On the struggle bus

For the first time since starting my ultra training I’m on the struggle bus. Even when I’ve been aware of my niggles on a run previously I’ve not felt like it’s been that much of a mental battle to keep going. This weekend it’s definitely been hard to keep puttingone foot in front of the other.

I’m not sure whether I’m aware that my feet and calves haven’t improved, and that’s playing on my mind. Or whether I’m just tired after a busy week and that’s been the issue. Either way I’ve found this weekend’s runs really challenging.

I woke up this morning with the start of plantar fascitis as I could feel a pain in the arches of my feet. It appeared in my right foot when I reached 14 miles yesterday as well, but it was the first time in my left foot. I’ve had plantar fascitis before but it’s normally a sign that I need new trainers. My trainers are only a couple of months old so I know that’s not the issue. A bit of Googling and it’s likely that my issues stem from over use and tight calves.

I’m conscious that I don’t want to do anything that’ll mean I can’t run the race in June. I’m seriously considering getting a sports massage to see if that helps. I’ve been wary so far just because of social distancing.

I’m pretty sure that all the issues have stemmed from the blister I got in my last cut back week a couple of weeks ago. I think it changed my gait and then everything has been out of kilter since, especially with the increased mileage.

This weekend I was supposed to be running 18 miles on Saturday and then 10 miles today. I made the decision in the week to cut back my miles. In the end I didn’t cut them back as much as I’d planned but I didn’t do the full mileage on my plan.

Yesterday I ended up running 15.5 miles rather than the 14 miles I’d had in mind. That’s mostly as I was rubbish at planning my route though! I ran the first 8 miles with Coleen. We headed down to Cardiff Bay passed the rainbow House which has become a bit of an icon in our running group.

Then we went spotting special painted postboxes in the city centre before heading towards where we started. Then I did another 6 miles on my own. I did contemplate stopping at 14 miles but I was still two miles from home so I ran for a mile and a half then walked the rest of the way home.

Top left: Gold post box to celebrate Geraint Thomas’ Olympic gold; Top right: the screen postbox; bottom post box to mark World Book day.

Today’s 10 miles was with Gruby and we had a lovely trip round Bute Park and Llandaff Field. We ran/walked most of it as I was struggling and really aware of how my feet had been niggling this morning.

There was a post on our running group in the week where another member was having the same issues with pain on the tops of their feet. Someone suggested tying shoe laces in a different way. I re-laced mine to give my forefoot a bit more space and it did feel better so hopefully that will help. I also made sure I stretched properly afterwards.

I know these mentally challenging runs are gearing me up for the race but it still feels pretty pants when you’re in the middle of them.

It’s a rest day tomorrow and I’ll try to take a walk at lunchtime and move about a bit more so I dint get too stiff.

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