Yesterday I did an impromptu 8 x 400m on grass. Times were ok with most around 73/74 seconds which i thought was reasonable on grass. One was a bit quicker - 71 seconds - not sure why but I am not complaining. Two were slower - around 78 seconds. The reason - dogs! or more accurately dog owners! One lady with some sort of fluffy white terrier thing could see me coming towards her at speed for at least 200m along the path that I was on. Why then did she leave it until the very last second to control her dog when it tried to savage my ankle! Luckily I was quicker than the pesky thing and it didnt connect - Grrrrrr! the second dog incident on the same session was a pack of three bigger dogs - think they were a sort of doberman type dog...according to the owner they are only playing...Thanks for that missus - I am only playing at getting quicker...I'm glad I also entertained your dogs..why not get them a ball! Apart from those two incidents the session was decent.
I worked out after the session that was the fifth hard session (5km race, 400 session, 800 session, tempo run and a 400m session) in eight days. A few easy days are definitely called for I thought after the session. As if by way of a reminder I woke up this morning with a slightly inflamed knee.
The reasons could be:
1. Lots of speed sessions and hard workouts = solution to have an easy few days and refresh myself.
2. An early sign of ITBS = solution to have a few easy days and use the foam roller/ice
3. My body telling me I have done enough quality and now time to taper/rest up for next weeks races.
4. Did I twist awkwardly on a 400m interval to avoid a dog....Grrrrrrr
5. Am I just getting old! probably !
I have now switched into active rest mode - which basically means jogging/easy running only, ice and anti inflammatories, stretching little and often (the work photocopier comes in nice and handy for stretching).
Tapering is an art that is very difficult to get right. The intention for the next few days is not to run anything hard. Will continue to run steadily as long as the knee is not any worse. On Thursday I will either do a short set of intervals possibly 600s or 800s or the final Tees Forest 5km race. Whichever option I choose it will be a case of a final sharpener rather than an all out effort.
On a final note I met John Mayock on Sunday while marshalling on the great north walk.