Wednesday, 8 August 2012

Olympic Challenge 13 : half marathon tempo run, 156 miles down, 49 miles to go

  Tempo run, 13.1 miles, 1:32:30, Calories 1129
  Total 156 miles
  Distance to go:  49 miles, on schedule.

My plan for today was to do the Olympic Distance Triathlon, and after a better nights sleep I awoke at 6:30am and the sun the was shinning!  After so m rain this summer having two back to back sunny days was remarkable, what good fortune to be out and about today.  My prep all went smoothly and on schedule for getting in the pool at 8:00am.

Alas at some point I must have knocked the skin/scab off where my mole had been removed earlier in the summer.  The incision had mostly healed and had been fine for a month, but had got a little infected and inflamed over the past week - perhaps too much swimming/wearing goggles as they sit right on the scar site.  I now had an open wound right where I was planning to put goggles for an hour of swimming, not a good combination for trying to heal a wound site so I decided to not risk it and canned the Triathlon for the day.  I was still all keyed up for 4 hours of exercise so headed out for a tempo run to burn off the pent up energy.  With such glorious weather one can't help but have a spring in ones step!

A mile into the run I crossed footbridge over the river Teith just before the primary school.  Upstream of the bridge a Heron stood motionless on a tree that had been brought down by floods:

I then glanced downstream and there was another Heron perched on a stone, further away so not so visible in a small in this blog, click on the picks to bring them full screen.

I took the Invertrossachs road up to Loch Venachar  which was a calm as a mill pound, provided a glorious reflection:

I was enjoying running out in the sunshine and views so much that I extended my normal tempo run out/back of 8 1/2 miles to do a loop around Invertrossachs house to do my half marathon route.  I was feeling great so kept the tempo 7min/mile pace.  Havingt run a marathon three days before I just couldn't quite believe how well I felt, lots of energy, feeling loose with few niggles, comfortably cruising along.

I had to stop and and take yet another photo though, the Trossachs was just looking so awesome this morning:

On last three miles a few signs of fatigue started to appear, my free ride was now over so had to dig a little deeper to keep the pace up.  Passing back over the footbridge no Herons but a family of Grebe's greeted me:

For the last 1/3rd mile finally some common sense kicked in and I took my foot off the accelerator and jogged in to easy down the muscle tension and begin the process of recovery.  Originally it was my intention during my Olypmic Challenge to do all my runs/cycles and swims at a gentle pace to avoid injuries and exhaustion, doing a quick half marathon certainly wasn't part of the game plan.

Back at the house I kicked off my shoes and found my left underside of my feet was really sore.  I thought I had kicked all these problems but now it was back with a vengeance.  Massaging the bottom of both feet revealed that both are tender but the left is much worse.  I think now that it's more likely that the muscles in my feet are overused/strained rather than my plantar fascia.  Fast running and going uphills seems to be the trigger, in particular a strong push in late stance looks to be when the area is under most strain and discomfort.

Now I feel pretty stupid for having run fast for so far.  I didn't get any discomfort from any part of my body until mile 10, had I stopped then I'm guessing I would have been fine.  Messaging and keeping active but in more gentle way will be key to healing the strain, fingers crossed I won't have screwed my chances of completing my two final big challenges - the Olympic Triathlon and the final day Marathon due on Sunday.

Still I ran the second fastest half marathon that I have ever done and wasn't racing, just cruising along at tempo pace.  Clearly I'm in shape to go sub 1:30, and very likely in the shape to beat my PB of 1:28:57 set back in November 2010.

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