Ankle Problem Improving and 3 Runs

Over the weekend I thought I’d drop one of my runs this week to give my ankle a little more recovery time. The original plan was a quick 6m on Tuesday, steady 8m on Thursday, easy 4m on Saturday and a long 16m (the last long one before the HM) on Sunday. I decided to drop the 4 miler which would give me two clear days of rest before the 16 miler (or should that be attempt at running 16 miles?!).

However! I think the strapping up of my ankle on my long run last Sunday has helped as since Monday my ankle has cleared up really well… well enough for me to tweak my schedule to a quick 6m on Tuesday, 10m on Thursday and 3m this evening  with the long 16m on Sunday.

Run 1 – Tuesday: 6m

Somehow I’d managed to accidentally turn  my Garmin on  earlier in the day without noticing so the battery was low when I went out for the run – I hoped it would last but it didn’t make it past 3.3M :(

Distance: 6.1M
Time: Approx 48 mins

Run 2 – Thursday: 10M

Felt good enough to extend my usual 8 miler to 10 miles with this being the last real week of training before I start to wind down over the next couple of weeks. Planned to run it quite easy in 8:30 – 08:50 pace range and, as 4ish miles of it is part of the most  challenging section of the Cov Half Marathon, I thought it would be a nice addition to the training.

Failed with the pacing as it ended up being an average of 08:15. Still, was good fun and I felt strong.

Distance: 10.18M
Time: 01:23:57
Mile Splits: 8:40, 8:30, 8:36, 8:12, 8:18, 8:16, 8:25, 7:52, 8:02, 7:52, 1:14 (last 0.18)

Run 3 – Tonight (Friday) : 3M

As my ankle felt okay I thought I’d go out again tonight and do an easy 3m. As usual I went too quickly and I found it quite tough going which was clearly down to the run yesterday. Was glad to finish.

Distance: 3.09M
Time: 24:54
Mile Splits: 7:53, 8:19, 8:03, 39 (last 0.09)

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Long Run Sunday – 11.7M

Today is my “long run day” and my schedule called for a 13-15 miler depending on how well I’d recovered from the race last weekend. As I’ve been having some troubles with my ankle I decided I’d drive to work to run there, as it’s completely flat, to give me legs less stress. The only problem was I realised halfway there that I’d forgotten my inhaler meaning I’d only be able to last 15 minutes before being unable to breathe so I had to turn back :/

Once I got home I sacked the idea of running at work off and thought today I could try to run what appears to be toughest (hilly) part of the Coventry Half Marathon instead. As I’d switched plans I had the random idea of bandaging my ankle – having no idea what I’m doing  - but It seemed to perform well on the most scientific of tests… pacing up and down the living room.

The run itself was fine… 11.7M in total. The “tough” section of the Coventry Half Marathon I didn’t find as tough as I would have thought so that was a bit of a confidence boost. My ankle seemed to hold out and felt better during and after the run than it did on Wednesday and Thursday so I might try the strapping again on my 6m run on Tuesday.

Distance: 11.7M
Mile Splits: 8:36, 8:29, 8:51, 8:45, 8:35, 8:37, 8:31, 8:52, 8:53, 8:44, 8:37, 5:54 (last 0.7)

Garmin map and details are below:

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Weekly Update: A Couple of Runs and Ankle Pain

For the past month or so I’ve been having problems with what I  first thought was my achilles but it would appear to be between the achilles and sticky out bit  of the ankle. It’s quite difficult to pin-point  as I can only really feel it when I’m running or slightly while walking.  Possibly the posterior tibial tendon? The pattern seems to be: mild discomfort during run,  a bit tender the next day and the day after that it’s fine.

During the 10m race last Sunday I developed some tightness in my right calf (soleus?). Walking back to the car wasn’t much fun even though it was only 0.25m. I’m presuming these things must be linked.

My legs were drained and tired up until Wednesday but I decided to take I an extra day off and went for a run on Thursday evening after work – just a little tester to see how my legs were feeling in general and to see how my ankle felt afterwards. I could feel it during the run… quite uncomfortable but managed the 5k easily enough.

In the morning the ankle was a bit sore but it eased within a couple of hours. By the time I’d got home from work I felt it was good enough run on. So last night I ran 6m  at an easy pace with the ankle ache coming on between miles 2 and 4… with the last 2 ache free. hmm.

I iced the area when I got home and today it’s feeling pretty much the same as yesterday… a bit stiff and sore coming downstairs early-on but it’s mid-day now and while it feels okay I can  still “feel it” while walking.

Tomorrow is supposed to be long run day and I’m due a 13-15 miler so I might have to cut that short. I shall see how it feels in the morning.


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Race Report: John Fraser 10 – 2011 (10 miles)

Date: 4th September 2011
Distance: 10 Miles

As part of the preparation for my first half marathon on the 2nd October I’d scheduled in this challenging 10 mile race through the Leicestershire countryside as it was taking place a handy four weeks earlier. 

Looking at race reports for previous stagings of the race with their mentions oh “hill after hill”, “killer hills” etc. didn’t fill me with much confidence going in to the race. I’d never raced this far before with my furthest being the Asics Arden 9 mile race toward the end of June and I’d completed that in 01:08:40.

Despite the new racing distance and challenging course I set myself a goal of 01:15:00 as I’d upped my average weekly mileage by 10 miles and had been training consistently well since the beginning of July.

On the day conditions were my ideal and very similar to the conditions when I ran the Two Castles Run 10k (45:28 PB): light rain and cool.

After using the toilet facilities at Race HQ (Countesthorpe College) I made my way to the start. The race acts as the final fixture in the Leicestershire Road Running League’s summer race series so, gathered at the start, I noticed the large percentage of club runners. In fact there would be only 59 unattached runners amongst the 474 finishers.

Starter’s horn sounds and we’re off!

My first mile is always about settling in to a target race pace and trying my best not to set off too quick. As I’d started in the middle of the pack it meant I had to do a bit of overtaking as I was a bit boxed in. Felt my ankle twinge a bit at 0.5 miles… great! First mile passed by quickly in 07:27.

Miles two, three and four fly by with me completing them in 07:20, 07:25, 07:23 respectively, so easily on target for 75 minutes. It’s at this point I’m hoping I can hold on to this pace while thinking “less than 10k to go”.

Mile five began on quite a steep looking part of the course… and by this point I was noticing that on the uphill sections I’d be overtaking while maintaining position on the downhill sections. Unsure if that’s a good or bad thing? I guess it’s due to the routes I run being rather undulating themselves. Anyway… with this race what goes up must come down and it did… mile 5 complete in 07:18.

I didn’t enjoy mile 6 so much and found it quite tough going… it was only when I noticed I’d run it in 07:12 that I realised why.. need to reign in the pace slightly? I don’t feel too tired… and then I noticed at the 10k point that I had almost matched my 10k PB of 46:28… the Garmin said 46:30… just 2 seconds out. That extra training is paying off!

Miles seven and eight involved more hills: up and down, up and down, up and down. They passed by in 07:22 and 07:38. By the time mile eight was drawing to a close I’d found myself in a bit of a race no-mans land with nobody close behind and other runners quite a way in the distance.

Mile 9 was pretty much downhill all the way and I was beginning to feel very confident of smashing my target – I kept telling myself I only had two miles to run and picturing where I’d be on one of my local routes and working out how slowly I COULD run and still finish in 75 minutes. Anything to pass the time eh? Mile 9 took just 07:05.

The start of the final mile was uphill but I felt I had plenty left so powered up the hill knowing it was the last one. By this point I was overtaking quite a few runners which gave me more confidence.

When I finally reached the top of the last hill it was a great relief to know there was just 0.6 miles remaining – I was knackered. A little further down the road and there were supporters which perked me up a little as it meant the end was close.

The race finishing straight was on a grassy field and I tried to give it a little kick at the end to finish. I  finally cross the finishing line line and stop my watch: it read 01:13:40 (!!) I was delighted with that and went to collect a bottle of water and my goody bag which included a John Fraser 10 branded flask as a memento.  A nice touch.

Official finishing time: 01:13:43 (PB)

Very happy with my finishing time and I think I’ll be back again next year as I enjoyed the route very much. The ups aren’t too demanding and I think the downhill sections make up for them.

Mile Splits: 07:27, 07:20, 07:25, 07:23, 07:18, 07:12, 07:22, 07:38, 07:05, 07:10

Garmin Map/Details below:

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Half Marathon Training Update

My half marathon training begun at the start of July after I’d taken a weeks holiday in Spain after the Asics Arden 9 mile race.

The goal was to extend my long run of 10-12 miles up to 16 miles and hitting that distance twice before the half marathon on the 2nd October.


My monthly totals since I started have been 129 miles for July and 120 for August which is an increase from my previous high mileage month (May) of 90 miles. September should follow the same amount of mileage as July and August even with an easier couple of weeks leading up to the race.

Another Race!

In preparation for the half marathon I’ve decided to add a 10 mile race on the 4th September and the John Fraser 10 is conveniently close / on the right date. This will give me a chance to test out my new found speed/stamina – I’m hoping for a time of 01:15 but I’m not sure I’ll be able to manage that after reading previous race reports: “definitely hilly”, “it’s hill after hill after hill”, “knackered”

Here’s the elevation profile taken from last years race:

Aches and Pains

I’ve got a problem with my right anke/achilles/soleus – hard to pinpoint – and I’ve had it for over a month – it seems to get better with a day of rest after a run and during the run it’s fine. I just hope it doesn’t get any worse as it gets closer to the half marathon.

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