Back In The Saddle

I’ve not stopped running. Over the last few years though my mileage has decreased and over the last two years most days I didn’t run. This summer though I wanted to get back into some kind of shape and then all kinds of things started coming out of the woodwork. First goal was the Self-Transcendence 24 Hour race in Tooting Bec.

Some time in July I pulled a muscle in my calf at work. Not such a big deal I thought, I’ll have a day off running and then run it back into shape. So I had a day off and the sensation had decreased somewhat and I ran all the way home but it definitely didn’t feel right. Some people may be thinking “This guy’s nuts – running with a pulled muscle is plain stupid”, however, I believe and I know that  the body can adapt very quickly to damage and can heal itself very quickly under the right circumstances. But this time there seemed to be a problem and so the next day I just walked for an hour and the following day it was no better so I had the weekend off and the following week began to run again. It was still the same.
Over the next 5-6 weeks I cut right back on the running and walked instead and it recovered enough to be able to run but the problem was still there. Finally on the eve of the race I went to see a physiotherapist for advice – more psychological support than any thing else and after a calf massage the therapist said it would be fine.

Not having run for more than 2 hours since the run to Bitton, January the 21st, I was concerned about how it would hold up and had changed my goal to survival for 24 hours – even a marathon would do as long as I could keep moving until the end.

Abichal at the 2011 Self-Transcendence 24 Hour Race Tooting Bec Photo: Martin Leitner

I began conservatively with a run/walk schedule until I felt that it was not necessary to be so structured and moved at a comfortable yet relaxed pace. Sometime late in the evening another issue arose that needed a short period of relaxation which amounted to a substantial break. I came back onto the track and continued to run for the next 6-7 hours feeling stronger each hour until it felt like I was charging by the end of the race and ended up completing 76 miles with 5 hours of breaks. I was very happy. I felt great – my energy was good, no problem with legs – I felt like I was ready for another 24.

I had a week off and then continued to run home from work every day (a 3.5-4 mile run) and continue to do so. I have been taking weekends off though and still havent run more than two hours since January in a training run and now its November.

There are several things I would like to do before the Spring and one of those is the 1000 mile race in Athens – lets see how it goes.

Before that though I have been invited to give a talk with Tarit and Tejvan entitled Pushing The Limits at Run & Become on December 6th. Admission is free but register via events@runandbecome.com.

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