Last Thursday about 3/4 of the way through the 2 hour run, I over taxed my right calf musclesÂ and suffered some local damage as a result. At the time I was running relatively fast and was changing my stride to increase the amount of push-off. It was a good idea but not a good time as it was quite sore by the time I arrived home. I put some Arnica gel on it which I believe accelerates the healing process and hoped it would recover.
So Friday I rested because I could still feel it and on Saturday I gave in to the desire to run up on the Downs in the glorious sunshine we are so fortunate to have right now. However after an hour it started to hurt again so I cut the run short.
Next day we had planned to run to Bath and back in honour of the anniversary of Sri Chinmoy’s arrival in the West, but it was clear to me it wasnt going to happen.Â I still wanted to do a little though- a token of myÂ wish and I decided I would run for another hour.Â Maybe it wasn’t the wisest thing to do and yet as I returned home, I had a powerful feeling of unfulfillment. Then it was clear to me I had to let the injury heal – however long it takes because otherwise this situation will just drag on and on.
A few days earlier I had gone out for a run and was struck by the feeling that it seemed absolutely ages since I had run last. It seemed like it was so long ago that I couldn’t remember when it was when in fact it had just been the previous day.
Of course I was attached to my running.Â I am reading a book called “I Am That” by Sri Nisargadatta and I read a few pages everyday.Â This morning’s chapter finished with the following paragraph.
“Attachment destroys courage. The giver is always ready to give. The taker is absent. Freedom means letting go. People just do not care to let go everything.They do not know that the finite is the price of the infinite, as death is the price of immortality. Spiritual maturity lies in the readiness to let go everything. The giving up is the first step. But the real giving up is in realizing that there is nothing to give up, for nothing is your own. It is like deep sleep – you do not give up your bed when you fall asleep – you just forget it.”
And then a Sri Chinmoy aphorism from 77,000 Service-Trees: 45,022
Only on self-giving
And not on anything else.
It’s definitely on wheels at the moment. Every time I update the logbook it seems as if another week has gone.
After a day off yesterday I ran quite hard tonight introducing a new running style on the way back. Needless to say my calves didn’t appreciate the gesture and I had to slow up on the way home. I ran out for an hour and then turned round, came back and it was 39 seconds over the 2 hours so it wasn’t so bad but I still had plenty of energy left which was a good sign.
The weather is very warm at the moment though it does cool off a little in the evenings and there was still a little light in the sky up until 8:30-8:45 which was really cool. I really love the long British summer evenings.
There are several camps on this one and for me, it seems, the best way to find out is by reading the literature and talking to people involved in the sport and finally trying an approach over an extended period and determining the improvements or the performance at the target event with your expectations.
There are generally helpful principles and maybe even exact laws but I think that there are many levels of fitness and particular ideas and strategies will only work on particular levels.
In preparation for a long race in the summer, I am running long and trying to stretch those longer runs so that for example my 6 hour run feels normal and my recovery time is reduced to no more than an hour or so.
However these runs are faster than my previous race pace which was somewhere around the 3-3.5 miles an hour range. It is impossible to replicate race conditions so strengthening the body with frequent long runs andÂ shorter runs, 2-2.5 hours plus, at my marathon speed, will over the next 6 weeks at least provide a depth of endurance missing in last years race.
Last year I ran the ran the 72 hour at ATY and then in March went to Houston for the 48 hour.Â After only a few hours at Houston I ha an inexplicable pain in the lower right leg that forced me to walk for almost 40 hours. It took one month or more before I could run again and the longest run from March until June was no more than 18 miles or so and that but once a week generating between 30-50 miles a week. The most frequent run was 6 miles at 85% of marathon pace.
My overall performance in the 3100 was the slowest of all my performances and this is due, I feel, to poor conditioning between January and the middle of May last year despite the long races I ran. Consistent high mileage at a comfortable to easy pace plus a good effort onceÂ a week will build the capacity to be able to raise my mileage rate in the 3100 by a quarter mile an hour.
The long run is absolutely essential for me. Without it, not only do I lack endurance, speed and power but also the legs and feet dont get the conditioning they need to be able to maintain activityÂ for 16- 17 hours a day. Blisters and chafing are weaknesses that put extra burdens on close and associated muscles and areas that also overload very quickly and put extra strain on the hips and the back and the whole exo-skeletal system. Pretty soon the body gets injured and/or has to walk.
Tonight again I left it till late before I made it out. I left about 7 and planned on a 2 hour session along the BBC. However I would be running back in the dark and I wasn’t sure how that would go, so then I remembered I’d wanted to follow the BBC back into Bristol, back to its source. So that’s what I did except I didn’t find an absolute start – the path just kept on going and eventually, by following the river, I rejoined a route at the Cumberland basin where I was last night. By this time that was a 90 minute journey so I knew it was half an hour from the Clifton Suspension Bridge (CSB), back across the Downs and home.
Felt fairly strong, which was good. Weather was also quite mild. That’s 5 days in a row that I’ve run. It will be good to get a streak going now for the next 2 months.
Forgot to mention a nice post I found this morning byÂ an American runner who wrote about the Self-Transcendence 3100. I like what he wrote and read quite a few of his posts and I really felt that the guy was on the same page as the runners.
What I’ve Learned So far – TranscendenceÂ
Bit sore this morning and didnt seem to get any better throughout the day, nevertheless I was determined to get into action mode again and crank out the miles so finally about 7:30 I squeezed out the door just in time to see the sun set over the Downs. It’s surprising how far north the sun has moved – it only seems to have been a few weeks ago when it was way further south.
There were lots of young people around the Downs last night and the energy was a lot higher than I have experienced before but then again I haven’t really been there at that time before.
To get some extra miles in I ran over the Clifton Suspension Bridge and finally down ti the locks before the rise back up Bridge Valley rd. It was well dark by this time but I had some groovy tunes to see me home and by this time I felt well oiled and all the soreness had wahsed away. That was very encouraging.
So Sundays run was a few minutes short of 6 hours so I made up the difference and still had 1.5 hours plus.
The Easter weekend has been accompanied by very pleasant weather in Bristol and my popular routes like the Downs and the Bristol Bath Cycleway are awash with people taking advantage of the weather and the holidays. The BBC is turning greener day by day and families throng the path along the way to Bitton where there is a Train Museum. Sundays sees a working steam engine running up and down along three miles of track pulling several coaches including a restaurant. A real step back in time.
Going to Bath I took the CamelBak which holds a 100 oz and a half litre of Hi5 Energy and some Squeezy chews, however I set out too fast and by the time I got to Bath was feeling the effort. The weather was relatively hot with little wind and clear skies. I lost a lot of salts which I could feel on my face in the last quarter of the run and had slowed considerably in that period feeling pretty wiped out.
On getting home and discussing the recommended usage of Hi5 wondering if I should be using more and less water and using more electrolyte. “When all else fails – read the instructions” that classic mantra reveals what the manufacturers suggest. I guess I’m reluctant to take their word’s for truth but I guess it’s in their interest to make something that actually does what it says on the label.
Well there’s another long run coming up in a few days so we will find out shortly.
Today was a long run, after not so long on Sunday and yesterdays rest day. I have been wanting to head up towards the Severn Bridge for some time to see how long it would take to get to the Old Bridge. However todays route took me off the map I had so I kind of got lost a bit. Not seriously lost, just uncertain when I came to a junction. However help miraculously appeared on cue and directed me up the road to Easter Compton.
Not a very inspiring section that Avonmouth to Severn Beach road – industrial zone with all kinds of evil in the air. Like the ad I saw which said something about 85% of pollution is not visible to the naked eye. Doesn’t feel a healthy place despite the surrounding vegetation. So by the time I got back, just over 5 hours had elapsed. It wasn’t a fast run and there were several places where I was ‘uncertain’ about which route to take but just past Severn Beach I saw a sign that said Bristol to the right 16 miles and Bristol to the left 11 miles. So I’ll take that.
I drank about 1.5 litres of water and Hi5. It was very cool coming up th A403.
Didn’t get out till 2pm today (Sunday). Warm day and I decided to take Noivedya’s advice and just run as fast as I could for as long as I could. However the Cycle path was packed with people and families on bikes – mid-afternoon is not a good time to be running. It took me all bar a few seconds to get to Warmley and coming back was 1:04. Good run but quads were a bit sore after.
I dedicated this evenings run to Nick Drake as the waxing moon proved a beautiful sight tonight. I ran up to the Downs and then across the Bristol Suspension Bridge and up into Ashton Court. Looped around and came back to the Downs to see the sunset. The air is still cool with a breeze in exposed places but the sky overhead was clear.
Coming home, the hanging moon gave a perspective to the city that gave a sense of vastness that I haven’t felt before. The nights are starting to draw out now and the leaves are starting to appear. Spring is on it’s way again.