was an option. I did this and it worked. I was able to run with my knee very heavily taped. What this meant though was that while I could run it was very painful immediately afterwards. The support provided by the tape a mere crutch so to speak. The answer would be rest. I took an extended rest period over Christmas break not running for 12 days. A period where I was expecting to get some bigger miles in and actually I did not run at all.
January saw a return to running and with the knee feeling solid I decided to up my game and go for a bigger week. It was great, I clicked in at 44 miles. This included a podium on a Strava segment I have been chasing along with a PB at the local parkrun 6 years after the last one. It was only 3 seconds but still a PB! Then the wheels came off. On the Sunday I went out for a couple of hours and by the end felt awful. Later that day I needed a nap and pretty quickly came down with a pretty nasty cold. Monday was a day off work and the rest of the week was a real struggle. Finally, well almost, over the cold I am back running this week.
I ran 2.5 miles yesterday evening and 3.6 miles this morning. The plan is to do the Bath Road Beers Club Run tomorrow evening which is around 4.2 miles and then that will be it before Saturday and the small matter of 40 miles across the Worcestershire countryside and the Wychavon Way ultra. I will be under cooked for sure but then isn’t everyone?